At the end of the summer last year, my husband and I put in a 24' round above ground pool. Because it was so late in the season, we didn't finish off the project and now intend to finish things off this spring.
We have 4 major tasks yet to complete:
1) install GFI outlet for pump/filter system
2) run natural gas line out to pool to hook up to heater
3) build deck
We had a couple electricians out last fall and bids at that time were in the $350 - $450 range to run the line out from our garage to the pool equipment and mount the needed outlet on a post as required by our city code. So that is all fine and dandy, and I have that much set aside in this spring's budget.
Now regarding the gas line. The line needs to hook in to the gas supply at our furnace in the basement, come up from there and out of the house, then run out to the pool. That is about 20 feet inside the house, and about 30 feet outside the house to get to the pool. The pool installers last fall told us to budget about $300 per 50 feet of gas line needed. So I tripled that, and then rounded up my budget up to $1000 to have someone run that line and then hook the heater (its a Hayward H100 already bought and paid for outside of this $1000 budget). I thought that way giving myself lots of wiggle room.
Now spring has come and a old friend of mine's husband just so happens to be a plumber. He knows we need this project done and he offered to take good care of us if we hired him and his friend (who is an electrician) do projects #1 and #2 for us. We thought that sounded great, and he came out yesterday to look the whole project over. Tonight he called with his official estimate and I just about died when he told me $2700. That is almost twice what I have budgeted! Now I am really between a rock and a hard place and I need some quick advice as he's coming out on Saturday to start the work. What do you guys think of this whole situation? Do you guys think I underbudgeted for the project or do you think this friend's husband isn't taking quite so good care of me as I thought he would? I don't know what to think as I have no experience with this kind of work to compare to. Ideally now that this estimate came in so much higher than expected, it would be nice to get other estimates to compare. But there is no way to get that done before Saturday now. If I put him off at this point I am afraid of offending his wife to be honest.
Does anyone have a gut feeling about this situation? Some of you must have needed gas lines run to your pools. Was my budget unrealistic? If I miscalculated by that much, I am willing to take my lumps and pay it to get the job done. Really, it just means that my deck and landscaping gets pushed off, maybe until next year. Or do you guys think this guy is seriously overcharging me? The friend involved I have known for 35 years (we grew up next door to each other,) but I really don't know her husband that well. I don't know what I should think? What do you guys think?