25ft x 15ft New Pool and Spa - Contractor vs DIY (Phoenix, AZ)

Slei232

Member
Nov 18, 2020
6
Phoenix, AZ
Hi All,

Wife and I are looking to install a simple rectangular play pool with baja ledge and spa. We already have the design we'd like worked up in a SketchUp drawing (see attached).

I've gotten one quote that's come in at $45,000 for the pool and spa + $5000 for the water feature. $30,000 for a basic no fuss pool (no water feature or spa) and $33,000 for a heated version of the basic pool (no water feature or spa). Details at bottom

I tend to be pretty hands on during projects anyways and don't mind coordinating and working directly with the subcontractors or filing for permits. Our home has an 8' side access, backyard is flat, no trees, is a newer build home (2018). The design we're looking for doesn't have anything complex or over the top. Even the contractor said this would be a straightforward standard install. But just wondering how much we could really save by going the DIY route?

1. How much could we save on the basic no-fuss pool?
2. What about the original design (pool, spa and water feature)?
3. How much more could we get for our money ($50,000) if we went the DIY route?

*******************************
New pool and spa construction: $44,870
Pool
: 25ft x 15ft, depth 3ft x 5ft x 4ft
Spa: 7ft x 7ft, 3ft depth
Excavation: bobcat trackhoe combo
Pool plumbing: 3 returns, 1 vaccum suction line, 1 skimmer, 2 main drains, 1 autofill, 1 areator, 2 regular bubblers in baja step
Spa plumbing: 6 jets, 2 returns, 2 main drains
Gas line: 18" under ground from gas meter to pool equipment
Steel specs: standard engineering
Electric: standard with sub panel at the pool equipment
Equipment: Pentair standard pool light, Pentair standar spa light, Pentair intelliflo pump, 420 sqft cartidge filter, Pentair Gas Heater, concrete slab for pool equipment, air blower
Shortcrete: standard mix
Tile: 6x6 standard color
Deck: 1ft bullnose copping, 3ft around the pool perimeter
Finish: mini pebble

Water Feature: $4685.00
18' long by 12" high, 2 - 2ft sheerdescents, walls covered with stakedstone, top with standar travertine, back off wtaer feature with stucko
 

Attachments

Nikilyn

Bronze Supporter
Sep 3, 2018
419
Gilbert, AZ
We are currently doing owner/builder here in the valley. That is a really good price. Our pool is a little bigger and deeper, plus we have automation and a waterfall. Also, upgraded tile and colored pool lights. That’s about what it’s going to cost us. A friend of ours works for one of the top builders here and looked at our plan and said it would cost about $60,000 plus with him so we’ve been happy to save that money. But if you can get it for that price you might want to go for it. The only thing is, I like having the options we do going the o/b route. I’m not stuck choosing what the PB says I have to pick from and don’t have to worry about paying inflated builder mark ups. So all those things go in the plus category for o/b.
BTW, our house was also built in 2018 😊.
 

Nikilyn

Bronze Supporter
Sep 3, 2018
419
Gilbert, AZ
So we just got a random bid from a company to build the entire pool for $66,000. That is from our plans with our specs. We expect to be under $50,000. So that gives us a definite idea of how much we are saving. But we don’t know how they got our info unless our pool consultant sent it to them. I thought this info might help you decide what to do.
 

exflirt

New member
Nov 17, 2020
1
Phoenix, AZ
Hi Slei232, that looks almost identical in size and features to what I am looking to build and I am in Phoenix. Can I ask who gave you the first quote? I'd love to reach out to them.

Great design, by the way!

Hi All,

Wife and I are looking to install a simple rectangular play pool with baja ledge and spa. We already have the design we'd like worked up in a SketchUp drawing (see attached).

I've gotten one quote that's come in at $45,000 for the pool and spa + $5000 for the water feature. $30,000 for a basic no fuss pool (no water feature or spa) and $33,000 for a heated version of the basic pool (no water feature or spa). Details at bottom

I tend to be pretty hands on during projects anyways and don't mind coordinating and working directly with the subcontractors or filing for permits. Our home has an 8' side access, backyard is flat, no trees, is a newer build home (2018). The design we're looking for doesn't have anything complex or over the top. Even the contractor said this would be a straightforward standard install. But just wondering how much we could really save by going the DIY route?

1. How much could we save on the basic no-fuss pool?
2. What about the original design (pool, spa and water feature)?
3. How much more could we get for our money ($50,000) if we went the DIY route?

*******************************
New pool and spa construction: $44,870
Pool
: 25ft x 15ft, depth 3ft x 5ft x 4ft
Spa: 7ft x 7ft, 3ft depth
Excavation: bobcat trackhoe combo
Pool plumbing: 3 returns, 1 vaccum suction line, 1 skimmer, 2 main drains, 1 autofill, 1 areator, 2 regular bubblers in baja step
Spa plumbing: 6 jets, 2 returns, 2 main drains
Gas line: 18" under ground from gas meter to pool equipment
Steel specs: standard engineering
Electric: standard with sub panel at the pool equipment
Equipment: Pentair standard pool light, Pentair standar spa light, Pentair intelliflo pump, 420 sqft cartidge filter, Pentair Gas Heater, concrete slab for pool equipment, air blower
Shortcrete: standard mix
Tile: 6x6 standard color
Deck: 1ft bullnose copping, 3ft around the pool perimeter
Finish: mini pebble

Water Feature: $4685.00
18' long by 12" high, 2 - 2ft sheerdescents, walls covered with stakedstone, top with standar travertine, back off wtaer feature with stucko
 

BUT ITS A DRY HEAT

Active member
May 28, 2020
36
Lake Havasu AZ
that price sounds about right. we had 1 quote from a builder here and it came back at $35k for a basic 15x25 with 7x12 shelf and 2ft of concrete decking.

i decided to do o/b based off a budget i am trying to stay in and with the knowledge i have from 2 years in the industry, i can save a ton of money. swim season is already over, so i have 6 months to get it done, which is fine by me. i have friends in the industry still, so they are going to help with electrical and maybe some plumbing, but i might sub that out. you should figure about 30% mark up for a guy just to make calls and line people up, that to me is worth the headache. plus we are now doing a bigger pool and raised beam, and will still save a ton.

we are doing a full backyard build, pool, guest casita and wall, so if i can save a few thousand on the pool, ill need it on areas of the yard.
 

Slei232

Member
Nov 18, 2020
6
Phoenix, AZ
We are currently doing owner/builder here in the valley. That is a really good price. Our pool is a little bigger and deeper, plus we have automation and a waterfall. Also, upgraded tile and colored pool lights. That’s about what it’s going to cost us. A friend of ours works for one of the top builders here and looked at our plan and said it would cost about $60,000 plus with him so we’ve been happy to save that money. But if you can get it for that price you might want to go for it. The only thing is, I like having the options we do going the o/b route. I’m not stuck choosing what the PB says I have to pick from and don’t have to worry about paying inflated builder mark ups. So all those things go in the plus category for o/b.
BTW, our house was also built in 2018 😊.
Hi Nikilyn,

Thanks for the comment. I completely agree with you. I think the price is good but I would like the flexibility and options that come with doing is as an O/B.
 
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Slei232

Member
Nov 18, 2020
6
Phoenix, AZ
Hi Slei232, that looks almost identical in size and features to what I am looking to build and I am in Phoenix. Can I ask who gave you the first quote? I'd love to reach out to them.

Great design, by the way!
Thanks! I just redid the design to remove the spa and make an extended baja shelf instead. I'll post those pics soon. The spa was just so we could use it year round but we ended up talking with a neighbor down the street who had a heated pool and says hes able to use it year round. I'm not that big a fan of the Jets and noise of a spa anyways so a heated pool seems like a good alternative. I'm not sure if I'm allowed to list the builder according to the fourm rules. But I can send you the info if you message me directly
 

Slei232

Member
Nov 18, 2020
6
Phoenix, AZ
that price sounds about right. we had 1 quote from a builder here and it came back at $35k for a basic 15x25 with 7x12 shelf and 2ft of concrete decking.

i decided to do o/b based off a budget i am trying to stay in and with the knowledge i have from 2 years in the industry, i can save a ton of money. swim season is already over, so i have 6 months to get it done, which is fine by me. i have friends in the industry still, so they are going to help with electrical and maybe some plumbing, but i might sub that out. you should figure about 30% mark up for a guy just to make calls and line people up, that to me is worth the headache. plus we are now doing a bigger pool and raised beam, and will still save a ton.

we are doing a full backyard build, pool, guest casita and wall, so if i can save a few thousand on the pool, ill need it on areas of the yard.
Thanks foe the info! If the markup is around 30%, then yeah I'll definitely go the O/B route. I already have my design and SketchUp (free trial), and was able to import the plot plan into the drawing and include all the requirements that was listed on the city website for pool and spa permit application ($75)

I already called a engineering firm who said that if I already have a site plan, then the cost of the engineering plans needed for the permit application is $150.
 

Slei232

Member
Nov 18, 2020
6
Phoenix, AZ
The breakout cost for site plan, engineering plans, and permit application on one builder's quote was $1,500. The cost of doing it myself comes in at $225... Am I not accounting for something or if the markup really isn't that high?
 

BUT ITS A DRY HEAT

Active member
May 28, 2020
36
Lake Havasu AZ
im not sure if they are accounting for other things but hes probably just assuming you dont have much knowledge about the process and just making some cash...with the demand right now they can charge bigger numbers and most are probably paying them.

for me when i submitted my plans, i just needed 2 copies of site plan with pool in regards to everything, trac map, and application and then just wait. my cost was 175 for the permit, and thats it. i was surprised how easy it was for me compared to some stories i read on here. even as o/b they didnt have me submit rebar specs, electrical plan, or anything....its been more of a hassle waiting on the wall guys to get going so i can get my other projects going.

if you decide o/b, there are plenty of people on here to help you along the way (even in phx area) and honestly youre mainly paying the guy/company just to make phone calls and line up the labor. seeing its past swim season here, maybe you have sometime to take longer but get a bigger or better result for less money. o/b is not for everyone, but its also not as hard as most people think.

it just comes down to, is your time and possible headaches worth saving the money.
 

Nikilyn

Bronze Supporter
Sep 3, 2018
419
Gilbert, AZ
it just comes down to, is your time and possible headaches worth saving the money.
It is for us. I’m the one doing the research and emailing with the subs. I really like having control of it. By having a pool builder do it you have to sit and wait. We’re still having to do that but at least we’re seeing the reasons why and can try to do something about it. The hardest thing for me so far has been finding someone to do a waterfall in rock other than surface select or gold boulders. I’m really frustrated at the lack of options but at least I can keep searching. If we had a PB I would be stuck with what they offered with no other options.
 
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jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
3,066
Morris Cnty NJ
One thing that's important is theres alot of fluff in an O/B situation. On paper you save money. In real world the subs work cheaper for the PB its constant work. A la carte work costs more and you have to watch the workers as theres no one to answer to, you will never use them again. Theres several phases to grading and dirt relocation, the PB has heavy equipment amd can leave it on site or move at his leisure. The sub charges for every day and time hes there the little stuff adds up with things you dont think of. Its definitely a savings overall, but its gotta be enough for your headache, amd you need to have some idea of what needs to be dine. You cant own a restaurant amd tell the chef how to so his job if you've never cooked before. It's easier to have a PB handle the dig and the shell, and take over from there on finishes or have him exclude his sqft allowances on material and just provide your own materials
 
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