Here is a list of line items for your contract between your Pool Builder and yourself. Although some people will say good luck in getting the PB to agree, but hey it’s worth the try.
1. Deliverable dates, and tie into payments around deliverable if possible. Try to make you PB meet certain dates of deliverables. Whole dug, plumbing, pool construction, concrete, pool equipment, water fill up, etc.
2. Water allowance in payment. In my case one of the PVC pipes broke because the PB’s son who helps on the job was too lazy to run to home depot and buy bigger PVC pipes, so one was too short, burst and emptied the pool below the return eye balls. He used my garden hose to fill up. Well that costs me money from the city! Originally he initially filled the pool with a water truck. And now there is a small crack on the step (Fiber Glass pool) and he will empty below the crack to fix it. Before he covers the pool.
3. Dirt. Specify exactly what to do with the dirt, and how much will be taken away. You might want to keep some for backfilling holes, and landscaping, etc. To buy dirt later, will cost you, regardless of how much there is still a cost.
4. Backfilling tire marks from the Bob Cats etc. Make sure they will level and grade your property when they are all complete.
5. Damage to property while work is being conducted. My PB also did my brick work. In doing so he broke my existing cement patio and broke 3 zones of sprinkler pipes. Early Saturday AM, my basement filled with 20 minutes worth of water from 3 zone from the basement window well near the patio! PB is stupid, they break the sprinkler pipes, it does not occur to them to turn off the sprinklers or tell you to do so. If you are like me, you come home at 10 PM from work, the wife has no clue what is going on during the day with construction, etc. So I don’t realize the pipes are broken until the next day.
6. Tree removal. Make sure if they remove a tree, and they are removing altogether from your property. Not leave pieces on the property for you to take care of on your own.
7. Cobblestone in driveway. With their heavy equipment riding up and down my driveway, they destroyed the cobblestone. Make sure they will cover the damage or repair it. Also be aware of the drive way damage. If they are installing your pool in the heat, the heavy equipment and loading and unloading things like bricks will make dents in the pavement.
Items with hidden additional cost:
1. Sprinkler lines and re-zoning. Be warned if you have sprinklers installed on your property and you are installing a new pool. The PB will destroy some of these sprinkler zones. To correct the problem and fix, will be additional cost to you outside the cost of your pool. For me essentially had to redo all the zones in my back yard, 4 zones total. For over $2000. 8 years ago it cost me $1500 for 6 zones to be installed!
2. Electrical work. Your pool will require some heavy duty electrical work. A 150 amp electrical panel is the bare minimum if you are not running central AC, dryer, dish washer, pool equipment all the time, etc. 200 amp is recommended, and it will cost you to upgrade the electrical panel in your home. Also the PB will most likely will give you a electrical allowance. For example if you decide you want your equipment away from your house, the further the electrical wire needs to be run, the more money it will cost. They excuse is that the cost of copper has gone up, etc…..BS!
3. Fencing. Ensure where they get access to your yard to install your pool, that you have adequate fencing in place, and if they remove your fencing they don’t damage it and can replace the sections to the original shape, formation, etc.
4. Upgraded equipment. Get your PB to give you things like 2 LED lights in your pool, handrails, etc. for all the same cost. Get them to give you a price for the basics. Then tell them you want to upgrade to a SWG, Heater, LED Lights, Handrails, auto vacuum, etc., for all the same original price before you sign.