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Thread: My contractor can't read a ruler? What do I do?

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    My contractor can't read a ruler? What do I do?

    I am days away from having our new gunite pool completed. (Very exciting time). Or at least it should be, we discovered last week that while our contract calls for a 6 ft depth we or at 5 1/2 ft. Not only that but there or some changes to the design/layout that we did not approve ( a cut-out seat instead, we received a bench seat). These are the two biggies amongst other petty things like cracked drive way and damage to personal property that I am loosing sleep over because our contractor who came very highly recommended (we did our home work we thought) acts like these or no big deal! I know that there is no easy fix for these foepas, so I told the contractor to fix it some other way. Make it up in a way that is best for the both of us, ae. ad some other feature, adjust the price, do something. I still have not made final payment of 1/3 yet. But how do you place monetary value on this.
    Lance

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    divnkd101's Avatar
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    Go out for bids on the cost of repairs to driveway, etc. As far as the benches are concerned, did your contract have any details as to the cost of doing the cut-out/ swim-out? If yes, deduct that as well from the final payment. Not too sure what you can do about the depth issue. Perhaps someone else might have something to add. Regardless, hold onto that final payment until you are fully satisfied with the outcome. You should have a signed contract detailing what the builder was to construct. If he did not follow those guidelines, he is in breech. Good luck and keep us posted.
    MIKE

    21K Inground Custom w/ Spa (Gunite/Plaster), SWCG, Hayward Northstar, Polaris 280, Hayward Color Logics, Jandy PS-8

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    I understand you are stressed out., but one post is sufficient. I deleted the other two. Welcome to the forum.
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    KurtV's Avatar
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    Check your contract. Many/most pool contracts put the responsibility for the layout on the owner (just sign here please; all standard stuff; no need to read any of this). You're supposed to check the measurements, location, etc. at each step along the way, at least through the steel/gunite stage. If yours is like that there's probably not much you can do about the depth and bench/cutout seat.

    Likewise, many contracts have some pretty unfavorable language, from the homeowner's perspective, on driveway/sidewalk damage.

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    Hey Kurt;
    I have read and reread my contract and see nothing about approving design or depth during construction. I was never given any hard dates as to when any stage of construction would take place, so making my self available to question things for approval has been difficult. Besides there was really know way for me to check depth before gunite was set other than to ask the contractor. As for the bench, The drawing and the ground markings were correct, which I did sign off on. How they screwed up in the excavation stage is anyones guess.
    The contract also states that the contractor is not liable for damage to drives, provided that reasonable precation is taken.
    I have ample access to my back yard with out having drive on the driveway. (40+' of servitude to the side of my driveway with a double gate). I even roped of my driveway in deter possible crossing and moved a mailbox to the other side of the driveway. The ropes were driven over at least on 2 separate occasions. But I regress, The driveway is petty to me. My real frustration is in the beach and the depth.
    Lance

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    KurtV's Avatar
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    Lance,
    Sounds like you're on pretty solid ground and, even more importantly, still have a sizeable payment to hold back and negotiate with. I'd come up with a figure for compensation for everything that's wrong and work from there.

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    Since you still theoretically owe money, just get an estimate from another contractor to make it the way you want and tell him to fix it or that is the amount you are deducting from what you owe him.
    20x40 IG vinyl, heatpump and solar and 3 siberian huskies, 10kw PV solar electric system. Nikon Photographer D800e dSLR.

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    Sadly, at this stage, I would get a lawyer.

    People often wait too long to do so, and if you get one involved at this stage, it should be fairly cheap. He can advise you on what NOT to do or say, to ensure if this thing goes belly up, you haven't done, signed, or said anything that backs yourself into a corner.
    Jim

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    TexasGirl's Avatar
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    Lance: You'll appreciate the 5.5' depth much more than the 6' depth.
    I often wish my 5'5' depth was less.
    Debbie

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    I don't think that I need a lawyer jsut yet because the last payment is not due yet. the contractor knows I am not happy, and may still show up to the table with a good compromise. I just wish I was able to establish a worth of dissastifaction.
    The bench is worth I figure $500 but the depth is something that I feel I must live with and it will never be what I wanted. $1,000, $3,000 I really want to be fair but I don't know what fair is. I quess it maybe what the contractor views a satisfied customer to be.
    Lance

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    KurtV's Avatar
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    Lance,
    You're really in the driver's seat here. Usually when you read about the problems, the builder already has all the money. With you holding 1/3 of the total, the builder isn't even solvent on your pool yet. Yes, he has some leverage (mechanic's lien mainly), but you're really in a very strong position.

    Give him a list of what you want fixed (driveway, etc.) and what you want compensation for (depth, seat) with a dollar figure attached to the latter. Then, all you have to decide is what the what the depth and seat issues are worth to you. I'd probably put those at 4 or 5% of the total cost of the pool.

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