Am I being unrealistic? Am I asking too much?


Active member
Jun 30, 2010
I need some advise. I have been remodeling my pool with a local contractor and ran into some problems. I believe I am being reasonable and the issues I am raising a legitimate. He said that work is complete and there are no issues.
I have remodeled pool with glass pebble plaster, replaced tile and coping. The plastering is great the tile was great until coping was done and coping is what I have most issues with.
The coping was supposed to be stamped concrete glossy. What I have is what is on the pictures attached. The coping does not look anything like what I was promised for stamped concrete coping.
Here is what I was expecting:

Photo 1 and Photo 5 are images of the edges of the coping that I believe are dirty as they were probably rubbed during curing process? Not a big issue but rather quality neatness of work.
Photo3 and Photo6 are images of small cracks that I are more concerning. Should I be concerned?
Photo 2 and Photo 4 are grout issues with the cement on it. The grout is dirty gray all over if I had to guess because it was not cleaned when concrete was poured? Is there a way to clean this? This is a quality issue, neatness. Am I being unreasonable to expect not to have these issues?
There are other issues damage to the driveway, plaster on the driveway and mulch. Skimmer lid not closing anymore... minor things.
When I first saw that coping is not coming out the way I was expecting I held less than 20% of last payment telling the contractor that I will pay when all the work is done and he assured me that things will be fixed. Now I am even less happy and he says everything is done and color shading issues are to be expected...
Am I not being reasonable to want things fixed, before I pay anything else? Are these real issues or am I being too picky?
I would appreciate opinions please.


Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
Sebring, Florida
Your question is too subjective. I might be VERY happy with work that doesn't satisfy you. I might be terribly displeased with work that you think is adequate.

It seems there is nothing technical that is incorrect about the work but rather simply a differing set of expectations.

If your pump doesn't work or your pool has algae, I can offer advice. If the quality level of the work is not suitable to you, then whatever I might think of the quality isn't still don't like it.


TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 14, 2011
Murrieta, CA
Overall all I think it looks nice. But am unsure of the before and after effect. Natural products do have cracks, and add to the charm, as long as it's not critical or breaks the integrity of the product. All diamonds have some flaw. It really depends on what you find acceptable.



LifeTime Supporter
Oct 9, 2009
I would not worry about the cracks. They are pretty small and it looks as though you have a good expansion joint around the coping.

As far as the finish, I think it looks very good. Any time you deal with concrete there are alot of variables. No two projects will ever look exactly the same.


Active member
Jun 30, 2010
I am afraid that all those small cracks after 1 winter will be more than small cracks. duraleigh you are correct about different expectations and views on quality. I guess I was expecting new tile grout to be white rather than grey dirty with concrete... and I did expect coping to be what is on the picture that was advertised not dirty looking with black sand all over it. Thanks


Well-known member
Jun 6, 2008
Kostia, if that was my pool, I would be really unhappy with that dirt in the tile grout. I would expect the contractor to at least clean it, and if it wouldn't come clean, then I would expect him to regrout that area. I don't think that's asking too much. As far as the finish not being as glossy as in the photo you provided, I'd have to say you are correct, it is very different looking, it doesn't seem like a shade issue, it seems like a different type of finish. I don't know if there is much you can do at this point. I also worry about small cracks becoming big cracks, the winters here in the north east can do that, however I don't know enough about how that type of concrete will weather to give an informed opinion.

Good Luck


Melt In The Sun

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Oct 29, 2009
Tucson, AZ
I agree w/ Tim regarding the grout, it's brand new and it already looks 30 years old. I think the coping looks OK, it looks nice and shiny in the first picture you posted.


Active member
Jun 30, 2010
If you are talking about the very first picture (link) than yes I agree with you it looks nice - that is what I was supposed to have. That is not what came out! The one with the overflow in it is probably one of the better segments.


LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2011
Orange County, CA
The concrete coping in the "example" picture has the distinct appearance of being sealed with a high gloss concrete sealer. You might ask the guy who installed the coping, but it would seem that you should be able to apply a high gloss sealer and get a similar effect. You need to make sure the concrete has adequately cured, and sealer providers usually suggest at least 30 days prior to applying sealer. Good sealers are not cheap, but they might give you the appearance you are looking for. One issue to think about though... is it going to be slippery if you add a bunch of high gloss sealer? As it looks now, it is porous and likely to serve well as coping to minimize slipping when it is wet.

As for the cracks, I don't know. It seems that concrete always develops some hairline cracking. Is this all over the place, or just a couple?


LifeTime Supporter
Nov 22, 2010
Midland, Georgia
I can tell you that when wet, my stamped concrete coping was slippery as ice after applying high gloss sealer to it.

I ended up resealing it with an abrasive additive called Shark Grip by Sherwin Williams which helped a lot.