Am I being unreasonable asking for all the details?

JenniferNE

Member
Jul 30, 2012
19
I picked a Pool Builder based upon references, BBB rating, seeing his work, etc.... and put down a deposit. His base bid was competitive, but one of the higher ones. Now we are working on options and I can't seem to get him to answer my questions or give me the details on Model #, etc.. that I am buying. I'm all for a fair profit, but don't want to be taken, either. Please see his email below. I'm debating whether I should continue to push on pricing of the options or not and getting the details. I worry when things are not in writing, but also don't want to tick him off and then he takes shortcuts on the quality of pool build itself. Thoughts? I suppose he'll just mark it up in the plumber bill or somewhere else.........

Email response from PB

Our pricing covers all material , other materials needed to make these options work, labor to install, program ,taxes and freight. I will allow $600 each on the Intellibrite LED lights. We pay more than your pricing quoted from your online research from our local distributer. Easytouch system does include wireless remote.
----- Original Message -----
From: Jennifer
To:Sent: Monday, August 27, 2012 10:23 AM
Subject: Re: Pool Site Plan


Wonderful. If you start Thursday, when do you expect to have it done by?

The contact looks fine except a few things that I want to make sure on. You don't mention specific makes/models, etc.....so I get nervous wanting to make sure we are on same page. I have included my updated specs document as well.

1) I am not following the lights. I get two 300W clear lights in the base price that will be installed on the house side facing away. What is the extra 500W clear for $700?? Where is this going? I am upgrading those two 300W lights to the Intellibrites, 5 color changing LED ~$600 each (http://www.poolsupplyworld.com/poolsupp ... 601002.htm). The 300W Clear lights appear to run between $150-$220, so am I being credited for the base lights? I can't figure how this is going to work.

2) Just want to make sure both the diving board and base are Tan Upgrade. http://www.interfab.com/Images-(1)/dbtan.aspx

3) Just want to make sure the liner has no border. The whole thing is the Gold Pebble Bottom.

4) Laminars ----- Please send me a link for me to understand the $1700 each? Are we talking the same thing? This is the Pentair Laminar I'm talking about with the Tan Lid for $667/each: http://www.poolsupplyworld.com/poolsupp ... 80001T.htm

5) For the Pentair Easy Touch - is this what it is for---the 8 function, 40,000 gallons, with SWG? http://www.poolsupplyworld.com/poolsupp ... 520545.htm

If so, does the $2,750 including a remote? http://www.poolsupplyworld.com/poolsupp ... 520547.htm

Do we need a remote since the control panel of the Easytouch is so close to the pool?


In addition to the above questions, I just want to make sure if there are any other charges that I should be expecting that are not in the contract and if so, estimated amounts. I have a budget and don't want to be surprised later. Thanks.

Jennifer

Contract
Pool size: 20ft. x 46ft. 3ft. –8ft. Depth Shape: “Rectangle”

Pool construction type: Concrete Pool Vinyl Liner Pool

Concrete pool:
Surface to be Plastered / or / Pained
Waterline tile
Coping: Poured concrete______ / Brick_____ / Stone_____ / Precast _____

Vinyl liner pool: Wall system
Concrete
Galvanized steel X Rino coat option______
Sentry powder coated galvanized steel
Sentry stainless steel
Pacific Delux Polymer

Liner Type _____________ mil thickness 20 mil

Coping: Aluminum / Color Liner receiver only X

Steps: Poured concrete Steel liner covered X Pacific X

Pool Equipment
Filter: 30” Sand / Circulating pump 1.5 HP
Heater: 400,000 BTU’s Natural gas Propane X
Sanitizing system: In line chlorinator X
2” Schedule 40 PVC Skimmers: 2 / Returns: 4 / Bottom drain 2
Pool lighting: 300w clear (2) X 1 Handrail & 1 ladder: Stainless steel X
Swimming pool cover: Mesh winter cover 5x5 strapping – Color:
Concrete deck: Regular color & finish -0- sq. ft.
Maintenance equipment: Vacuum head, hose, leaf net, brush, pool pole and test kit ¬¬¬ X


Base Price $46,000.00

Optional Equipment & Features

Pool Equipment
Filter:
Variable speed pump: $800.00
Heat pump:
Solar heat: _______________________________
Auto cleaner: Dolphin M4 $1,100.00
Other: Automated controllers:
1: Pentair Easytouch $2,750.00 with Salt Gen.
2:

Water features:
Custom: ______________________________
Laminar: $1,700.00 each x 3 = $5,100.00
Pentair Water Jet:

Sanitizing system:
Frog mineral system:
Delta UV system:
Liners:
Mil thickness: 28 mil - $500.00

Automatic pool water fill system:
1:

Lighting:

Extra pool light 500W clear: $700.00
Colored:
LED: $700.00 x 2 = $1,400.00
Fiber optic perimeter:
Fiber optic in pool: _________________________
Depth marker tiles:

Fun Options:
Volleyball set: $600.00 Coppervien
Basketball set: $850.00 Coppervein
Other: ________________________________
2: ____________________________________

Boards & Slides:
Diving board: Tan $1,400.00
Slide:

Coping:
Stamped concrete:
Other:

Colored goods:
Ladder: $150.00 Coppervein
Handrail: $150.00 Coppervien
Skimmer, return, maindrain:
Other: ___________________________________

Concrete decking:
Stamped concrete: _______________________
Other:
Auto-Cover:
Hydraulic
Cover color
Lid choice


Options Total $ _$15,500.00___________
Custom steps, benches & sun shelves:
1:
2:
Color step: ______________________________
 

UnderWaterVanya

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 14, 2012
2,589
Mint Hill, NC
Emails and letters don't allow for two way clarification - but you need proof just in case...

For 61K you have a right to be sure up front that you are going to get what you want. But I wouldn't nickle and dime however tempting it may be. If you are happy with the price then work on the questions that aren't about $ - arrange a sit down or a phone call and tell him that you are just anxious to avoid miscommunication that would be costly to the both of you later.

Go over each item you want to be clear on and get the answer. Ask him to amend the contract to stipulate to the clarifications or send over a rider or other written documentation for your records.
 

bigdav160

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 14, 2012
249
Klein Tejas
I agree.

It's great to be an informed consumer but at some point negotiating price points might tempt the builder in cutting corners somewhere (hidden) else.
The builder shouldn't have any problem putting the items in writing. If not, he'll certainly ask for $$$$ with changes.
 

phonedave

Well-known member
May 30, 2012
741
Montville NJ
Having dealt with a number of contractors in various types of work, I can just say - be careful with the online pricing things, the "you say the XXXX is $500 extra, but I can get it for $450 on line. "

Just as you may want to go with a PB that is not the lowest price because if the quiality and reputation, many contractors have relationships with certain suppliers. They know that if something arrives damaged or is missing they can get parts without a hassle, they not things are shipped on time, they know the tech support is good, heck they may just have good credit terms with them.

However, I agree with you that specific brands and model numbers should be specified in the contract.


If there is a vast difference in price between something he is supplying, and the price you can get it, by all means question it. but if it is nominal (and keep in mind, some items may require more labor, extra shipping, greater carrying costs, etc) then me, I would let it go.

-dave
 

Swampwoman

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 27, 2012
3,835
Grand Rapids, MI
Jennifer, you may wish to go in and edit your post so that you are not publicly revealing specific names and quote details (including yours). This bulletin board is heavily indexed in google, and once indexed, never goes away. Most businesses do not like having their correspondence quoted publicly, and should you ever at some later date post something in a moment of frustration during the process, there would then be a possible path for libel and other unforeseen consequences. Companies also use "reputation management" companies to aggregate references to their businesses online.

So in a day or two, if "pool builder" had one, and a reputation management company were to do an online check, it will find this thread. Just a heads up.
Cheers,
Swampwoman ;)

P.S. Re your actual topic, my hunch is: Pick your battles. I find that budgets tend to start bloating when there's a PITA factor involved. You can go a long way on goodwill and mutual trust. However, you are wholly legit to ask for make, model and function specifications...Just don't make the guy try to compete with often false or lowballed online pricing for every item ;) I'm sure you'd rather have him building not surfing!
 

Stevereno

Well-known member
Aug 31, 2010
184
New Caney, TX 77357
UnderWaterVanya said:
Emails and letters don't allow for two way clarification - but you need proof just in case...

For 61K you have a right to be sure up front that you are going to get what you want. But I wouldn't nickle and dime however tempting it may be. If you are happy with the price then work on the questions that aren't about $ - arrange a sit down or a phone call and tell him that you are just anxious to avoid miscommunication that would be costly to the both of you later.

Go over each item you want to be clear on and get the answer. Ask him to amend the contract to stipulate to the clarifications or send over a rider or other written documentation for your records.
Yes, I would recommend a sit down meeting to go over all the details to confirm exactly what you are getting and for how much. In my opinion the primary purpose is not to haggle over whether a light really costs $600 or $700 (just as an example) but to give you a comfort level with what you are buying.

If my prospective PB would not do that, I would not sign a contract.
 

swimcmp

In The Industry
Nov 8, 2011
1,085
Moberly,MO
Jennifer, no you aren't being unreasonable on asking for details. But as far as comparing prices to the internet yes you are. If the builder is a "professional" he is trying to make a living, while performing a service for you. At the same time he is trying to protect his business. In Missouri where I conduct business I am liable for injury in any pool I build or repair for 17 years after said date. I carry a $1 million dollar liabilty policy for this. It is not cheap. Many times customers can purchase a given item off the internet for less than I can purchase it from distribution. I can get items purchased through distribution repaired or replaced if needed due to the working relationship with my suppliers. What will the internet supplier do for you if there is a situation with your purchase. Schedule a time to sit down with the builder face to face. If you must purchase it off the internet ask the builder if he will install it and what will he charge to do so. Get things resolved before moving forward. It will be easier than trying to talk with lawyers. Remember you catch more flies with honey.
 

JenniferNE

Member
Jul 30, 2012
19
Thanks everyone for the feedback! I did originally sit down with the builder and talked through these options and what was best, it's just when I got the updated contract, I was unsure. I am going to go back and at least ask for the Make, Model, Color, etc...of each of the options. I'm not going to haggle on price anymore. I would never haggle on $100 difference between contract and internet. What caused me concern is the major price difference such as a Pentair Laminar was $667 on internet, but he had it as $1700 each?? Thus for 3, $5100 is alot when I was expecting something closer to $3000 total including taxes, install, etc..... Thanks again everyone!!!!
 

phonedave

Well-known member
May 30, 2012
741
Montville NJ
JenniferNE said:
Thanks everyone for the feedback! I did originally sit down with the builder and talked through these options and what was best, it's just when I got the updated contract, I was unsure. I am going to go back and at least ask for the Make, Model, Color, etc...of each of the options. I'm not going to haggle on price anymore. I would never haggle on $100 difference between contract and internet. What caused me concern is the major price difference such as a Pentair Laminar was $667 on internet, but he had it as $1700 each?? Thus for 3, $5100 is alot when I was expecting something closer to $3000 total including taxes, install, etc..... Thanks again everyone!!!!

Maybe I am reading this wrong, but my understanding is that you had speced out something in your original bid. You then asked him how much ti UPGRADE to the Pentair Laminar (I assume you had some sort of other fountain selected in the original contract). He said the cost to UPGRADE was $1,700 each. That does seem excessive, as the labor would have been included in the original contract.

However, if these are NEW features being added, remember that in addition to buying them, he also has to install them, wire them, plumb them, program them, and buy them ahead of time (laying out his own money). I don't know about $1,700 each, when you can get them unit for $667, but as you said $1,000 each installed would not seem unreasonable

-dave
 

Rachel3

Active member
Mar 20, 2014
40
Atlanta
I see that when you built this pool a couple years ago you were going to get a gold pebble liner. Do you have any pictures by any chance? Are you happy with the liner? I am thinking of putting it in my pool and its hard to find pictures. Thanks!