Bad Soil Conditions - Should we do this?

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,701
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Not drama. Don't take offense. Just move on. Sounds like that PB has a lot of business right now and he's just picking and choosing the jobs that are going to be the easiest and make him the most money. A savvy client who is seeking soils reports and complex engineering plans is not that. It is what it is...

Keep looking, or you might consider putting the pool off for a year or two. You're trying to get it built in a "seller's market." In addition to what you call drama, I'm guessing you're going to be paying a premium. In a year or two, when everyone that just had to have a "covid pool" has theirs done, it might be a famine for all the pool builders. If that's the case, they'll be falling over themselves to get your business...
 
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march2012

LifeTime Supporter
Jan 21, 2012
423
If you are new to austin maybe you dont know that the east side is clay. That clay expands when it gets wet and contracts when it dries. The east side is littered with destroyed foundations. The best way is to sink piers to the bedrock (I have heard 30 ft before). Obviously they dont do this with houses and most are just waiting for foundation problems. "soil injections" I think are just injecting a chemical into the clay to reduce water penetration. How long does soil injection last? I doubt anyone really knows.

You cant count on people having built houses or pools as evidence that everything will be fine. Most are just ticking timebombs. In my neighborhood all the houses built in the 60s had iron sewage pipes embedded in the foundation. Every single one has rusted out and the foundation needs to be jackhammered to replace the pipes.

Pool builders are notoriously fast and loose. They will be long gone once your pool starts to fall apart.
 
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march2012

LifeTime Supporter
Jan 21, 2012
423
All this tech stuff is completely over my head. . . . Yeah. I know.
But I wondered if you researched on this forum for any threads with a similar problem. Their resolve? Surely someone else in Austin or elsewhere has had conditions like this. This forum holds years of questions and answers from pool builds in the US, Canada, and elsewhere.

Maybe this suggestion will go nowhere. . . But. .. Have you googled your address, look at the subdivision map, then go on the satellite view and see where the pools are. Streets and addresses. I wonder how far the poor soil conditions go or if you can go knocking on more doors. Ask for more information from established pool owners.

Or if your area is still growing, go talk to some of the home builders.

-----------------

Okay I had time so I did a quick search. This thread came up from 2014.
you can also do a permit search and possibly find the plans for the pools. I bet no one is doing any engineering.
 

ATXFirstPool

Active member
Aug 4, 2019
34
Austin, TX
We decided to build after getting our soil report back this past Friday. Looks not that bad and we have a trusted pool builder that will do a lifetime warranty for us. I'll be posting a new thread with regards to equipment and to get ideas.

Here is the new thread. Thanks again to James W and all the rest that helped us in this process.

 
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Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,701
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
a trusted pool builder that will do a lifetime warranty for us
Congrats on the decision, and the pre-planning. Looking forward to your build reports. Keep 'em up!

Just a word of caution about your "lifetime warranty." That's not your lifetime. It's not even your PB's lifetime. It's the lifetime of his business, and more accurately: his solvency. It's not like getting a warranty from Home Depot, who will be around selling tiny wheelbarrows to cockroaches when they are the last surviving species on earth! It's only going to last as long as one guy feels like honoring it. Which might be decades, or might be months.

The real guarantee, the reliable one, is the due diligence you do right now to ensure your PB does a good job. That soils report was a great first step. Keep up that kind of oversight and you're sure to have a fantastic pool that will last your kids' lifetimes! Question everything. Check on everything. Don't let anything slide. This is not supposed to be your job, but unfortunately it has become yours as the general quality of construction has degraded over the years. That's not to say your PB won't do a good job, just don't assume he will because of a warranty.

OK, enough doom and gloom! Onwards and upwards!!
 

ATXFirstPool

Active member
Aug 4, 2019
34
Austin, TX
Great points Dirk and totally agree. This guy has been around for 20 years but we felt more confident with him than the other big-time builders around here. Crossing fingers this will be great!
 
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tomfrh

Well-known member
Jan 30, 2018
437
Australia
What makes you question the engineer's report?
-The first pool builder bailed.

-Their new driveway is cracking.

-The bore logs show mucky clay.

-Geotech scope of works included pier design

If there's a comprehensive geotech report done which unequivocally vouched for the pool being ok without piers then I retract my skepticism, however I didn't see that.
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
3,062
Morris Cnty NJ
I kinda agree on the not ideal soil conditions. Is there anyway to bond this job and pay out of pocket for it? That way you have an insurance policy on it regardless if PB folds up