Bond beam/collar on fiberglass pool

malba2366

Well-known member
Jul 27, 2016
63
Middletown, NY
i tried gc a fiberglass pool project where I would buy the pool direct from the manufacturer who would install with no concrete, and then Inwould find contractors for the other pieces. In talking to a bunch of local landscapers (who do good work), most of them had no idea what a locking collar was for a fiberglass pool. They said they follow the manufacturers instructions, but I didn’t have confidence in things getting done right. I would make sure the locking collar is done by someone who knows what they are doing, and from what I understand Stone/paver/porcelain coping is attached to the concrete collar using adhesives. I am not sure how it works if your are using a concrete coping.
 

McLovitz

Active member
Aug 26, 2019
39
Livingston, NJ
One more question here -- the pool specs call for a locking collar to extend 3' from the pool. This is fine on three sides where we planned 3 feet of patio. However, on the 4th side, we were just going to have pool coping and no patio and then plant next to the coping. Curious if we can just have the collar extend 12" on the 4th side so that the coping can sit on the collar but we can still plant in the soil next to it (without extending 3' out). Thoughts? Will having only 12" of the collar on the 4th side jeopardize the pool stability?
 

malba2366

Well-known member
Jul 27, 2016
63
Middletown, NY
Coming into this late, when the set ours and poured the deck it incorporated a small beam. They also left a ledge for the Travertine coping.

John
Somewhat of a related question/concern. All the plumbing of the pool is beneath that locking collar, correct?....seems like it would be a big repair job if there had to be a repair to that plumbing at some point.
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
1,339
Morris Cnty NJ
I dont do fiberglass but its not rocket science the coping is set the same on any pool. You have to set coping with mortar or at least adhesive if that's an option. You cannot dry set coping it will flip up when pressed on getting out of the pool. You need 12-18" some PB will incorporate a bond beam into the decking with relief joint. When you say landscaper do they cut grass or do they do hardacaping? There are LOTS of ppl that dont know what they are doing and think they do with pavers/coping its very tricky. I'm half hour from you if you ground is like most of north Jersey you are gonna need a heavier base for your patio with stabilization fabric. You should also be picking your materials if he picks them hes gonna get you cheap garbage
 

McLovitz

Active member
Aug 26, 2019
39
Livingston, NJ
OK - need to know if this is me being impatient as I wait for our pool or if the PB is jerking me around and it's time to stand up to them.

We signed a contract in June and got permits approved August 15th. We have had at least 4 or 5 dates for starting install from the PB and every week is another delay and another excuse (despite the fact there has only been rain one day (yesterday) since 8/15). In the meantime, we had this undisclosed issue of the bond beam come up which we are now out $3k to deal with... so here are the emails/timeline .

PB Email on August 20th: "We are trying to set a confirmed date but a tentative one is 8.29."

PB Email on August 23rd: "We are looking at some time after Labor day for your install. We are getting a few days behind due to the holiday. We need to truck your pool from West Virginia and the states that we need to travel through are having holiday "black outs" for our big over-sized loads. We can not move from Friday 5-6pm until the Wednesday after Labor Day.

PB Email on Sept 12th with the subject line "Great News": "I have the delivery date ... It will be leaving West Virginia next week and will be to your house on 9/25 tentatively! I will speak with my installer and get you a firm date next week. I want to give you enough time to more money around if you need to, so the next payment will be due is..."

September 16th - I pay the next payment which is roughly 80% of the cost (which was said to be required 7-10 days before install and they needed to bring the pool up from WV).

PB Email on Sept 18th: "We had our staff meeting last night and we are running a few days behind. Your pool is still coming up tomorrow/Friday, but we need to give you the tentative date of 10.01."

PB Email on Sept 23rd: "The pools will be arriving this Friday, but you are still on for the 1st of October."

PB Email on Oct 1st (when I learn the pool still has not come up from WV): "the pool has been permitted for it's travel up here and we have a driver. John said to tell you mid next week we will be doing your install."

Phone conversation with the installer on Oct 4: tells me while we are scheduled for middle of the week of the 7th, he will likely be beginning of the week of the 14th so he can clear up other jobs.

PB Email on October 8th: "the last dates [the installer] gave you were mid week next week and it still looks like that is on course."

I'm now livid as I am home next Monday/Tuesday and hoped to be around for the builder and now they are once again pushing back from early next week to mid-next week with no firm commitment.

Is it me or am I being played at this point? I have fence contractors, a shed, landscapers, etc. all waiting to do work and every couple days I have to push back further and further. UGHHH!!!
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
10,487
Northern NJ
With the 80% payment you made you lost all leverage with the builder.

Rule #1 in construction is never let the builder get ahead on payments.

Rule #2 is beware if the builder does not have the capital to finance the progress of a project between progress payments.

i hope this all turns out well once the builder starts your job.
 

McLovitz

Active member
Aug 26, 2019
39
Livingston, NJ
With the 80% payment you made you lost all leverage with the builder.

Rule #1 in construction is never let the builder get ahead on payments.

Rule #2 is beware if the builder does not have the capital to finance the progress of a project between progress payments.

i hope this all turns out well once the builder starts your job.
Thx. Certainly familiar with rule #1 and we were very careful when we did a home renovation to stick to this rule. For some reason, I gave this PB my trust and violated my own rule in making a massive payment before the pool even arrived. At this point, trying to figure out the best way to get this project done and I put myself in a bad spot....
 

malba2366

Well-known member
Jul 27, 2016
63
Middletown, NY
I am building a fiberglass pool not too far from you right now (Im about an hour from you). For reference I signed the contract on 8/14, and pool was ordered on 9/6 (after permits were approved). It just arrived today, and they are digging now (my yard has enough space for the pool to be stored while they dig. They were supposed to dig last week, but the rain got in the way. We are using a Viking pool.
 
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jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
1,339
Morris Cnty NJ
I'm surprised they want that much up front. Usually you pay for the pool directly and deal with the PB in progress payments. Who did you pay the lump to
 

McLovitz

Active member
Aug 26, 2019
39
Livingston, NJ
I was surprised as well but rather than negotiating the payment terms or backing away (as my instincts told me to do), I moved forward because the price was right and they were including (I thought) everything I was looking to get in my pool. The payment was made to the pool builder. I'm hopeful after some back and forth the other day that we will be starting next week. I've been in that position before though.
 

McLovitz

Active member
Aug 26, 2019
39
Livingston, NJ
After a long build, we're just about up to the concrete pour (assuming we pass the trench/bonding inspection today). I had a few questions for the forum as we get up to this point:

1. Pool manufacturer wants 3 feet of bond beam around the pool for warranty purposes, so that's what we're doing. Along one side of the pool, though, we were thinking of just doing coping with no paver decking. Obviously the bond beam is impervious but PB suggested just covering it with 2" of top soil next to the coping so the bond beam will be buried and it will only have the appearance of 12" of impervious on that side of the pool. What are people's thoughts on this? Once we get to spring, we may remove the soil and put down stones on that side as I imagine we won't be able to landscape in 2" deep soil.

2. Looking at the weather in NJ, it's about to get rainy and cold (mornings below freezing) later this week. Any concerns pouring the concrete in this weather? It's not a decorative concrete or brushed concrete and will be covered in pavers. So I assume it doesn't have to look perfect so long as it sets. PB said the cold may actually help form a stronger concrete as it will take longer to set. I'm eager to get them pouring ASAP after many delays in our build but know little about concrete and figured I'd get the board's view.

Thanks again for all your help.
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
1,095
NY
With regards to the side with no patio, we all had to save somewhere. If not we would all have $300k pools. That being said, you will need to be in that area at times and if landscaping or grass go right up to the pool it tends to find its way into the pool. Even just from the wind sometimes if it only has to blow 12 inches. With a 14 ft width you should be able to vacuum from the deck side without too much trouble but you will still be over on the non deck side occasionally. Prettier rocks or gravel of some kind would help a lot.
 

McLovitz

Active member
Aug 26, 2019
39
Livingston, NJ
With regards to the side with no patio, we all had to save somewhere. If not we would all have $300k pools. That being said, you will need to be in that area at times and if landscaping or grass go right up to the pool it tends to find its way into the pool. Even just from the wind sometimes if it only has to blow 12 inches. With a 14 ft width you should be able to vacuum from the deck side without too much trouble but you will still be over on the non deck side occasionally. Prettier rocks or gravel of some kind would help a lot.
Thanks. Not as much the cost as impervious restrictions we are thinking through. But if we have to put pavers 3' out around pool, we will and cut elsewhere.
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
1,095
NY
It’s a Murphy’s law situation. If you don’t have a walkway over there, every last leaf, float and dive toy will find its way to the spot you can’t easily scoop or grab without kicking up mulch into the pool.
 
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McLovitz

Active member
Aug 26, 2019
39
Livingston, NJ
Well, on hold before we can pour the bond beam now as our town electrical inspector (consistent with his reputation) failed us on the bonding wire. Reasoning seems curious as he said we are not 4-6" below grade with the bonding wire. Well, we still have to pour the bond beam on top of the bonding wire and then put pavers on top. That would set the grade at least 4" above where the bonding wire currently sits. I'll leave it with the PB to speak with him and figure this one out....
 

McLovitz

Active member
Aug 26, 2019
39
Livingston, NJ
Another question for the forum: Electrical inspector is insisting we have to put the loop of #8 copper wire that goes around the outside of the pool 4-6" below the current pool grade. PB insists that it sits on the surface and will then be covered by 3+ inches of concrete in the bond beam and then 2.25 inches of paver stone (not to mention the paver base in between the stone and the concrete. That would put us well more than 4" below the final grade but the inspector is not accepting it and wants the copper wire buried (something the PB argues will impact the bonding by putting it too far below the final grade). Anyone ever run into this issue before?
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
10,487
Northern NJ
Sounds like the inspector does not trust the builder and will not approve it until he sees the bonding wire buried as he wants. May be some history between them.

Have you spoken directly with the inspector?

I am not sure the bonding wire should go within the concrete of the bond beam. Run the wire outside the bond beam where the deck will be.
 

McLovitz

Active member
Aug 26, 2019
39
Livingston, NJ
Sounds like the inspector does not trust the builder and will not approve it until he sees the bonding wire buried as he wants. May be some history between them.

Have you spoken directly with the inspector?

I am not sure the bonding wire should go within the concrete of the bond beam. Run the wire outside the bond beam where the deck will be.
I'm not aware of any history since the builder is from south jersey and not very familiar with our town. That said, the bond beam will extend 3 feet from the pool (per Blue Hawaiian requirements) and I understand the bonding wire needs to be 18-24" from the pool. So it's not clear to me we have an option other than putting it in the concrete.... unless I'm missing something.