Bond beam/collar on fiberglass pool

duraleigh

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Apr 1, 2007
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It's unfortunate that many, many folks do not understand how to properly do this work but jimmythegreek sure does.

Follow his advice and for sure DO NOT mortar down the pavers to that collar.
 
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McLovitz

Well-known member
Aug 26, 2019
47
Livingston, NJ
OK - my project just got more screwed up and I can use some advice. Landscaper prepped around the pool for the 3' bond beam to be poured (Blue Hawaiian requires 3' of concrete around the pool). We then had a mason pour the concrete and then today the landscaper came back to start with the pavers. After a full day attaching the coping, the landscaper pulled back the concrete forms and noticed something amiss. He had laid a compacted stone base for the concrete pour around the pool and apparently the mason didn't like that it was 6" deep (as he didn't think we needed 6" of concrete). So the mason poured dirt around the pool and laid the concrete on dirt. The landscaper took one look at the base under the concrete and is certain it is all going to settle over time and when it cracks, it will pull our pavers and coping up. So the landscaper is at a loss but he suggested we sawcut the concrete after about 20" (so cut the last 16" off) and fill in around to try to firm it up. This leaves me without the 3' required by Blue Hawaiian but the landscaper is adamant I'll have bigger issues if we don't fill it in. Below are two pictures - the first showing the base the landscaper left for the mason and the second showing the view of concrete after the forms were pulled up. What an absolute mess.

All advice very much recommended.

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ajw22

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Jul 21, 2013
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Northern NJ
Did you pay the mason yet?

I think that concrete may be real easy to break up and lift up. I would consider removing it all and starting over. Remove the dirt, pour a bit more gravel in the area, compact it down, and have new concrete poured. Better to have it done right to last then have a buried problem that will come out years from now.

@jimmythegreek thoughts?
 

McLovitz

Well-known member
Aug 26, 2019
47
Livingston, NJ
Problem with that is the landscaper already attached the coping to the concrete today before he realized what the mason did underneath. So he was just going to cut the concrete 6" past where the coping ends (the coping is 14" wide) and compact/clean it up on the end rather than rip all 36" off, including the coping that was laid today. Leaves me with a 20" bond beam instead of 36" though... Curious if this makes sense to everyone. Here's a current shot of the pool:

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McLovitz

Well-known member
Aug 26, 2019
47
Livingston, NJ
Mason obviously says his work is fine but if it will make me comfortable, he will come back, dig around the edges of the bond beam and pour 8" of concrete down in what he called a "chair rail"... Does that make sense to anyone? I'm such a novice in construction and stuck between two different opinions.
 

Rich D

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Aug 3, 2018
578
MA
Who paid for the concrete? It Might not be as bad as it looks. If he was not paying for the concrete the he most likely was just trying to fill in under the forms because he only brought 2x4's an was too lazy and cheap to go get 2x6's . The fill might only go in 6" to 1'. I think I would have the landscaper cut out a small section so you can properly assess the issue.
 

McLovitz

Well-known member
Aug 26, 2019
47
Livingston, NJ
Mason had me pay the concrete truck when it arrived. Landscaper told me he stuck a piece of rebar under the concrete and it "went in like butter." He suggests not letting the mason anywhere near the project. The mason insists it's fine but if I'm concerned, he will come back and pour what he called a "chair rail" 8" deep around the outside of the bond beam to secure it. Does that make any sense?
 

ajw22

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TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
10,739
Northern NJ
The mason insists it's fine but if I'm concerned, he will come back and pour what he called a "chair rail" 8" deep around the outside of the bond beam to secure it. Does that make any sense?
I don't see how such a collar around the collar will prevent the dirt settling and voids under the slab and eventually sinking and cracking.
 

McLovitz

Well-known member
Aug 26, 2019
47
Livingston, NJ
Thanks. I think I am just going to trust the landscaper to fix it. The mason wanted to fix it himself but I don't care to have him work on the pool anymore given the quality of his initial pour. I will have the landscaper fix it up and the mason agreed to split the cost with me...
 

jimmythegreek

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Aug 10, 2017
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Morris Cnty NJ
That's horrible. This happens where there are Indians with no chief. The mason is unreal and should turn in his trowel. If you paid for the concrete why did he care how thick you wanted it. The landscaper knows enough to lay coping why didnt he do the pour and forms? That's as simple as it gets nobody even sees it.
I agree to do an inspection see if he fluffed the end for the form board or is it all dirt on top. And for the warranty who inspects it for the 36" before its covered up?
 

McLovitz

Well-known member
Aug 26, 2019
47
Livingston, NJ
Thanks for the advice. The landscaper expressed regret that he didn't do the concrete pour himself... he had never done a pour around a fiberglass pool so he was happy to defer to the PB's mason but neither he nor I expected this type of work. The landscaper did all the prep work and, as you said, if the guy didn't want to pour 6", all he had to do is call me, tell me the additional cost and we would have been done. Instead he screwed the whole thing up. As for the warranty, I already sent the pool manufacturer a picture of the 3' of concrete. So if we ever have an issue, they would have to dig it up to see we cut back from the 36". At this point, I told our landscaper to fix it the best he can as I trust him as a professional (unlike the PB or his mason who have been nothing but sloppy and incompetent in their work). The landscaper is going to cut the last 14-16" off of the 3' bond beam and just pack in more cement to strengthen it. My understanding is that most pool companies don't require more than 18" of bond beam and the 20-22" I'll be left with will be more than adequate (as 36" was probably overkill to begin with). If I have an issue with the pool shell and can't collect under the warranty, it will suck but unfortunately it's where I am right now and just trying to salvage this.
 

malba2366

Well-known member
Jul 27, 2016
69
Middletown, NY
Is there rebar under that concrete? They are supposed to drill a hole in the outermost part of the lip of the pool and put the rebar down through that hole and bend it out towards the deck...that is what holds the concrete to the pool shell.
 

McLovitz

Well-known member
Aug 26, 2019
47
Livingston, NJ
No rebar (concrete guy didn't have the patience to have the electrician bond the rebar (as the electrician required) and the pool manufacturer had told me it wasn't necessary... up to us).
 

McLovitz

Well-known member
Aug 26, 2019
47
Livingston, NJ
Quick follow-up and a bit of a warning. So we had the landscaper clean up the bond beam by cutting it back and packing concrete under it. The landscaper is confident that this will support it and we have roughly 20" of concrete around the pool which should be more than enough (everyone seemed to agree the 36" requirement was overkill). Below is a picture of where we ended up (after the bond beam was cleaned up and before the snow storm this past weekend held up our pavers from going on):

Now for my note of caution. I learned yesterday the guy who did our concrete gave me a fake name (he represented himself as "Tony Cento") and has a history of doing what he did to us to other people. This is in fact the guy: FOX 29 Investigates: 'Godfather' Faces Trials, Fines

I was going to report him to the state AG as he is now refusing to compensate us but I'm having second thoughts about that... after all, I don't need to end up in concrete myself.

Man, the stories I'll be able to tell about this pool when we're all done.

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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
10,739
Northern NJ
Now for my note of caution. I learned yesterday the guy who did our concrete gave me a fake name (he represented himself as "Tony Cento") and has a history of doing what he did to us to other people. This is in fact the guy: FOX 29 Investigates: 'Godfather' Faces Trials, Fines

I was going to report him to the state AG as he is now refusing to compensate us but I'm having second thoughts about that... after all, I don't need to end up in concrete myself.
Wow!!

Considering all the other folks after him for money no point in wasting your time. Welcome to the underbelly of the construction trades.
 
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