Building our first pool

sadpoolguy

Member
Apr 14, 2021
7
Shreveport, LA
Hi.
My wife and I are currently building our first pool. It is a complete nightmare. We are building a pool with a spa and a tanning ledge. Pool is 15x30, plus spa and tanning ledge. We are 200+ days into a 90 day project. The first two weeks of the project went great, gunite shot, plumbing started, then everything stopped. Rain, tropical storm, snow storm, COVID product delays, etc. I am sure this is a issue on this site. 60 days later I notice several problems with the plumbing. Contractor brings a new plumbing crew on site and they reconfigure most of the plumbing. Work stops again for 2 months. Two weeks ago I noticed the drainage for the area around the pool was not working. Contractor had buried it and did not leave enough grade for proper drainage, plus some high spots in the drain pipe were causing it to hold water. I dug up the drain pipe, dug new trenches properly sloped and installed new PVC smooth drain pipe and drain grates. Contractor shows up the next weekend (hasn't been onsite for 45 days) and starts to finalize the deck forms, tie steel, delivered the pool equipment and set the LED laminar jets (boy those things are huge). Today he is supposed to pour the deck. Rain starts and I stop the pour before it starts. Water is pooling in the yard. A long time ago, a concrete contractor told me NEVER pour concrete on mud. It will always have problems. Has anyone ever fired a pool contractor in the middle of a project? I've paid him over $80K and am considering letting him go. There are several issue with the pool so far, including, tile not set right, piping issues (supposedly fixed) and the spa wall is not the same thickness along one wall (contractor says he will fix this, but it's 10" thicker on one end of the spa than the other, the form colapsed while they were spraying the gunite and he didn't notice). I had to hire a sub that was outside of the pool contract. The sub asked who was doing the pool. When I told him he asked how I got hooked up with this contractor. He is know for bad work. Has anyone had luck hiring another contractor in the middle of a project? I'm afraid I won't be able to find someone that will take the job on. Any idea would be helpful.
 

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
1,610
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Wow!!! Welcome to TFP. You have come to the right place for handling all types of pool related issues.
So sorry to hear all the grief that you have had to endure.

You may want to ask another PB to come out and give you some guidance (say you willing to pay him for some advice). Maybe if the pool is to a certain point, another PB will take it on to do the plaster, finish the tiles, etc. They would need to be confident that the shell (gunite) has the integrity or you may need to sign a waiver that there is no warranty on the new PB work if related to other structural issues. I think you have several options to negotiate with a new PB unless there is an unwritten rule that one will not "fix" another PB's issues. This has happened in general construction (homes, office buildings) so hopefully doable. Just trying to give you options that there may be opportunities to resolve this if you have no confidence in original PB to complete the work satisfactorily. Do you have any hold back money as leverage with the original PB?
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
24,982
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Welcome to TFP.

Sounds like you need to take over managing your builder to get the pool done in a quality way.

If I were you I would evaluate in detail the current status of your build. Forget the things that were done wrong and corrected. Where are things today?

What is done ok?

What is done but needs corrections?

What remains to be done?

You clearly have an eye for identifying what is wrong. You may need to take this on going forward as an owner build and either work with your builders contractors or bring in others.


 
Last edited:

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
16,097
Evans, Georgia
Was $80k the full amount of the pool?
For future reference a good pool builder usually has a draw schedule like 30% down, 20% when plastered, 20% plumbed and electrical, 20% on water fill, 10% on completion.
You want to always have some money on stand bye as incentive for him to finish the work.

Show us some pictures of the pool and equipment.

Maddie 🐞
 

sadpoolguy

Member
Apr 14, 2021
7
Shreveport, LA
I'll post some pics. He poured the deck this week. I've poured acres of concrete. This is the first concrete I have ever had poured that they just screed the top, no bull float. He said his tile guy likes it this way and it will get a better adhesion with the concrete. I call bs. Last night during a rain, I discovered he did not plumb drains in for the laminar jets. I noticed water in the jet buckets. I stuck my finger in the drain to see if it was clogged and found clay soil, no pipe. I'm beyond mad. I attached some pictures. The pool equipment is missing one 1.5 hp pump. It's on backorder.
 

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sadpoolguy

Member
Apr 14, 2021
7
Shreveport, LA
OK. Time helps most things. I've calmed down and builder has a work around. Builder says tile guy now has covid. He was supposed to show up Monday. More delays. SURPRISE!!! I had a leading area landscape designer come by today to quote on a design for plants, lighting, speakers and sprinklers. As he left he said, "don't worry, it's going to be great when you get it done." A few words from a competent professional helps.

On a side note, anyone purchased Ledge Lounge Lowback Chairs? Do you like them? This pool has a 7" tanning ledge and the chairs look fun.
 

jamjam

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2020
306
NY
Pool Size
25000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
how much money do you still owe on the contract? What % would you say is complete? Sounds like you are on the ball but don’t let this guy cost you any more money by screwing anything else up.
 

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sadpoolguy

Member
Apr 14, 2021
7
Shreveport, LA
Builder showed up yesterday with two workers to plumb in the other pump. I left and went to work....5 minutes later the builder left....then the two workers left....(the two laborers did return for two hours later). When I got home at 7:00, no work had been done.
 

ChristopherDB

Gold Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 21, 2021
47
Florida
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
On a side note, anyone purchased Ledge Lounge Lowback Chairs? Do you like them? This pool has a 7" tanning ledge and the chairs look fun.
Sorry you're going through all this. I've been through the same the past 10 months. Consider yourself a babysitter for these contractors until it's over.

I have the Ledge Loungers Chair (which is taller than the lowback but same recline angle) and love them much more than the chaise lounges. It puts you in a much more comfortable position for reading, watching the kids, having a conversation with others or having a drink.

We originally wanted the lowback chairs but after sitting in them my wife and I decided on the chair because on the lowback there was no head support to lean back.
 

sadpoolguy

Member
Apr 14, 2021
7
Shreveport, LA
how much money do you still owe on the contract? What % would you say is complete? Sounds like you are on the ball but don’t let this guy cost you any more money by screwing anything

Sorry you're going through all this. I've been through the same the past 10 months. Consider yourself a babysitter for these contractors until it's over.

I have the Ledge Loungers Chair (which is taller than the lowback but same recline angle) and love them much more than the chaise lounges. It puts you in a much more comfortable position for reading, watching the kids, having a conversation with others or having a drink.

We originally wanted the lowback chairs but after sitting in them my wife and I decided on the chair because on the lowback there was no head support to lean back.Than

thanks for the input. I ordered the low back and the Signature 22" side table with umbrella stand. (Pool builder forgot to sleeve for an umbrella) After your input the standard chair makes more sense. Oh well. I can always order more.....
 
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sadpoolguy

Member
Apr 14, 2021
7
Shreveport, LA
how much money do you still owe on the contract? What % would you say is complete? Sounds like you are on the ball but don’t let this guy cost you any more money by screwing anything else up.
Here is what is left:
Plumbing the pumping equipment in place
Decking Tile (aprox 1,500 sqft of travertine)
spa tile and fixing the water line glass block tile (it's not straight)
waterfall tile
installing the ledges on the waterfall and spa
improvising drain for laminar jet that is in middle of concrete deck (he didn't install drain lines)
Shaving 4" of concrete off side of spa because form collapsed during gunite and outer wall is at an angle now.
Building wall around back water fall because now inground laminar jets are 36" in the air and builder plans on constructing raised bed to hid jets.
Plaster
Water line tie-in and trench20' - this is a whole story. Builder took a 2 minute job and converted it to a 2 hour project (still not finished).
installing & programing wireless controls
 

ChristopherDB

Gold Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 21, 2021
47
Florida
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
Pool builder forgot to sleeve for an umbrella
My builder did the same. I made them come back out and put the sleeve in.

I also have the table for the umbrella, but the umbrella has to pass through the table into the sleeve. Ledge Lounger says the table isn't heavy enough to support the umbrella by itself so I would have your builder put that sleeve in if you had it in the contract.
 

jamjam

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2020
306
NY
Pool Size
25000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
His PB has forgotten to build him a pool, lm not sure how much he can trust him to get his umbrella sleeves right.