Central Coast California Pool Build Thread

jetski559

Active member
Aug 20, 2020
27
Central Coast California
Well guys, I've thoroughly enjoyed reading all the old posts, I've been doing a ton of research on what we might want for our backyard pool on the Central Coast of California.

I've had 3 companies come out and here is the rough details and pricing:
  • 15x32 Rectangle Pool
  • Basic concrete coping, maybe colored
  • Automatic cover by Coverpools (roughly 13.5k)
  • Gas Heater
  • All starter equipment either by Jandy or Hayward, including VS pump, cartridge filter, automation, pool sweep
  • Finish, TBD read below...
My top two companies came out right around 91-92k for the above. Quote A had quartz built in, Quote B it was a 5k extra.

Here were the optional things we probably will want:
  • Quote A had SWG for 4800, Quote B was 1900 (don't love this difference...) (Note Quote A the PB is super against SWG)
  • Quote A had 24in raised bond beam wall w/ 3 sheer descents for 8800, Quote B had 32 in raised wall with 3 sheer descents for 8800
  • Concrete decking at around $9 per square foot
  • Quote B is offering ecofinish for for around $9600
  • Quote A and B are both offering slide for kids for around $3500
I just got a little bit sad when I read another thread on here with a quote from the Central Valley and the base pool price was 33k (link here) . My base price is around $55-65k from what they originally told me.

Maybe I'm just forced to pay the premium for living on the Central Coast (San Luis Obispo Area). The guys in the valley get things cheaper. Or maybe I hire a contractor from the valley that is 3 hours away and they commute to build my pool?

Definitely feeling overwhelmed, as the price is climbing high, and Quote B is getting up to nearly 120k with ecofinish!! Maybe I just pull the plug and don't get a pool....Both PB are putting pressure on me saying they are basically full due to too many people booking pools due to COVID19 and are wanting me to make a decision soon.

I'm scared of plaster because the startup and re-plaster process in 10-15 years at a cost of 10-15 grand. I'm scared of ecofinish because its 'new' and has to be installed correct and its pricey!! Quote B doesn't even like quartz. We don't want pebbletec because its too rough for us... (our opinion). So I'm kind of torn on the finish...

Anyways, looking for comments / suggestions / encouragment / direction, etc haha

Thanks for listening!
 

gingrbredman

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2020
282
Chicagoland
Pool Size
11200
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
That is a lot of decisions to process, but one thing to think about from your post..
Quote A had SWG for 4800, Quote B was 1900 (don't love this difference...) (Note Quote A the PB is super against SWG)
Sounds to me like PB A is giving you a "I'll give em a price so high they won't go with this option" price.
$4,800 seems ridiculous for SW.

One other thing to consider in your discussions regarding the slide and the auto cover. In my area, $3,500 is about the going rate for a slide. We went a bit higher, but in that ballpark. Not sure about Coverpools, but I know Coverstar has a feature (an add on) that can kill the power to the cover if the slide has water moving through it. A safety feature that will not allow the auto cover to close if water is moving so as not to allow the slide to pour water on the cover if closed accidently. I have the Pentair Intellicenter, and Coverstar, and a slide, so getting all of these things to "talk" to each other through the automation will allow us to turn the slide water on through the system, and the cover will not close if the slide is on. Once the slide is off, the cover can close. Again, this is Pentair and Coverstar, but something to talk about with the builders as you narrow down your choices.

The quoting process can seem overwhelming at first, but once you get your information, there will be more discussions to happen between you and the potential builders, and you will slowly begin to narrow your decision down.

One thing that helped me a lot was the build threads here. A lot of people had a lot of the same decisions as you and their successes, and possible failures, can help you get to the right builder.

Price is going to be more dependent on all the quotes you get back. It will be very hard to compare your quotes to others on this site, just based on all the unique factors, location among them.

Good luck!
 

jetski559

Active member
Aug 20, 2020
27
Central Coast California
That is a lot of decisions to process, but one thing to think about from your post..

Sounds to me like PB A is giving you a "I'll give em a price so high they won't go with this option" price.
$4,800 seems ridiculous for SW.

One other thing to consider in your discussions regarding the slide and the auto cover. In my area, $3,500 is about the going rate for a slide. We went a bit higher, but in that ballpark. Not sure about Coverpools, but I know Coverstar has a feature (an add on) that can kill the power to the cover if the slide has water moving through it. A safety feature that will not allow the auto cover to close if water is moving so as not to allow the slide to pour water on the cover if closed accidently. I have the Pentair Intellicenter, and Coverstar, and a slide, so getting all of these things to "talk" to each other through the automation will allow us to turn the slide water on through the system, and the cover will not close if the slide is on. Once the slide is off, the cover can close. Again, this is Pentair and Coverstar, but something to talk about with the builders as you narrow down your choices.
Good point, a friend left their spa on one night overflowing onto the cover, they learned (new pool for them)
The quoting process can seem overwhelming at first, but once you get your information, there will be more discussions to happen between you and the potential builders, and you will slowly begin to narrow your decision down.
The builders are so busy I don't think they 'want' discussions. They will move onto the next guy who just wants a pool and will pay the money. However, I'm sure once I sign a contract and put some money down, they will obviously start talking to me more.
One thing that helped me a lot was the build threads here. A lot of people had a lot of the same decisions as you and their successes, and possible failures, can help you get to the right builder.
Yes, was doing this last night and found lots of similar discussions! And found out another CA pool company doing ingrounds for 33k LOL
Price is going to be more dependent on all the quotes you get back. It will be very hard to compare your quotes to others on this site, just based on all the unique factors, location among them.

Good luck!
Yeah, I guess for this area they were fairly similar. And during COVID times. Maybe pools will be cheaper in 5 years after COVID tones down, but sadly I guess we don't want to wait that long haha

It's fun living in one of the most expensive place in the US, but not fun on the pocketbook.
 

TampaKathy

Gold Supporter
Oct 2, 2020
187
Tampa, FL
You're spending a lot of money...ask all the questions you want...if they stop answering you then at least you have a lot more knowledge for when you move onto the next guy. I'm getting the same, "we're booking up" pressure in FL...and I'm like, I'll have a decision when I have a decision.
 

Njmurvin

Member
Nov 8, 2019
5
Simi Valley, CA
I'm scared of plaster because the startup and re-plaster process in 10-15 years at a cost of 10-15 grand.

Anyways, looking for comments / suggestions / encouragment / direction, etc haha

Thanks for listening!

My pool is over 32 years old still with the original plaster. Only in the last couple of years has it started showing signs of needing replastering. I am hoping I can wait it out until the PBs are not so busy (and pricey).
 

jetski559

Active member
Aug 20, 2020
27
Central Coast California
Funny story, I called another PB located around 3 hours away in Fresno (just seeing what they would quote..) and asked about aquabright ecofinish. He said "I've been building pools since 1972 and I've never heard of that..." Either this guy is super old school and not excited to try new finishes, or ecofinish really isn't making strides like some of the marketing material claims...
 

Nikilyn

Bronze Supporter
Sep 3, 2018
892
Gilbert, AZ
Pool Size
17000
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Love that you're getting a slide. It's the one thing that would have been nice to have but didn't work. I've thing that I see critiqued most is the Baja step blocking the swim lane. I think they would day to flip it to leave more room to swim laps.
 
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Turbo1Ton

Gold Supporter
Dec 26, 2019
547
NE Oklahoma
Pool Size
14500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Maybe I've become more safety conscious as I get older but the way that slide pokes through that wall, I see elbows getting smacked on there. I would try to knock the corners off the wall or taper it down or something. Maybe the slide is deep enough that isn't a concern, it is just something that jumped out at me.

--Jeff
 
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jetski559

Active member
Aug 20, 2020
27
Central Coast California
Maybe I've become more safety conscious as I get older but the way that slide pokes through that wall, I see elbows getting smacked on there. I would try to knock the corners off the wall or taper it down or something. Maybe the slide is deep enough that isn't a concern, it is just something that jumped out at me.

--Jeff
Good feedback!!
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
8,624
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Yeah, I guess for this area they were fairly similar. And during COVID times. Maybe pools will be cheaper in 5 years after COVID tones down, but sadly I guess we don't want to wait that long haha
Hi neighbor! Couple of unrelated thoughts...

Please update your location. CA has just about every climate imaginable, and TFP advice is very often location-centric because of how climate affects pools. Just add "Central Coast," close enough.

This is completely non-scientific/intuition on my part, but you may be acquiring quotes for a pool in the absolute worst time in history. Everyone is building pools right now. Everywhere. PBs are charging whatever they want, and getting it. I don't think it's going to be five years before that corrects, more like one.

This is my thinking: the people (just like you) that have been thinking about a pool for the last few years, but waiting for the right time, are all trapped inside their houses with their kids. They're all going crazy and no amount of money is too much for relief. There is virtually nothing available for these families with which to occupy their time. They've all pulled the trigger on the decision about the pool, whether they were ready or not. (Sound familiar?) Which means they all want a pool right now.

When COVID restrictions ease, probably as early as this summer, and "fun stuff to do" becomes available again, this population of pool-wanting people will split into two groups: those that got there pools built (or are in-contract) and those that go back to waiting. So all the rush to get a pool will not only subside, but reverse, and as soon as all the in-contract pools are done, there will be less pools being built than there would have been otherwise, because they all got built already. Following me? Which I think will mean PBs will at some point be less busy than they would have been, and so offering discounts because competition is now fierce. At the very least, prices will return to normal.

Picture a graph. A relatively flat line (before COVID) of pools being built. Then a big spike of COVID pools being built. All contractors are fully booked. Costs soar. Eventually that line will return to the same flat line, pre-COVID. But just before it does, there will be a dip, the same shape as the spike, but upside down. No one will be building, our economy will be tattered, contractors will be scrambling. THAT's when you want to get a contract, and you won't have to wait for your build.

I don't think that's going to be five years. I think that's going to be 2022. I suspect that'll mean waiting could save you 10s of thousands ($20K? $30K? $40K). Again, not based on anything but my own logic, but I just don't think these prices will hold for much longer. Can you wait a year to find out?

If my theory pans out, in two years I'll tell you where I live and you can drop off a case of wine for all the money I saved you. If not, then you'll never find me!! 😝

$120K is a lot of money. In our area, I doubt you'll ever get any of it back if you sell (I bought my house with pool, and based on local comps at the time, the pool didn't add a dime to the asking price). If you can't wait a year, at least be sure you are never going to move!

Just some things to think about...
 

jetski559

Active member
Aug 20, 2020
27
Central Coast California
@Dirk Thanks for all the feedback.
Yes, sadly this is big flurry for the pool builders!
We are working with someone from out of the area to get a better price.
I agree, it would be interesting to wait and see where prices go. I'm pretty confident like you that they will go down.
I appreciate the feedback!
 
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Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
8,624
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Good luck. When I remodeled my pool the vendor came up from Bakersfield. So they will travel when they want/need to.

If after the pool is built you decide to use a maintenance service, I can tell you who in this area NOT to use. Very shady company. But hopefully you'll stick around here at TFP and learn how to care for it yourself. You and your pool will be much better off with TFP than with any "pro" you could hire...
 

jetski559

Active member
Aug 20, 2020
27
Central Coast California
Hi Guys, I have seen other people have their contract reviewed on here before. I tried to block out some of the private details, but it should give you a 'decent' idea.
I'll need to sign this in the next few days I'm thinking, let me know if you have any thoughts!
Thanks for all your help!!
 
Last edited:

scchan1w

Active member
Mar 6, 2019
36
Fremont, CA
Did you choose an out of area builder? Just curious as you mentioned trying to find someone in the central valley. I'm in the bay area and just finished a remodel. It's difficult to get bids around here, and if the communication isn't good before the contract is signed, it won't improve after signing is my experience. I had one remodeler bid by asking for pictures only, didn't bother to come look.

For your lights, are they LED? Are they 12V? I updates my lights and prefer 12V color LED for safety vs 120V. You're not adding automation?
 

jetski559

Active member
Aug 20, 2020
27
Central Coast California
Did you choose an out of area builder? Just curious as you mentioned trying to find someone in the central valley. I'm in the bay area and just finished a remodel. It's difficult to get bids around here, and if the communication isn't good before the contract is signed, it won't improve after signing is my experience. I had one remodeler bid by asking for pictures only, didn't bother to come look.

For your lights, are they LED? Are they 12V? I updates my lights and prefer 12V color LED for safety vs 120V. You're not adding automation?
Yes, we found an out of the area builder (roughly 2.5 hrs away)

Regarding the lights I'm expecting they are LED but doesn't seem to state on the contract.

For automation, we have the Pentair iphone app, but i guess you are referring to an automated chlorine dispenser?
I wonder what the cost adder is on that and if I really need it. I was thinking it might be more of a headache and something else to break, etc?
 

jetski559

Active member
Aug 20, 2020
27
Central Coast California
New question regarding soils report.
I just checked with the builder and it sounds like for inspection and everything they will do the soils report after they dig the pool and before they gunite it.

My only concern was, what if during the dig of the pool something comes up? Wouldn't they want to almost do a soils report before the dig?
 

jetski559

Active member
Aug 20, 2020
27
Central Coast California
Well it looks like the pool may be getting cancelled, they found a 10ft easement on my property for a rainwater storm pipe. Crazy. This drastically interferes with the pool design as we have a small backyard.
 
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