Confused/angry/sad Missouri hope to be pool owner

fuzzye

Member
Jan 27, 2021
8
missouri
Hello. My grandson who lives across the street convinced me to get an inground pool. Fast forward to we hired a guy/friend who worked for an installer for 7 years and now works in plumbing but does pool opening, closing, liner replacement, above ground install etc on the side. He said he could install our pool. He ordered the pool and it was delayed alot. After 8+ weeks he said it will be delivered in a week so the hole was dug. The pool did not come for 6 weeks. It arrived Dec 14, 2020. Since then (today is Jan 27, 2021) he has put up about 6 panels. The sides have caved in, I do not think the shelf wall is high enough because the panels are about level to the grass, the deep end is way deeper and not at all the correct shape. The very scary part is my fence is very close to being in the next cave in. We are having a talk to see what his plans are, is he at a loss of how to fix the cave ins, what is the hold up. I feel we have just lost 20 thousand dollars because he doesn't know what to do. Is this salvageable? I have read and watched video about how to install so when we talk I have an understanding of what needs to happen. Anyone have advice what to do?
 

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poolnoobgrandma

Gold Supporter
Sep 15, 2018
588
Seminole, FL
Please let us know what comes out of your conversation with your "installer." I hope that the fact that he's a "friend" isn't making you accept excuses that you wouldn't from any other contractor. I'm glad you found us, but wish we had met before you hired this guy. Do you have a permit for this installation? We wouldn't have been allowed to place the pool that close to the fence.
 
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fuzzye

Member
Jan 27, 2021
8
missouri
We did have the building inspector out and approved the location of the pool. We are small town so I think our regulations are more laxed. The pool is closer to the fence than we planned. There was supposed to be 5 feet. I believe since the wall shelf on the fence side was more washed away he shifted the pool over to have more wall shelf to sit the panels on, which still isn't enough. He dug into the dirt for the supports. My fault is trusting him and not knowing anything was amiss. When he seemed to hit a stand still I researched the install process and learned a lot about wall shelfs and having the walls above the ground for drainage. If I knew at the beginning what I know now just from reading we never would of dug the hole until the pool was onsite. I called him tonight and no answer. I am afraid at this point the hole can not be fixed and we will just have to fill the hole in and take a huge loss.
 

poolnoobgrandma

Gold Supporter
Sep 15, 2018
588
Seminole, FL
I hope you haven't paid your "installer" much or anything. I'm not familiar with this kind of pool, but I wonder if the "installed" panels can be removed without damage. I'd get a professional out to assess the situation, and figure out what to do next to get the pool installed professinally in the correct position.
 
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fuzzye

Member
Jan 27, 2021
8
missouri
I hope you haven't paid your "installer" much or anything. I'm not familiar with this kind of pool, but I wonder if the "installed" panels can be removed without damage. I'd get a professional out to assess the situation, and figure out what to do next to get the pool installed professinally in the correct position.
I am out prep work, $5000 for tree removal, $3800 for electric line move and new box (I added a big outside meter box with breakers because the plan is to add a pool house), $900 in gravel, $3000 to dig and remove the dirt. Then I paid $15000 to order the pool and an additional $1500 advance for him to buy a transit. He was borrowing one but that guy needed it back. In our area the pool company's are slammed and the list is almost a year out. Which is why we are using him. I assumed he was honest when he said he knew how to do it. I feel I'm at the point of he has a plan that sound reasonable and quick or I fill it in an take a huge hit. I don't know who I'm more mad at, him for letting it get this way or me for not educating myself.
 

PoolGate

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Jun 7, 2017
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Damascus, MD
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Jandy Aquapure 1400
Wow. Following. Looks like a large dose of incompetence. I really hope it works out without friendships ending. Don't be afraid to cut your losses if it comes to that. Having a "contractor" that can't even come up with money for tools is a little scary.
 

ajw22

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Jul 21, 2013
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@jimmythegreek where do you think this guy should go from here?

Fuzz, I think you need to sit down and talk through exactly what your builder friends plan is step by step and see if his plan makes sense.

I am concerned about the location of your pool wall relative to the fence and how you are going to get backfill for the walls in there and a concrete collar around the pool. If the hole is dug in the wrong place it can still be adjusted now before any plumbing, backfill and concrete is done.
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
3,711
Morris Cnty NJ
Wow. This is bad. There were so many things done wrong here. Unfortunately its gonna take wasted money to fix this. The pool cant go there like that. You never dig without material and the weather on your side. I would fill amd compact the deep end in amd raise the bottom with gravel so the height is right. Then install the panels amd dig the hopper after the collar pour from outside the pool. The only other choice is to form a concrete shelf for the panels to sit on. Either way gonna cost some money for nothing. I'm sorry this guy took you down this road this far. He obviously doesnt have the equipment or manpower to do this job. Doing maintenance on pools is the opposite of doing new installs.
 
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fuzzye

Member
Jan 27, 2021
8
missouri
We talked yesterday and I voiced all my concerns. I honestly thought he may of been looking for a way out and was going to take it. He addressed each of my issues and did say how he plans to fix each of them. I stressed several times I do not want to move forward only to spend years with issues coming up. He assures me no corners will be cut and he is fully capable of finishing the job correctly. I did let him know I have educated myself on install and have an understanding of how it is supposed to go. Not that I could do it but I am hoping I can spot something totally wrong. If he is my friend he will not screw me over, if he does he wasn't really a friend. We live in a small town and he knows everyone will know if it turns out bad. I have no issue voicing my opinions. I should of been more proactive. I honestly only looked at the progress from the patio door until this week I took a close inspection and realized how bad it looked. I realize what you mean about the fence. Initially I thought the issue was a pool that close to a fence and I know pools are. I realize the issue is in the construction and getting the concrete behind the wall. I am not sure how he plans to do that. The ground is not stable enough to take a wheel barrell on it. Dang it! I appreciate all the opinions. I will keep you updated on the progress.
 

PoolGate

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Jun 7, 2017
5,959
Damascus, MD
Pool Size
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We talked yesterday and I voiced all my concerns. I honestly thought he may of been looking for a way out and was going to take it. He addressed each of my issues and did say how he plans to fix each of them. I stressed several times I do not want to move forward only to spend years with issues coming up. He assures me no corners will be cut and he is fully capable of finishing the job correctly. I did let him know I have educated myself on install and have an understanding of how it is supposed to go. Not that I could do it but I am hoping I can spot something totally wrong. If he is my friend he will not screw me over, if he does he wasn't really a friend. We live in a small town and he knows everyone will know if it turns out bad. I have no issue voicing my opinions. I should of been more proactive. I honestly only looked at the progress from the patio door until this week I took a close inspection and realized how bad it looked. I realize what you mean about the fence. Initially I thought the issue was a pool that close to a fence and I know pools are. I realize the issue is in the construction and getting the concrete behind the wall. I am not sure how he plans to do that. The ground is not stable enough to take a wheel barrell on it. Dang it! I appreciate all the opinions. I will keep you updated on the progress.

In my area, except for a fence, all structures, including pools, have to be set back at least 7 1/2 feet from the property line. Not sure what your local codes dictate. Did he pull permits for this pool? My pool had a total of about 20 permits pulled for various stages. Pools are not the project to not have permits as that can seriously come back to bite you. In my opinion, and based on what Jim said above, I would give an immediate STOP WORK ORDER to him until he provides you a plan to remediate the code violations and a proper path forward to finishing the pool. I think the entire pool needs to be removed and the excavation done properly. Is he insured? Does he have a proper builder's license? Don't wait until it is too late or you spent another $20k to do something. If he is already back-peddling trying to get out of this there is nothing but misery in your future with him.

Oh BTW: $1500 for a transit? What is he pulling on you? That is like the most expensive transit I have ever heard of. You can get a transit for $100.
 

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fuzzye

Member
Jan 27, 2021
8
missouri
In my area, except for a fence, all structures, including pools, have to be set back at least 7 1/2 feet from the property line. Not sure what your local codes dictate. Did he pull permits for this pool? My pool had a total of about 20 permits pulled for various stages. Pools are not the project to not have permits as that can seriously come back to bite you. In my opinion, and based on what Jim said above, I would give an immediate STOP WORK ORDER to him until he provides you a plan to remediate the code violations and a proper path forward to finishing the pool. I think the entire pool needs to be removed and the excavation done properly. Is he insured? Does he have a proper builder's license? Don't wait until it is too late or you spent another $20k to do something. If he is already back-peddling trying to get out of this there is nothing but misery in your future with him.

Oh BTW: $1500 for a transit? What is he pulling on you? That is like the most expensive transit I have ever heard of. You can get a transit for $100.

I pulled our messages and it was a grade lazer not a transit. But I looked at prices and unless he got the very top line its not that expensive. We are a town of 3000 so our codes are pretty laxed. I didn't even need a permit for the pool only the pool house. I intend to be more involved. Crazy I thought if you paid someone to do a job you didnt have to supervise this much. Lesson learned for hiring a friend.
 

fuzzye

Member
Jan 27, 2021
8
missouri
Our pool journey ended March 4, 2021. The guy installing it quit coming over and did not respond to my calls or text. The last time we spoke was Jan. 28 when I expressed concerns about his ability to finish, ability to repair the cave in's and missing and broken panels. Long story short, he told me he was waiting on replacement panels but he actually received a refund and pocketed the money. The washing and cave in's were right at our fence. After speaking to my attorney, we had the hole filled in with dirt on March 4. We are now in the process of legal action against him. Very hard lesson learned on my part. I appreciate all the help and advice I received.
 

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PoolGate

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
5,959
Damascus, MD
Pool Size
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Jandy Aquapure 1400
Good that you got an attorney. In my area there is a contractor fund for occasions like this that will reimburse consumers. Very sad situation. Good luck!
 

fuzzye

Member
Jan 27, 2021
8
missouri
I need a little more help if possible. We have grass starting to grow! (good news). I listed my 20x40 pool kit for sale. I had a man who has installed pools part time (he does the digging and concrete for a company) and has acquired various pool parts over the years. One day he plans to put his own pool in. He saw my ad and came to look what all I have. He said I have it all except I am missing some wall panels. They are 42" polymer. 6 panels total. I knew my stupid guy took a refund from the pool company. I thought it was for the 3 broken panels. It was for the 3 missing panels. I have checked with the company the pool came from and they do not sell individual panels. I search the net and can't seem to find anyone who does. This pool kit is useless if I can't find anywhere to buy the panels. Any suggestions?
 

jamjam

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2020
499
NY
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I would press the pool kit company more. Show them this thread and what you went through and ask them for some mercy.
 

jamjam

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Jun 25, 2020
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BTW what is the status of your legal action? Reading this thread is infuriating.
 
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Snoobug

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Jun 2, 2020
471
Iowa
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I am so sorry. I live in a small town too (pop 5k). Everyone is watching and gossip flies, he knows it. Is there anyway to reach out to a legit PB and get a 2nd opinion. I hope that someday you get your pool.

We have no setback rules here. Could've built my pool super close to my house or right on the property line! 😳😬 That info was direct from the county inspector.
 

Aquaman7

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Sep 15, 2019
398
NJ
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Call a pool builder to see if they will sell you the panels you need. Pool distributors sell panels to pool companies all the time.
 

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