Critique My Bid Please! :)

PoolMac21

Member
May 10, 2019
9
Colleyville, Texas
First-time poster, long-time lurker. I would appreciate the sage wisdom of this group on the bid, attached. I am including our overall design pictures as well for reference. We have a substantial landscape project being coordinated along side this and the bid from the pool co is the pool, cabana, hard-scape. The landscape team will handle the landscaping, grading, finishing, irrigation and the artificial turf which will meet the pool coping on 2 sides as you see in the design. I would appreciate any critiques on the bid and the design! Also considering an in-floor cleaning system, but have read mixed reviews here. Would love to hear from those who have it on whether it is worth it.

saltwater pool, hayward equipment, the "polaris" noted in the contract is actually a Quattro (Robot) pool sweep, not the polaris model noted.
 

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tim5055

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 11, 2014
10,414
Franklin, NC
OK, I didn't go line by line, but my quick review includes....

Salt system is a 40k size. Very good!!

I would consider a robot rather than the Polaris 3900 Sport w/ Booster pump

Have you considered an electrical outlet out by the loungers on the far side of the pool

Have you verified that your gas meter and existing gas lines will support the heater? Is the cost of the gas line to the heater included?

Is there a main drain or skimmers only?

On the plumbing I would ask for home run's to the equipment pad for each skimmer.

You want a valve at the equipment pad for every pipe going to the pool or spa. This way you can turn things off like a single skimmer if a problem arises.

Why is the pool company installing the LED landscape lights?? It seems if you have a landscape company coming in they would do this.

Now, what I'm going to say next is my personal opinion and take it for what it is worth. Most folks do it, but why have teh spa built into the pool?? I'm a big fan of a free standing spa separate from the pool. Build the pool, leave a space for the spa (include electeic a& water there) and buy one later. That is just me. I see so many issues with spa/pool coordination that I just wonder why?
 
Last edited:

PoolMac21

Member
May 10, 2019
9
Colleyville, Texas
OK, I didn't go line by line, but my quick review includes....

Salt system is a 40k size. Very good!!

I would consider a robot rather than the Polaris 3900 Sport w/ Booster pump

Have you considered an electrical outlet out by the loungers on the far side of the pool

Have you verified that your gas meter and existing gas lines will support the heater? Is the cost of the gas line to the heater included?

Is there a main drain or skimmers only?

On the plumbing I would ask for home run's to the equipment pad for each skimmer.

You want a valve at the equipment pad for every pipe going to the pool or spa. This way you can turn things off like a single skimmer if a problem arises.

Why is the pool company installing the LED landscape lights?? It seems if you have a landscape company coming in they would do this.

Now, what I'm going to say next is my personal opinion and take it for what it is worth. Most folks do it, but why have teh spa built into the pool?? I'm a big fan of a free standing spa separate from the pool. Build the pool, leave a space for the spa (include electeic a& water there) and buy one later. That is just me. I see so many issues with spa/pool coordination that I just wonder why?
Thank you, Tim. I appreciate your comments and suggestions. I will definitely ask about the things you highlighted. For the Polaris, that is just a placeholder. We are actually looking at the Quattro pool sweep instead. Any thoughts on that? I think the LED landscaping is a typo- this is meant to be LED lights in the pool and spa itself.

Since you asked, we planned for a built in spa bc we dont want to take up as much room in our landscape with a free standing spa and really dislike the aesthetics. We enjoy the pool/spa combos that our neighbors have and we get to use on frequent occasions so felt good about the choice and the cost. It will work for us. But I will certainly be sure to quiz both my neighbors and our builder about the coordination issues and do our best to understand and/or prevent them. Thanks again for the review!
 

tim5055

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 11, 2014
10,414
Franklin, NC
Again, my opinion - but almost any suction side or pressure side pool cleaner is yesterdays technology.

You want a robot, something you plug into an electrical outlet that is not tied in to a pump in the pool. Less plumbing and no need for a second pump.

Something like this

 

Katodude

Silver Supporter
Aug 22, 2017
403
West Palm Beach/Florida
So a few small items. Around here we are not fans of pressure side pool cleaners. Ditch the Quattro and associated pump and get a robot. S200, M600, M500 are the most popular and each has its advantages. Check out the pool cleaner section of the forum. The only thing is you will need to get power to run the robot.

On the kitchen it did not list what type of appliances you are getting. I recommend getting a side burner, we use ours almost more that we use our grill. That way any “smelly” cooking gets done outside. Also my personal pro move is get a warming drawer installed in the kitchen. It has two uses. Great for keeping things warm while you cook. Secondly and almost more important, you can use it to keep towels warm. Nothing better than a hot towel when you come out of your spa!!! Also consider a garbage disposal on the sink. I did not have room for one on mine but it is great to have, and a very low cost addition.

Are you also wiring in some speakers. This is a great time to do that.
 
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PoolMac21

Member
May 10, 2019
9
Colleyville, Texas
Again, my opinion - but almost any suction side or pressure side pool cleaner is yesterdays technology.

You want a robot, something you plug into an electrical outlet that is not tied in to a pump in the pool. Less plumbing and no need for a second pump.

Something like this

Thanks again! I will look into the robot vs Quattro more.
 

PoolMac21

Member
May 10, 2019
9
Colleyville, Texas
So a few small items. Around here we are not fans of pressure side pool cleaners. Ditch the Quattro and associated pump and get a robot. S200, M600, M500 are the most popular and each has its advantages. Check out the pool cleaner section of the forum. The only thing is you will need to get power to run the robot.

On the kitchen it did not list what type of appliances you are getting. I recommend getting a side burner, we use ours almost more that we use our grill. That way any “smelly” cooking gets done outside. Also my personal pro move is get a warming drawer installed in the kitchen. It has two uses. Great for keeping things warm while you cook. Secondly and almost more important, you can use it to keep towels warm. Nothing better than a hot towel when you come out of your spa!!! Also consider a garbage disposal on the sink. I did not have room for one on mine but it is great to have, and a very low cost addition.

Are you also wiring in some speakers. This is a great time to do that.
Thanks! Will definitely do re Robot vs Quattro. On the kitchen, we have a warming drawer inside, but I will definitely consider this outside as well -- the towel angle is a great one! garbage disposal is a GREAT add. Would not have thought of it, but will definitely want it. As to the speakers, we were thinking we would likely just handle with bluetooth or wifi as opposed to wired but will look into the cost of doing wired. Appreciate your taking the time to read and respond!
 

Katodude

Silver Supporter
Aug 22, 2017
403
West Palm Beach/Florida
So just a little (you get what you pay for) free advice. You are building a beautiful backyard oasis. Dragging out a little Bluetooth speaker does not cut it. If you are not sure, at least just run the wires to the outside beams of the structure. You can install speakers later and the wire is not too expensive and will give you options later. It looks like you also have a TV there and those speaker can double up for better sound from the TV. I am personally a big fan of Sonos but there are other options as well. There are definitely some smarter people here that can tell you where the best place would be to wire some speakers and what will look best with your setup.

Now if you really want to get froggy have some mountings or holes cut in with power to put some Echo dots or if you prefer whatever the Google equivalents are. That way you can sit around and just yell at the walls to turn spa, lights, music on and off.
 

JJ_Tex

Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
447
Prosper, TX (DFW)
Poolmac - That is certainly an interesting design. I'm assuming you had a good deal of input into the design and have reasons and tastes, but I wanted to at least share my thoughts/opinions:

- I see that your backyard is a challenging design, but it feels like the pool and outdoor kitchen are shoved into the corner. You are spending quite a bit of money and seems like that should be the focal point of the backyard instead of pushed to the corner.
- Similar to my comment above, I would consider an L shape or something to bring the pool and/or kitchen more into center of the backyard. Right now the artificial grass is what you will see from inside of the house.
- With a really cool cabana, I dont see you using your existing patio at all. Why not incorporate the cabana into your existing patio?
- I'm assuming you have kids since there is a fort on there. Have you considered that you will not be able to see and supervise them from inside the house while they are in the pool?
- Your builder left you no $ for fixing the sod and sprinklers. I would ask for that in the bid, at least for any front or side yard that gets torn up during the construction.
- I would like to be able to sit in the pool and watch tv and/or talk to people in the cabana. You can do that from the spa, but I would consider adding a bench or something for the people in the pool to do the same.
- At that price point we many times see outdoor showers and/or bathrooms. Have you considered any of those?
- I dont understand the oxidation line item in the bid. They list CalHypo, which seems odd to me. Is this some sort of system that delivers calhypo?
- I really like the cabana, but could not tell if there is lighting in there? I would also add speakers as others have suggested. I would also consider adding shade curtains as necessary to block out the afternoon/evening sun.

Good luck with your build and hopefully the comments are helpful.
 

setsailsoon

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015
1,594
Stuart/FL
Mac,

You'll get tons of expert help on the specs and design that are way better than i can offer. I'd like to focus on the terms, conditions, and contracting process. Here are a few things to ponder:
  • I don't understand the warranty provisions. Why does earth movement void warranty if you're paying for stabilizer injections? The structure should be designed for normal earth movement. Warranties should be very simple and make complete sense
  • Get a stamped drawing of the structure and make sure they build to it. An experienced pool inspector paid by you should be a consideration.
  • The quote references more warranty provisions in the contract. You should get the contract form and understand every single item. Onerous provisions should be 2-way. For example, if "time is of the essence for the builder" it should be for you as well.
  • How will you manage the landscaping contractor so there's no interference between the two contractors?
  • Permit is required, who will obtain it? (should be the contractor and included in his price.
  • Pool is 100 % paid before plaster? No way! You have absolutely no leverage at this point. Your leverage is the greatest it will be right now, before you sign. After it drops like a rock. You want cash flow to be funded as the construction proceeds. Profit should be earned at the end. Retain at least 5% payable when the pool passes a reasonable performance test such as holds water, finish meets spec, equipment has been demonstrated etc.
Get to know your builder and know you can work things don't go according to plan. This will happen. Pools are complex construction there are lots of opportunities for things to vary from the plan. The contract should be completely understood and fair to both parties. Risk should also be fairly distributed. By this I mean: who is best able to take the risk? You should take risk for late changes on your part. Late changes are far more costly than the pool buyer can imagine and only you can control this by being 100% certain that you know what you want before the contract is signed. Construction is the builders expertise. He alone should take the risk of construction. By this I mean design, quality of construction, adherence to the design, material availability, permits etc. You own the interface between contractors. If they are doing anything at all simultaneously it's your responsibility to manage the interface.

The builder needs to be a good fit for you and vice versa. You must be able to work together with reasonable give and take to be successful. Get to know him well enough that you feel this is a likely way you can work together. Don't do this by just what he says. Look for behaviors. When you question the contract does he explain and work with you or clam up and say "that's the only way I do it". In sales mode things get said that are easy. Expect you will see a lot more of the behaviors you don't like after you sign. A quality builder will also assess you during the discussions. All it takes for success is to be fair and reasonable with each other as you get to know the other party.

I hope this helps and please feel free to ask any additional questions.

Chris
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
11,665
Evans, Georgia
My two cents-
Why such a shallow pool? You'll have those big steps and the baha shelf for little people to hang out on. But what about diving? The pool seems small for such a grand design otherwise. Did you consider a nice "L" shape pool to work in your yard? I can imagine that easily.

Lose the in-floor pop-ups. Apparently they're handy for folks in Arizona who have dust storms but they're the only folks I read about who get them. They are prone to failure and a nuisance to fix. A good robot not only will do the work of them *better* but will also climb the walls and brush all for a fraction of the cost and energy expense.

The bar seats on the cabana.... will they be sitting in the sun in the hot afternoon? The roof doesn't appear to cover them, and I can't tell what the orientation of the yard and cabana is?

Lots of outlets tucked in the landscaping! Useful so many times.

Maddie :flower:
 

PoolMac21

Member
May 10, 2019
9
Colleyville, Texas
So just a little (you get what you pay for) free advice. You are building a beautiful backyard oasis. Dragging out a little Bluetooth speaker does not cut it. If you are not sure, at least just run the wires to the outside beams of the structure. You can install speakers later and the wire is not too expensive and will give you options later. It looks like you also have a TV there and those speaker can double up for better sound from the TV. I am personally a big fan of Sonos but there are other options as well. There are definitely some smarter people here that can tell you where the best place would be to wire some speakers and what will look best with your setup.

Now if you really want to get froggy have some mountings or holes cut in with power to put some Echo dots or if you prefer whatever the Google equivalents are. That way you can sit around and just yell at the walls to turn spa, lights, music on and off.
Excellent points. I will at least ask about vendors and price points. We would be remiss not to at least ask about it!
 

PoolMac21

Member
May 10, 2019
9
Colleyville, Texas
Poolmac - That is certainly an interesting design. I'm assuming you had a good deal of input into the design and have reasons and tastes, but I wanted to at least share my thoughts/opinions:

- I see that your backyard is a challenging design, but it feels like the pool and outdoor kitchen are shoved into the corner. You are spending quite a bit of money and seems like that should be the focal point of the backyard instead of pushed to the corner.
- Similar to my comment above, I would consider an L shape or something to bring the pool and/or kitchen more into center of the backyard. Right now the artificial grass is what you will see from inside of the house.
- With a really cool cabana, I dont see you using your existing patio at all. Why not incorporate the cabana into your existing patio?
- I'm assuming you have kids since there is a fort on there. Have you considered that you will not be able to see and supervise them from inside the house while they are in the pool?
- Your builder left you no $ for fixing the sod and sprinklers. I would ask for that in the bid, at least for any front or side yard that gets torn up during the construction.
- I would like to be able to sit in the pool and watch tv and/or talk to people in the cabana. You can do that from the spa, but I would consider adding a bench or something for the people in the pool to do the same.
- At that price point we many times see outdoor showers and/or bathrooms. Have you considered any of those?
- I dont understand the oxidation line item in the bid. They list CalHypo, which seems odd to me. Is this some sort of system that delivers calhypo?
- I really like the cabana, but could not tell if there is lighting in there? I would also add speakers as others have suggested. I would also consider adding shade curtains as necessary to block out the afternoon/evening sun.

Good luck with your build and hopefully the comments are helpful.
Thanks for your thoughtful comments. We actually planned the design in this way very specifically. As you note, our lot is a very odd shape (we are at the end of a cul-de-sac) and that section of the yard gets absolutely no use. With the pool and cabana as a destination in our yard, we will be over there all the time. We wanted to save space directly behind the house for running and playing with our daughter and our dogs. Otherwise, the rest of the yard gets cut off. The design also allows us the most privacy we can get while preserving continuous green space behind the house. As you note there are some downsides but overall we think this is the best for us. There is definitely plenty of lighting in the cabana (6 can lights and we will also add sconces) and we have the shade curtains on our list to explore as well. The pool builder didnt include fixing the yard etc. bc that is being handled and included in separate bid with our landscape team. The two builders are in contact and coordinating on that point, but thanks for highlighting as it is definitely a critical closing item. Will also look into the CalHypo line item as I dont recall what he mentioned that would be for.
 
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walkinpool

Gold Supporter
Jul 19, 2019
23
Austin, Texas
looks awesome. good feedback already given. I'm following to see if you stick with the Quattro or go robot. I will need to make a similar decision soon and planning to plumb for a pressure-side to have the option. FWIW there is a good thread on the Quattro Sport Any reviews yet on the new Polaris Quattro?.

my uniformed two cents - as I've never owned either one:
- Quattro seems to have robot-like functionality with fewer things to break
- It doesn't have a brain, no motor, can't control it remotely, but fewer things that can be damaged if a seal breaks
- the Quattro is just going to bounce around however seems it picks up most of the pool crud
- it doesn't have a power cord off the deck into the pool like a robot will need
- It's going to take more electricity to run. Robot will probably use 10% of the electricity of a booster pump.
- similar debris basket and cleaning process.
- getting it out of the pool will be different, lift mode on a robot vs. drag the Quattro out by the 'tail'.
- you'll have to repair/replace the booster pump at some point
- theoretically the Quattro could stay in the pool more often but people here just leave their robots in the pool most of the time and seems to be fine.
- they both seem to clean the pool well and get up to the waterline. You'll be using TFPC to maintain the pool so your CSI is going to be in range right :). Waterline won't have much scale build up anyway 🤷

I'll be following your thought process on this.
 

santacruzpool

Gold Supporter
Feb 24, 2015
693
Santa Cruz, CA
I really like the design!

We have some plans for a future pool house/shed and slightly raised deck near our pool that will be very similar to yours - so I will be watching your build with great interest! Good Luck!
 

PoolMac21

Member
May 10, 2019
9
Colleyville, Texas
I really like the design!

We have some plans for a future pool house/shed and slightly raised deck near our pool that will be very similar to yours - so I will be watching your build with great interest! Good Luck!
Thanks! I will be sure to come back and post on progress etc. for the build. Next up, contracting and permitting... sure to be riveting :).
 

mguzzy

Well-known member
Jul 8, 2015
794
OV, CA
Ah.. fun a new pool build! There have been a number of calls for speakers... So I'll add my two cents. The sound system on the back of my house has evolved over the years. Its nice to have speakers substantial enough to be heard across the whole yard for parties (we live on a half acre). They are connected to the sound system in the house, and the kids would tie thier SmartPhones into the aux cord and play/stream there favorite playlists. Nobody plays records anymore, so my collection of Donna Summer 45's collect dust. The latest thing I added was a Bluetooth channel outside. Now the kids don't have to run inside to change songs they can do it from the backyard. Sometimes from the side of the spa.... and it sounds much better than those little BT speakers. Just a thought
 

bmoreswim

Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2012
5,430
Central MD
So just a little (you get what you pay for) free advice. You are building a beautiful backyard oasis. Dragging out a little Bluetooth speaker does not cut it. If you are not sure, at least just run the wires to the outside beams of the structure. You can install speakers later and the wire is not too expensive and will give you options later. It looks like you also have a TV there and those speaker can double up for better sound from the TV. I am personally a big fan of Sonos but there are other options as well. There are definitely some smarter people here that can tell you where the best place would be to wire some speakers and what will look best with your setup.

Now if you really want to get froggy have some mountings or holes cut in with power to put some Echo dots or if you prefer whatever the Google equivalents are. That way you can sit around and just yell at the walls to turn spa, lights, music on and off.
Excellent points. I will at least ask about vendors and price points. We would be remiss not to at least ask about it!
@jimim has special insight on this topic if he is not busy obsessing over his fall white color scheme landscape or some other detail, he may stop by. :rolleyes: This topic alone could consume you but definitely worth due consideration.
 

jimim

Bronze Supporter
Jun 20, 2016
2,462
NE/Pa
Hey my white color layout worked out well in the front! I can’t wait to do the backyard next year!

Anyway. Speakers? Yes. 3 zones. 1 for pool. 1 for pool house. 1 for existing patio.

All wired. Wireless or Bluetooth with new construction. No way. U will be all ripped up. It’s easy small money to do it now. In the whole picture of the estimate it will add 3-4 grand to it. I would talk to them but I would do 3 separate units that tie together in 1 app for all streaming options. Like sonos that so many like here.

30 grand for that 600 square feet pool house seems so high but again I don’t live where u do and I did mine myself with friends. Edit.

I just noticed the kitchen was another 12 grand. I don’t know much but 40 plus for 600 square. I would almost take that picture they gave u and shop it around. It just seems like so much. I’m sitting here with my buddy who is a builder and he is shaking his head.

But wire everyrhing now. No new construction should have any wireless equipment. Leave that for retro fitting projects.

Jimi

Ps sorry I was late to the party. I have been pruning plants. ;)
 
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mguzzy

Well-known member
Jul 8, 2015
794
OV, CA
Jimim.. yeah, I agree.. hardwire the speakers in a new project.. I've never been a big fan of the wifi everything trend.... I spend too much time troubleshooting it.. and a cable is a cable! What I did was add a BT transceiver into my existing wired speakers.. very simple single point of connection.

I return us to the plant pruning channel.