Fiberglass Pool Install

robertwest

Gold Supporter
Dec 7, 2019
58
MD
Jimmy,

He was recommended to us by a client, so a direct referral. The story of how he is paid in full is due to a water feature (wall) that they couldn't give me a design for (they "just wanted to build it"), so when I deleted that we were near fully paid. They wouldn't pour the collar ($1,750), which wasn't in the quote until I paid them the final payment (~$4,000). They could walk away, but they seem to be honorable enough to address the level problem. I just don't like how he's blaming this on us. What the **** did we do? I'd prefer this not go to a lawyer, for their sake and ours.
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
1,623
NY
Man this stinks Robert. Sometimes these things go south even with honest mistakes and not negligence. It really puts a bad taste in the homeowners mouth that won’t go away anytime soon, even with a perfect correction. I’ve been rooting for you and will continue to do so.
 

robertwest

Gold Supporter
Dec 7, 2019
58
MD
Thanks, Newdude. This started as a mistake due to poor planning on the PBs part (pool placed in wrong location) and then was made worse by shortcuts and shoddy work. We're in for 60K on an unfinished/out-of-level pool with landscapers waiting to finish.
 

robertwest

Gold Supporter
Dec 7, 2019
58
MD
@Newdude - again thanks. We're pretty dejected at this point and my wife is super-upset (she was the one who video-recorded them back-filling with excavated soil and gravel intermixed). We had a lot of other projects that were supposed to follow this, landscaping, greenhouse, deck and patio doors, etc. All of that is now on indefinite hold while this is likely going to go down a really ugly path.

Who on this forum has ever successfully had a PB rip out a FG pool and start all over again with a new shell and plumbing and have them do it correctly w/o major drama and other subterfuge?
 

robertwest

Gold Supporter
Dec 7, 2019
58
MD
Confirmed: So you think installing a fiberglass pool is easy? So did I. Part 2/3 | Luxury Pools and Living

"Once you have the shell going into the hole it must go in straight and flat. ANY movement in the shell while it's touching your base will affect the bed and cause high and low spots. Sliding the shell on the base is a death sentence. All of your elevations will be affected and changed. Also keep in mind that this is where we find out how well the lay was done. If the top of the shell looks unusually high or low recheck your math NOW don't move on."
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
42,519
Tallahassee, FL
Not a fiberglass pool but a plaster pool that got ruined by a pool "professional". @Dirk won and big time so he might be able to give you some tips. My tip is EVERYTHING in writing and with pics to document (Good job wife!). This should serve as a call to Dirk.
 

robertwest

Gold Supporter
Dec 7, 2019
58
MD
Anyone know how to find an engineer that would be able to give expert opinion on our pool install problem? I need to have someone come out and assess the install before considering allowing the PB to do whatever "fix" he says he wants to do. Are there "pool engineers?"
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
4,758
Central California
The ink is still drying on a post I just now wrote in another thread that might be of some help. I haven't read your thread yet, but if this thread doesn't give you some ammo, please reach out and I'll help with what else I learned. This one is also a plaster pool, so you'll have to sort through it for what might apply to your situation.


I can't advise on how to find an expert. Sorry. I actually let my contractor pick one. That's pretty risky, and I might not do it again that way, but at the time I was gambling: if I let the contractor pick the expert, and that expert sides with me, then I'd be sitting pretty, as the contractor would not be able to dispute the results. That happened to work for me, but it could have gone the other way.
 

jvaymd

New member
Jan 20, 2020
3
Cresaptown, MD
If you are in Maryland your builder should, I believe, be licensed through the Maryland Home Improvement Commission. The MHIC has a process for dealing with client complaints and could aid with arbitration. This may provide some point of leverage to you in spite of them being paid in full.

The mixing of fill with stone is really stupid in this circumstance. My guess is they didn't want to wait on another load of stone or pay for it, which is ridiculous because 20 tons is generally not more than $400-500.

Construction projects rarely (never) go exactly as planned so it is best to maintain some level of "fluidity" with your expectations; that being said, the PB seems to have made some mistakes that may impact the overall longevity and function of the structure itself.

The best project outcomes occur when both client and contractor are happy. Profitable contractors, IMO, do the best work. I would express to the PB you do not wish to take all profitability from the job, though will not be satisfied until the repairs are satisfactorily completed. I would consider retaining counsel to help provide an agreeable path forward. I would do my best to not be adversarial unless the PB is completely unresponsive to you.

Keep in mind 1) I'm not a pool builder 2) am not familiar with all of the details; there are two sides to every story.
 
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jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
1,459
Morris Cnty NJ
Can you tell me how the payments went? Like did u pay for the shell yourself or did all the payments go thru the PB? When you got the referral did they have a fiberglass pool put in or another kind of pool
 

robertwest

Gold Supporter
Dec 7, 2019
58
MD
I made payments directly to the installer. The referral (we found out later) had a liner pool put in. These guys do gunite too. Their main business focus has been in fiberglass, though.
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
1,459
Morris Cnty NJ
So he made profit on the shell as well as the labor on install so he can eat the proper repair and still break even The factory should put pressure on him to make it right. Hes an authorized distributor if hes selling their shells I would really put heat on them to step up. Hes giving them a bad wrap. Subtle threats about social media and airing dirty laundry of this disaster might help it along.
 
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robertwest

Gold Supporter
Dec 7, 2019
58
MD
@jimmythegreek , We are having a ground/soil engineer come out to assess the situation/install and the PBs proposed fixes - either 1) mud the low-side coping and add tile, or 2) jack the pool up with collar on and pack more gravel under the low side.
 
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kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
42,519
Tallahassee, FL
Will you be able to be there when they are there? I would take notes and maybe even a video so you don't miss anything. Well done getting them to come out!!!
 

robertwest

Gold Supporter
Dec 7, 2019
58
MD
Will you be able to be there when they are there? I would take notes and maybe even a video so you don't miss anything. Well done getting them to come out!!!
@kimkats ... this an independent engineer who is going to assess the installation and out-of-level situation. No actual corrective action is going to be taken until we get a professional opinion. I will be there for the engineer.
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
1,459
Morris Cnty NJ
That's a good start. It's going to be hard to get much as the engineer cannot see the base and the instal bed. See if you can influence the engineer and be sure to have any and all pics available to him and if possible on a good size screen not a phone. Dirt changes as you dig I've been surprised with poopie soil many times not expecting it. I wouldnt let him jack anything without busting the collar and digging it free. Think about it on layman's terms....he jacks it and adds gravel. How is he gonna fill the void from that edge back to the side that's touching? It's a skinny slice shaped void. Water is heavy. Jacking it will stress the top of shell as well. What about plumbing? An inch is asking alot and a recipe for failure now or soon after hes gone. The safe bet is a cash payback for error and the tile to hide it. Otherwise have him do it right and dig the shell out and fix it as it should have been installed.