Help ...don't know what questions to ask potential builder

durango118

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 21, 2012
29
Hi
I know I posted on here once before, although I can't find it.

Trying to get bids on a new pool build but the more I read the more confused I get.

First off, have two bids currently, a design with no price from a 3rd, and a fourth who has measured the property but I have yet to meet with. The first guy is a "cash discount" guy, which right away sends out the red flags. "No deposits or upfront payments, you control the money"...."we will only ask to get paid after that phase is completed and accepted by you. We then expect to trade the unconditional lien release for the payment". His bid was pretty straightforward as to what was included and what was not. His license is current and has only 1 complaint on our county website. He also has references, haven't reached out to them as of yet.

Second guy, which I loved the design, price was a bit above what I told him my budget was. But one thing that really has me confused with this guy is that he deals exclusively in Pentair equipment. While we were in his showroom he proceeds to show us equipment (black) and says that the "black Pentair is top of the line" (his quote included a VS3050 and an Intellichlor) OK so now I go home to start looking up the equipment online for reviews and I cannot find any black Pentair stuff online. On another forum today, one responder told me that Pentair owns Sta-rite and that there's a possibility that the stuff he showed me in the showroom was Sta-rite. Is Sta-rite better than Pentair? Just for the heck of it I called a pool supply house last week and asked them about it, and their response was the same as the responders "that Pentair owns Sta-rite". I don't want to pay for one thing and get something else. I know all the Pentair stuff I saw online was beige.

The third guy came out, measured, was very professional. Sent me a 3d rendition of two designs and that was it, no equipment list, no pricing or anything. And the first thing I thought of when I looked at the designs (both of them) was SMALL ! He's on vacation now and won't be back for another week.

I'm not totally in the dark, we had a gunite pool built back in 1984, but a lot's changed since then. I just don't remember it being this difficult to decide on add ons. One of the bids included an "easy touch remote" for $2350. When I asked if the equipment could be manually controlled he wasn't very forthcoming with information. I guess I'm hoping someone can at least get me started in the right direction. I don't want to add on something that I really don't need but I also don't want to cut any corners and regret it later on.

Any insight is greatly appreciated ! :roll:
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,880
Silver Spring, MD
Re: Help ...don't know what questions to ask potential build

Welcome to TFP!

The first builder is saying the right things.

Pentair and Sta-Rite are the same company, mostly the same products, different color different name plate, but otherwise identical. There is no way to say that Sta-Rite is better, most of them are absolutely identical, same factory same design, and the rest are just different for historical reasons, without any particular "this one is better than that one" relationship.

Easy Touch is an automation system, it allows you to change settings with a remote or at the control panel. You normally only get that if you have both a pool and spa, or if you have several water features. If you do have a spa, the automation system can switch the valves, turn on the pump, set the temperature for the spa, all with one button press, which is nice. If you just have a pool it is overkill.
 

durango118

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 21, 2012
29
Re: Help ...don't know what questions to ask potential build

Thank you for the welcome !

So you are saying that the first builders "cash discount" may be a good way to go? He used to have an office but now works out of his home and from what I've heard is pretty much at the build everyday overseeing the subs. The only thing that made us nervous was the "cash payments".
We are also getting a spa with a spillway. But no other water features.