Heatheralee

Member
Oct 11, 2021
6
Tampa
Pool Size
12600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
I am having a heck of a time with my pool construction and I have a question regarding costs.

background: in March 2021 I signed a contract for a new pool and hot tub to be built in Tampa, Florida. We are getting travertine decking and the pool is 12,600 gallons, free form. When we signed the contract I picked out a glass 1’x1’ sheet waterline tile but didn’t love it. The pool company said I could pick out my own, so in April after I found one I liked I brought it in, they said it would work, and credited the remaining amount due for the price of the tile ($485 for 90sqft). The tile I picked was not glass, it was a slate material and hexagon shaped 1’x1’ sheet. Well, I subsequently found a glass tile I like even more (pool is now dug but nothing has happened besides that, which is another issue entirely). So, I let the company know I picked a different tile, but I am still buying it myself so I didn’t expect anything other than a “that’s nice” in response. Now I am being told that because it’s a glass tile (like the one I originally picked in March but not like the one I brought in in April) I will be charged more for the installation. Is this normal?
For reference, the pool isn’t particularly huge and has a sun shelf and a hot tub as well as a little bench in the deep end. It’s 6’ deep and I will have a salt water system and de filter. The total cost is $70k, which just seems outrageously high for what I am getting, and now they want even more money because I picked a different tile. Am I crazy? Is this industry standard?
 

PoolGate

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TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
6,493
Damascus, MD
Pool Size
29000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
I had a builder tell me once that he could still make money just on change orders if he charged just $1 for the job.
 

PoolBrews

Well-known member
Oct 16, 2019
366
The Villages, Florida
My pool builder charged for changes unless the change was due to something out of their control. I think most builders do this as well. For me, when I added automation and a heater after I had already signed, I was charged a change fee. The change fee was clearly spelled out in the initial documents I signed. When they ran into an issue with getting the pavers we had selected, we were able to change the pavers (read - HAD to change pavers) to another style and/or manufacturer at no charge.
 

Heatheralee

Member
Oct 11, 2021
6
Tampa
Pool Size
12600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
Interesting-I understand charging for a change order in normal circumstances (for example, the pool company is providing the travertine, and I changed my selection so I paid for the CO) but if I am providing the waterline tile and they are simply installing it why should I pay for a change order? It just doesn’t make sense to me. And to go from glass, then be told the slate hexagons are more than glass, and then be told glass actually is more expensive since I switched back to glass? Seems so odd.
 

TampaKathy

Gold Supporter
Oct 2, 2020
488
Tampa, FL
It doesn't sound like a change order to me. I would ask them about what you stated...that they told you slate cost more than glass and now they are saying the opposite. My guess is that their costs in general have gone up and they are using that as an excuse to recoup some. Just curious....when did they do the dig?
 

Heatheralee

Member
Oct 11, 2021
6
Tampa
Pool Size
12600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
It doesn't sound like a change order to me. I would ask them about what you stated...that they told you slate cost more than glass and now they are saying the opposite. My guess is that their costs in general have gone up and they are using that as an excuse to recoup some. Just curious....when did they do the dig?
I agree, it just does not make sense to me and I feel like I am being taken advantage of. They dug Labor Day weekend, without letting me see the layout first because I was out of town (I asked them to wait until the following week when I returned) and they have not done any work since.
 
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Heatheralee

Member
Oct 11, 2021
6
Tampa
Pool Size
12600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
If you haven't already, make sure you measure everything to confirm it is as deep and wide as expected. The pool build process is painfully slow...It's been 5 1/2 months since my dig and I'm still not done.
Crazy!!! And I will be sure to double check, thank you. We went with a reputable company out of Lutz that was more expensive than some others but I wanted to ensure things were done correctly and they have not been very impressive to day the least. I hope yours wraps up soon!
 

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PoolGate

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
6,493
Damascus, MD
Pool Size
29000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
Crazy!!! And I will be sure to double check, thank you. We went with a reputable company out of Lutz that was more expensive than some others but I wanted to ensure things were done correctly and they have not been very impressive to day the least. I hope yours wraps up soon!

More expensive builders are more expensive, not better. It is just a total Crud shoot to find a good builder. Ask 10 people and at least 1/2 if not 75% will not like their pool builder. Word of mouth is really the only way. Other than that you just go with intuition.
 

TampaKathy

Gold Supporter
Oct 2, 2020
488
Tampa, FL
Crazy!!! And I will be sure to double check, thank you. We went with a reputable company out of Lutz that was more expensive than some others but I wanted to ensure things were done correctly and they have not been very impressive to day the least. I hope yours wraps up soon!
I'm going to send you a PM...wonder if we have the same PB b/c mine is in Lutz too, lol.
 

kevin76

Well-known member
May 25, 2013
82
Tampa, FL
Pool Size
11000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I'm in Tampa also and can attest to how slow it is. Pool was dug in May and currently I have a shell with coping and waterline tile. The plumber is supposed to come tomorrow but he's literally told me "tomorrow" about 5 times now over the past 2 weeks. I suspect it's similar for most PB's bcuz they share the same pool of subcontractors and are waiting for the same materials.
 
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Heatheralee

Member
Oct 11, 2021
6
Tampa
Pool Size
12600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
More expensive builders are more expensive, not better. It is just a total Crud shoot to find a good builder. Ask 10 people and at least 1/2 if not 75% will not like their pool builder. Word of mouth is really the only way. Other than that you just go with intuition.
My mortgage lender suggested this company because they built 3 pools for her but she had a different salesperson so maybe that is the issue.
I'm in Tampa also and can attest to how slow it is. Pool was dug in May and currently I have a shell with coping and waterline tile. The plumber is supposed to come tomorrow but he's literally told me "tomorrow" about 5 times now over the past 2 weeks. I suspect it's similar for most PB's bcuz they share the same pool of subcontractors and are waiting for the same materials.
Ugh, terrible! I do not want to wait that long. and i hate watching the dug hole just fall apart...
 

TampaKathy

Gold Supporter
Oct 2, 2020
488
Tampa, FL
I'm in Tampa also and can attest to how slow it is. Pool was dug in May and currently I have a shell with coping and waterline tile. The plumber is supposed to come tomorrow but he's literally told me "tomorrow" about 5 times now over the past 2 weeks. I suspect it's similar for most PB's bcuz they share the same pool of subcontractors and are waiting for the same materials.
Yeah, I've been getting plaster "next week" for the past month, lol.
 

KCNM

Silver Supporter
May 20, 2021
225
Tampa Bay, FL
Pool Size
10000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Truclear / Ei
Glass tile does potentially require a different mortar than ceramics. However, I have no idea if that has any impact on installation pricing.

My plaster was delayed two weeks, and also in the air whether the Blue Surf color we selected would be available. PB is now advising clients to select a color, but also to have a few backup choices, as it's literally day-to-day what colors the distributor has available.

And the electrician has told the PB that we're "scheduled" for a couple weeks now. But PB told me yesterday that he was finally given a day, and supposedly should be tomorrow. Thankfully that's just a minor job of moving some junction boxes from around the pool over to the wall.

Luckily we had no issues with demo and tile scheduling. However, the first was booked at least a month in advance, so that probably helped.
 
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PoolBrews

Well-known member
Oct 16, 2019
366
The Villages, Florida
Interesting-I understand charging for a change order in normal circumstances (for example, the pool company is providing the travertine, and I changed my selection so I paid for the CO) but if I am providing the waterline tile and they are simply installing it why should I pay for a change order? It just doesn’t make sense to me. And to go from glass, then be told the slate hexagons are more than glass, and then be told glass actually is more expensive since I switched back to glass? Seems so odd.
From the builders point of view, this would still be a change order. They need to update their schedule to ensure that whoever does the install is prepared and understands what is being installed. Depending on the material, they may have to update who is actually performing the install.

I'm not trying to take sides here, but based on my experience with project plans and build outs (in another industry), there is a certain amount of work to keep everything correct. There are a lot of moving parts during an install.
 

Heatheralee

Member
Oct 11, 2021
6
Tampa
Pool Size
12600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
Thanks, all, for the replies. As an update, the builder now told me it won't cost more (after I called the owner) so that's a plus. Anyway they finished the steel but only installed the Steeltex/pool wire on one section and said this is only needed where the wall previously caved in. I am taking their word for it but curious what others have experienced with Steeltex/pool wire (basically the backing board behind the rebar).
 
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