Help! Problems with Pool Build


Jun 1, 2016
dallas, tx
My pool was started 4 months ago. There were lots of weather delays, so construction has been VERY slow. It has been gunited and the stonework is partially done. A slide was just installed, and as we were looking at the slide and the plans, we noticed that the pool design was not followed and there are several things they weren't built per the plans. Basically, because the design was not done precisely, it's caused the slide to be placed a little differently to one side and for there to be a several feet gap between a waterfall wall and the slide. We can put boulders there, but we had specifically designed the pool so there wouldn't be a huge amount of boulders and now there will be an additional 4-5 feet of boulders.

I am mad that a very expensive pool that had very exact plans has now been changed to what will be a different design. We paid several thousand dollars for these plans from a pool designer (different than the pool builder). The pool builder acts like we will just have to find something that will work with the pool as it's been built, with us changing our plans but them just building the pool in a different way at no extra cost to them. Anyway, as we are trying to work through these issues, can people who have had issues, please advise as to what the best options are. I am super disappointed that I'm not getting the pool that I had designed, yet the pool builder seems to act like this is no big deal. There are several changes to the design besides the slide being moved.


TFP Expert
Apr 19, 2013
Sacramento, CA
Welcome to TFP.

I'm sorry this isn't turning out the way you expected. Some pictures will help us guide you along.

So once upon a time I worked for a large construction company and real estate developer. Nationally we would have millions of sq feet under construction at any one time. But when our development side wanted office buildings the construction side said no, we won't build those. Why? Because our construction guys did one kind of product and it wasn't mid size suburban office buildings. We were a major construction company and we hired someone else to build buildings.

We did that because building superintendents and their crews have a tendency to build not what is on the plans but to build what they are used to building. Its worse, much worse in the pool industry. Pool builders tend to design their own pools and that's what the crews build. They tend to look at the plans as guidelines.

Additionally in much of the country pool plans are rather general. More chicken scratch than plans. And even then they are treated like a guideline.

In new pool owner school nobody tells you you have to have a conversation with each new crew. To drop by each day they are working with your set of the plans and discuss what they are doing. They don't tell you to check the work each day after the crew leaves and take measurements. They don't tell you to make sure all your comments and concerns are in an email to the superintendent each day or week.

But where we are now there is not much that can be done. And how have you been damaged. I'm not that familiar with Texas law but under California law one measure of damages is the cost to correct. But you never complained, so its going to be difficult because unless you complain they can;t correct in time.

So figure out what you want from the contractor. Make sure its reasonable, Then ask for it. Push him for it. You have to decide how far.


Jun 1, 2016
dallas, tx
You are correct that they built what they are used to because that's how the mistakes happened. They were used to things being a certain size, and they made them so despite the plans. You are incorrect that I didn't complain. I have brought the incorrect items up as soon as I noticed them, but it wasn't noticed until it was too late to change them. They were not things you could have noticed until they started installation of certain items. As for damages, I think I am not getting the pool I had designed, so at the very least, I paid for a plan that has not been followed. Another item was that the columns for fire bowls were not built to the appropriate specs (made much smaller) and the fire bowls that I custom ordered might be too big for the columns (haven't tried them yet so maybe they will work).

More importantly, I need to figure out how to make the pool design work! The slide was a natural transition between a waterfall wall and a grotto, but now that the slide is further over, I need to figure out a different transition that looks good. Boulders are the only thing I can think of, but I'm not entirely happy with that idea. Any designers on this website that could help me figure it out? I can add pictures.


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Aug 10, 2012
FL panhandle
Pics always help. Most folks use Photobucket, upload pics, copy IMG code to the right of the pic and paste the code in your post to embed the pic in your thread.
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