I have plans, now what?

iiscotty

New member
Mar 10, 2021
1
Rocklin, CA
Hi everybody. After being over priced with a few reputable builders in the area, I decided to take matters in to my own hands. It's been a deep dive over the last few months but I still have many questions and hoping to get answers from those experienced in here. We live in Placer County (Northern California) and I have my plans blown up (site/steel/plumbing.). Here's questions I'm looking for some help on:

1) Once you have your plans, do you get permit first before getting your bids? For Placer County, they want to see your list of subs which to me indicates get bids first, but what if your plans don't pass for permit?

2) How long did it take you to get all your bids? With the craze around pool builds these days, seems like it could take weeks if not months to get all your jobs bid out. Do these bids normally come in writing, and if so, do they normally come with a time frame (good for 60 days or so on.). After getting back to the sub to secure them, did you find any success offering a cash payment? If so, by what % was your cash discount?

3) Can someone please lay out the steps from start to finsish? I've seen what looks like plumbing done before steel, and steel done before plumbing. From getting plans, to getting bids, to getting permit to dig.....and so on.

I've enclosed a rendering of what the pool will (mostly) look like. I've reduced the bar stools to 3 from 4, and the steps on the Cabo deck and the step outs on the far side will be cut in different. That leads me to my last question for this thread, do the subs need the color renderings or the drawn out plans to provide your bid?

Thanks in advance, I'm hoping I can go down to the county this week to start the process (assuming permit comes before bids!)
 

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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
24,804
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60

OrlandoBull

Well-known member
Jul 30, 2015
197
Winter Garden , FL
Hi everybody. After being over priced with a few reputable builders in the area, I decided to take matters in to my own hands. It's been a deep dive over the last few months but I still have many questions and hoping to get answers from those experienced in here. We live in Placer County (Northern California) and I have my plans blown up (site/steel/plumbing.). Here's questions I'm looking for some help on:

1) Once you have your plans, do you get permit first before getting your bids? For Placer County, they want to see your list of subs which to me indicates get bids first, but what if your plans don't pass for permit?

2) How long did it take you to get all your bids? With the craze around pool builds these days, seems like it could take weeks if not months to get all your jobs bid out. Do these bids normally come in writing, and if so, do they normally come with a time frame (good for 60 days or so on.). After getting back to the sub to secure them, did you find any success offering a cash payment? If so, by what % was your cash discount?

3) Can someone please lay out the steps from start to finsish? I've seen what looks like plumbing done before steel, and steel done before plumbing. From getting plans, to getting bids, to getting permit to dig.....and so on.

I've enclosed a rendering of what the pool will (mostly) look like. I've reduced the bar stools to 3 from 4, and the steps on the Cabo deck and the step outs on the far side will be cut in different. That leads me to my last question for this thread, do the subs need the color renderings or the drawn out plans to provide your bid?

Thanks in advance, I'm hoping I can go down to the county this week to start the process (assuming permit comes before bids!)
1. I would see if you can get everything up front. It's hard, get your Layout-dig-steel and gunite contractors lined up, those are key. I have a budget spreadsheet that helps me keep track of everything, I also have my timeline in there. Nothing fancy, but it's good to have something in one place.

2. I am still working on getting final pricing on some parts and tile will start later this week. For cash, it depends on the contractor. Right now, I have 2 guys saying 5-8% discount. Not a huge savings. If you're paying cash, get a signed lien release when you pay.

3. Different geographies are different for sequencing. Here, plumbing is done after the gunite. They leave the holes in the shell, and the plumber comes in after... For me, it's like this... sod scrape - layout/dig/steel - (optional plumbing that has to go in the shell - spa for me) - gunite - pre-grade - final plumbing and equipment set - electric/tile/footers (unrelated to one another, so that can happen all together) - final grade - paver decking - cage - safety fence - surface and fill - final landscape/sod.

Renderings can help your subs, but they don't need them, just the plans.

A few tips from my second time through...

1. Try to get multiple bids. My plumbing/tile was a $4k swing between my 2 bids.
2. Lump services together if you can, just reduces your efforts coordinating with people. Ask subs who they work with... my plumber recommended electric and pre-grade. LDS sub recommended gunite. Screen sub recommended paver and footer subs. These guys all know each other, it's good to have closely related teams when you can.
3. Keep in touch with everyone throughout the process and follow up on lead times, I lost time early because those times changed after I had my permit.
4. Figure out your equipment and order it ASAP, long lead times on some of those things.
5. If you are OK waiting, try to space out your subs as much as possible. I have mine pretty stacked up right now and it's stressful hoping one guy finishes before the next wants to start.
6. Set your budget, get your bids, then make some decisions. We are spending way more than we want on our pool, but, having done it once, there were some things that we looked back on and wished we had just spent the extra money last time. Decide what is important to you and go from there, you'll likely find that even as an owner-build, things are going to cost more than you want, so you will have to make some decisions on if you want to spend more, or hold your budget. Nothing wrong with either option, but if you're planning to live with the pool for a long time, make those decisions crystal clear to yourself so that you don't feel like you should have done something different in 3 years.