I just learned - the hard way - all about building a pool!

judithleah

Member
Oct 10, 2018
21
Boca Raton, Florida
Hi everyone,

I'm new to this forum and am posting for the first time. I hope that with all the experienced and knowledgeable pool owners/builders out there, someone will be able to advise me, because I'm at my wit's end.

We just finished our new pool construction in Boca Raton. We hired a pool builder that seemed to know what they were doing and were priced competitively. The experience has been nothing less than a nightmare.

A few highlights:

- The initial dig was in the wrong place, about 12 feet off where it should have been.
- The dirt from the first dig was hauled away neatly, leaving most of my backyard intact. But for the second dig, instead of hauling it away, they dumped the dirt all over the rest of the lawn, adding about $2000 to my re-sodding costs.
- The plans called for a stair-to-deck handrail near the deep-end steps, that would be purchased by me. The contractor told me he would send me some samples to choose from. He never did. Instead, they proceeded to apply the gunite without letting me know that the handrail needed to be installed first. I was then told that I could no longer use a stair-to-deck model because the gunite had already been applied.
- This did not sit well with me, so I began to research whether we could still install the rail into the gunite. In the course of my research I discovered how important it is that the gunite be watered regularly (several times a day) while it is curing. This had never been mentioned to us at all and by the time we found out on our own, the critical hot and dry two-week period had passed. I now have grave concerns that we will have problems with it down the road.
- After the gunite was applied, I noticed that design changes had been made to the pool without consulting us. We had incorporated a bench under the outside of the spa that was placed at a height that would allow the waterfall spillover from the spa to fall on your shoulders when you are sitting on it. Instead the bench was placed much lower down, so that the water will now land on our heads.
- For religious reasons, there are certain times when I did not want any work on our property to be performed, as we were observing our holidays. There was only one weekday that would be affected, and after these previous incidents, I did not trust them to respect that. Therefore, I insisted on an addendum to the contract that would prohibit them from working on that one day. They had no problem signing the addendum. No one was home on that day, but when we returned that evening...guess what? The pavers were all laid. It was a one-day job, and that is the day that they chose to do it!
- And if that were not enough, the pavers were not laid out in the pattern that we had chosen. There was a clear diagram of the pattern we wanted as well as a photograph attached to the work order. Completely ignored.
- They also decided to drill the hole for the handrail into the pavers. So without any consultation, they drilled it in the wrong place. The hole was drilled in the center of the stairs instead of on the side, as was clearly depicted in the plan. This was not a major error like the others, but it did cost me a paver (that they did not offer to pay for).
- When I ordered the pavers, they did not offer any advice on how to take care of them, or suggest that we have them sealed immediately. Having no experience in these things, we did nothing. They insisted that we re-sod before they would plaster the pool, so I had to replace the sprinkler system that had been broken during the excavation. We turned it on to try to salvage the lawn in front of the house, but nobody noticed that the water was blowing onto the pavers and slowly but surely they turned orange from the iron in the well water. This could easily have been avoided had we known to seal the pavers.

None of this has ever been resolved, but they are not the issues we are facing now. The plastering was scheduled for last week and they insisted that we pay the final 10% before they did the job. After everything that had transpired, I absolutely refused. We finally agreed on half of it on the day of plaster, and half a week later (tomorrow). So this is what happened.
- On Tuesday the pool was plastered after I gave them a check. I was not able to be there to observe, but I assumed the supervisor would be there.
- The water to fill the pool was turned on immediately after they finished. I have since learned that it is much better practice to wait a few hours before beginning the fill.
- I had hired an outside pool maintenance company to help make sure that the pool was treated properly during this critical period. He came on Wednesday for the first time and immediately noticed footprints all over the plaster! (See sample pic below). He also noticed that the handrail had been installed without the escutcheons that were given to them. They were simply left in the box. This created a very unfinished look for the handrail (see pics) and allows water to get beneath the pavers. They also didn't bother to grout the replacement paver (for the one in which they drilled a wrongly-placed hole).
- No information was provided about the need for pool-brushing after plastering. If I hadn't educated myself about pool building as a result of all these snafoos, we would not be doing it.
And finally,
- They will not release the construction liens on my property until payment is made in full.

So here's my question: What do I do about paying them the final amount? Are these all legitimate issues that I should fight for, or would it be a losing battle? I don't know whether anything can be done about the footprints. Should I insist that they replaster the pool? The contract stipulates that final payment is due "upon plastering", but if I pay them everything tomorrow, I will lose any leverage I might have had. Do I have a right to insist that they repair the botched work first, in spite of what the contract says? I really prefer not to end up in court. What do I do about this construction lien issue? I don't want any subcontractors coming after me! Help!

So there it is in a (big) nutshell! Sorry for the lengthy tirade, but at least I hope you found it interesting. I have to decide what to do by tomorrow when the last payment is due. Any advice, suggestions would be appreciated!:drown::drown::drown::mad:

Judy
 

Attachments

sktn77a

Gold Supporter
May 16, 2010
1,819
Chapel Hill, NC
Don't pay a penny more until everything is COMPLETED to your satisfaction. If you haven't done so already, write up a complete list of everything that was not done per contract. Show this to the contractor and tell him he will be paid when this punch list is completed (including grinding the footprints out). If this work isn't completed, take them to small claims court for a judgement to pay someone else to complete the work and to release the mechanics lien
 

judithleah

Member
Oct 10, 2018
21
Boca Raton, Florida
Good advice, which I plan on doing. Except for the plastering and handrail, most of these issues cannot be undone and can therefore not be repaired or quantified. But I will certainly not pay more until the those two things are resolved. What do you think about the sodding issue? Contract states that I am responsible for resodding, but does this also apply to resodding that was made necessary only because of their mistakes? I did send them a list of these issues (before the plastering was done) and got absolutely zero response.
 

riley00dog

Gold Supporter
Nov 14, 2017
2,213
Brisbane, Qld, Australia
Do not pay. We are currently withholding our last payment until contract is completed. Albeit, we are only waiting on a small section of drainage/mastic and two pavers to be sealed that had to be replaced when they fixed a leak (don’t ask). We have had a similar build experience so I can sympathise with you. The lack of communication has to be the most stressful thing. There will probably be some things that you have to let go or fix yourself if they refuse to come to the party. The big things like the plaster are what’s worth fighting for. Our pb has been good about rectifying it just takes them a ridiculous amount of time to do it.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
46,345
Tallahassee, FL
I am sorry this has happened. Sure turns what should be a dream come true into a night mare :(

Now here is my thoughts:

-Writing-get EVERYTHING in writing! Make copies NOW with dates and times.
-Pictures-take and print pictures of everything.
-List-make a list of everything that is wrong AND what you would like to be done about it (foot prints gone kind of thing) Rank them in order of importance to you.
-Meeting-set up a face to face meeting with the Pool Builder, construction manager, AND owner of the company. Try to have it at pool side.
-At Meeting-have a copy of everything for everyone that is there and have a pad of paper to write everything down. Make sure to repeat back to them "What I heard you say was xxx" THEN write it down. Try to have someone there "on your side" for moral support.
-At meeting-use FACTS only. NO emotion (would be very hard for me but hoping you will have better luck) just the facts and how you want each issue.

Now if they refuse to have the face to face then you can pull out the bigger guns. Certified letter with the problems laid out and how you want them fixed. Suggest you do not want to take it to court but will do so if need be.

It will not be fun or easy but............
 

judithleah

Member
Oct 10, 2018
21
Boca Raton, Florida
Thank you guys, for your input. I was actually feeling a little guilty about withholding the last payment, in spite of all their mess-ups, but you have given me the resolve I need to see this through. They haven't actually refused to fix the plaster and railing - they just haven't responded to our complaint about it. Let's see what happens tomorrow when they ask me for the last check. Wish me luck!
 

BMK

Bronze Supporter
Mar 29, 2016
443
SW PA
Thank you guys, for your input. I was actually feeling a little guilty about withholding the last payment, in spite of all their mess-ups, but you have given me the resolve I need...
The quality of the money that has been, and will be paid, is absolutely perfect. Every single penny you have paid them will spend exactly as it's supposed to. It will fulfill every expectation of it.

Why should you accept anything less in return?
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
6,133
Central California
Judy, Judy, Judy...

May I call you Judy? ;) Welcome to TFP! I'm so sorry we're "meeting" under these circumstances, but I'm glad you found us. We'll help you through these trying times, and then be there for you when they're behind you, to help you with your pool in whatever capacity you need. Please know this: this will eventually be behind you, you will have an amazing pool, and you will be able to enjoy it for years to come! This is just a bump in the road!! (Even though I know it doesn't feel like that just now.)

A bit of a disclaimer... If you'll indulge me, I'll share with you my experience, similar to yours, and what I learned. I'm not a lawyer, and never used one to achieve a resolution to the problems I endured with a pool contractor. I did some research on the ol' google machine to come up with the following, and it served me well. Most importantly, the terms and concepts I'll use are based on California law, so you'll need to see how any apply to you in Florida. A web browser is a wonderful thing! I'd be surprised to learn CA and FL were much different in this regard. And you've already received some excellent advice here, I'll mostly just be reinforcing that.

First things first, you will not be making any final payment, or issuing any amount of payments at all. Not for a while. When he calls you about the payment, you just simply say, "I'm not prepared to make the final payment just now." He'll ask why. You'll simply say "I'll send you a note about it." That's it. DO NOT ENGAGE HIM ON THE PHONE! Just a "Oh, my eggs are burning, gotta run!" (Whatever.) You are entitled to withhold final payment, for several reasons. It's not illegal, and if it turns out you're in the right, you will not be fined or penalized for doing so. You absolutely should not feel bad about doing so. Please get that out of your head. Conceivably, you could be held accountable for interest on any portion of the money you withheld that you shouldn't have, but it won't likely come to that, and it would be a small sum even if it did. The money is your leverage. Rather, part of your leverage (you actually have a lot), and you don't want to relinquish any leverage until you have to. And right now you don't have to.

While the details and resolutions of all your issues may or may not be complex, the overarching principle here is not. You are now in what's known as a Good Faith Dispute (GFD). And again, this is all based on CA law, you'll have to confirm all this stuff for FL. While you and your contractor are in this phase, you do not need to pay him anything. He cannot legally demand payment. If he continues to, you just politely remind him that you won't be paying him while you and he are in this GFD. You officially enter a GFD by submitting to your contractor a letter (in writing, not a phone call, not an email). The letter will state that you are not satisfied with the work performed, and that you will not be making any further payments until you are satisfied, and certainly not until all the work is completed. In addition to that brief intro, the letter will include (1) a detailed list of everything in dispute and what you want done, (2) a deadline by which everything must be completed, (3) a statement indicating that beyond that deadline you'll be seeking the completion of any outstanding items from another licensed contractor, the cost of which will be billed to the PB, and (4) that you are prepared to sue him in court for any damages you have incurred, or will incur, should he not pay up (this last bit is actually required in CA). You don't need to embellish the letter, as advised above, you don't add your commentary or emotional feelings about any given item, you just list them, in a clear, matter-of-fact way. Everything short and sweet. Write the letter, then go back and take out 50% of the words you wrote (that's what I had to do, well, more like 75%, as you can see I tend to get a little wordie!!) So to recap: you inform him in writing that you're not satisfied, you describe what must be done to your satisfaction, you give him a reasonable amount of time to complete the items, and you make clear that you'll seek another to do the work if he doesn't, and send him the bill, and sue him if he doesn't pay. That's it, you then wait out the time you gave him, he'll either perform or he won't, you hire someone to finish the job if he doesn't, send him the bill, and then you prepare to sue him for whatever he owes you.

Alternately, you can take him to court, after the deadline expires, but before you have the work done. This avoids you shelling out and gambling that you'll recoup. But you'll have to be able to prove what needs to be done and how much it will cost. Which leaves it to the judge to decide what everything is worth, etc. I didn't do it that way. I wanted my pool fixed, and I didn't want to wait for a judgement, so I just had the work done. Another judgement call for you to make (but let's not get ahead of ourselves).

Now, he might try to badger you, or threaten you, or negotiate with you, or all of those. You can decide how to handle that as you see fit. I had to, I responded in writing to all of my contractor's attempts to skirt his obligations to me, he tried all of those tactics. I answered all of them with [a form of] "Nope, you got my list, clock's'a'tickin'." He made me low ball offers. He described how he would win in court. He made up reasons why he shouldn't have to fix anything. The works. I just kept denying his allegations, rejecting his offers, and reminding him of my original letter. Didn't waiver.

Simple, right? OK, don't panic. A lot can happen before you end up in court. NOBODY wants that, especially your PB (there's another chunk of leverage, but there's even more if it comes down to it). I did exactly what I just described, and got every penny without ever making it to court. Some insights (ammo):

For whatever reason, this is the one that bugged me the most: you DO NOT pay a contractor his final payment until he delivers to you all the lien releases from his sub contractors. Period. Non-negotiable. It's not the other way around. Ever. That was an outlandish demand on his part (desperation probably), as was his insistence that he be paid in full before the plastering. Utterly ridiculous! And don't forget: no final payment occurs until you are handed a copy of the finaled permit!! Signed by the city's/county's building dept!! Ever. Also non-negotiable!! Unfortunately, your PB is waving a big red flag and indicating he might not be all on the up and up, and, like most contractors I've dealt with, indicating he does not understand, or is outright ignoring, state law. In CA it is flat out illegal to demand final payment before the work is completed (and IMO that includes providing the lien releases and the signed permit). Further, no contract or contract clause can override state law. That is a law! The law has precedence in all cases, so you can ignore any clause in your contract that attempts to circumvent your state's law. And, as I said, it doesn't matter that the contract stipulates when final payment is due, the GFD overrides that. It negates the final payment schedule. That, too, is law. And further still, based on your side of the story, he has breached the contract anyway, which is yet another reason you can withhold payment. And I proceeded with my resolution process under the following assumption, I only needed one outstanding item to exist to legally withhold final payment. All of my items were, in fact, legit, but I didn't need them all to be, only one.

More leverage? He's likely overextended. He needs to get paid, and that might be enough to get him to perform. Some of these guys live from check to check, and get behind all the time. He's probably got subs to pay from some other job, the funds from which he used on his boat or his kid's teeth or whatever. He'll bully whoever he can to squeeze out payments, to make ends meet. It's no secret here that I am anti-contractor, so you can filter out some of my rhetoric. But I'm basing my opinions on my own experiences (Plural! Time and time again with these guys!) Which is ironic, as I used to be a licensed contractor. But that's in part what makes me see red. I know how this is suppose to go down. I know what good service is supposed to be, from both sides. I do remember some of my state contractor license test questions!! And it irks me when licensed contractors take advantage of unsuspecting consumers! Consumer's should be tuned in to the process, of course, but few of us are. Which is why it's the contractor's job, his responsibility and legal obligation, to know and follow the law. It's not supposed to be the consumer's job to see that he is doing so. It falls to us all too often, but that is not our legal obligation, it is his. Fortunately, now that the shoe is on the other foot, and I am a consumer of contractor services, CA is on my side! I digress...

- If you have plans that clearly show he's done something counter to those plans, that's a breech, especially in the absence of a written change order. He's obligated to correct that.

- The footprints, the botched hand rail install (especially the uninstalled parts), and some of your other items are clearly poor (as in: unacceptable) workmanship. Another breech. He's obligated to correct all of those items.

- The work performed on the contractually-agreed-to non-work day is another breech. It'll be difficult to quantify that, as in: what are your actual damages, but it still is a bullet point, for which you could be entitled to compensation (though I don't know what would be considered reasonable).

Based on any of those three, you have what sounds to me like a very legitimate GFD. Remember, you only need one thing to withhold payment. Proceed with the process!

I have mixed feelings about the suggested meeting. It is certainly a reasonable step, and shows your willingness to resolve the issues in a cooperative way. But... my attempt at that did not go well. I am far too emotional, and far to slow-witted, to handle myself in such an environment. Things get said, things said get misinterpreted, misremembered, heated, etc. Things don't get said. Kim's MO of writing everything down during the meeting is a must. So is having another person or persons there. Yes, for moral support, but more importantly as a witness (don't use a spouse for that). Personally, I wouldn't offer the meeting. I'd send the letter first. It is a strong salvo that can have a negative affect on future relations with your PB, so it's something to be thought through carefully, but if he's been ignoring your communications about outstanding or incorrect items, as you state, then relations with him are questionable at this point anyway. Up to you. If you decide to do the meeting, have the letter prepared and hand it to him at the meeting, witnessed by your "crew." That is proper service, otherwise, you should deliver the letter certified mail (or the FA equivalent). I'd do both (hand it to him and put it in the mail the day of the meeting). Everything you do from this point forward is to avoid court, but must also be in preparation for it (if that makes sense). He-said-she-said meetings rely on testimony, communications in writing don't. I prefer the latter, which also affords me the time to think about what I'm communicating, and to edit it before I deliver it. I'm not capable of doing that on-the-fly in a meeting. I'd use note cards. I would not go into such a meeting and wing it. But that's me. As I admitted, I do not do well in that scenario.

If you do find yourself in a meeting (whether you initiate one before the letter, or he does because of it), this is how I suggest you handle it. Don't do or say anything except ask questions. Resist what could be an overwhelming desire to unload on the guy, or express how you feel, or describe what you're willing to give in to, or just about anything. Don't play into any sympathy-type approach from him. Say next to nothing. Literally. Point out the deficiencies (literally point), read from the letter or the letter's punch list, if you must speak at all, and say nothing else! Do this: just ask questions (I learned this trick from my mentor who got me through my own contractor conflict). Not: "I really don't like that paver." or "The footprints look awful." Instead: "Is this paver supposed to be that way?" or "Is a pool finish supposed to have footprints in it?" It turns the tables, it eliminates the possibility of you saying or agreeing to anything, and it puts the onus of the outcome of the meeting on the PB! Let HIM say the wrong thing, make the wrong move, shoot himself in the foot, commit to something. By phrasing everything as a question, and by only making statements read directly off the letter (or maybe prepared notes), he'll have nothing to use from the meeting that will give him any advantage. I know this sounds silly, and confrontational but it works. Just an idea for an approach. I'm just projecting. Maybe you know how to work a meeting like that, I don't...

Example: the meeting I had with my contractor consisted of him explaining how nothing was his fault, and that he wasn't going to pay for any fix. I managed to convince him to apply a temporary fix to the damage that resulted from his work, so that I could use the pool without injury. Which he agreed to, and did the next day. I didn't want to lose a summer's worth of use, while he and I hashed it all out. He later turned that around to claim that those were my terms to resolve the issue in its entirety! That didn't pan out for him, but it could have. We later got into it on the phone, that conversation, too, came back to haunt me at a later date. I was not prepared for it, had no time to think through his points and to formulate proper responses, and, again, he later tried to use mis-quotes from that conversation against me. It was at that point that I informed him that he and I would no longer be speaking or meeting, unless it was for the purpose of him repairing the damage, and that all further communications must be in writing. Which we both adhered to from that point forward. It didn't put me at any sort of disadvantage, quite the opposite, as it turned out. This was the kicker in making that demand. Contractors in general (my apologies to the ones that frequent this forum) do not understand the law any better than you and I do. They are supposed to, and took tests to get their license to demonstrate that they do, but most forget what they learned (which was only enough to pass the test!). And some flat out ignore the law, counting on the fact that most consumers don't know it at all. Further (sorry, again!), a lot of these guys are good at what they do, but none to bright when it comes to these types of confrontations. Some rely on bullying and blustering and empty threats. In the ensuing letter exchange between myself and my contractor, on multiple occasions, he put in writing the very things I needed to be able to prove my case in court, but would have been hard pressed to do so had he not provided that proof! He inadvertently admitted to all sorts of wrong doing. Had he had a lawyer later review what he had put in writing, his lawyer would have freaked. I'd read what he wrote, and reread it, and ask myself: did he really just put that in a certified letter to me?!? Well, thanks a bunch, that's going to save me a lot of trouble in trying to prove that myself!! Seriously, my contractor made my case for me in those letters. If that had happened in a meeting, or on the phone, it would have been virtually worthless. Even if I had realized it while it was happening, there'd be no way to prove what was said.

But I never got to court. He ignored my demand to fix the damage he caused. I had it repaired by another contractor, then I sent him the itemized bill. Which is my segue to my final point (for now!! ;) ):

I see the prudence in being reasonable about your demands, and listing them in order of importance to you, and being prepared to go after just the "big ticket" items while letting the smaller stuff go. It's an understandable resolution tactic. But not one I'm willing to use. In the end, I caved on only one item, worth $15, and shown to me by multiple sources to be completely unnecessary for my pool. And I still regret it! I don't believe in ranking items, or treating some as more or less important, or caving on the little ones to get the big ones. Nope. Why should I? I paid for a product. I agreed to what I would pay. The other party agreed to what would be delivered. That means everything! Neither party gets to negotiate down from there after the fact! Why should we? IT'S A CONTRACT!! You wouldn't try to give him half the final payment, would you? Or even $5 less. Or expect him to be happy with that, and just say "OK" to that! I pressed for every little thing: the complete repair (I had the entire pool resurfaced), the cost of water to fill the pool back up, the cost of the salt for the SWG, all the startup chemicals, my labor to perform the startup process (I charged him his own shop rate: $75/hr to brush my pool twice a day for a month!!), a bill for a pool guy to perform part of the start up process, etc. EVERY. LITTLE. THING. And I got it all. Every last dime. (Well, except for that dern $15 part, because I forgot to list it in the demand letters!!). Point is: I was not compensated for the extraordinary amount of time that orchestrating the settlement took. Nor the time it took me to write the letters. And rewrite them!! Or drive them to the post office. Or take all the pictures. Nor the stress I endured while all this was going on. Etc, etc. Courts don't really look at those "expenses," no matter what tole they take on us. The very least I had coming to me was what I originally paid for, and I wouldn't, and didn't, settle for less. So this is another call you must make, to decide on what it's going to take to get you home free, what you're willing to let go, or fight for, and to what extent. Some just want it to be over. And that is a legitimate reason to let some stuff go. Maybe the stress is too high a price. No judgement, what's right for you is right for you. Personally, I wouldn't budge on anything. And I certainly would not open the conversation with letting anything go, or by ranking importance of items. And I DEFINITELY would not agree to letting go of any disputed items while in any sort of meeting!! If he tries something like that on the phone, or in a meeting, just return a blank stare. Seriously. Or say, "Well, that's something to think about, isn't it?" (Another question!) Or even "Well, if this were your pool would you be happy with getting less than what we agreed to?" (Question!!) And leave it at that. (By the way, if you can prove you're laying more sod than you would have had he not misplaced the dig, then yes, that should be one of your items.)

OK, I could go on (as others here will attest!! ;) ), but I'll wrap it up. Don't pay anything tomorrow. Write and deliver the letter instead. Include everything. (Much more difficult to add items to your demand later on.) Have the meeting or not, before or after the letter. But most importantly: stick to your guns! You are not imagining things. The work is not finished, and it's not acceptable. You wouldn't buy a $200 stereo, find that some of its knobs are missing, and think "Oh, those rascals at the factory. They tried their best. I'll just use it like this instead of taking it back." Why would you do that for a mid-five-figure pool? Let him know what you find is unacceptable. Give him the opportunity to fix it. And then see what he does. I tend to be glass half full. Maybe he's a stand up guy, and just doesn't know yet that you're not satisfied. Maybe he just didn't get your messages. You don't have to fire both barrels like I would. I'm just suggesting you have the shotgun loaded and ready!

Once you get past those first few steps, we can regroup. If its not going your way, I'll share with you how I brought my contractor to his knees, and how I got him to pay me every thing due me, without ever going to court (actually, he ended up settling for more than I should have gotten). Hint: more letters!!

Good luck, stay strong! We're all here for you!
 

riley00dog

Gold Supporter
Nov 14, 2017
2,213
Brisbane, Qld, Australia
I knew you’d pop in Dirk! Take it from a guy who’s been there, done that and won.

I was just thinking about this meeting you’re having. I’d turn up with a pen, note pad and copy of the contract. I think it says ‘I’m serious’ from the get go.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
46,345
Tallahassee, FL
I just thought of something! That handrail............is it bonded to the bonding wire???

THANKS Dirk! I bet that will help her a LOT!

J, know we have your back! Feel the :hug: and know we are all waiting to hear your PB say "Oh I got this!" (hey a girl can hope!).

Kim:kim:
 

timglidden

Well-known member
Nov 20, 2017
84
fort lauderdale fl
Can i ask who the pool builder is? i'm in process and about to get plaster this week....what color sunstone did you do by the way? I'm on the fence and can't deceide if i want to upgrade to cli crystal stone.


I have been told by multiple pool builders down here "there's no need to water gunite" after I questioned it - so that seems to be normal amongst these guys. I wouldn't worry about it. You think someone is watering the gunite on all these multi million dollar new construction homes as they are being built - nope.



I have a feeling its the same pool builder i am using as you have all the same plaster mfg and exact equipment pkgs as me.... the attention to detail down here in so.fla with most pool builders is severely lacking.... i kind of expected it going in.

my pool was built a foot higher then the plans. so now I have a severe slope (16" drop over 3') behind my pool in front of my dock. They of-course are blaming it on the elevations saying they are "off". Which is BS..... In the scheme of things i'm going to get a great pool for much much less then any one else would build it for.....the reason they are priced 20-25% less is attention to detail and sheer volume. I kind of knew it going in but work from home and was prepared to "manage" the job for the savings.
 

judithleah

Member
Oct 10, 2018
21
Boca Raton, Florida
Wow! I'm blown away by all the caring and good advice you've been giving me. If only I had learned about this forum at the beginning of the process, instead of at the end!:mad:
Today is Tuesday - a critical day in seeing what is going to happen. In the past, I've was notified a day or two before they wanted to come to pick up a check - the only time they ever communicated me, I might add. But this time, only silence. That would seem to indicate that they have no plans to fix the problems and that they know that there is no way they're getting any money from me today. But.....if they do come to the table to fix it, how can I have any confidence that it won't be just a slam-bam job? For example, someone suggested that they grind the footprints out. Is this acceptable? Wouldn't that thin out the plaster and reduce its quality? What about having them fill in the irregularities by adding plaster? Would that work? Or is this perhaps a situation where I am justified in insisting that they just replaster the pool? Even if they come to the table and want to finish the job, I'm not sure what would be acceptable standards that I should expect/ demand from them. Also, how on earth can they fix the handrail problem without breaking up the plaster in the pool to remove the rail? In the long run, is that a good idea? Would there be any other way to do it? Before I write them a letter telling them what I want them to do, I need to know what is possible, reasonable, and fair.
Thanks again for all your amazing advice.

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Hi timglidden,
I'd rather not name the company on this forum pending resolution of these problems. However, if there is a way for you to private message me, I'll certainly tell you,
Judy
 

judithleah

Member
Oct 10, 2018
21
Boca Raton, Florida
I think the color we used was Antigua, which they said is the most popular. But I can't comment on how it looks yet because the water is still cloudy with plaster.
As far as your raised pool is concerned, at least the slope is going away from the pool and not into it.

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Hi Kim,
I have no idea whether the rail is bonded. How could I find that out?
Judy
 

PoolGate

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
4,824
Damascus, MD
I think that addendum you had signed about not doing work on a specific day could turn out to be your salvation. You may need an attorney but I think you are due monetary damages for them not respecting this. How much? Who knows! $1000? $10000?? For sure you should not let that drop.
 

judithleah

Member
Oct 10, 2018
21
Boca Raton, Florida
I really hope that we can resolve this without an attorney, because it is only the attorneys who win out on these cases in the end. But if it comes to it, yes, of course, I will definitely play that card!