Importance of a pool builder if they contract out all work.

rahimlee54

Well-known member
Apr 8, 2016
115
Asheboro NC
Hi,

I was pricing my pool renovation earlier this month and the pool builder told me they contract out pretty much everything I asked them to do. Is it worth going through the builder if I already know who he will use or do I need them to manage the process? The middle man markup is substantial.

Thanks
Jared
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
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May 19, 2010
43,224
Tucson, AZ
Depends if you have the time and experience to act as the general contractor and coordinate all the subs.
 

bdavis466

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Aug 4, 2014
4,844
San Clemente, CA
That's pretty standard for most pool builders. I only know of a couple builders that do stuff in-house.

Most use the same subs anyway...
 

rahimlee54

Well-known member
Apr 8, 2016
115
Asheboro NC
I have never done gen contractor work but from what I can tell all plaster, tile, and stair work is done by the same crew. All left to manage from that end would be exchanging the light and leak testing pipes. Maybe I am over simplifying.
 

jblizzle

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May 19, 2010
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Tucson, AZ
Yup, like when 1 sub has something run long and can't do your job as originally planned and all future subs need to be rescheduled ;)
And then you do not have 1 builder to go after when you need something re-worked.

It is possible and there are places that help with the DIY pool builds, but don't think it is not going to be a lot of work.
 

Jimrahbe

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Jul 7, 2014
13,625
Bedford, TX
Jared,

There is a lot of difference in building a new pool and a simple renovation.. I personally would never go through a pool builder to have a pool re-plastered, new tile or coping..

I have had two pool redone. One had new plaster, tile and coping, and the other just plaster and tile. Most plaster shops do all that.

If you are not going to have pebble, you might want to research what our Expert "onBalance" has to say about plastering problems. I learned the hard way... :( This had nothing to do with not using a pool builder and more how pools should be plastered..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

jblizzle

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May 19, 2010
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Tucson, AZ
I just realized this was not a new pool and was just a reno, I was picturing digging, rebar, plumbing, blah blah blah :hammer: ... I agree with and have done the same as Jim.

PebbleTec can only be installed by trained companies. There is only 1 in Tucson, so I contacted them directly for my resurface. They had contacts for tile and decking as well.
 

rahimlee54

Well-known member
Apr 8, 2016
115
Asheboro NC
Thanks alot guys. The builder I talked to does pebble but said cost was 3x as much. I'll get a few names of plaster companies. The pool light needs a swap and the pipes need to be leak tested so I'll have to have that done.

They also quoted a new pump and filter, which I may have them or someone do as I need a vari speed and wifi controlled.

The only thing I am unsure about is who I would have do the new perimeter drain. That is a requirement as the one installed is clogged and cant be cleaned.

If anyone has recommendations on companies in central nc let me know. I'll go study plaster specs and install process. I am not sure I care enough to fork out for pebble tech, a vacation home I stayed at had it and it hurt my feet.

Thanks
Jared
 

duraleigh

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Apr 1, 2007
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Update your location, please.....it is important in the climate advice we give. "NC" could be Wilmington or Mt Mitchell.
 

KDpoolguy

Bronze Supporter
Mar 5, 2017
513
Palm Desert, CA
To use a contractor or not, that is the question. I used a builder for our recent chip-out, addition of shelf, and mini-pebble resurface. Our builder was a friend of a friend and owned their own pebble-resurface truck and crew so their bid came in 20% lower than any other, but they subbed out everything else. I was like a hawk over the project as having construction experience, the subs need direction almost always. I got all their info in case I need future work, or if a family member needs a resurface job soon.
I often wrestle with the same project management issue as we search for a new home and if it happens to need to have a pool added. If you have the faith in your ability to not just manage the project, payment, deposits and such, and time to devote to being physically at the job while subs are there it’s not an impossible experience...I’d say.
 

Flatag

Well-known member
Feb 16, 2018
77
N.E. Florida
I found in my case the difference in cost to have a pool company oversee my remodel project vs acting as my own GC was almost the same. The plaster, paver, tile people will charge a homeowner more for the job than they will charge a pool company they have a working relationship with. Also, when damage is done between the contractors the pool builder will make it right. For instance, the plaster people spilled muratic acid on my new coping. Several peices of coping had to be replaced. Who will pay? In my case the PB took care of the repairs but if you have to deal with two contractors to get the repair done it could be a headache.
 

rahimlee54

Well-known member
Apr 8, 2016
115
Asheboro NC
I found in my case the difference in cost to have a pool company oversee my remodel project vs acting as my own GC was almost the same. The plaster, paver, tile people will charge a homeowner more for the job than they will charge a pool company they have a working relationship with. Also, when damage is done between the contractors the pool builder will make it right. For instance, the plaster people spilled muratic acid on my new coping. Several peices of coping had to be replaced. Who will pay? In my case the PB took care of the repairs but if you have to deal with two contractors to get the repair done it could be a headache.
I'll take that into consideration. I did get a quote from a guy over the phone based on measurements for just my plaster and it was less than half the cost of the work quoted out by the builder. The builder would be adding tile to the stairs, a dolphin and pump, new pump, filter, and salt water system, LED light, new perimeter drain, and floor pop up cleaners. I may ask my builder for an itemized list to see what markup they are charging for off the shelf components.

The stuff I listed up there they are charging a little over 30 grand for.

I'll research in depth plaster process, I have already learned a decent amount on it here, I just need to get familiar enough with it to quote it sight unseen and then save some more money and decide what to do.

Thanks for all your input.

Jared
 

Jimrahbe

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Jul 7, 2014
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Bedford, TX
Jared,

That is a lot more work than just a quick refresh of the plaster, tile, and coping...

I suggest that you do a little research before going with an in-floor cleaning system. If you have a robot, you really don't need 1980's technology to clean your pool.

Since you are having so much done, I tend to agree with Flatag on this one..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

tstex

Silver Supporter
Aug 28, 2012
1,647
Houston, TX
Jared, skip the floor system, esp if this is a remodel...as Jim said, just get a robot and you're good to go.

If you PM this yourself, the KEY TO IT ALL is what you get in writing upfront and setting proper expectations upfront w every sub and in writing. Don't make it too complicated but do spell it out. Also, if you do PM it, buy the guys doing the work lunch a couple times and get to know them somewhat...not a life story, but that you want them to know you appreciate their work done right. I would also allow some for "performance bonuses": All detail is done right, clean up their messes, respect property and other subs work. Most of the these subs come in and go out and they're gone...a little special attn., good food and other and it will pay off.

finally, the only hiccup when your getting things in writing, is sometimes bc you do not have the pool building experience, you don't know what to look out for, thus state or ask upfront. most contractors build in $ome buffer for thi$. this is where you can win or lose. However, your job is not super complicated if you take out the flooring system. On tile work, make sure they toss out any defective pieces - tell them you will return to seller and exchange for them...make sure things are spaced evenly and consistent, but you cannpt nitpick every move they make [unless they are horrible which means you hired the wrong crew] - ask for references and go see their work...you also have to be able to build in contingencies, esp if it's weather related...again, not rocket science, but attn. to detail - good luck, tstex