New contract / New build - SE Pennsylvania, Gunite free form pool and spa

Gorilla83

Silver Supporter
Jul 2, 2017
313
Thornton, PA
#42
Small update: Got the township permit paperwork in last Tuesday - said it would be approximately 3 weeks from then until approval. I've got to go in Friday to the township building to notarize/sign some forms, although they seem to be generally OK with the plan including impervious coverage, etc so that's a huge plus. The waiting is the hardest part, although the weather around here wouldn't allow for excavation any time soon anyway. :) Let's keep all fingers crossed we can get in the ground in mid to late April!!
 

Gorilla83

Silver Supporter
Jul 2, 2017
313
Thornton, PA
#45
I hope so!

FINALLY got word today (4 weeks from when we submitted) the permit was approved. The township is pulling together the paperwork now and then the PB is going to stake out the pool next week. Our township requires a "stakeout" approval before we can dig but tentatively we're looking to dig the week of April 30th. Fingers crossed that the wait is almost over. :)
 

jimim

Bronze Supporter
Jun 20, 2016
1,806
NE/Pa
#47
all these approvals. i don't know how a lot of you all deal with it. it would drive me insane. i literally went to our borough building drew a circle on a piece of paper with my setbacks gave them the name of my pool builder. they asked how much the pool cost (ya ok) and they said ok this much for the permit. and i walked out. they stopped to inspect the bonding and electrical and said call when the fence is up to get the occupancy permit.

i know everywhere is diff, but man a lot of hoops.

i bet you can't wait to get started. i was jumping out of my skin for the dig day.

gunite was by far the best day of the build. better than plaster and fill actually. it was just such a cool process and a really awesome learning experience. especially with a crew who was on point. but my builder, his son, and their main guy who acted as a translator for all of us so that prob played into it. i also give them breakfast, break, lunch, and dinner on the way home. so feed everyone! but you prob know that from doing various jobs at ur home.

good luck! all the best!
 

Gorilla83

Silver Supporter
Jul 2, 2017
313
Thornton, PA
#48
Thanks! If you think these initial approvals are bad, you should see the full list required around here, ugh. Oh well, nothing we can do about that except play by the rules and hope for speedy inspections. :)

Upcoming:
-Final township signoff of permits by township manager
-Schedule and execution of 'stakeout' inspection which shows the exact location of the pool with noted setbacks from property lines
-DIG!!!

And you're right I'm having trouble keeping my composure waiting for dig day. :) As for the gunite shoot - the crappy part of the timing there is there is a good chance the pool may be shot while the wife and I are away for a long weekend. We had planned to get away the first weekend of May and if everything comes together I'd guess they'd want to shoot the pool right around then. Murphy has a way of appearing at the right moments, ha! Anyway, I suppose I'll either have to set up sprinklers (with timers) and/or have some friends/family to stop by to do the first few days of watering if so. I'm also installing surveillance cameras so I can watch if that is the case. :) Any other suggestions as to how to manage if we're remote? Timer suggestions?
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
36,013
Tallahassee, FL
#49
Make sure the PB is there and he has your cell phone number so he can take pics and get your input if needed. I like the idea of the sprinklers on timers + someone stopping by to make sure it is getting all of the pool and doing some spot watering as needed. What timer? Not sure. I would go to Lowes and see what they have and go from there. Ask them which ones get returned the most and do not buy them.

Kim:kim:
 

Gorilla83

Silver Supporter
Jul 2, 2017
313
Thornton, PA
#50
Make sure the PB is there and he has your cell phone number so he can take pics and get your input if needed. I like the idea of the sprinklers on timers + someone stopping by to make sure it is getting all of the pool and doing some spot watering as needed. What timer? Not sure. I would go to Lowes and see what they have and go from there. Ask them which ones get returned the most and do not buy them.

Kim:kim:
Thanks Kim! One of the reasons we chose this PB is he is known for keeping great communication before/during the build and sends lots of pictures via text as well. Between that and my own house camera pics it shouldn't be too bad. I've been looking on amazon at timers - how long of duration is typically needed? Most have a 1/2 hour minimum which I'm guessing we wouldn't need less than that.

examples:
https://www.amazon.com/Orbit-62040-...pID=41ra7V-sCDL&preST=_SX300_QL70_&dpSrc=srch

https://www.amazon.com/Instapark-Ou...pID=41xv1uLnWGL&preST=_SY300_QL70_&dpSrc=srch

Shop Melnor Digital Water Timer at Lowes.com

Can the sprinklers be placed in the pool or do they have to be next to it?
 

Gorilla83

Silver Supporter
Jul 2, 2017
313
Thornton, PA
#52
Thanks for checking in!

Good news - Permits and pre-dig inspections all good to go, we are next in line in terms of priority to dig. Yard is staked out and everything looks good to go.

Bad news - Dig date has been pushed back a few times unfortunately which as you can imagine is quite frustrating. We're scheduled for this Wednesday as of now to break ground but when looking at the forecast does not leave me the least bit optimistic that will happen. We show rain for 9+ straight days, ugh. The most frustrating part is I feel like I have to ride my PB to get any updates/communication from him with regards to timeframes. I know he builds a nice pool and he does respond quickly to my requests but it's always ME having to ask for updates and he always seems behind the curve.

Other - We've been discussing options for an autofill and the PB wants to use the Pentair Intellilevel which is their new electronic product that integrates with automation/easytouch. It's pricey but I'm going to give it a shot, let's hope it isn't super quirky. :)

Here's to hoping/wishing we can get in the ground this week!!!
 

kristmas

Silver Supporter
Oct 5, 2017
289
Mt. Airy, Maryland
#53
Bad news - Dig date has been pushed back a few times unfortunately which as you can imagine is quite frustrating. We're scheduled for this Wednesday as of now to break ground but when looking at the forecast does not leave me the least bit optimistic that will happen. We show rain for 9+ straight days, ugh.
Oh gosh, I feel your pain. After today, the next good weather day in our area(s) probably won't be until Wednesday of next week. My June 1st contractual deadline looks like it's going to get harder and harder to meet.

The most frustrating part is I feel like I have to ride my PB to get any updates/communication from him with regards to timeframes. I know he builds a nice pool and he does respond quickly to my requests but it's always ME having to ask for updates and he always seems behind the curve.
BTW, I feel similarly about my PB. They are great guys and I too believe they build a quality pool, but I'm the one being proactive most of the time. :(
 

Gorilla83

Silver Supporter
Jul 2, 2017
313
Thornton, PA
#54
Another week come and gone, weather is looking much better now. Unfortunately still getting the run around from my PB with no commitment or guess as to when we will dig. I'm about at wits end and strongly considering bagging this project for this year - if it's this bad before we start I can't imagine what it's going to be like once we're waiting between phases. My wife and I are at a point where we don't have much trust established with the PB and it seems to be getting worse not better.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
36,013
Tallahassee, FL
#55
Me? :gone: that is me walking to get my money back and heading down the road to the next PB on my list! Just stand there with your hand out. Do not engage them in any way. Head up, shoulders straight, looking them in the eyes as you hand them the note saying "you are fired". :(
 

Gorilla83

Silver Supporter
Jul 2, 2017
313
Thornton, PA
#56
Kim - We're with you and that's exactly what we're going to do. We exchanged emails with the PB last night and came to terms with a cancellation. Unfortunately, this seems like the best path ahead. :(
 

Gorilla83

Silver Supporter
Jul 2, 2017
313
Thornton, PA
#58
No, they didn't try to retain us and in fact seemed happy to be getting out of the transaction. I was sort of expecting some type of compromise deal but shocked that he didn't even push for that. Even further solidifies our path forward. Really sucks but it was meant to be this way I suppose.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
36,013
Tallahassee, FL
#60
No, they didn't try to retain us and in fact seemed happy to be getting out of the transaction. I was sort of expecting some type of compromise deal but shocked that he didn't even push for that. Even further solidifies our path forward. Really sucks but it was meant to be this way I suppose.
VERY clear sign to move on for sure!