New IG pool- Dig issue

pras

New member
Mar 16, 2021
3
Parkland, FL
Hi all just found this site and thought I would ask the experts here about an issue we have with our builder.

We started a new pool construction in the beginning of December and ran across an issue due to the soft soil. Basically the crew came out and started to dig but then realized the ground was too soft/wet for the heavy excavator. They thought they would have to use a bobcat. They waited about 3 weeks mainly due to holidays and demand for excavators. Finally restarted Jan 7th with the same heavy excavator but checked the soil this time by running their pickup truck over the area.

The issue I’m having is they want to charge me a pull off fee of about $1000 for the initial failed dig. I’m just wondering if this is normal and shouldn’t the company known to assess the soil prior to dig?
Thanks in advance for any advice.


Here’s our pool design for those interested

AC79FD3A-0CF2-41B9-8FC1-F929D1751934.jpeg
 

OrlandoBull

Well-known member
Jul 30, 2015
200
Winter Garden , FL
You'll have to read your contract... most would have an "unforseen" conditions note in there that would cover them. Unfortunately, it makes sense. The sub probably has x number of pools to do at any given time, each dig is scheduled for a day probably. So, if they plan on a day at yours and get 3 hours into it and realize that they can't complete the job, they have lost the day as there isn't really time to remobilize and get to their next job. I would try to ask them exactly what the issue was since they were ultimately able to do it with the same machine. That seems a bit bizarre to me. My dig they hit some water and had to put in a pump and some gravel, but they were able to keep going... it wasn't bad though. I don't know that a smaller machine necessarily helps, usually they would have to dig a larger hole to avoid cave ins, and get the water out. They could have also done some well points before the second dig to get it dryer. If you had heavy rains leading up to the first attempt, I guess I could see where maybe it dried out before they started up again.

Honestly, it doesn't seem that bad if they were battling groundwater. My dig required gravel to help with the water and it cost me more than that just to cover the price to add the gravel. There are going to be hiccups along the way... I guess the real question is if you trust your PB or not. If you feel like they are trying to take advantage of you, you have a long road ahead through construction. Hopefully they are giving you solid details and trying to cover their cost for rescheduling plus a small markup.
 
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pras

New member
Mar 16, 2021
3
Parkland, FL
You'll have to read your contract... most would have an "unforseen" conditions note in there that would cover them. Unfortunately, it makes sense. The sub probably has x number of pools to do at any given time, each dig is scheduled for a day probably. So, if they plan on a day at yours and get 3 hours into it and realize that they can't complete the job, they have lost the day as there isn't really time to remobilize and get to their next job. I would try to ask them exactly what the issue was since they were ultimately able to do it with the same machine. That seems a bit bizarre to me. My dig they hit some water and had to put in a pump and some gravel, but they were able to keep going... it wasn't bad though. I don't know that a smaller machine necessarily helps, usually they would have to dig a larger hole to avoid cave ins, and get the water out. They could have also done some well points before the second dig to get it dryer. If you had heavy rains leading up to the first attempt, I guess I could see where maybe it dried out before they started up again.

Honestly, it doesn't seem that bad if they were battling groundwater. My dig required gravel to help with the water and it cost me more than that just to cover the price to add the gravel. There are going to be hiccups along the way... I guess the real question is if you trust your PB or not. If you feel like they are trying to take advantage of you, you have a long road ahead through construction. Hopefully they are giving you solid details and trying to cover their cost for rescheduling plus a small markup.
Thank you for your insight. So the main issue they conveyed to us is that the excavator was losing traction on the wet soil and wouldn’t be able to pull out if they continued. They were only here for about 30-60 min at most before they pulled off. It had been heavy rains prior to that. I can see the issue with not being able to do other digs that day. I think what upset us was the build company knew about wet conditions as they do a lot of pools in our neighborhood but didn’t think to check prior to starting the dig to see if our soil was too wet.
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
6,921
NY
Hey pras !! Sorry for the bad taste in your mouth, there’s no 2 ways about it that it will follow into the rest of the build.

I totally feel you. I do. But what happens on your property is ultimately yours. Boulders, groundwater, soft soil, etc. they showed up ready to go and tried, albeit unsuccessfully. It still sucks tho that they want to recoup some of the cost.

If this is the worst that happens it will be a great build and nothing but a small speed bump when you look back years from now.
 
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Rockelk

Member
Mar 7, 2021
5
Phoenix Az
Pool Size
12000
Surface
Plaster
FYI, I am looking at your drawing and by my eye, the bench on the left and the spa width are both marked as 6’ but they don’t appear to be the same.
 

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
1,569
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I agree with NewDude but I do think you have a case to negotiate a lower price since they ultimately used the same excavator to do the same job. You could ask, what was different? Was it only the day they picked to come to dig and it was too soft?
However, you are early into this process and if they are not happy, they will find a way to get whatever money they feel they need back. So pick your battles. Ultimately you want a great pool so $1000 against $70k is like someone said, a speedbump.
 
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pras

New member
Mar 16, 2021
3
Parkland, FL
thanks everyone. I have gone back to the PB to see what they can do about reducing charges on this one. This charge upset us more because the whole project had been delayed by 5 months because of a mistake by the PB in drawings submitted for permit. Then this pull off and another delay of nearly 1 month. So the charge came when we were already disappointed about other issues.
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
6,921
NY
It certainly can’t hurt to ask (y)

And if you do have to pay it, maybe it will buy you some leeway if anything else arises. You can say ‘Hey...... look, I worked with you on the last one because I’m reasonable. Now it’s your turn to do the same’.
 

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Casey

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 16, 2007
11,920
SW PA
Pool Size
17000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
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Jandy Aquapure 1400
Sorry to hear this. Hoping that things start to look up for you on this dig and you can get past it.