New Pool build. Gathering estimates have a question

JC707

Well-known member
Sep 5, 2020
50
Bay Area, CA
So we got our very 1st estimate....very exciting until I saw the costs LOL. I feel baited and switched as the website describes a pool build for them starting at mid $55 range and all we want to add is a SWG, pebble finish, and a small 2 foot raised ledge to back side.

Also the estimate didn't line item it out just put what is included and a total price. I saw another pool build thread here from a guy who is somewhat local to me and the estimate quote he posted the Builder itemized each cost out line by line. And for $70k he got a muchhhhhhh nicer pool its crazy the cost difference.

How should I best go about this? Am i allowed to counter offer or question the price? Ask why the huge price jump from his website? I am waiting for more pool builders to contact me , so far this is the only place to come over.

Edit : this is for a 30x15 recantagle shaped pool, 3.5 - 7' deep pool.
Pentair equipment w/ automation, and includes SWG and raised 18" ledge on back side nearest fence. No waterfalls or anything special.

Pricing on his website states for all this minus SWG and raised ledge starts at $55k.
 
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JC707

Well-known member
Sep 5, 2020
50
Bay Area, CA
@mihzyd777

This is the member who has the pool build thread. I actually contacted the company he is going with but they are an hour and half away and replied to me that they don't service my area.


I am still in disbelief that the builder he is using for his quoted $70k pool....and the local builder I spoke to quoted same costs for a more basic design pool. I was all in thinking costs should be around $57-60k and reason being is a neighbor who used another local company got the design I want with features we like for $56k. I have yet to hear back from that builder tho.

Am I in the wrong thinking here? Maybe my expectations are wrong. :(
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
14,453
Evans, Georgia
My first thought is you're obviously in an expensive area.

Second thought was- save money and add SWG yourself after the build. Just tell the PB to put enough PVC length in the last run back to the pool for future modifications. You can do yourself if you're half way skilled.

Last thought- get more quotes from other builders.

Maddie
 
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JC707

Well-known member
Sep 5, 2020
50
Bay Area, CA
Hmm now that I think about it...we are in a very expensive area maybe that is playing a huge part? Sorry very new to this.

I am definitely going to get more quotes, I just wish these pool builders would respond to me shoot lol. We are in no rush and actually want an early spring 2021 start so I can wait it out.

My neighbor across town paid $56k with a different builder and has all the features we want so I am really hoping we can strike the same deal as her. Fingers crossed. 🤞🤞🤞
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
14,453
Evans, Georgia
You're probably going to faint when I tell you that some builders already are booked into spring '21 in some areas of the country. I think Covid played a big part in making home owners want pools.

Maddie
 

Headbanger783

Member
Aug 16, 2020
12
Pa
I got a few quotes when doing our FG pool. They all started around the same, then came add-ons and what was actually included in the install and prices went all over the place. Except one who said this is my price and you can add on whatever you want and its all spelled out right here. He is who we signed the contract with, Middle of the road of the quotes but the most up front, responsive and honest. We are schedule tentatively for a June-ish 2021 install. One company said they were booked into May of 2022 as of 3 weeks ago. So I probably wouldn't plan on anything before a late summer 2021 at the earliest. Good Luck!
 
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Darth

Bronze Supporter
May 22, 2020
3
Ada, MI
We signed in July and got put on the schedule for next June. Our salesman was expecting to be sold out of 2021 builds by the end of July. So yeah, some areas are booking way ahead...
 

JC707

Well-known member
Sep 5, 2020
50
Bay Area, CA
Thanks everyone. Were your estimates showing price per item or was it a description of whats included followed by the total price?

I've seen estimates from others where each item is priced out but this first estimate I got yesterday was not like this. I'm not sure how the pool industry works but I would much rather see what they charge for each item. Is that OK to ask for?
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
6,314
Central California
"Starts at..." promos are only intended to get you to look, or in your case call. It's "bait," but not necessarily "switch." Have you ever seen one of those where you actually wanted what the "Starts at" amount buys you? So let go of that, it was likely never a real thing. Others have already mentioned the crunch the industry is in right now. Prices are bound to be higher, maybe for quite a while, maybe they'll never come back down.

You can certainly question the bid, ask for discounts, ask for an itemized quote. Doesn't mean you'll get any of that. And depending on how busy the guy is you ask, it might turn him off and he'll book the next person in line instead. If it's a seller's market, so to speak, in your area, you're going to be at their mercy. They might be in a position to be able to choose their customers, just as you are choosing your builder. They'll go with the least squeaky, and the one that's more willing to pay.

If you can get some other bids, you'll get a better sense of what to expect and what you can ask for.

The good news is, you found TFP well in advance of your build, and you'll get lots of help, and opinions, before, during and after your build.
 
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Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
4,443
NY
"Starts at..." promos are only intended to get you to look, or in your case call. It's "bait," but not necessarily "switch."
Agreed !! That brand new $50k car isn’t $389 a month either like the ad says.........unless you put down $12k for a 2 year lease.
 

spd500

Well-known member
Jul 20, 2020
315
Houston, TX
I started out with the basic package like you mentioned and added on each item that we wanted one at a time. By the time we got done adding the upgrades that we wanted we are up to about the same price as the other builders were bidding
 

JC707

Well-known member
Sep 5, 2020
50
Bay Area, CA
Thanks everyone. I am waiting on some more builders to get in touch with me and will report back.

On a side note, the first builder who gave the estimate yesterday says he can start in November. We'll see how this goes.
 

Desert Dog

Well-known member
Apr 4, 2020
215
Alpine, Ca
Pool builders make lots of $$$$ on upgrades. Sometimes the upgrades really don't cost much but they will get you. For example I did a raised bond beam 20' in length and only 18" tall with a sheer descent. I did the build without a pool company. The raised area cost me maybe $500 for the water feature, plumbing, valve, and extra stone material. I did not add rebar or shotcrete into that because both bids came in under the after completion. Plus it is not much more material. The only other cost would be the labor to install the stone on the beam, which wouldn't be much. A friend down the road got a quote and on the quote included add on upgrade items. One of the upgraded items listed was a raised bond beam the exact dimensions as mine with a sheer descent. It was listed at $5,000 extra.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
6,314
Central California
Pool builders make lots of $$$$ on upgrades. Sometimes the upgrades really don't cost much but they will get you. For example I did a raised bond beam 20' in length and only 18" tall with a sheer descent. I did the build without a pool company. The raised area cost me maybe $500 for the water feature, plumbing, valve, and extra stone material. I did not add rebar or shotcrete into that because both bids came in under the after completion. Plus it is not much more material. The only other cost would be the labor to install the stone on the beam, which wouldn't be much. A friend down the road got a quote and on the quote included add on upgrade items. One of the upgraded items listed was a raised bond beam the exact dimensions as mine with a sheer descent. It was listed at $5,000 extra.
Right, so a PB can be competitive on the initial bid, knowing (or gambling) he's going to make it up on the add ons, once the customer is signed and can't really go elsewhere. Another poster here was asking if it was normal to vet out all the details of their build first (they were picking tile) before getting the quote. This "add on" practice would certainly be a reason to.
 
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Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
4,443
NY
I had one builder flat out tell me he was cutting every corner he could to make the price so attractive that I used him. This was the large builder who worked on mass volume. I could hear him frantically hitting the calculator keys while doing so. I hung up without even saying goodbye. The guy we chose already had all the things we’d upgrade to as standard, like the 8 ft diving board instead of 6, or the thicker liner available in ‘premium’ patterns. VS pump ? Yup.... right there in the quote.... a 3 HP. It was so nice to not have any changes to mull over or worry about. We paid the premium upfront and it was delivered as promised.
 

JC707

Well-known member
Sep 5, 2020
50
Bay Area, CA
@Desert Dog

May I ask what a raised bond beam is? We want a 20' x 18" raised accent wall on one side of the pool no waterfall features or sheer design what have you call it lol.

He didn't itemize it so I can't see the additional costs but I can guess at least $5,000. Then I got to thinking if I can have someone come in after the fact to do a raised wall? Only thing is I need the tile to match the water line tile being installed.
 

Desert Dog

Well-known member
Apr 4, 2020
215
Alpine, Ca
The entire top of a cement pool is a bond beam. Your coping goes on that. Construction jargon. So a raised bond beam is the same as what you say is a raised accent wall. Just an extension of the pool wall going up higher than the water level. I would not add it after. Usually if you have a raised section it is because you have an elevation change or raised deck or some other reason other than a wall. It you build on top later, the seam would be prone to cracking.
 
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