New pool construction - From exciting to stressful

klanel

Well-known member
Jul 11, 2021
212
Athens, GA
I see many post here that are very excited about their new pools so I'm guessing for those of you that things are meeting expectations. When I decided to build a pool, I met with one builder, looked at two of his builds, got a price, signed a contract and looked no further.

During the sales portion, he was very patient, seemed to answer all my questions and I had a good feeling about him. I was excited when he said he could start in March and my little girl was going to have most of the summer to use it. My excitement started dwindling as I began to realize more and more that he was not going to do as he said.

I have now given up on any expectations that the pool will be finished in time to use it this year. I no longer trust anything he tells me. His communication is poor and the only times he's been here have been for dig day or to collect money. His is prompt and communicates well when it's payday!

I am now approaching 5 months after when the pool was supposed to be started and what I have to show for it is a plumbed and steel shell with tile at the water line. It should have been finished a month and half ago.

So for those of you who are excited, what's your experience been like? FYI, I'm near Athens, GA
 
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joel98z

Bronze Supporter
Jun 14, 2021
76
Wylie, TX
Pool Size
24000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
Sorry to hear your troubles.. I am just starting out and we are signing a contract this weekend.. My PB said the will probably not start digging until December, and then 12-16 weeks from dig to completion.. While we did not like that timeline I think is pretty realistic for our area.. When we got our quotes we spoke with 4 different builders in our area.. They Smaller guys all said they could have it done by January - February which I do not think is realistic based everything I have been following in this forum about active pool construction in our area.
 

NewPoolSF

Member
Jun 24, 2021
15
SF Bay Area
I share your misery. I was actually depressed when I kept reading posts from so many as they were moving along steadily and opening up new pools. I keep reminding myself that the whole building industry and particularly the pool industry is undergoing incredible stress. i actually feel sorry for my PB..he is a nice guy, been in business for a long time, built pools in our neighborhood and everyone, including me, want to scream at him. i had to look at a gunite hole in ground for five weeks. Finally got equipment yesterday...plaster maybe next week but out of stock on what we ordered..not sure what our choices will end up being. Cover is apparently a nightmare of back orders...we signed contract last October, permit finally issued in Feb...pool opening date unknown. My excitement about this project is over..i keep telling myself next year, it will all be forgotten as we enjoy the pool.
 

klanel

Well-known member
Jul 11, 2021
212
Athens, GA
It made me feel better when a local person who used a different builder said his had been under construction for 6 months and had just gotten coping. I wasn't happy he was having issues but it did make me feel like I wasn't the only one who was having problems. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be many reviews on pool builders, Mine has his own 'reviews' on his website which are all 5 star. I document most everything in the event that I decide to give a detailed review.

I too often expect people to do what they say they'll do. First delay was getting an estimate for the pool. I too was told 12 weeks to completion but that sometimes it could be quicker. What's amazing is how much gets done when they show up to work then they leave and it sits for another month, etc. I knew beforehand when they were coming to dig. I was surprised by the plumbing and steel people early one morning. I knew in advance when the concrete would be shot. I was surprised again when they showed up to tile around the waterline then surprised again one evening when someone came to ground the perimeter. Communication is at a minimum. Been waiting to meet with 'the concrete man' for over a month. Was supposed to come early July but didn't hear back. Then this week and now told maybe next week. I have a problem that needs correcting before the coping can be done and at the moment, everything is at a standstill.

I too liked my builder. He's getting old and not in the best of health. Probably overloaded with work. But I want to know what to expect and don't want to have to be the one to prod them constantly for updates, etc. I doubt that all his customers have the same bad experience as I did. He took us to two of his pools and said that any of his customers would be happy to show their pools. I'd be willing to bet that he would never ask me to bring someone over and see ours after all the difficulties we've had with him.
 

NewPoolSF

Member
Jun 24, 2021
15
SF Bay Area
Agree re frustrations on communication. If I controlled the world of pool building, I would hire someone to email customers at least weekly to give updates, projections on next activity, problems etc. My PB generally responds a few days later to emails and I try not to bug him constantly as I know some clients are doing. My PB is also older and I have nightmares that he has had a stroke or something that makes him unreachable. Actually read a thread about what to do if your PB disappears and how to get a half finished pool completed. I have a neighbor who is also building with another PB..she just finished but started about four or five months earlier and her delays were also a nightmare.

My sadness is also that this is a summer that the kids are basically home, no long vacations or long summer camps as we work our way out of pandemic. School starts mid-August so even if pool finishes by August (which is sketchy) we won’t get much time before they are back in school, busy with homework etc. I thought by starting the process of getting bids, signing contracts etc at the end of last summer, we would be ahead. Sorry for all the whining here, but it is good to know others are experiencing similar troubles in this crazy pool building year. Everyone tells me it is not normally this bad and 3 months from start of dig to opening pool is normal. Not this year, I guess, for some of us.
 

Wolfepack88

Gold Supporter
Jun 21, 2020
240
NJ
Pool Size
17690
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
Agree re frustrations on communication. If I controlled the world of pool building, I would hire someone to email customers at least weekly to give updates, projections on next activity, problems etc. My PB generally responds a few days later to emails and I try not to bug him constantly as I know some clients are doing. My PB is also older and I have nightmares that he has had a stroke or something that makes him unreachable. Actually read a thread about what to do if your PB disappears and how to get a half finished pool completed. I have a neighbor who is also building with another PB..she just finished but started about four or five months earlier and her delays were also a nightmare.

My sadness is also that this is a summer that the kids are basically home, no long vacations or long summer camps as we work our way out of pandemic. School starts mid-August so even if pool finishes by August (which is sketchy) we won’t get much time before they are back in school, busy with homework etc. I thought by starting the process of getting bids, signing contracts etc at the end of last summer, we would be ahead. Sorry for all the whining here, but it is good to know others are experiencing similar troubles in this crazy pool building year. Everyone tells me it is not normally this bad and 3 months from start of dig to opening pool is normal. Not this year, I guess, for some of us.
I hear ya on that. We did the same, and Nov start became early spring, then resin shortage, etc. We had fiberglass shell delivered two weeks ago and it sits with no water other than a foot in it and no PB. Finishing delayed projects prior to us we were #3 that moved to #5 as Leisure Pools was delayed for a bit. So hopefully they are here for duration next week. but of course the prior two weeks was solid weather, although hot. Same deal, vacation planned for late August that was moved from mid June so we could be home for dig, delivery, etc. Now late August will inevitably be when electrician or someone wants to be in house. Murphy's law will apply no doubt. Yes agree the whole industry as well as others is working out of supply chain disaster. My pb told me they are actually concerned about obtaining PVC in 22, expect major shortage. I agree a once a week email saying we are coming or not this week so we don't sit home doing nothing or at least I like to plan to stock up cooler with drinks, get ice, etc. I actually told my daughter next week I want her to go out in swimsuit with the proverbial pink swan around her waist with folded arms with brow beating look to boot. Maybe that will get them moving. Like you I almost have succumbed to zero swimming in 21 which blows!
 
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Bill1974

Well-known member
Jun 18, 2014
106
Hauppauge, NY
Pool Size
32000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
The past year has thrown many PBs off that don't plan well and worked with the mentality that there is never going to be a supply of raw material issue. From what I read on here and what I experienced in my full time work (not pool related but in manufacturing) supply of lots of items not what everyone was accustomed to. For those who are in the process or planning on building a pool is to way ahead on all the materials that are needed. If possible get the material in your possession and paid for sooner than later. Go look through your local HD and Lowes and seen what is short supply. Supply chain is a giant monster that was carefully balanced to be efficient and set up to supply just in time for the demand that was pretty easy to predict before Covid. Now it's a a giant mess, with shortages and lead times for all over the place because the balance that was once there is pretty much gone. Pavers, some colors are available, some are not because the die is not available. Some are not available because manufacturers do not have the capacity to make everything, because they either don't have the equipment or people to run it. Lots of lower income people are/were making more unemployed than they did working. I was surprised myself when I stopped as a rest stop in Maryland on the way to Virginia in June this year and everything was closed at 9:00 pm because all the fast food places did not have people to work because they were making more on unemployment.

I had a new liner put my pool this year and redoing all the pavers, retaining walls, plumbing and electrical. I have had a number of contractors want to start the job asap, without having the materials available (I have checked with a number of the suppliers and all said they don't have it and it's a month or more out till who knows when). In anticipation of replacing the liner, I replaced the skimmers and some of the lines and the light niche. I have told the contactor doing all the pavers and retaining walls to have all the pavers and wall block on site before starting the demo of what's there already. And have set a time later this year to do all the work. I have also told them I will pay for the materials when the arrive. I have also got all the materials I need to finish replacing all the pool line, electrical conduit and fittings.

Since there are so many things that go into building a pool all it can take is one small item to make things come to a halt. Have a discussion with your builders to see if they are on top of things or playing wack a mole. Since most pool builds are scheduled to start months off from when the contracts are signed, most supply issues can be averted. Ask your building what are the items that can hold things up and get they long before they are needed.
 
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Bananahead

New member
Jul 16, 2021
3
Canton, GA
Ouch, that hurts to hear. I'm east of you in Canton, and my local Pool store (Premier Pools) who installed a lot of our newer equipment (for the previous owners) told me he's booked up on new builds for close to a year. The past year has been really bizarre for a lot of things, and that includes all the trades. I hope things start to come together for you.
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
11,232
NY
he is a nice guy, been in business for a long time, built pools in our neighborhood and everyone, including me, want to scream at him
Exactly this. At signing, my PB told us that his concrete company kept blowing him off because doing house foundation jobs was more profitable (more material) for them with their short supplies So his builds kept waiting. From my side of the desk it was as reasonable as could be that he was behind at that moment.

I’m sure it was a whole different discussion with all the folks getting pushed back after already waiting their turns.
 

Sean ATX

Bronze Supporter
Nov 30, 2020
30
Austin, TX
Sorry this is happening to you and others especially given the enormous cost of having a pool installed. Someone in my neighborhood has a pool build that started back in January and I asked him how things were going with it two weeks ago. He wasn't happy. I had forgotten it was the July 4th weekend.
 

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klanel

Well-known member
Jul 11, 2021
212
Athens, GA
My PB is also older and I have nightmares that he has had a stroke or something that makes him unreachable.
I got a chuckle about that because when I thought I had found this outstanding builder I wanted to make sure we could get it done in case he had another health issue or worse. So it looks like I'm not the only one thinking along those lines.

As far as supply chain, I would say in my case the only supply chain shortage is the supply of available skilled workers although I heard that they to cancel a job because the concrete company cancelled out on them at the last minute. I have no proof but believe that it's part the squeaky wheel gets the oil. How could it be that in Feb when I called he said he could start Mar 1 and that it was over 3 months later before they got started? I also think (without proof) that he caters to those who are more likely to get him other business from friends and neighbors. Add to that he's old and they the demand for pools, etc.
 

renesme

Gold Supporter
Jul 5, 2018
95
Katy, TX
Pool Size
9100
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I feel your pain. I signed the contract in March (maybe it was April...been so long I don't remember :pth:). Still on the waitlist to get the hole dug, at #5 currently. Between everyone-building-a-pool-because-of-covid, Snowmageddon destroying many Texas equipment pads, general supply chain storages, and the rainy weather Houston has had this year, you just have to laugh about it to keep your sanity. At this point I'll be ecstatic if we have a pool by Christmas.
 

Wolfepack88

Gold Supporter
Jun 21, 2020
240
NJ
Pool Size
17690
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
I feel your pain. I signed the contract in March (maybe it was April...been so long I don't remember :pth:). Still on the waitlist to get the hole dug, at #5 currently. Between everyone-building-a-pool-because-of-covid, Snowmageddon destroying many Texas equipment pads, general supply chain storages, and the rainy weather Houston has had this year, you just have to laugh about it to keep your sanity. At this point I'll be ecstatic if we have a pool by Christmas.
Or you have to activate Treadstone!
 

B_A_T

Active member
Jun 25, 2019
35
Las Vegas, NV
And here all along I thought it was just me! Signed in early March and they finally dug the hole on June 3rd. They partially blamed a lost permit and promised we would be the next dig (this was early May). I was also told that we would be sooner than later on the dig because they can fit a full size excavator in my yard, otherwise it would be 6 months! Then it wasnt then wasn't unitl 6/24 that the plumbers showed up (no notice of course), and I am still contending with 3' trenches surrounding my patio and garage service entrance that I cannot get in my back yard except a very small portion by the patio door without having to jump over a trench (I'm not that young anymore!). The electricians finally showed up this week and who knows where we stand or what is next. Despite my numerous requests of "just let me know what is going on", just send me a text or something, NADA! I am a construction manager for a living, when I told him this was unacceptable I was told I don't understand construction!!!

So this morning I am looking at my trenches and the big hole in the ground and something doesn't seem right. I am installing an outdoor kitchen on the one side which also happens to be the side with the least amount tor room to work with. I already had to have the width of the kitchen reduced due to pool location and today I realized that it is 2' larger than the plan and it encroaches on the kitchen. So then I pull out my drawings and see that the pool is supposed to be 5' from the columns of my patio cover, having looked at it several times I know Dang well it's not 5', I measure and it 34"; and guess what, the opposite side is 2' further from the back wall than it's supposed to be.

Most of you are probably say so what?!? We just moved into a 2-year-old home in the southwest and the lot sizes here are not all that big (my old house was on 3/4 acre), so I really don't have much room to play with.

Bottom line is that I emphasize with all of you and I just need to give up on any kind of expectations from any PB.
 
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