Pebble Sheen purchased, Stonescapes delivered

DuPoolTime

Member
Jul 20, 2021
20
Southern California
This morning, after many delays, our pebble was supposed to be installed. A year ago when we signed our contract our builder told us he only used Pebble Sheen because of the certified applicators and warranty. After carefully looking over the samples for a couple weeks we choose Blue Granite and have never regretted our decision.

Unfortunately, today when the applicator's truck pulled up I asked him what color he was installing just to be 100% sure we were getting what we ordered. He told me Tahoe Blue. When I told him that was incorrect, he said it was Stone Scapes and it's the same thing and that he wasn't certified for Pebble Technologies / Sheen . Because this was a huge surprise, we reluctantly sent them away.

Our PB is now obviously trying to tell us it's the same, and by most measures it's similar, but the colors don't seem exactly the same, the applicators are not certified, and most of all it appears in most cases Stonescapes is cheaper in price, meaning our PB was planning on saving money without telling us he switched products.

We've rolled with the punches during the Covid build, even down to being okay when the wrong brand equipment showed up (Jandy, not Pentair per contract), but we're done with unknowingly compromising.

Just so we are informed as possible, can anyone let us know how truly "exactly the same" these two products and colors are. Pebble Sheen Vs. Stonescapes / Blue Granite vs Tahoe Blue.

Thanks very much!
 

Oswald

Well-known member
Jul 23, 2021
94
Leander, TX
Pool Size
18156
Surface
Plaster
That's 2 major red flags, IMO. You say that first a completely different brand of equipment was delivered (Jandy) and now a completely different brand of plaster? Neither of which were communicated to you ahead of time? That's a huge no-no to me. I know times are tough and the builder has to get what he can get, but he needs to talk to you FIRST.

I can't tell you the difference between the products, but I would need major concessions from the pool builder at this point.
 

Kathleen2252

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2021
146
Los Angeles
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
Insist on the pebblesheen
That's what we had installed in May.
You're paying a higher price to get that warranty and backup from Pebbletec Co.
Your pb knew all along he wasnt going to install pebblesheen because he's probably not a certified installer
I am in Los Angeles and there was no problem getting pebblesheen at all.
Our builder told us its ordered directly from Pebbletec a few weeks b/4 the install and there is no delay with them.
What you have to worry about here is whether your pb will be around years from now to honor a warranty and for how long.
I wouldn't chance it personally after seeing the process as ours isn't perfect but I wanted that warranty from the manufacturer. Stonescapes does not offer that.
Just my .02 after seeing the install.
It's VERY critical that the installer is skilled. Your final outcome and quality of the work is dependent on that.
Also the quality of the rock could be an issue I've been told.
That's too bad.
I'm sure you are disappointed but you did the right thing I think until you can get it sorted out.
We used pebblesheen prism blue.
No install is perfect . Our spa needs follow up work so I'm glad I have that mfg. warranty. ( just in case) the p/b flakes.
A lot can go wrong with the install.
 

DuPoolTime

Member
Jul 20, 2021
20
Southern California
Thank you both. We have been exceedingly patient and understanding due to Covid issues, but things have gone far beyond that and it's become obvious it's a communication and integrity issue. Every step of the way there has been miscommunication that results in delays or not what we had specified.

On top of all of this, we also got an intent to lein letter from the shotcrete company, months after we got their 30 preliminary notice letter which the PB promised he'd pay months ago. While he did immediately drive out and pay the bill, it was only after we sharply confronted him over 100 days after the work was done. After speaking with the Shotcrete company it sounds like they were using our money and therefore our home as a bargaining chip for better deals with future jobs by holding off on our payment. After multiple requests last week I received the release form. We still have one other 30 day notice that they need to pay and which they are now several days late in paying to the subcontractor.

These are tough times, but most of the problems we've had with them have nothing to do with covid issue. It's been purely about honest, clear communication. What's sad is that they're a long standing family owned company which is why we went with them, but things are doing downhill.

Kathleen, we're also in LA and may need to PM you for a recommendation to your builder if you are comfortable with that.
 

Kathleen2252

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2021
146
Los Angeles
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
You certainly can email me privately.
I feel badly for you as it's very disappointing but undoubtedly will get resolved.
Make sure they give you a huge discount if you decide to use the stonescapes.
I personally would want to SEE that Tahoe Blue first.
 

Kathleen2252

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2021
146
Los Angeles
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
Also, I feel uneasy for you that your p/b will be around down the road based on their financial situation.
 

setsailsoon

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015
4,226
Palm City/FL
Pool Size
12800
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-30 Plus
What does your contract say about substitutions?
 

Kathleen2252

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2021
146
Los Angeles
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
Good point setsailsoon made.
But they already told you they weren't certified for Pebblesheen.
So does the contract specifically state Pebblesheen?
That was never going to happen.
 

DuPoolTime

Member
Jul 20, 2021
20
Southern California
@Kathleen2252 Yep, the contract literally says Pebble Sheen. It was the samples they gave us to consider and there has been no mention of any other option or contingency. The PB is actually not the one applying the pebble surface, it was a subcontractor who showed up at my home who told me if we wanted pebble sheen he was not certified for that brand. No fault of this applicator, it's the PB for scheduling and ordering from the wrong company. After texting with the PB today they said they use two Stonescapes sub contractors and one Pebble Sheen sub and blamed it on the same person in the office they always blame things on.

Unfortunately the PB stood in front of me a couple weeks ago and called the applicator to get a quote on abalone so he knew exactly which subcontractor he had scheduled to come to my home that that this person did not apply Pebble Sheen. The entire build has been like this and it's so exhausting. We are so close -- of course they still have to reposition the two pumps that they installed under a table in a way that makes them completely inaccessible to service weekly... or ever.

We hope this will be rectified, but it's a sad thing to have to stay on a builder this much to make sure they are delivering on what they promised.

Upon a sudden rush of research, it does seem that Stonescapes is priced cheaper, but on balance does anyone know generally how much so? 10% ? 40% ?

@setsailsoon I just looked at the contract, and there are no mention of substitutions.
 
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Kathleen2252

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2021
146
Los Angeles
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
Oh I see.
Our pb does not contract out the plaster.
Our contract spelled out the warranty as well.
Can they get the sub with the pebblesheen?
The bid we got from another builder was $3000 less for stonescapes for our pool.
( about 30% ).
Tahoe blue doesnt look like blue granite to me, but perhaps you can find a sample if you decide to use it.?
 

DuPoolTime

Member
Jul 20, 2021
20
Southern California
@Kathleen2252 You are amazing! This information is truly helpful. This morning was a pretty big low point for us during this build. We realized yesterday we first spoke to the PB a year ago. The build is now is in month six and could have been so much shorter if not for all the mis communication... even with Covid delays and issues. Now it will surely be longer just when we are so close.

The pool builder wrote to us that he will try to rectify this and get the right applicator contractor for Pebble Sheen. Obviously we may be weeks away now because they'll have to reschedule. I will surely bring up the cheaper quote... the difference you quote here is quite a lot and disturbing that they didn't let us know about the change.
 

Desert Dog

Silver Supporter
Apr 4, 2020
343
Alpine, Ca
Not much to add. Just wanted to say Tahoe Blue and Blue Granite do not look the same. Same family of color maybe but different. I think either color would look great but would not want pay for one and get the other. Very upsetting. I wanted Blue Granite but went with Stone Scapes as it was cheaper. Had them modify the mix a bit to look closer to Blue Granite.
 

DuPoolTime

Member
Jul 20, 2021
20
Southern California
Not much to add. Just wanted to say Tahoe Blue and Blue Granite do not look the same. Same family of color maybe but different. I think either color would look great but would not want pay for one and get the other. Very upsetting. I wanted Blue Granite but went with Stone Scapes as it was cheaper. Had them modify the mix a bit to look closer to Blue Granite.
@Desert Dog I agree. After having to do a lot of unplanned research today, that's what my wife and I found: Pebble Sheen and Stonescapes are close-ish in color selection but not the same. After a year of planning on Blue Granite Pebble Sheen, down to our selection of tile to work with it, the sudden unannounced switch was jarring and we're glad we told them no. Not to mention what seems like a fairly substantial price difference between the two products which we're worried we'd have been charged the same under the belief we were paying for the more expensive product.

We would have considered Stonescapes if they'd just have given us a heads up because we'd have loved to save the extra money, but we had no time to choose and we had no idea what the applicator was talking about when he said he was going to put in Tahoe Blue Stonescapes, he may as well have been speaking Greek. We feel bad for the applicators who we had to send away. They were just there to do a job and we hope they got paid for their time, but ultimately this was the PB's fault.

PB seems to be trying to rectify the situation. We should know soon when the Pebble Sheen certified installers will be available. Whenever it will be, it's another delay based solely off sloppy communication and questionable ethics.
 

Kathleen2252

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2021
146
Los Angeles
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
Blue granite is a beautiful choice.
It seems to me that t he pebblesheen has more color variation in the pebbles than stonescapes does.
But it is so disappointing to have to wait.
I can understand your frustration. You're much more tactful than I probably would have been.
At any rate, make sure you are first in the a.m. the day they do it.
You dont want the tired afternoon crew that wants to get it done and go home.
That's the least they can do for you.
Keep us posted.
🙂
 

Kathleen2252

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2021
146
Los Angeles
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
To be fair, there was a $1000 up charge by our builder for prism blue .
I tried to negotiate but he wouldn't budge.
Some builders are fond of charging extra for certain colors.
Those were black, ocean
blue, and prism blue.
But I know not all pb do this.
 

DuPoolTime

Member
Jul 20, 2021
20
Southern California
@Kathleen2252 Thanks for the AM/PM tip. Our house can get very hot in the PM so they definitely don't want to be in the big concrete hole at that time. This thread has been so helpful and has made us confident that we made the right decision to wait for what we want (and what we ordered in the first place almost a year ago).
 

Kathleen2252

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2021
146
Los Angeles
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
Have them throw in a decorative mosaic for your steps or something free of charge. ( We paid $225.00 for two crabs.)
It will cheer you up! 😉
 

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