Phoenix/Anthem meeting with pool builders but considering OB

Blkwrangler

Member
Jan 21, 2018
8
Anthem
Hi guy/gals!

I really appreciate all of the great advice I read so far here! We are meeting with pool builders getting quotes, but I also love the idea of an OB. I think I've read every recent OB thread on here but have a couple questions.

1) Can I expect a significantly longer build waiting for subs as we would be last on the list?

2) I've heard it can be difficult to get them back out if there is a problem noticed later, like plumbing.

3) Has anyone utilized Build Your Own Pool | How I Built My Own Swimming Pool | How To Build Your Own Swimming Pool recently and found it to be helpful/updated?

I'm sure I'll have many more.

We are planning a goemetric 32x17 3.5/5/7 with raised spa and back wall.

Oh! I'll try to be funny sometimes cause it seems like everyone else is, but the problem is I'm just not very funny.

You guys are the best!
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
37,536
Tallahassee, FL
HI!! If you have read some pool builds I bet you have seen my name and my mini me :kim: She is a LOT cuter than I am so don't worry about being funny. It happens or it does not...........just let it roll and we will all have a good laugh in the end!

So you are thinking of an owner build (OB). Ask your self these question:

-do you a job where you are out of the house 40 hours or more a week? Do you have the flexibility to be at the house when the subs are there?

-do you have the patience or temperament to handle all of the problems that come up? From subs not showing to mistakes being made.

As for the "warranty" on work done by subs..........I think you will have a very hard time getting them back out once you have paid them. That is why you will kind of need to know what to look for BEFORE you pay them. We can help with that a little bit.

Getting subs to work on your build instead of their main money payer can be a problem. It really depends on where you are and the depth of the labor pool there.

How to build your own pool web site-I have looked at it a couple of times. The thing that stands out to me is the date on the home page-2008 and the last post was in 2009 in the home page. It does not look like it is very active. It does look like it has a good general do this then do that so it might be worth reading to give a basic guide.

When will the PB be out to give you quotes? Make sure they know you are talking to more than just them. Play them against each other. It works for me all of the time here on jobs!

Kim:kim:
 

BigBoy

Member
Feb 26, 2018
8
Aliso Viejo, California
My pool is underway now as OB, I am a civil engineer with 20 years in heavy civil infrastructure project management, so I have some background in construction. I don't know the markups in AZ, but I am going to save approx. $30-$35K on my build which equates to at least a 75% saving. Granted warranty issues may arise, but how successful are people getting pool companies to come to the table in the event of problems after the fact?
 

Blkwrangler

Member
Jan 21, 2018
8
Anthem
HI!! If you have read some pool builds I bet you have seen my name and my mini me :kim: She is a LOT cuter than I am so don't worry about being funny. It happens or it does not...........just let it roll and we will all have a good laugh in the end!

So you are thinking of an owner build (OB). Ask your self these question:

-do you a job where you are out of the house 40 hours or more a week? Do you have the flexibility to be at the house when the subs are there?

-do you have the patience or temperament to handle all of the problems that come up? From subs not showing to mistakes being made.

As for the "warranty" on work done by subs..........I think you will have a very hard time getting them back out once you have paid them. That is why you will kind of need to know what to look for BEFORE you pay them. We can help with that a little bit.

Getting subs to work on your build instead of their main money payer can be a problem. It really depends on where you are and the depth of the labor pool there.

How to build your own pool web site-I have looked at it a couple of times. The thing that stands out to me is the date on the home page-2008 and the last post was in 2009 in the home page. It does not look like it is very active. It does look like it has a good general do this then do that so it might be worth reading to give a basic guide.

When will the PB be out to give you quotes? Make sure they know you are talking to more than just them. Play them against each other. It works for me all of the time here on jobs!

Kim:kim:
Thanks, Kim! We have met with 2 builders so far but haven't received quotes yet. We plan on meeting with at least two more. I'll make sure they all now they are competing.

I am home for long stretches and then gone sometimes too. My wife works at home and between the two of us I think we could handle it.

I think I'm a patient man, but my wife might disagree. Seems to be something I'm losing with age. I thought it was supposed to be the other way around?

I guess we'll see where the quotes come in and decide if we can live with it.

- - - Updated - - -

My pool is underway now as OB, I am a civil engineer with 20 years in heavy civil infrastructure project management, so I have some background in construction. I don't know the markups in AZ, but I am going to save approx. $30-$35K on my build which equates to at least a 75% saving. Granted warranty issues may arise, but how successful are people getting pool companies to come to the table in the event of problems after the fact?
Wow! That is some serious savings! Are you General Contracting or ACTUALLY BUILDING?

Either way, nice work!
 

justinS

Bronze Supporter
Jan 25, 2018
147
tucson/az
Hello,
I am doing an OB in Tucson.
It appears that subs are limited or busy. I assume it is busy, since it is pool building season.
I used/use the "how I built my own swimming pool" as a guide. Like kimkats stated, if I could have seen recent year posts, I would have easily dropped down the $100. I couldnt even find a working phone number or email, to inquire. His time line and steps for getting the job done has been how I have been doing, digging, plumbing, rebar, electric, ..etc
this may or may not seem right, but I have been paying attention to new homes having pools being built. what I have been doing is when the home is under contract, the pool builders like to put their sign out front. I will go to the home and explain to the home owner that I am going to do an OB build and if they would mind me stopping by and talking to the different contractors.
When I see a new one, I wait till one of them are not busying and ask if they work for the pool company or if they are contractors, if they are contractors, I ask if they would want to give me their information.
I will tell you I am a little nervous doing this, since I am not the most open person talking to strangers.
I have also asked each contractor if they have any contractors they would prefer to use.
This helped me with the plumber.
I am also trying to do as much as the work as I can, for example the electric, I can dig the trench, conduit, pull wire, but when it come to actual hooking up the wires, and the best way to set up the pool equipment electrical, I will hire an electrician.
Back to the availability, I have gotten quotes from Phoenix contractors, and today is the deadline (self imposed) on waiting for local (Tucson) contractors to respond. I do have to pay a "travel fee" but at least I am getting work done.
I too worry about the warranty, which is why I may go with the companies, instead of contractor X doing the side job on the weekend.

Hi guy/gals!

I really appreciate all of the great advice I read so far here! We are meeting with pool builders getting quotes, but I also love the idea of an OB. I think I've read every recent OB thread on here but have a couple questions.

1) Can I expect a significantly longer build waiting for subs as we would be last on the list?

2) I've heard it can be difficult to get them back out if there is a problem noticed later, like plumbing.

3) Has anyone utilized Build Your Own Pool | How I Built My Own Swimming Pool | How To Build Your Own Swimming Pool recently and found it to be helpful/updated?

I'm sure I'll have many more.

We are planning a goemetric 32x17 3.5/5/7 with raised spa and back wall.

Oh! I'll try to be funny sometimes cause it seems like everyone else is, but the problem is I'm just not very funny.

You guys are the best!
 

Blkwrangler

Member
Jan 21, 2018
8
Anthem
Hello,
I am doing an OB in Tucson.
It appears that subs are limited or busy. I assume it is busy, since it is pool building season.
I used/use the "how I built my own swimming pool" as a guide. Like kimkats stated, if I could have seen recent year posts, I would have easily dropped down the $100. I couldnt even find a working phone number or email, to inquire. His time line and steps for getting the job done has been how I have been doing, digging, plumbing, rebar, electric, ..etc
this may or may not seem right, but I have been paying attention to new homes having pools being built. what I have been doing is when the home is under contract, the pool builders like to put their sign out front. I will go to the home and explain to the home owner that I am going to do an OB build and if they would mind me stopping by and talking to the different contractors.
When I see a new one, I wait till one of them are not busying and ask if they work for the pool company or if they are contractors, if they are contractors, I ask if they would want to give me their information.
I will tell you I am a little nervous doing this, since I am not the most open person talking to strangers.
I have also asked each contractor if they have any contractors they would prefer to use.
This helped me with the plumber.
I am also trying to do as much as the work as I can, for example the electric, I can dig the trench, conduit, pull wire, but when it come to actual hooking up the wires, and the best way to set up the pool equipment electrical, I will hire an electrician.
Back to the availability, I have gotten quotes from Phoenix contractors, and today is the deadline (self imposed) on waiting for local (Tucson) contractors to respond. I do have to pay a "travel fee" but at least I am getting work done.
I too worry about the warranty, which is why I may go with the companies, instead of contractor X doing the side job on the weekend.
Thanks, Justin!

I met with the largest Az pool builder and they said they were very busy. So, I'm guessing subs are going to be hard to come by for awhile.

I've read the whole howibiultmyownpool website without paying and does seem like a ton of good info on the process. But, I don't think I'm going to drop the $100 if the permitting/subs list isn't updated.
 

murraymartini

Member
May 26, 2017
8
Ocoee, FL
I am doing an OB build here in Florida and I was having a hard time finding subs when I first started back in October of last year. I had a hard time finding a plumber that's reasonable and I was told that they're so busy working for the pool companies, they don't have time to do OB jobs.

I ended up having to do my own plumbing and electrical among many other misc tasks, it took me many weekends to get it done. I'm almost ready for plaster now so I can see the light. Although it was hard work, but now I know how everything works and I know how to repair everything myself if need be so warranty isn't a problem.

I have gone through the website you mentioned and it has a lot of good info, but it is kind of dated.

You will save money doing it yourself and you'll learn a lot, the question is, are you willing to deal with problems and do you have the time to deal with them?

Hi guy/gals!

I really appreciate all of the great advice I read so far here! We are meeting with pool builders getting quotes, but I also love the idea of an OB. I think I've read every recent OB thread on here but have a couple questions.

1) Can I expect a significantly longer build waiting for subs as we would be last on the list?

2) I've heard it can be difficult to get them back out if there is a problem noticed later, like plumbing.

3) Has anyone utilized Build Your Own Pool | How I Built My Own Swimming Pool | How To Build Your Own Swimming Pool recently and found it to be helpful/updated?

I'm sure I'll have many more.

We are planning a goemetric 32x17 3.5/5/7 with raised spa and back wall.

Oh! I'll try to be funny sometimes cause it seems like everyone else is, but the problem is I'm just not very funny.

You guys are the best!
 

RC121

Bronze Supporter
Jul 9, 2011
54
Scottsdale, AZ
I've been looking at remodeling my pool here in AZ, so a little different than starting from scratch. But I had two smaller companies that are used as subs from the big boys tell me the opposite of what is being said above about being too busy. Whether they were blowing smoke up my rear or not, they said my job (and the other jobs they do on their own) are the priority since they are getting paid directly and cut out the middle man (big pool builder).
 

daefash

Well-known member
Jun 18, 2017
53
Phoenix
I just finished OB here in Phoenix and i can tell you i will never do it again.
It took a very long time and when you have issues with subs (and you will have) you have no way of fixing them without paying extra. Per example my excavator forgot to dig for my lights and rebar came and did rebar. Electric came to work and they couldn’t do work cause there was no space light. Although excavator came back to dig for light but i had to pay rebar and electric for trip charge. If it was a pool company it would back charge excavator for it. There is lot to tell about this experience so if you have specific question PM me
 

tnhell

Active member
Aug 12, 2017
43
Peoria, AZ
We just finished our owner build in December. The process went pretty smooth for us. Most of our sub contractors were out immediately and it was more a matter of scheduling what worked best for my schedule. Now if you are starting a spring build timing will probably be a pain because everyone wants to start their pool in the spring here in AZ. We got quotes from many different builders but ultimately I had designed the pool myself so in the end we figured we might as well save on the cut they take to design and manage the project. We didn’t use a company but I did do a ton, let me repeat, A TON of research before we began. I also was fortunate enough to find some helpful people along the way who answered questions for me and helped me understand the process better. All the subs we used were licensed and bonded which means they stand by their work for at least two years. Most pool companies don’t do much more then that anyway when it comes to a so called warranty. Everyone of our subs was a main sub for one of the largest pool companies in the area anyway. I was happy to know each one worked with builders in the area that I consider to be very reputable. We did save quite a bit of money on our build and it turned out exactly the way we wanted it too. Our pool design is very simple so it was really just a matter of getting the subs out in the correct order and making sure they were trustworthy. If you do decide to take on an owner build I would just suggest that you are fully committed to the job. It takes time and can be stressful but it’s rewarding in the end. You can’t really go wrong hiring a pool company either. They take care of everything and it keeps the worry off your shoulders. Our first pool we went with a local builder and had tons of issues so This time around We figured we would take the project on ourselves. Good luck whichever you choose. I know I can’t wait to spend our first summer in the pool instead of staring at dirt and longing for a cool down!
 

Blkwrangler

Member
Jan 21, 2018
8
Anthem
Thanks guys! We got our first quote and it was quite a bit over budget. Going to continue to meet with builders and get quotes, but I'm leaning towards o/b. I'll keep you posted!
 

daefash

Well-known member
Jun 18, 2017
53
Phoenix
Thanks guys! We got our first quote and it was quite a bit over budget. Going to continue to meet with builders and get quotes, but I'm leaning towards o/b. I'll keep you posted!
That is what happened to me, i got quotes from multiple builders and it was too high. I decided on OB and realized after the fact i didn’t save much money on the pool. Now on the landscape and hardscape part i saved a lot. If i was doing it again i would ask a pool builder to do the pool part only and then i would get landscaping and hardscape part done separate. I found some pool builders that actually quote me almost as what it cost me after the fact. If you want names PM me
 

Blkwrangler

Member
Jan 21, 2018
8
Anthem
Update.

Sorry for the long absence and lack of progress along the way. We decided to go with a builder and this is the end result. We did a 31'x16' pool 3'-6' depth with a large baja shelf and table with a 7.5'x7.5' raised sit-and-spin spa with 2 level seating. We went with in-floor cleaning and in-line chlorination. All Pentair equipment with Intelitouch Screen Logic. Variable pump, booster pump, air pump for spa, 400k btu heater.

We are happy with the builder, but do feel that we paid for the service. Meaning, I think we could've saved up to 20% if we did an Owner Build/GC. Hard to say for sure as everyone (various contractors) we talked to along the way said they were very busy here in Phoenix. We did elect to use a different company for decking and landscape and we were familiar with their work as they had done a couple of backyards for friends. That did save us some money compared to having the pool company do it.

MVIMG_20181107_111007.jpgIMG_20181107_111056.jpg

I'm very thankful for all of the information and advise on this amazing site. I would be happy to answer any questions about our process.
 

Blkwrangler

Member
Jan 21, 2018
8
Anthem
Thanks, Kim! Pool company just tested it and everything was good I guess? They left the results but I haven't seen them yet. I will check it again in two days and see where I'm at. I need to get a good kit. I planned on taking samples to the pool store for now.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
37,536
Tallahassee, FL
It is best you go ahead and get your kit now. With you plaster being so new you might need to adjust the pH and TA more often than the PB comes out. As for the pool store testing..........we have they get it wrong more than they get it right :( They are in the business to sell stuff so........

Here is a link to help you see what is what with the test kits: Pool School - Test Kits Compared

Kim:kim:
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
37,536
Tallahassee, FL
I went back to the beginning of this thread and saw I had not shared my set of links for new pool owners. You are going to love all of that info. It really helps you have a Trouble Free Pool hehe

Print these out:
Pool School - Basic Pool Care Schedule

Pool School - Recommended Levels

Bookmark these:
Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals

Pool Math

Pool School - ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

Make sure to ask any and all questions you might have no matter how small! We have all been where you are at one point.

Kim:kim:
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
37,536
Tallahassee, FL
Great test kit you picked there! I can't wait to see what your results are with this kit.

Just keep a close eye on the pH as new plaster LOVES to push that up.

Kim:kim:
 

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