Home construction is completely different. When you build a home you have to prove to a bank and the builder that you are credit-worthy and able to get a mortgage for the amount of the home. There's far greater financial assurances in a home build than in a pool build. Perhaps if all PB's asked for credit/financial checks up from as well as escrow accounts, then they might be willing to do their work with payments structured at the time of completion of each phase. As far as I know from friends who have built pools, not a single PB asked them to prove that they had the funds available.It has never made sense to me that pool builders get paid prior to work being done. I have to wonder how that started.
I am in new home construction and either the whole project is paid in full at the end (other than a nonrefundable deposit) or payments are made based upon completion of phases.
When I built my pool we bought the kit from a company that later went out of business. When they did there were several people who had paid in full for their kit and never received them. As far as I know they never recouped their money either.
A good contract specifies what the finished product is (e.g., it will or will not have visible trowel marks, etc.). If a customer doesn't pay and the job meets the terms of the contract, it's pretty easy to secure a judgement against them and attach their property if they won't pay after the judgement. Of course, nobody wants to have to go through this but it's a cost of doing business. I'm willing to bet that demanding money up front drives away more business than the money saved avoiding some problem customers.If I was a PB I would want terms similar to those offered to you and would be reluctant to accept any deviation. The risk of nonpayment wouldn't be worth it.
That discount may be what is causing the issue. He knows he is not making add much on the job so he needs more up front. Nothing is free deaing with a business so that discount may cost you in another way.We don't anticipate being done in time to swim this year and for that reason we were able to talk them into a large discount
Dont think that you are better than the prepay people. Your paycheck analogy shows you are the exact same as them, but you hacve never thought about it that way.You people with the prepay mindset must live in a different world. Do you guys have jobs where you get paid at the beginning of the pay period rather than 5 days after it's over?
Rough Basics (leaving out a lot of the stuff about PVC, etc.):Any chance the OP would consider posting the full details of your pool build? It seems to me that you folks in TX have a higher baseline for pool builds. For $50k+ you can get a really nice pool here in Tucson (two friends of ours have been through pool builds, they both have very nice pools and neither of them paid over $50k)
Thank you! I'm sure you didn't want to the post the details because you did not want too far-ranging a discussion but I have to say that your build seems like you're getting quite a variety of "stuff" (pool, roughed outdoor kitchen, ramada, retaining wall, etc) for ~$50k. That's a really good price. Given the complexity of the job, I'm not all that against pre-paying the GC because it would seem, from my limited perspective, that he's going to have to get a lot of materials on-hand/pre-ordered and various subs in place.Rough Basics (leaving out a lot of the stuff about PVC, etc.):
15x24 IG Gunite (Rectangle)
Stonescape Mini Pebble Plater
Hayward Equipment - VS pump, 425ft Cartridge, ProLogic P4, Salt Chlorinator, Sharkvac XL
One LED light
Lueders Limestone Coping
450 sq ft of Belgard pavers
6" waterline tile
22x14 Cedar shade structure (integrated into roof with matching shingles)
Stone fireplace with Lueder Limestone caps
Stone retaining wall (10ft) with Lueder Limestone caps
Stone kitchen area with leave out for mini fridge and grill with Lueder Limestone counters
I have no idea what this means. I do the work, and then get paid. Just like the builder should do.Your paycheck analogy shows you are the exact same as them, but you hacve never thought about it that way.
Then you don't know much about how business bankruptcies work. I might take a loss, but employees are first in line, and get 100%. It's only those that disappear in the middle of the night where you'll take a loss, and you usually know it's coming because the phones or power are always getting shut off and paychecks that bounce.Why is it OK for you to wait 5 days for your paycheck. I work 2 weeks, and on day 14, I leave with a paycheck for those 14 days. I am not left hoping my pay comes a week later. For you, you are taking a risk. The company goes bankrupt before you get your last paycheck, and you can easily be out money. You are hoping that you get paid, like a prepay person hopes that they get their goods.
Sorry, I use credit cards to buy stuff online. Visa/MC rules require that the merchandise is shipped BEFORE they can bill. If the merchandise doesn't show up, I dispute the charge. I've never lost a nickel. The merchant processor requires a reserve account typically in the 15% range, and when a merchant has a lot of chargebacks the percentage can be increased, or they'll just shut down the account. You know when an online merchant doesn't take a credit card, that something is up.If you have ever in your life bought any good online, then you have prepaid. If you have ever in your life had a subscription to a magazine, you have prepaid. If you have ever bought an extended warranty on anything, including a car or a house, then you have prepaid.
If you don't pay for what you don't have, you can't get screwed. The whole point is the PB goes belly up, you just get someone else to finish it and you aren't as big a loser as you could be.IF a contractor wants to screw you, he will. You can negotiate anything that you want, any type of post payment, terms, deliverable list, etc, but at the end, you can get screwed one way or another.
I'm convinced you guys live in a different world than I do.Have you ever bought a plain ticket with a credit card? Then the risk of the airplane's nonperformance is on you.
You're comparing a government regulated industry to a PB. I'll take my chances with an insurance company, but not a PB.Have you ever bought car insurance, health insurance, or an annuity? You prepay on the hope the insurance company will be able to fulfill its obligation.
Seriously? I buy cheap consumables on vacation. I don't come home with TVs or refrigerators.Have you ever bought a product on vacation? If it is defective when you get home (or is shipped to your home defective) the fact that you used a credit card will not protect you under the law unless (under the Fair Credit Reporting Act) you purchased it within 100 miles of your billing address. Visa or Master card could elect to help you out, but in many situations they won't and are not required to.
I'd be more worried that my kid would lose interest after springing for the equipment and quitting.Have you ever signed your kid up for a basketball or soccer league? You prepay and hope the league is around to perform its obligations.
I worked construction projects on the client side with two large outfits. We NEVER paid up front. The only ones that get duped by this scam are home owners, and it's because they are just not sophisticated. I have had contractors ask for money up front "to buy materials," in my private dealings. Each time I sent them away, they always relented. There is no custom that this is just the way it's done. They do it because they get away it. Is it always going to be a problem to prepay, no, but when it is, it costs people thousands of dollars that they usually can't afford to lose. If a builder's cashflow is that tight, it's a warning to run.But the notion that this PB should be summarily dismissed simply because of his allocation of risk onto the homeowner is just not good advice.
totally agree with this point. I have been saying the same thing in other posts, specifically how people get pushed around by a PB and they are afraid to tell them no when things go wrong (i.e. correcting poor work) or when the PB is trying to spec something they don't want (I.e. just say no, don't need to "persuade" them or "ask nicely"). for some reason people seem to put too much emotion into pool builds and treat it like a personal friend is doing the work, and not an insured/licensed contractor. and every time I post this information/advice, I seem to get flamed...and I don't get it.The only ones that get duped by this scam are home owners, and it's because they are just not sophisticated. I have had contractors ask for money up front "to buy materials," in my private dealings. Each time I sent them away, they always relented. There is no custom that this is just the way it's done. They do it because they get away it. Is it always going to be a problem to prepay, no, but when it is, it costs people thousands of dollars that they usually can't afford to lose. If a builder's cashflow is that tight, it's a warning to run.