Refinish Warranties - gunite pools

CaveDiver1932

Active member
Mar 3, 2014
30
Dallas
#1
Starting the process of resurfacing an in-ground gunite pool. Are the warranties even worth the research? Here is why I ask. After getting bids, started requesting written warranties after first round of down selecting. After reading a couple I’m disappointed if not disgusted. One has eight pages for the contractor to escape the warranty topping off with an arbitration clause. Is this common across the country?
Thanks
Cd
 

sktn77a

Gold Supporter
May 16, 2010
762
Chapel Hill, NC
#2
Yes, unfortunately. Even the best warranty will have disclaimers regarding pool chemistry, surface preparation, freezing, etc, etc. Most pool refinishers use subcontractors and will try to shift any liability to the subs (this should be in the contract/warranty). Your best bet is to get refernces from people who had the pool refinished 3-5 years ago.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
10,209
Bedford, TX
#3
Keith,

Unless it is very obvious right from the start, that the plaster was not done correctly, my personal feeing is that the warranty is not worth the paper it is written on...

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

KatyTXPoolOwner

Well-known member
Jul 18, 2015
95
Katy TX
#4
Our PB used Modern Method Gunite in Houston. We had no problem with them on a recent warranty claim (some of the Pebble Tech Pebble Sheen was wearing to the gunite).
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
10,209
Bedford, TX
#6
Katy,

Obvious things, like the pebble finish way too thin, would be hard to blame on water chemistry...

Things like dark spots caused by bad troweling, streaking, mottling, etc are almost university blamed on water chemistry and not poor application.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
2,754
Northern NJ
#8
Contractor reputation and willingness to satisfy a customer is key. If you have to resort to the written contract you are in trouble. Most of the plaster work is subcontracted to a plaster company. The PC will prep the pool for them and handle the fill after the plaster job.

Member OnBalance has written a lot about what can go wrong with plaster jobs. Do a search.

One of his suggestions is to be on site when the plaster is mixed. Take a sample of each batch in a Solo cup and label it. If there is any question about the quality of the plaster mix you can have the samples lab tested instead of coring samples from your pool. Plaster problems are caused by poor mix or workmanship issues in the trowling.

Take a video of the pool during the plaster install. Members here have used videos as proof of poor worksmanship.

Do some research and collect your own documentation and your contract should not be an issue if you have problems.
 

CaveDiver1932

Active member
Mar 3, 2014
30
Dallas
#9
Allen,
Even with poor workmanship shown in videos, what do you do with that when stuck with arbitration? Trying not to be cynical, but I’m starting believe contractors show up with no notification cause they don’t want you to see the work or in progress. Security cameras a good start.
Thanks for the tips, will do a search on OnBalance threads.

There are some companies that have their own crews (or so they claim). Was using that as a down select criteria. However, not sure this is criteria will get a better contractor after the other concerns have come to light. Others say they use good crews and send so much business their way they have “pull” to get issues corrected.


Cd
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
2,754
Northern NJ
#10
A plaster refinish job is a $8K-15K risk versus a pool build of $50K-100K. Arbitration or courts is your last resort. I don’t know what teeth an arbitration award even has to force a contractor to perform.

At the end if a PB wants to walk away from a problem there is little you can do. We have heard these stories.

Some states like CA license pool builders and the best recourse is to file a complaint with the licensing boatd. Pulling their license can shut them down. Find out what TX does.

Your best bet is to go with a contractor who has a good reputation to risk. Social shaming can get results.