Remodel nightmare

bcat85

Member
Jun 24, 2021
9
Modesto, CA
So after getting 3 bids we went with the company that made us feel the most omfortable, also was the highest bid. This company prides itself on the fact they're 100% in house and sub contract nothing. Also, their employees are all tradesmen and do not cross work. Meaning tile guys are tile guys and not electricians.

Our pool was in really bad shape and had been painted a few years back. All 3 companies added a $500 upcharge to their demo and prep because they said it's more work to remove the paint. Which now I hear conflicting stories. Either way, this is the least of my worries.

Demo day and prep go fairly smooth although I found a spot that wasn't painted with the bond coat and had blue showing through (pool paint), about the size of a .50 coin. I voiced concerns about this as they made it seem like it was crucial all the paint come off. They explain that you're not going to get 100% of it and ensure me it's fine. My worry is how big of an area of paint is still there under the bond coat. And if something happens a year from now and my water chemistry is off they blame me instead of their prep work and void my warranty.

They demoed quite a bit off the steps and I was told that it would get built back up and they'll be good to go. There was still some loose chunks and I was told the plaster crew would take care of it.

Next up, tile. They install our waterline tile and when I got home from work I immediately see problems. Right at the begining where they start at the skimmer the tile is all cocked. And there's dips throught the job all the way around. Ok so they messed up. They come back the following week and repair it. The initial tile by the skimmer looked good but there were still 2 spots that have very bad dips in them. So they come a 3rd time to repair those and when they're done you can still see the dips, although better, they're very much there.

You can imagine at this point I have very little faith and trust left in this company. They've taken the enjoyment out of this project and now we hate it. We paid to have a job done and be stress free but instead I'm here being the quality control guy and project manager.

They decide at this point they need to start over, which I 100% agree with but now they hired a sub to do the install, which came out fantastic the first time. So that took 4 attempts to get tile good to go.

Today they plastered with mini Pebble. My steps are horrible. The come out about 12" from front to back and have a 4" downslope in them. I text the superintendent and he was immediately defensive telling me I just voided my warranty because I was in my pool 6 hours after the plaster was laid. No one told me I needed to wait a certain amount of time and the plaster felt hard to the touch prior to me entering it. I told him that with everything bad that has happened you can't expect me not to inspect each step of the process and that's what I did. He told me himself go look and point out issues. He's telling me the slope is within industry standard, which is BS, and that there has to be a slope for drainage. I said ok, why do you need a slope for drainage when a pool is supposed to be full of water. But let's say there is supposed to be one, it's sure not supposed to be a 4" drop per foot. That's insane, someone is gonna slip and fall getting into the pool.

He says they're coming back tomorrow to acid wash and fill and if we don't have payment in full ($3300 left out of $12,300) than he will put a lien on our home. This company is a joke. I'm just wondering if anyone has any advice for me. I have taken pictures and videos every step of the way. What can I do???
 

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kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
49,188
Tallahassee, FL
I am sorry the experience has not been a good one. Yeah it does seem as if YOU have to be the GC even though you pay THEM to do it sigh..............

I am glad the outside 4th guy got the tile correct. Your tile should have been easy to do so there should have been NO excuse for that crooked mess.

Do you have a pic of what they used to build the steps back up? Are ALL of the steps that sloped? I am going to call in a couple of people who will know the standards better than I @jimmythegreek @ajw22
 

bcat85

Member
Jun 24, 2021
9
Modesto, CA
I don't have pics of what they filled the steps back in with, my guess is just pebble/plaster mic. Unfortunately I couldn't be home until they were almost done plastering.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
29,041
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Ask the Superintendent to provide you with the industry standard he says the steps meet.

See Table 401.4 in ….


A805988A-24AD-4E43-8191-093C0B4886A8.png
You are in California where you have strong consumer protection laws. @Dirk has posted how he prevailed with his construction issues in CA.


 
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bcat85

Member
Jun 24, 2021
9
Modesto, CA
Thank you for that info. I'm going to be making alot of phone calls this morning. I decided it's best for me to be home so I can oversee the acid wash and filling of the pool. I'm going to try and get the owner here, which he said I'd be able to talk to him today, and see if we can come to some sort of resolution without getting into a legal battle.

That guy has had some serious problems and it sounds like, although not perfect, Dang near the best outcome he could've hoped for. For me, I just want them to make this right.

My worry is that if they do redo the steps that the new pebble won't match and will stand out. Which also seems like it might be a worry on their end which is why they got so defensive. If you can't blend the new pebble in unotixed I assume you'd have to re plaster the entire pool which brings us Dang near back to square one.

Also, I can't imagine there's any profit left at this point and if they have to re plastee/pebble the pool they're going to be in the hole on this job. But that's not my problem or my fault and I don't really care or feel bad. They should've spent an extra 5 minutes here and there to make sure everything was correct.

They were hired to do a job and so far have not been able to fulfill their promises of good quality work. It's like they cut corners but get caught. I can only imagine how many customers they've done similar things to but those people are quiet and won't speqk up because they don't want confrontation. Well, those things catch up to you at some point and you end up getting a customer like myself who will speak up and not be bullied and allow substandard work to be acceptable.

I'm gonna reach out to dirk and see if I can pick his brain. I don't necessarily know where to start and what entity to start calling if the owner refuses to make it right.
 
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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
29,041
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Start documenting all of your conversations with the builder and his employees. Get them on the record in email or txts or send them emails after a telephone conversation covering what you said and they said. Let them see that you are building a record and documenting what is being said and done.

Everything here is a negotiation and you will need to decide what is acceptable and judge how far you want to push the builder.
 
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JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
28,201

 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
28,201
had blue showing through
All paint needs to be removed.
My worry is how big of an area of paint is still there under the bond coat.
Did they say that all of the paint was removed?
The come out about 12" from front to back and have a 4" downslope in them.
The maximum is 1.7" per 12" and there really is no need for a slope.

This shows the treads being horizontal with no slope.

The incline of entries is limited to 1:7, which is 1.7" in 12" inches.

There is no reason to have a slope and there is no standard that says that there should be a slope.

1634321751329.png
 
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JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
28,201
This is for public pools.

It does not show a slope to the treads.

It says a 1:10 maximum ratio for entry slopes.

So, that is 1.2" per 12" for safety.

In my opinion, the maximum slope allowable is 1.2" and ideally no slope.

Email the PHTA to see what they say.

1634322316831.png
1634322382087.png

ANSI/APSP/ICC-1 2014 American National Standard for Public Swimming Pools​


[email protected]

 
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bcat85

Member
Jun 24, 2021
9
Modesto, CA
This is for public pools.

It does not show a slope to the treads.

It says a 1:10 maximum ratio for entry slopes.

So, that is 1.2" per 12" for safety.

In my opinion, the maximum slope allowable is 1.2" and ideally no slope.

Email the PHTA to see what they say.

View attachment 378053
View attachment 378054

ANSI/APSP/ICC-1 2014 American National Standard for Public Swimming Pools​


[email protected]

Yes there still paint showing through and no. Not all the paint was removed. They said that you're not ever going to get 100% of the paint removed. I could've sworn I took a pic of this but unfortunately I may not of. However I do have a text message voicing the concern.

Thank you for your help. I'm choosing to withhold the last payment of $3,280 until they come and address my steps. They are currently filling the pool as we speak. I spoke to the owner this morning and was assured my warranty is still very valid and that he personally will come take a look at my steps, but that will probably be in 2 weeks. So I guess they can wait for their money until they can do so. I feel that is more than fair.

They're trying to justify the slope in the steps, without even seeming and using them in person. By saying they did it on purpose so dirt wouldn't sit there and for drainage purposes. Both of which sound like excuses trying to get out of making the repair.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
28,201
I text the superintendent and he was immediately defensive telling me I just voided my warranty because I was in my pool 6 hours after the plaster was laid.
They can't void the warranty for that reason unless they can show how it created a specific problem, which they can't.

Even if they could show a specific problem, the warranty exclusion would be limited to that specific problem and only if they told you not to get in for a specific time.
They said that you're not ever going to get 100% of the paint removed.
That's nonsense.

Of course you can get 100% of the paint off.

It can be sandblasted or the old plaster can be removed.

New plaster will not adhere to paint in an acceptable way.

It's highly likely that the plaster could delaminate at the areas where the plaster was applied over paint.

The slope is not acceptable.

There is no standard that says that the steps should have any slope.

If anything, the standard indicates that there should not be a slope.

Get an opinion from the plaster manufacturer and also email the PHTA to see what they say.

You should register the warranty with the plaster manufacturer in any case.
 

bcat85

Member
Jun 24, 2021
9
Modesto, CA
They said they did sandblast. I even stated you were only here for about 6 hours in total and only 4 of which you worked. Just seems like the time wasn't spent. And on too of that they upcharged the demo $500 because its a painted surface. I've just had it with them. I'll never recommend them to anyone. But this road is far from over. Im in contact with their workman's comp insurance as well as with their bond company. I'm not the guy to play with. My fiance and I work way to hard for our money to have some careless company come in to cash out and line their pockets.
 

bcat85

Member
Jun 24, 2021
9
Modesto, CA
Ya, I agree 100% but unfortunately there's not much I can do about it at this point. Other than continue to go after them if they don't want to make it right. I feel that during this process I'm going to be asking for a long extended warranty. But we'll see.
 

sktn77a

Gold Supporter
May 16, 2010
2,225
Chapel Hill, NC
I spoke to the owner this morning and was assured my warranty is still very valid and that he personally will come take a look at my steps, but that will probably be in 2 weeks.
He's stalling and hoping you'll get tired of waiting for him. Withholding payment can be a double edged sword - he can file a mechanics lien on your home and stall getting it removed if and when you pay him off. They can stay on the title forever. If you ever want to sell the home, that can prevent a sale!
 

markayash

Gold Supporter
Mar 21, 2016
3,546
Atlanta Ga
Not sure if it works with pool builders but use social media and reviews.
Lot of companies use work of mouth and reviews to get new business.
 

bcat85

Member
Jun 24, 2021
9
Modesto, CA
He's stalling and hoping you'll get tired of waiting for him. Withholding payment can be a double edged sword - he can file a mechanics lien on your home and stall getting it removed if and when you pay him off. They can stay on the title forever. If you ever want to sell the home, that can prevent a sale!
You are absolutely in the right to hold payment if the work has not been completed. Completed also means correct and within specs per code. They can file a lien even if I did pay them. If the lien is granted is a entirely different story. Anyone can file it, doesn't mean it's going to be granted.
 
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