Sans pool build, oh the bids, oh the gear, oh the humanity

Sans Pool

Member
Nov 4, 2007
5
Atlanta, GA
Hello all,

I've been lurking for a while and decided to go for broke. I'm a complete pool novice so dumbing it down for me would be much appreciated.

We're getting bids on an in-ground, Pebble-Tec, ~90 ft+ perimeter lagoon shaped pool with an elevated spa; salt system. We have three little kids; we'll be using this pool a lot I suspect. I've built the attached spread sheet trying to apples-to-apples compare the bids, recognizing that my bid information is somewhat incomplete.

What I'm trying to get to are the following:
1) Are there any glaring errors here - something not up to snuff, cheap cop-out, silly?
2) Heyward vs Pentair vs Jandy - everyone has an opinion, trying to the best stuff that lasts the longest.
3) Is the equipment proper (HP, BTU, quantity, etc)
4) How many return lines should this size pool have? (bids have ranged 2 to 8 )
5) What am I missing?

I'm not asking for a "pick column B" answer. I'm trying to educate myself and compare these bids.

Column A is a "National Builder" that I will more than likely NOT use as theirs is the only bid w/o PebbleTec . I include them for reference only. Columns B, C and D are all well respected local co's with good histories.

You can ignore the "final prices" row at the bottom, decking and pool size is pushing the numbers around a lot. Blank spots just means they didn't specify the answer in their proposal - this information should be easy to get and in some instances can probably be inferred from other bids.

Thank you very much in advance, this board is great.
Sans
 

Attachments

SeanB

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
It looks like the first column is the National Builder, "Blue Haven" since they call everything, "smart" this and "smart" that. I think the "smart" thing to do is stay away from Blue Haven. Of all the builders we met with, Blue Haven had the sleaziest salesperson who outright lied about equipment facts during his sales pitch. Based on other reviews I've read, I would stay away.
 

DLSDO

LifeTime Supporter
Sep 27, 2007
330
Midwest
An absolute pool newbie myself but just finished our build.

Have you considered pebble "sheen"? Its made by pebble tec but is alittle easier on the feet. Many are quite happy with tec vs. sheen so it really comes down to personal preference.
 

SeanB

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Sans Pool said:
Thanks Sean, will do. The "Smart" column was a veiled attempt at not mentioning any names, you know, to protect the innocent. :)

Sans
Generally I agree and try not to single any companies out as no one is perfect, neither the builders nor the customers. However, BH has developed quite a reputation and I figure there are probably a fair number of people who will visit the site during their research. Certainly BH is capable of building a quality pool, and I'm sure there are many out there, but their sales tactics can be pretty deceptive, as I saw firsthand. Anyone considering them should do their homework and use caution. jmo.

Please keep us posted on your project. It looks like your going to be buidling quite a pool!

Sean
 

Sans Pool

Member
Nov 4, 2007
5
Atlanta, GA
Thanks dlsdo,

I am considering sheen as well. Sounds like $3/per square foot extra bringing the Tec coating from $8.15 to $11.15 sq/ft (as far as builder 'B' was concerned). So, about $2K extra all in. I'll have to feel the difference to see if its worth it to me.

Interestingly, it makes me notice that B is charging $900 flat to PebbleTec the spa. Divided by $8.15 that suggests a square footage of over 110 feet. I would think a 7' circular spa would be closer to 40 sq ft....sounds like a negotiating point.

Sans
 

Sans Pool

Member
Nov 4, 2007
5
Atlanta, GA
Sean,

When I was researching BH I too found many complaints. It's tough to decipher which are location specific and which are systemic to the company. In any event, w/o PebbleTec as an option I feel good leaving them off the final bid.

And thanks again for the input. Any thoughts on the equipment of the other guys? Anything particularly problem prone?

Sans
 

crabboy

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 24, 2007
628
Suwanee, GA
My pool is very similar to 'C' and so far I'm happy with the equipment. During the build I though that I'd need more than two returns, but the pressure out of the returns is great and it moves the water very well. I don't have a spa and do not regret it one bit.
 

The Mermaid Queen

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
2,522
Northern KY
Sans Pool said:
Interestingly, it makes me notice that B is charging $900 flat to PebbleTec the spa. Divided by $8.15 that suggests a square footage of over 110 feet. I would think a 7' circular spa would be closer to 40 sq ft....sounds like a negotiating point.

Sans
Don't forget to add for the vertical surfaces, and not just use the surface area, which would only account for the horizontal surfaces...

Sounds like a lovely pool. Cannot give any equipment advice, except stay away from the ozone/mineral sanitizer systems, though it looks like you had already decided NOT to go with column A
 

Sans Pool

Member
Nov 4, 2007
5
Atlanta, GA
The Mermaid Queen said:
[quote="Sans Pool":11383wyr]
Interestingly, it makes me notice that B is charging $900 flat to PebbleTec the spa. Divided by $8.15 that suggests a square footage of over 110 feet. I would think a 7' circular spa would be closer to 40 sq ft....sounds like a negotiating point.

Sans
Don't forget to add for the vertical surfaces, and not just use the surface area, which would only account for the horizontal surfaces...

Sounds like a lovely pool. Cannot give any equipment advice, except stay away from the ozone/mineral sanitizer systems, though it looks like you had already decided NOT to go with column A[/quote:11383wyr]

Good point - there are certainly more seats and other surfaces in there.
Thanks for the advice on the ozone system - that sounded a little bit like bunk to me but I wasn't sure. He kept talking about how "ozonination is how they clean your bottle water"....I kept think, yes, along with a lot of other measures.....
 

cobra46

LifeTime Supporter
May 31, 2007
467
Rocklin, Ca
Sans Pool,

I feel the same as Sean in regards to BH. They seem to have more than their fair share of negative things said about them. Check the local BBB. Make sure you talk to people who have had a pool built by whomever makes you short list.

Check this site and others like poolforum.com to find out how to select a pool builder.

Good luck and please report back on your progress. We all love hearing about and seeing new pools.

Kevin
 

crabboy

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 24, 2007
628
Suwanee, GA
I remember the post on Garden Web about the lady who had a BH pool and they embedded the BH name and logo into one of the steps and refused to remove it stating it was in the contract. That post mysteriously disappeared from the site.