So we just realized our pool is the wrong size..........

Chungus

Member
Jul 14, 2019
21
Texas
We are having a rectangular pool built. They shot the gunnite a few weeks ago, have installed the tile, and I am guessing the coping is next. No plaster yet.

I was meeting with some landscape guys to develop a plan for the concrete around the pool and how to design our outdoor kitchen, fire pit, etc and we were making measurements for a site plan. Turns out the pool is exactly 2' narrower than is should be. The length is within a half an inch of what was specified in the contract.

We are meeting with the builder tomorrow to discuss this but I have no idea what can be done at this point other than bust it all out and start over?
 

Chungus

Member
Jul 14, 2019
21
Texas
Maybe. I have been out of town 40 of the last 50 days and wasn’t here to witness all this. The money doesn’t concern me really it is more disappointing that we are spending 100k and not getting the pool we wanted. It was supposed to be 18x45 but instead is 16x45. It looks funny because it is so long and skinny. On the shallow end there is a tanning ledge and a hot tub separated by stairs. Due to the narrow width the tanning ledge isn’t even wide enough to lay down on.

How on earth can something so simple be screwed up? The builder used subs for the excavation and rebar and they did a good job but how did they manage to dig the wrong size hole and then no one check it it was right before the gunnite? It is so frustrating.

It will likely be April before it is warm enough here to use the pool so there is no rush. I am really tempted to take a hard line stance and have them rip it all out and start over. It stinks as they have been working on it two months but I am going to have to look at the end result for a long time.
 

Chungus

Member
Jul 14, 2019
21
Texas
Yes the plumbing would all need to be moved. I think that is a minor detail compared to busting out all the concrete with rebar on 6" centers.

I think just widening it won't work either. The hot tub is on the north side where there is plenty of room to expand. The tanning ledge is on the south side and the south side is as close as they could get it to our septic tank and still have room for the pipes. If it were widened it would need to be towards the south to make the tanning ledge a usable size but they can't go any further south.

We marked an 18x45 rectangle on the ground before we started. The marking was done over month before they started though and the grass was mowed several times before they started so I don't think any marks were present when they started digging. Of course it is a lot longer than wide but that 2' really makes a difference. Aside from looks it really is a functional issue with the tanning ledge.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
11,673
Evans, Georgia
I'm of the thought that 2 feet isn't going to change the "long and skinny" appearance or the actual use of the pool.

You being gone for such an extended period missed out on our standard "measure the dig" work so it really would be more trouble to change it than to ask for a refund. You don't want them to go back to work angry and having to dig it all up again.... I would fear for the quality of any workmanship when done under such circumstances.

Just my two cent.

Maddie :flower:
 
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RoyR

Bronze Supporter
Jul 31, 2018
247
Escondido/CA
FYI, for the tanning ledge to be useful, you need the water level to be approx butt high, based on the loungers you selected, and about twice the size - in reality, it’s not used that often - probably will have one person on it, while the rest is in the pool / spa....creative use of the deck area can increase the size of the pool. Breaking the bond beam, extending the pool, could set you up for a lifetime of pool issues...leave as is.
 

mguzzy

Well-known member
Jul 8, 2015
802
OV, CA
WOW.. That's not inches.. they missed the width dimension by over 10%!.. I cannot see how they can "fix" or "retrofit" it without tearing out and starting over. The shell of the pool is like a ceramic bowl... you just can't add onto it without undermining the integrity of the bowl. Maddie brings up a good point if they have to redo it. The PB will defiantly be grumpy but the subs just to their thing. And I get that you'll never be happy with it if you accept a discount.. even it is a free pool... you still have to look at it.... just wow.

I'm still amazed that nobody double checked the dimensions from the point they draw the original outline on the ground for the diggers to start. The posters here tend to follow things along pretty closely on their builds.. but ultimately its the PB's responsibility to oversee the project. I'm interested in what insight the gurus here have.

....wow
 
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poolnoobgrandma

Well-known member
Sep 15, 2018
216
Seminole, FL
FYI, for the tanning ledge to be useful, you need the water level to be approx butt high, based on the loungers you selected, and about twice the size - in reality, it’s not used that often - probably will have one person on it, while the rest is in the pool / spa....creative use of the deck area can increase the size of the pool. Breaking the bond beam, extending the pool, could set you up for a lifetime of pool issues...leave as is.
This is definitely a YMMV thing. Our tanning ledge, with four Adirondack chairs, gets a LOT of use.😁
 

bmoreswim

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Jul 16, 2012
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Ugh, tough one. I'm sorry you are dealing with this. I'm not sure I would want to have the side of the pool expanded, though it is an option. It will cost him much more to do that than if it had been done correctly initially. So, assuming you negotiate, versus fix, you should calculate 10-12% of the gunite/shell expense plus profit as the base. Then add 50% to it because that will be his cost (as a gross estimate). I would get a price concession and do the following.

Due to the ledge size issue, I might consider filling in the steps area to expand the ledge, then adding steps off the south side of the ledge against the outer edge of the pool. I know this eats into your usable space in the rectangle, but it all depends what you value more, ledge space or open space.

I'd also let him know how terribly disappointed you are. I'd try to get a) price concession, b) changes to ledge/steps and c) a plaster upgrade (there's almost always something better than you were planning on). He really is going to have a large expense to fix the size, so you do have a lot of "room" in your negotiation.

But if you only want the size (and not concessions), then I'd suggest having him redo the north pool wall at his expense and redo the steps per my suggestion also on his dime also since you are losing ledge space.
 
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Chungus

Member
Jul 14, 2019
21
Texas
Thanks guys. Just talked with the builder. He said he is willing to bust it out and extend or offer $7,500 discount. I can’t imagine him being able to fix it for $7,500 even at his cost with busting out the gunnite, hauling it off, redoing gunnite, plumbing, tile,etc.

I called the gunnite company to get their opinion and they said it is certainly possible to do but they don’t recommend it and it would void their warranty an the gunnite.
 

bmoreswim

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Jul 16, 2012
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That's honestly not a bad number versus what I thought he might say. Though how it relates to his cost only he knows. But it is an offer, and you can counter with $ plus changes or whatever you want to, or accept.

But in the end, making the PB feel like he got squeezed won't do you many favors. Any changes going forward may not be as easy. But you just never know. What you will learn, is if this was a good guy to contract with that can resolve issues and not make you feel like you got taken to the cleaners.

Tough decision. I will say that our pool is an 18' x 38' rectangle (looks and plays big). I do like the 18' and it never feels cramped. But I'm not sure if 16' would. Mind you, I'm referring to it possibly feeling cramped during a party time. If it's 4 people in the pool it will be great regardless.
 

RoyR

Bronze Supporter
Jul 31, 2018
247
Escondido/CA
Take the $7500, and ask the PB to extend the shelf as follows (see picture): Add two steps to the shelf - this won't compromise the integrity of the pool shell, due to cold joints / cracks / leaks etc. if a busting out the concrete option was taken....there is a reason they won't warranty the gunnite if you break it down! :)

PS. This is actually better, since the light will now light the stairs.
 

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Chungus

Member
Jul 14, 2019
21
Texas
I talked to the builder again and told him we did not want to splice the gunnite due to possible structural issues. He said he knows he messed up and wants to make it right. He said he would dig the entire pool out and start over if that is what we want. That is pretty extreme considering it is 80% done. I know I will be dealing with him for service etc in the future so I don’t want him to have a bad taste over the deal even though it is 100% his fault.
 

mguzzy

Well-known member
Jul 8, 2015
802
OV, CA
Well there ya go! Sounds like a PB with some honor that is willing to stand by his work. And he probably realizes that the gunnite shell can't be warrantied if its chopped in half. Actually he doesn't have to start completely over. He won't have to dig the hole ... but he will have to redo some of the plumbing. If he is willing to start anew.. go for it! I really won't worry about the bad taste in his mouth.. that was his doing. you can buy him a bottle of wine when its done to rinse it out ;) 🍷
 
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