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.
Nice Photoshopping, Roy. Your idea seems like a good solution--along with the $7,500 back. It sounds like his pool builder was a little too busy to supervise his subs. He should have been there when the hole was finished. I mean he REALLY should have been there. Or the owner should have been there. My pool builder was a frequent no-show, too, but I was there watching every day, and about twice a week I was texting problems I saw (I used text messages, so I'd have a record of the contact). As to the utility of a sun shelf, that must be a personal thing. Ours is NEVER used. I would rather have had stairs the width of the end of the pool. More places to sit, at more levels, in the water.
Yes I am pretty pleased he is stepping up but I am not sure if we want to go with the nuclear option. Granted we won't be able to swim until next year anyway it is so close to being done. He said coping was going on starting Wednesday and concrete being poured around the pool right after that. The only real time crunch is we were planning on having an outdoor kitchen, fire pit, etc built and were wanting that all done over the cold months so as soon as it is warm enough everything would be ready. It took two months to get to the stage we are at now so starting over from scratch would likely be cutting it close schedule wise once everything is accounted for.
I like it too but aside from the tanning ledge being small the wife's biggest complaint over the missing 2' is the smaller swimming space. We made the pool deep so we could dive so there isn't a ton of shallow area. When I showed her that picture with the full shelf and redesigned steps her comment was " looks like more concrete and less pool".
The builder had another idea. He suggested possibly breaking out the back wall by the tanning ledge and extending the pool 5' in the length direction. This would make the hot tub and tanning ledge huge but wouldn't add any to the swimmable area. He felt there were no structural issues doing this as the water would be at most a foot deep on the back wall. It is an option but not something that seems too appealing.
Almost there - just need to enhance the pavers and finish the fire feature/bbq. Huge thank you to everyone on this forum, I would not have been able to build this pool for the price (saved 15k+) and without the knowledge and guidance from all of you. Special shoutout to Big Will (Willie), SPL...