Starting a new pool project.

Rich D

Bronze Supporter
Aug 3, 2018
583
MA
Well that's too funny... I was going to post that very suggestion, but unfortunately I lost track of this post and never ended up replying.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

I think your new approach is a great solution.

Hauling in fill is much cheaper than building the wall across the back and will give you a better end result. This also works much better with the pool dig. If you want to do it in phases you can now leave enough space to accommodate the excess material from the pool dig.

I would also consider putting some blocks in front of the shed and along the Gable end that's sticking out of the ground. So the top of the blocks is just below the floor of the shed and flush with finish grade. You would then step out of the shed onto the top of the blocks. this will allow you not to have to try to backfill under the shed and leave a good air space under there as well.
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
1,383
Morris Cnty NJ
Sounds better I always prefer to build tiers in walls if access and use is wanted. Plan for the fill from pool so you dont waste money on trucking. You can always add a load or two at the end. Free fill delivered is easy look on craigslist or call septic guys they have plenty of free fill
 
Well I'm starting to get very disappointed with the pool builder. He did not plan the wall construction very well and apparently had not pulled permits yet. So today we are waiting to find out how the town will treat the setback requirement. The PB has some concern they will want the wall to be 15 feet from the property line since we are putting in a pool. This makes no sense to me but I didn't speak to him directly so I'm not sure why they would want this (no setback requirement for the wall alone). The wall builder is getting frustrated as he is wasting money having his excavator sit on my property. If this isn't resolved quickly we may be put off until spring. I'll update as I hear more.
 
Okay well within minutes of my last post I got a new update. The town is fine with the wall being on the property line. It won't be right on the line but closer than 15 feet. The builder provided a hand drawing of the wall and the permit will be issued. The wall block company requires a new engineer drawing to send the block. The engineer recognizes his error and is re-doing the drawing no charge. All this will be done this week. Monday will begin construction. Expected 2 weeks from then for completion (though the builder probably forgot about Turkey Day so maybe 3 weeks).
 
Well this is just frustrating. The engineer did not get the new drawing done. It is likely this will be put off until spring. Weather is not looking good for this week and it's just gonna be all snow soon I'd imagine. The worst part is I can't put my ATV and mower in the shed, so no parking in the garage this winter.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
42,135
Tallahassee, FL
:shock: WHAT??? gurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr I have a BIG MAD for you!!

Hummmm about the not parking in the garage...would it be worth it to rent a storage unit for those items so you CAN park in the garage? I live in FL but do have some frosty mornings where I have to clear my windows and do NOT enjoy doing that. I can't imagine what it will be like in YOUR burrrrr area!
 

Rich D

Bronze Supporter
Aug 3, 2018
583
MA
Well this is just frustrating. The engineer did not get the new drawing done. It is likely this will be put off until spring. Weather is not looking good for this week and it's just gonna be all snow soon I'd imagine. The worst part is I can't put my ATV and mower in the shed, so no parking in the garage this winter.
Well that is bad news... I would imagine the excavation company is not going to hang around and wait for that drawing which in realty would take about a few hrs to draft up. We go through that all the time. However setting those blocks is good winter work. Frost really is not much of a concern so the only extras you might incur is snow removal. I am not sure why they could not get the base in to get things going, the details on the stone base will not change. As far as the elevations go those will most likely change anyway because that drawing you get will most likely be more useful in the Portapoddie then any where else. There are almost always field changes with these types of builds. Or Perhaps they could just could reschedule and do it in a few weeks.

Why can't you access your shed?
 
The engineer is killing us here. He sent revised drawing and it's all wrong, doesn't make the changes we made. So I spoke to the wall builder and he is beyond frustrated. He said he sent the engineer all the new details, went out and measured, elevations etc. Now he's wasting money with the excavator sitting there.

If he sticks around to work in winter I'd be good with that. As far as the shed, I can access but if you look at the pics I can't get my ATV and John Deere X350 in it because it's up on blocks. The wall will include filling this to level. I could use ramps but I will use both of these things during winter so I need easy access.
 
Well the engineer emailed us a weak excuse. But he spoke to the wall builder last night and admitted he messed up again. They are speaking this morning so we hope to have a better path forward soon.

KimKats: The ATV and John Deere will be used over the winter. ATV for fun and Deere has a snow blower. But if this project doesn't move forward this year I am considering a small temporary shelter for them so I can keep the car in the garage.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
42,135
Tallahassee, FL
At least he admitted he messed up. Here is hoping they can figure out what the steps are to move forward...........sigh if only he had done it right in the beginning :(

Good idea on the temp storage. I can't even think of having to scrape a car each morning to go to work!

Kim:kim:
 
Engineer finally got the drawing right. Problem now is that the wall is actually larger and the new quote is likely to be much more. So basically this happened with engineer drawings...

Drawing 1: Wall was not long enough to include the shed as was discussed. Engineer error as he had walked the property and knew what we wanted. Pool builder provided quote of 50K. This was just under 1000 sq ft of block.

Drawing 2: Engineer corrected drawing 1 to what it should have been. But he should not have since we changed the plan based on the wall builder suggestion. The new drawing showed almost 1700 sq ft of block. We didn't notice that as we knew the drawing was wrong anyhow. Holy cow, can't imagine what the price would have/should have been.

Drawing 3: Finally correct to new specs. Just under 1200 square feet of block.

Expecting new quote by Monday. Below is the new updated drawing. Wall only on one side with just short corners in. Fill will be used to level and tier the yard. Expect new quote will be more than original, but pool builder should absorb some of the overage due to the errors with his engineer and quotes.


 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
42,135
Tallahassee, FL
OUCH! All of that for a wall...............well it is more than just a wall but still!!! I am glad they finally got it right and hope it does not hurt your wallet to bad.
 

Rich D

Bronze Supporter
Aug 3, 2018
583
MA
I am curious why they are turning the wall 90 degrees at the end instead of just keeping it along the property line and staggering the blocks down?

Have you decided where you will run the fence in relation to the fence?
 
I am actually curious about that too. My guess was it's a way to solidify/secure the end of the wall with the amount of fill. But I will ask that question.

As for the fence, we aren't really sure. We want to see the wall built and find pool placement. We may be putting fence around the pool area separately or we may fence the entire yard. Undecided as of yet.
 
Well nothing but bad news. We fired the pool builder today. The new wall estimate came in at 70K. Absolutely ridiculous. Pretty sure the pool builder was already lining his pockets with the original quote. Now he is wanting even more and he isn't taking a hit at all due to his screw up. I know it's easy for people to not blame him. But he walked the property. He had the drawing and we asked him to come walk it to make sure we understood it. He was wrong and acting as the general contractor. So back to the drawing board. I'm thinking we will hire the wall contract out ourselves and then deal with a pool builder.
 

Rich D

Bronze Supporter
Aug 3, 2018
583
MA
Uggg... Sorry to hear that... Separating it out does make sense. As you have gotten a taste for you will end up doing most of the general contracting yourself even if you hire a general contractor. From what I have seen most pool builders do not even know how to dig and install a pool yet alone try to build walls. There are incompetent and shady company's in every field of the construction industry but in my opinion the pool building industry seems to have a greater percentage of them.

I would get a list of installers that the block company recommends and then go to another block company like shay concrete and do the same. You really want someone who has installed these blocks before. It is not rocket science but you really do not want to pay a contractor to learn how to do them on your dime. Be sure they have been in business a long time and ask for references.

You should also pin down how you want to do the fence. It appears from the plan you are leaving some of the block above ground for safety I would imagine. If you core the blocks and install the fence on top of them this allows you to set top of block at finish grade (possibly saving money which can go towards the coring) and eliminates a maintenance area that will be created if the fence is not on the wall. All these are great ideas to run by the ones bidding the wall. This will give you a feel for how much experience they have. Be sure to ask how they will handle the drainage as well.
 
All is not lost. The guy that was going to build the wall came over today to talk with us about options. As he was working with the pool builder you can imagine it's a bit of a sticky situation to not include the pool builder. But so far we aren't so happy with pricing from the PB. Anyhow we are hiring this guy to fill and grade the back of the yard without a wall. He wants us to see how it will look with a more level yard before we decide on the wall. He thinks that once we add the fill (gravel mostly) we will be able to better visualize everything, see where the pool will go, see if we need a wall, etc. So he will start this week.

Still not sure we will back to the same pool builder. But if we can get away with much less wall we will have more budget. I'll post pics once we have some work done. We have between 500 and 800 yards of fill coming.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
42,135
Tallahassee, FL
LIfts.......lifts will be oh so important for this! As they add in fill they should only add so much (I forget how many inches) THEN compact it. This will ensure it is compacted all of the way. If they add all of the fill at one time THEN compact the lower stuff will not get compacted and could settle down the road. We have seen many a deck sink and get messed up due to not compacting the fill often. I will look around to see how much should be added before compacting.

Did he contact you on his own? He must be *hungry* so you might get a half way decent price for the work!
 
He didn't contact us on his own. We texted him to have him come give us some ideas. He was the only so far that we trust. He talked about compacting. HIs excavator is still here in my yard. He obviously doesn't have work requiring it right now and would like to make some money. It is the off season.

...and of course we are now going to get 13 inches of snow from now until Tuesday, so this will be delayed again.