The Mess Is Now Plastered!

ald2002

Silver Supporter
Sep 10, 2020
167
Fort Mill, SC
I regret not finding this forum prior to my pool build! My dig started on 8.26 and my backyard looks like a tornado hit it. I fully understand a mess is inevitable but it seems after every contractor leaves the mess gets worse. For example, plastic covering from my gunite shoot still graces my backyard along with empty cans of beverages. The masons started yesterday and pulled the wood frame from around my shell and that lays in a corner. In another area there are remnants of coping. The masons have not finished their work since we received s bad batch of coping that needs replacement. Is the extent of this mess normal? How often is the excess debris supposed to be cleared?

Also, how often is the project manager supposed to visit the job site. He showed up one time - day one of excavation. Is th
 

ald2002

Silver Supporter
Sep 10, 2020
167
Fort Mill, SC
I regret not finding this forum prior to my pool build! My dig started on 8.26 and my backyard looks like a tornado hit it. I fully understand a mess is inevitable but it seems after every contractor leaves the mess gets worse. For example, plastic covering from my gunite shoot still graces my backyard along with empty cans of beverages. The masons started yesterday and pulled the wood frame from around my shell and that lays in a corner. In another area there are remnants of coping. The masons have not finished their work since we received s bad batch of coping that needs replacement. Is the extent of this mess normal? How often is the excess debris supposed to be cleared?

Also, how often is the project manager supposed to visit the job site. He showed up one time - day one of excavation. Is th
I left off words in my last sentence. Is this normal?
 

melonhead1382

Active member
Jul 29, 2020
32
Lincoln, CA
I'm in contract and have a dig date in January. Everyone I talked to that has a pool all said the same thing. Your yard is going to look like a tornado hit it. Some said they picked up the trash after each contractor left and some said they contacted the PB and they came out and cleaned up.
 

ald2002

Silver Supporter
Sep 10, 2020
167
Fort Mill, SC
I'm in contract and have a dig date in January. Everyone I talked to that has a pool all said the same thing. Your yard is going to look like a tornado hit it. Some said they picked up the trash after each contractor left and some said they contacted the PB and they came out and cleaned up.
Thank you! Good luck to you.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
21,502
I left off words in my last sentence. Is this normal?
Is it normal for you to leave words off of a sentence? Hard to tell with only a few posts to go by.

LOL. Just kidding. :p
I have lost trust in this builder.
But seriously, this is the key issue.

Part of the contractor's job is to make sure that you feel confident about what's happening and to make sure that you're not frustrated or unsure about anything.

When a contractor leaves a mess, it feels disrespectful to the customer and the property.

A good manager checks in frequently and makes sure that everything is going well and that the customer is happy.

That's obviously not happening. Talk with the salesperson, the project manager and the business owner to let them know that you're not completely satisfied with the current state of their overall performance.

Hopefully, they will do better going forward.

In any case, welcome to the site. We're glad that you're here.
 

ald2002

Silver Supporter
Sep 10, 2020
167
Fort Mill, SC
Is it normal for you to leave words off of a sentence? Hard to tell with only a few posts to go by.

LOL. Just kidding. :p

But seriously, this is the key issue.

Part of the contractor's job is to make sure that you feel confident about what's happening and to make sure that you're not frustrated or unsure about anything.

When a contractor leaves a mess, it feels disrespectful to the customer and the property.

A good manager checks in frequently and makes sure that everything is going well and that the customer is happy.

That's obviously not happening. Talk with the salesperson, the project manager and the business owner to let them know that you're not completely satisfied with the current state of their overall performance.

Hopefully, they will do better going forward.

In any case, welcome to the site. We're glad that you're here.
Thanks for the advice!
 

BowserB

Silver Supporter
Jul 29, 2018
373
Katy, Texas
That may be typical. Ours got cleaned maybe twice. Every day I went to the "trash pile" to see if they threw away something I needed. That's where I got the manuals for the pumps, filter, heater, etc. Also scavenged some unused parts. Later, I recovered the leftover stone from the coping. Broke it into manageable pieces and used them for freeform stepping stones from the decking to the equipment pad. At the end of the job, a cleanup crew came in and picked up the trash pile, added some fill dirt, and pretty much smoothed everything out. For months I found small items they found it easier to cover than pick up.
 
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mguzzy

Gold Supporter
Jul 8, 2015
2,417
OV, CA
Each contractor should clean up after themselves... leaving beverage cans is unacceptable. I've seen it done two ways. Each contractor picks up after their part or a big garbage pile is created that would be picked up at the end of the job. You are in the beginning stages and have at your disposal delaying paying to a particular phase if they are leaving a mess you feel is unwarranted. I mean, yeah, its essentially a construction site, but you have to live there. Send the PB pics of the mess and engage him in a convo about it. Its amazing how agreeable they get when the paycheck is on the line.
 
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ald2002

Silver Supporter
Sep 10, 2020
167
Fort Mill, SC
Each contractor should clean up after themselves... leaving beverage cans is unacceptable. I've seen it done two ways. Each contractor picks up after their part or a big garbage pile is created that would be picked up at the end of the job. You are in the beginning stages and have at your disposal delaying paying to a particular phase if they are leaving a mess you feel is unwarranted. I mean, yeah, its essentially a construction site, but you have to live there. Send the PB pics of the mess and engage him in a convo about it. Its amazing how agreeable they get when the paycheck is on the line.
Thank you! I contacted my PB and is aware of the mess and validated my concerns. The mess was to be cleaned on Friday but due to the rain it will be cleaned on Monday. Also, my backyard is small so there isn’t much more room for piles lol.
 
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ald2002

Silver Supporter
Sep 10, 2020
167
Fort Mill, SC
That may be typical. Ours got cleaned maybe twice. Every day I went to the "trash pile" to see if they threw away something I needed. That's where I got the manuals for the pumps, filter, heater, etc. Also scavenged some unused parts. Later, I recovered the leftover stone from the coping. Broke it into manageable pieces and used them for freeform stepping stones from the decking to the equipment pad. At the end of the job, a cleanup crew came in and picked up the trash pile, added some fill dirt, and pretty much smoothed everything out. For months I found small items they found it easier to cover than pick up.
They threw your manuals in the trash pile? Glad you found it. I worry about the wood pile since its copperhead season :cry:
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
3,058
Morris Cnty NJ
The bigger companies use all subs amd they are the messiest. Smaller guys clean as they go and are much neater. We clean up at the end of everyday amd just run the bobcat bucket full amd then dump into the dump truck. We leave the junk piles in our yard and clean that up when that pile gets too big and sticks out from behind the corner of shop
 

ald2002

Silver Supporter
Sep 10, 2020
167
Fort Mill, SC
The bigger companies use all subs amd they are the messiest. Smaller guys clean as they go and are much neater. We clean up at the end of everyday amd just run the bobcat bucket full amd then dump into the dump truck. We leave the junk piles in our yard and clean that up when that pile gets too big and sticks out from behind the corner of shop
Thank you for the information. I am from NJ and lived in Morris County.
 

Watershow

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2020
193
Riverside County, CA
The bigger companies use all subs amd they are the messiest. Smaller guys clean as they go and are much neater. We clean up at the end of everyday amd just run the bobcat bucket full amd then dump into the dump truck. We leave the junk piles in our yard and clean that up when that pile gets too big and sticks out from behind the corner of shop
Wish they all could be upstanding workers like yours. Today I found chicken bones on the floor, a half eaten granola bar, empty cans and water bottles after grading today. I just don’t get it.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,679
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Not that you asked...

I learned this the hard way, but it's been of good use since I did. Applies to just about all aspects of dealing with those pesky humans, in just about all circumstances, for strangers and friends and family alike! You cannot be upset that other people are not meeting your expectations if you never make your expectations known. You might feel you shouldn't have to, but that's not the way it works. Sounds like you've already done so regarding the trash, but you're going to need to do this often, all throughout your build.

Be polite and respectful, but be clear that you are not asking or negotiating, but rather explaining how things are going to go. You don't have to, and really shouldn't, address individual workers and subs, but rather make what you want known to the project manager and/or PB and allow them to manage their staff. Your absentee project manager issue is going to make that problematic, but that, too, can be one of the things you address. You can do this all in person, or in writing, ideally both: a conversation with a follow up email is a powerful thing, and can be very effective.

So the conversation, maybe a phone call, can be very simple:
"Hey Joe, I'm seeing a lot of garbage left around my yard. Please be sure that at the end of each day all refuge is picked up and removed from the job site. Thanks!"

Then a follow up email (the date stamp is a subliminal power trick):
September 30, 2020 - 9:10 AM
Joe, we spoke this morning by phone and we agreed that your workers would remove all trash at the end of each day.
Regards,
ALD

That's it. No complaining or emotions. Nothing about how much you hate seeing trash, or how it upsets you or the significant other. Just the facts, short and sweet, matter of fact: THIS IS HOW IT'S GOING TO BE. A clear indicator that YOU are in charge of your pool project.

If he pushes back, like "Well, we need a trash pile." then you push right back, with something reasonable, that you can both live with" "OK, understood, let's have that in one place, please, in the north east corner of the back yard." Or whatever. Be reasonable, but be clear.

And the simple matter of the garbage is a great way to set this stage. (Or use the next issue if the trash thing is handled already.) This is going to be a reoccurring theme throughout your build, and you need to make clear up front who is boss. There are going to be a lot of other topics and issues that you'll use this MO for, from tile defects to workmanship quality to where they park to overseeing dimensions to property damage to punch list, etc, etc. You use the same direct approach for each issue.

You can address the absentee project manager the same way:
"Hey Joe, I'm not seeing John the project manager nearly enough. Please make sure he checks in each day your subcontractors are onsite to supervise. I'm expecting him or you to be sure they're doing a quality job."
Then the follow up email. This, too, might get a push back. You decide on the fly how important each issue is to you, and how much you're going to insist. And as pointed out, you're holding the checkbook, so you've got the ultimate leverage.

Notice, you're not asking "Joe, can you make sure the trash is picked up?" You're telling: "Joe, please make sure the trash is picked up." It's not a small distinction.

The sooner you stand your ground on something seemingly inconsequential, the better. Then when there's something of real importance, like "Joe, the coping was not installed properly. Please meet me at the job site to discuss how this is going to be corrected. I'm available at the following times tomorrow..." you'll stand a better shot at an acceptable fix.

The only way the PB or his crew will take advantage of you is if you let them. And remember, they, and your pool, won't meet your expectations unless you make those expectations crystal clear.

Just a little un-asked-for advice! ;)

Oh, a most important component: make a concerted effort to thank and praise the workers, the manager and the PB when things go well. Everybody likes positive feedback. And nothing says that better than generous snacks and beverages handed out often. So go stock up on a pile of juices, sodas, Gatorade, snacks and treats: it'll be money well spent. And if all goes well, they won't leave any of those soda cans or snack wrappers behind! :D

Mr/Ms Nice when things are going well, B-on-wheels when not!
 
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