Update: Gunite (July 13) | New (+1st timer) Pool Build - North DFW

gingrbredman

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2020
323
Chicagoland
Pool Size
11200
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
From what I've read on the forums, the globrites can only be replaced with globrites when needed so you may want to consider something else that don't have that limitation (microbrites?).

Kathy brings up a good point. Globrites have a special niche which requires the same light when one goes out. Microbrites use a standard 1.5" opening, which could fit just about all the other lights out there, or any newer light Pentair comes out with. Most builders who install Pentair equipment usually will go with Globrites or Microbrites these days (Pentair brands), but if you read a lot of the issues here, neither have a great track record of making it to their warranty date. When you need to replace a light, replacing a Microbrite with whatever, is going to be a lot easier than if you have a Globrite in there.

Swapping the Globrites for Microbrites would give you a good light now, and good flexibility in the future.

You can check out my build for some pictures of Microbrites installed, and here is some other good information on the lights....

 

conradvaml

Well-known member
Sep 27, 2020
56
DFW
Pool Size
15000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Turbo Cell (T-CELL-5)
I started a build thread a while back but since there hasent been a reply in it over 60 days the forum website is telling me to start a new thread. If I shouldn’t do that, lmk.

Previous build thread: New (+1st timer) Pool Build - North DFW

We chose Builder B in the above thread. We went under contract last October and as of today, March, we still have yet to break ground. We finally had permits approved in December, but we didn’t get a dig date until February which has been delayed atleast 4 weeks due to weather. And, now we are being told that IF we are able to break ground next week, that we won’t have this pool completed until August. That’s 10 months since contracting, 5 months post dig, and no change orders and assuming no further delays.

This same builder built other pools in our neighborhood in 2-3 months last summer. I believe they oversold and are now trying to stay above water.

Today, I called Builder C and discussed transferring the permit to them. They are more expensive, but are quoting a 10-12 week build timeline and could dig within 2.5 weeks of giving them the go ahead (including permit transfer process). I sent them our permits and paperwork to get an updated contract and bid.

Builder C is a top builder nationally. I have not found a single bad comment about them. There are material and equipment differences (that I break down in the above link) but from my perspectives the differences are either a wash or are in Builder C’s favor.

Also, our current builder rep we are working with will take days to weeks to get back to me and often takes multiple bumps for a response. This is post sale. I believe he’s a good guy but is trying to manage too many pools at once.

Anyways....advice?
 
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JJ_Tex

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Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
2,497
Prosper, TX (DFW)
Pool Size
13000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Dang, sorry you are going through that. I would look at your contract with Builder A and see what your options are. Likely you will lose some $ for the "work" that they actually did. How confident are you that Builder C will not see the same delays?
 

conradvaml

Well-known member
Sep 27, 2020
56
DFW
Pool Size
15000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Turbo Cell (T-CELL-5)
Dang, sorry you are going through that. I would look at your contract with Builder A and see what your options are. Likely you will lose some $ for the "work" that they actually did. How confident are you that Builder C will not see the same delays?

While Builder B has good reputation, they do have reputation of being a budget builder. Probably one of the better budget builders, but a budget builder nonetheless. They very obviously have over sold and have too many pools to handle. Talking to their rep, it sounds like he’s had multiple other contracts back out similar to us.

A neighbor is working with Builder C and they had permit approval a few weeks after ours, and they are already waiting for gunite. They also contracted after we did.

Edit: already read contract. We’ve only paid a $750 deposit. The builder rep mentioned he’d be willing to let us out of contract but really hopes we don’t go there.
 
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Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
8,925
NY
I started a build thread a while back but since there hasent been a reply in it over 60 days the forum website is telling me to start a new thread. If I shouldn’t do that, lmk.
For continuity, your thread is your thread. The 60 day thing is really for the old threads where the participants are long gone. Anytime you have more of that story to share, please do. (There). Future folks will never see it all in 8 different spots. :)

I'm sorry you're dealing with where you're at. If he is the better of the budget builders he can't have the time to even answer the phone right now, and for the next year + even. I'm not defending him or saying its ok but the current demand is what it is. Don't want to wait and deal with their overbooking ? 20 new folks will fight over your spot. Its a rough call this late to see it through or cut your losses. Good luck and keep us posted.
 

conradvaml

Well-known member
Sep 27, 2020
56
DFW
Pool Size
15000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Turbo Cell (T-CELL-5)
Yeah, I guess going into it we had our doubts about this builder just from knowing they seem to be a bit of a budget builder, yet still family owned and have connections to our local community. The rep was great to work with, especially compared to most builders we talked to that never even got back to us.

builder C however was always the most...different. Super responsive. Texting, calling. Very nice. Family owned and while they may not be a Claffey (if you’re familiar with Dallas builders) they are up there. But, comes with the price tag. So I guess through every delay, lapse in communication, feeling like we may be lied to (but not knowing for sure), it has made us doubt our decision. And months later we haven’t even broken ground.

I have communication from our current builder blaming the city for the permit delays, and an email saying they are expecting permits back any day now, yet my city has record of receiving the permit application a week after that email. Just little things like that...
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
8,925
NY
I have communication from our current builder blaming the city for the permit delays, and an email saying they are expecting permits back any day now, yet my city has record of receiving the permit application a week after that email. Just little things like that.
If they are that busy they can't possibly keep track of who is where when asked on the spot. I would expect most answers to be random guesses. Again, it doesn't make it right though.
 

conradvaml

Well-known member
Sep 27, 2020
56
DFW
Pool Size
15000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Turbo Cell (T-CELL-5)
If they are that busy they can't possibly keep track of who is where when asked on the spot. I would expect most answers to be random guesses. Again, it doesn't make it right though.

Yup, that's why we've hung in there. And I know the current 4 weeks of weather delays aren't their fault, but do we really want to keep up with this mess for another 5 months, at least? When they originally pushed us to a Feb dig date they were quoting an April completion. Now we're expecting to dig March 8 and pushed back to an August completion. So, @Newdude, under what circumstances would YOU consider switching builders? I'm waiting to hear about the experience my neighbor is having with Builder C exactly, but if their experience is vastly different then ours, the new contract price is within 10% of our current contract price (we ended up at 90k w/ Builder A and I expect Builder C to now be at 100k), and Builder C is confident that we can get completed faster (again, assuming no further delays just like Builder A is currently quoting)....would that make it worth it to you? The extra $$$ isn't a large factor if it's going to be a lower stress build.

Don't get me wrong, I think the most likely outcome is us staying the course, but I'm very strongly considering the transfer and just want to understand from you all what I should be factoring into the decision. I fully believe Builder A is still a reasonably decent builder, and most of the delays aren't entirely their fault, but that doesn't make it right and we're still in this situation and need to do what's best for us.
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
8,925
NY
Don't get me wrong, I think the most likely outcome is us staying the course, but I'm very strongly considering the transfer and just want to understand from you all what I should be factoring into the decision. I fully believe Builder A is still a reasonably decent builder, and most of the delays aren't entirely their fault, but that doesn't make it right and we're still in this situation and need to do what's best for us.
I can't say what i would do without staring down that barrel in person. I believe you have covered every angle. So much so, it is making the decision harder. You also have the clarity and the reason to see that not everything is builder A's fault. A disappointed customer looses that ability to separate the 2 often so Bravo for keeping a cool and rational head.

Let's change the parameters and say his machinery blows up or gets stolen. Totally not his fault, but how long do you stay beside him if he can't get the ball rolling again? Then he flubs some answers being overwhelmed. Still a nice guy, doesn't mean any harm..... *would* do a good job if he could....... I don't envy your decision at all.
 

OrlandoBull

Well-known member
Jul 30, 2015
236
Winter Garden , FL
I don't want to weigh in here honestly, the world is crazy, so that part is what it is... IF you switch builders though, I would ask them for a full schedule and a commitment to stick to it. I know the Big Dogs have buying power and can get the subs to do what they want, but it's kind of shocking to me that they can promise such tight timelines. I'm in the midst of a month + wait for my layout dig steel, so I can't imagine your anxiety for how long you have waited so far.
 

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conradvaml

Well-known member
Sep 27, 2020
56
DFW
Pool Size
15000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Turbo Cell (T-CELL-5)
I think we will most likely transfer the permit as long as builder C’s prices haven’t raised too terribly much. Stay tuned, thanks all!
 
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conradvaml

Well-known member
Sep 27, 2020
56
DFW
Pool Size
15000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Turbo Cell (T-CELL-5)
Builder C got back to me and was able to mark some discounts since they aren't having to go through permitting ... we're at around 96k with them (basically giving us same price as before, even though they've raised prices in 2021) vs our current contract price of 89k with Builder B. A pending change order would've probably taken Builder B's cost back down to 86k so Builder C is still ~10k higher but we're thinking the accelerated time line and confidence of a smoother process is worth it.

Plus, they use Primera Wetedge plaster which is what we really wanted (vs Durazzo) and have better overall warranties. They use Hayward equipment over Pentair which is a bit of a bummer, but at least we're getting all of the latest Hayward equipment where Builder B was trying to shove us some older Pentair stuff.

Going to let Builder B know today of the potential change and try to get everything finalized by end of week. The pending questions I have for C include a written commitment of timeline and an explanation of where they are from an equipment/materials availability perspective post Texas winter storms. Anything else?
 
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PoolBrews

Well-known member
Oct 16, 2019
335
The Villages, Florida
Looking at all the quotes, I see no heater listed. In the area you are in a heater will extend your swimming season by a number of months, and make swimming more comfortable for those "Just OK" months. I would definitely look at adding a heater.
 
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conradvaml

Well-known member
Sep 27, 2020
56
DFW
Pool Size
15000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Turbo Cell (T-CELL-5)
Looking at all the quotes, I see no heater listed. In the area you are in a heater will extend your swimming season by a number of months, and make swimming more comfortable for those "Just OK" months. I would definitely look at adding a heater.

I'm asking the builder to make the equipment pad larger to fit a heater and we'll add a heater later if we want it. The run for the gas line won't be any different if it's added later vs now. Right now the gas contractors are super $$$$ and it might seriously end up costing us a lot less to add it later. Also doing the heater now subjects to delays since it has to be permitted and go through a specific certified contractor which are in super short supply right now due to the recent winter storms. Builder C even brought it up now and mentioned that it was good we didn't have a heater as that would extend build timeline.
 

conradvaml

Well-known member
Sep 27, 2020
56
DFW
Pool Size
15000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Turbo Cell (T-CELL-5)
Update: signed a new contract with Builder C today. Says we will be digging within 2.5 weeks. Estimating 14-16 weeks total to completion. We will see.

Small snag with permits. Apparently you can’t actually transfer a pool permit to a new builder. So we will be repermitting. Talked to my city’s permit manager at length. Builder thinks we can get everything approved this week. We will see.

Will be going back up to pool builder design studio this week to finalize any other selection changes. Current specs attached.

- just over 15k gallons
- Hayward equipment
- Omni VS + PL automation
- Tristar V950 pump
- 425 SF cartridge filter
- 3 color logic lights
- TCELL940 Salt
- wet edge Primera plaster
- aquanaut 450 incl, I’ll be upgrading to a robot
 

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conradvaml

Well-known member
Sep 27, 2020
56
DFW
Pool Size
15000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Turbo Cell (T-CELL-5)
Question for anyone following along - how do you think the pump and filter are sized? Should I adjust either. It looks like this is Hayward’s most powerful pump, but we only have one bubbler and no other water features. Filter seems pretty big but don’t know if I should try to go even bigger?

- 15k gallons
- Tristar V950 pump 2.7hp
- 425 SF cartridge filter
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
22,183
Bedford, TX
Conrad,

The both look good to me..

You can't go too big with a VS pump or a cartridge filter..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

geh

Gold Supporter
Nov 28, 2020
101
New Orleans
Not an expert by any means, but I wouldn't waste money on plumbing and pump for a pressure side cleaner. Ours was nothing but trouble. I got a Pentair Warrior SI robot for $600 and its a much better cleaner with no plumbing. Our plumbing and the pump sit idle now. If you can eliminate that line item and replace it with a pool heater you will get so much more use of your pool. I understand you are planning to add the pool heater later, just my two cents having both. ALso, I have a 15,600 gallon pool which is 11 ft x 40 ft, with a shelf along one side, and one benefit of an elongated pool is you can actually swim some laps for exercise. I know you are probably too far in the design process, just wanted to mention.
 

conradvaml

Well-known member
Sep 27, 2020
56
DFW
Pool Size
15000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Turbo Cell (T-CELL-5)
@Jimrahbe thanks for chiming in! I was mainly considering whether the filter was a good size (shouldn't be bigger) for the size pump. But sounds like we're good. Appreciate it.

@geh thanks! Some good insight. Responses below.
Not an expert by any means, but I wouldn't waste money on plumbing and pump for a pressure side cleaner.
Agreed. We are not adding a dedicated pump. There will be a dedicated suction line for a cleaner, and the Aquanaut that they're including will run off the main pump. The builder said that they won't build a pool without a dedicated line for cleaning so that we have flexibility to add a dedicated pump and such later. What's included now is the cheapest we can make it on the cleaning side of things with this builder (the Aquanaut 450 and suction line is included in their base price point). They recommend a Polaris 280 and booster pump of course, but we had them take that off since are getting a robot.

If you can eliminate that line item and replace it with a pool heater you will get so much more use of your pool
I wish adding a heater was comparable in price point to removing the cleaner+booster pump 😳. I want to say adding a heater easily adds $5k+ plus it will delay the build timeline due to the current shortage in that trade after the winter storms here in Texas. My father in law used to build pools in the 80s and is still registered with all of the pool distributors here in town. He repairs and services a few pools a year to this day. My brother in law is a master certified plumber (which can run gas lines). I plan on utilizing them to install a heater once things calm back down in this state 😀

ALso, I have a 15,600 gallon pool which is 11 ft x 40 ft, with a shelf along one side
Right now the "play area" of the pool is about 15x30. I wanted to make sure our pool was sized well to play water volleyball in with family... usually 5 on 5 games. My thinking is that 11ft might be too narrow for that. Most of the pools we play in are about 15x30, I think.
 
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