Wrong pebble tec installed

Jdyer1960

Member
Feb 22, 2021
12
Florida
My pool contractor put the wrong color pebble into my pool. If that wasn't bad enough, they left the pool without any chemicals or filtration for 6 days. ( they said they forgot to schedule start up. I'm now in a dilemma of what to do. I really dont trust them to redo with the correct color. So how much is the plaster compromised from no chemicals, brushing, or filtering for 6 days? And will my pool be compromised from redoing with the correct pebble???
Help.... what should I do?
 

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mknauss

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Welcome to the forum.
Yikes -- that is quite the color difference.
I assume you wanted the darker one? Would have made your pool water really pretty warm in the summer.

As far as startup, some of it depends on your pool fill water chemistry. But it can most likely be fine if you are willing to stay with the plaster color (and a very large monetary settlement).
 

kimkats

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Good news it is looks like they did a good job with that plaster. Yeah it is the wrong color.

They can chip out the plaster and replaster without messing up the pool shell.

Now saying that do you really hate the plaster in there now? Is there an amount of money that will make you like it better? If so then make that offer to the PB and see what he says. If not then have them fix it.
 

JJ_Tex

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My blue surf was very blue looking plaster that faded over the first 30 days to more of a grey plaster. They still got yours wrong but I would guess it would turn a bit to grey as well. You wont even notice it with your new free ledge loungers and/or patio furniture.
 
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setsailsoon

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What does your contract say?
 

Jdyer1960

Member
Feb 22, 2021
12
Florida
So if I decide I can live with the color, can the discoloration be fixed where they left the auto fill on, snd it left s line all the way down to the drain
 

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setsailsoon

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It's good that you have the finish requirement documented. I was going to say I'd live with the finish if the work quality was good. But that photo of the pool bottom looks terrible. If it's fixable they need to fix it. Your contract position is strong unless there is gobbledygook language that waters down your recourse.

All said what is your PB position on this?

Chris

PS Even a complete refinish would not be worth a lawsuit. What's important is your leverage with a strong contractual position. It appears you have that!
 

Jdyer1960

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Feb 22, 2021
12
Florida
I believe my contract is pretty strong. They ignored my emails for weeks, and just last week admitted they dropped the ball. No one has come out to even look at all the issues. If that line could be fixed, I'd just assume hire another company to fix it.
 

OrlandoBull

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Jul 30, 2015
202
Winter Garden , FL
Don't know about the discoloration, it probably will fade over time, but I doubt that your eyes will ever be able to not see it without some intervention.

Others around are much more knowledgeable than me, but...

- I don't think Pebble Tec brand has a color called "tropics blue", they have a tropical breeze, possibly semantics, but it leads me to wonder if this is truly pebble tec at all.
- There looks to be way too much plaster in your photo... meaning not enough pebbles. Did they acid wash it?
- With the plaster, it looks like 50/50 pebble to plaster... a good install should be 80/20 or 90/10ish in my opinion... If I am correct, and that's a big if... this finish likely won't last as long as a proper pebble finish should.

Sorry that you're having to deal with this, I hope that my observations are off base and someone else give you some better direction. To my untrained eye, something looks "off" with that finish. I personally don't think there is anything wrong with a knock-off pebble finish, but if they contracted with you for pebble tec, it should have been installed by a certified pebble tec contractor. If they "forgot" to do the startup, is it possible that they also "forgot" the acid wash? It honestly could be the same as your sample, but if the excess plaster isn't etched out, it won't show the pebbles properly.

If it were mine, I would ask them how they intend to fix it. Don't start with demands, see what they say. I would expect a redo of it quite honestly. Do you mind sharing where you are in FL? In the Orlando Area, I think there is one large Pebble Tec applicator for instance. If it is indeed a pebble tec product and applicator, you could possibly reach out to pebble tec directly and get them to put some pressure on the applicator to fix it.
 
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Jdyer1960

Member
Feb 22, 2021
12
Florida
It's good that you have the finish requirement documented. I was going to say I'd live with the finish if the work quality was good. But that photo of the pool bottom looks terrible. If it's fixable they need to fix it. Your contract position is strong unless there is gobbledygook language that waters down your recourse.

All said what is your PB position on this?

Chris

PS Even a complete refinish would not be worth a lawsuit. What's important is your leverage with a strong contractual position. It appears you have that!
Pool company first wasn't taking any ownership, now after 2 letters to the owner the foreman finally reached out and said he'd stop by to see what can be done. I did of coarse receive my final invoice. So far it's been 3 weeks And no one has come to address all the issues. It's just baffling to me
 

Jdyer1960

Member
Feb 22, 2021
12
Florida
Don't know about the discoloration, it probably will fade over time, but I doubt that your eyes will ever be able to not see it without some intervention.

Others around are much more knowledgeable than me, but...

- I don't think Pebble Tec brand has a color called "tropics blue", they have a tropical breeze, possibly semantics, but it leads me to wonder if this is truly pebble tec at all.
- There looks to be way too much plaster in your photo... meaning not enough pebbles. Did they acid wash it?
- With the plaster, it looks like 50/50 pebble to plaster... a good install should be 80/20 or 90/10ish in my opinion... If I am correct, and that's a big if... this finish likely won't last as long as a proper pebble finish should.

Sorry that you're having to deal with this, I hope that my observations are off base and someone else give you some better direction. To my untrained eye, something looks "off" with that finish. I personally don't think there is anything wrong with a knock-off pebble finish, but if they contracted with you for pebble tec, it should have been installed by a certified pebble tec contractor. If they "forgot" to do the startup, is it possible that they also "forgot" the acid wash? It honestly could be the same as your sample, but if the excess plaster isn't etched out, it won't show the pebbles properly.

If it were mine, I would ask them how they intend to fix it. Don't start with demands, see what they say. I would expect a redo of it quite honestly. Do you mind sharing where you are in FL? In the Orlando Area, I think there is one large Pebble Tec applicator for instance. If it is indeed a pebble tec product and applicator, you could possibly reach out to pebble tec directly and get them to put some pressure on the applicator to fix it.
I'm in Naples , the pebbles are actually stone scapes Tropics Blue. They did acid wash it, but not evenly. I've lost all confidence in this company.
 

OrlandoBull

Well-known member
Jul 30, 2015
202
Winter Garden , FL
I'm in Naples , the pebbles are actually stone scapes Tropics Blue. They did acid wash it, but not evenly. I've lost all confidence in this company.

That makes sense. I had tropics blue in my last pool and I can see that in your sample now. Hopefully now that you have their attention, they will take care of you.

I am not an attorney, but if you think you will be in a dispute with them, there is probably a proper way to handle. Withholding your final payment may feel good, but it could put you in a bad spot at some point in the process. If you have someone who can give you free advice on that aspect of it, you may want to make sure that you are proceeding in the best way.
 

setsailsoon

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Does your contract have any reference to a performance test of any kind prior to final payment? What about quality? Any reference to workmanship standards?
 

kimkats

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I have a friend that has won a couple of judgements for poor work. I will give him a shout for you @Dirk

I know one thing he will say is to get EVERYTHING in writing from now on. No phone calls or face to face talking without an email follow up "On Tuesday 2/23/21 we talked about xxx and yyy way said" kind of thing.
 
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setsailsoon

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Unfortunately, pool construction contracts are often written for the PB by their attorney. This results in very one-way documents that I always advise changes to before signing. For example, often payment is required upon completion of an activity with no reference to quality and some even stipulate that payment must be made even if there are unsettled outstanding claims. Even if you signed such a contract there may still be recourse though. As Kim mentioned @Dirk has had success in small claims court.

Sounds like your builder has been unresponsive or barely responsive. I would send a demand letter for the builder to meet with you in person to resolve this matter within a set period of time (say 3 days) to avoid further action. Send it certified mail and make sure you list the attempts to contact him and other pertinent information. It would seem to me that he's definitely in breach and that's usually a big deal. This alone should give you leverage. I'm not an attorney just spent most of my career managing construction. I've been through the claims process via legal channels and negotiated settlement. Whenever possible the latter has always worked out best for all parties. But it starts with in-person meetings not emails or texts. After your first in-person meeting you should be able to assess if you want to try to work it out together or that it's a waste of time.

So sorry to hear your going through this and I hope this is helpful.

Chris
 
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Jdyer1960

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Feb 22, 2021
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Don't know about the discoloration, it probably will fade over time, but I doubt that your eyes will ever be able to not see it without some intervention.

Others around are much more knowledgeable than me, but...

- I don't think Pebble Tec brand has a color called "tropics blue", they have a tropical breeze, possibly semantics, but it leads me to wonder if this is truly pebble tec at all.
- There looks to be way too much plaster in your photo... meaning not enough pebbles. Did they acid wash it?
- With the plaster, it looks like 50/50 pebble to plaster... a good install should be 80/20 or 90/10ish in my opinion... If I am correct, and that's a big if... this finish likely won't last as long as a proper pebble finish should.

Sorry that you're having to deal with this, I hope that my observations are off base and someone else give you some better direction. To my untrained eye, something looks "off" with that finish. I personally don't think there is anything wrong with a knock-off pebble finish, but if they contracted with you for pebble tec, it should have been installed by a certified pebble tec contractor. If they "forgot" to do the startup, is it possible that they also "forgot" the acid wash? It honestly could be the same as your sample, but if the excess plaster isn't etched out, it won't show the pebbles properly.

If it were mine, I would ask them how they intend to fix it. Don't start with demands, see what they say. I would expect a redo of it quite honestly. Do you mind sharing where you are in FL? In the Orlando Area, I think there is one large Pebble Tec applicator for instance. If it is indeed a pebble tec product and applicator, you could possibly reach out to pebble tec directly and get them to put some pressure on the applicator to fix it.
Thank you for all this great information. I immediately started all correspondence in writing, the problem is they've been ignoring me. Someone was supposed to set up a meeting yesterday which with no surprise never happened. I'm now thinking maybe I should call in another pool company to see if they could at least fix the wrong color so it's somewhat presentable. They started my redo December 12th. New bench, new skimmer, redo hot tub piping due to leak and refinish with tropics blue stone scapes. So I'm over my backyard being a mess. I also have a pallet with about 300lbs of plaster still sitting in my backyard that has now killed my grass and an eyesore. I ve luckily only paid them 25% which is what the contract requested, with full payment 15 days after completion.
 

ajw22

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You have to give the company you have a contract with proper notice and opportunity to correct their defects. If you just bring another company in to continue work and replace your plaster you may be liable for all previous costs to your first builder. This is not a forum for legal advice and you should consult with a Florida attorney.

Consumer protection laws vary by state. Getting advice on what works in other states may not work in your state. You have a problem on your hands. If you want the legal system on your side you need to do it the way Florida prescribes.
 

TexasEd

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Sep 11, 2020
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Austin, TX
Agree with above. Only work with your current company now. They must have an opportunity to address it if you are going to get anything out of them.

Hiring another company now could let them off the hook for fixing it or reimbursing you for anything.
 

Dirk

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So far you've been getting excellent advice! The standouts:

- My experience is exclusively in CA, so you need to make sure any advice you get here actually applies in FL.

- You can't yet bring in another company. You have to write a demand letter first. That letter will likely need to include certain components to make it a true demand letter. In CA, that is a description of the facts, your demands, a deadline to perform, and a statement that non-performance will result in another contractor finishing the job and that you are going to sue for the cost of the repair should the PB not pay for the repair. FL may differ.

- In CA, once the demand letter is delivered, you would be entering a "Good Faith Dispute." While in a GFD you do not need to make any further payments until the dispute is resolved. If you are found to be in the wrong, you might be on the hook for some interest, but that will be negligible. Best not to pay any more until you're satisfied. So you might check to see if FL has a similar GFD statute.

- Before you go down that road, ideally you can get a meet with the PB. Be sure you have a witness present for all future meetings, ideally not a relative. Follow up all meetings with an email that recaps what was said. Your witness might take notes for you during the meeting, to capture the conversation.

- You somehow need to determine if this was actually PebbleTec and if the PB is an authorized PebbleTec installer. That is going to make a huge difference. I helped someone else here that got their finish replaced under the PebbleTec warranty, and was able to avoid all the legal falderal. That's what you want. Even if the PB continues to ignore you, you might be able to get a PebbleTec rep to your pool to assess the install and perhaps help you pressure the PB to perform.

The reason I mention that last point is that I agree with post #10. I came to the same conclusion before reading it, just by looking at your pics. The color issue aside, you've got a stained finish and it wasn't installed correctly in the first place. IMO, "learning to live with the color" is not an option, as your finish installation is substandard. If it is PebbleTec, they should recognize that and either make the PB fix it, or arrange to have another authorized installer fix or replace it. It is entirely possible that your finish was not properly acid washed, and that the true color is still under there somewhere. Acid washing will also likely fix the stain. So that is the best case scenario. Worst case: complete replacement, which won't compromise your shell unduly. In fact, it will improve not only the appearance but also the longevity of the finish.

So first steps:
- demand letter (after determining FL's format requirements)
- continue to try to meet with PB (step up the requests, squeaky wheel and all that)
- determine if PB is an authorized PebbleTec installer (PebbleTec might be able to tell you, so call them if you have to)

We'll continue to track your progress and offer help when we can.
 

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