Our Pool Remodel with Mr. Carlos Pools

evepineda02April 10, 2012

So after much searching and many quotes from diffirent pool companies... The only reasonable in price was Mr. Carlos Pools. We were able to get everything that we wanted for our pool. You see we bought our house a year ago and although we loved and took much advantage of our pool the first year we were here, we always said that the pool needs a face lift...actually the whole back yard. So we thought it would be a good idea to tell our story... We started on April 9th with draining all the water of our pool and since we stop putting clorine in it we had a swamp in the back yard by the time it came time to drain it. I will have many pictures to go along with this blog.

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Wish you the best experience. You will enjoy. Best of Luck.
Keep record of every day and log it here or on your own CPU. Just FYI.
I just finished mine and LOVE the experience and the pics that tell the story.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 2:48AM
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Thanks Jannelle, I wanted to add pictures that I have so far but having a hard time doing it any ideas how I can do that. Thanks

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 12:49PM
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Same problem I had. Horrible.
You have to have a website album, like photobucket. Put your pictures in there. Then upload from there. You put your mouse over your picture (after the upload and pics are in your album) and then a 4 code format pops up and you right click on the 3rd option, and hit copy, then move over to this site and paste.
Open two tabs so it's easier. I had the same problem, not knowing how people uploaded pics.
Good Luck. :)
Your welcome.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 1:01PM
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Hey Jannelle did you post your story and pictures would love to take a look post a link if possible.


    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 7:22PM
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Yeah. Just search " Might Finally Finish my Dream Pool ".
I think thats the title. or just search; jannellee

Hope you enjoy.
Lots of pics and day to day tracking. Let me know if you need any help or more detail or pics. I have loads. I kept track of every detail. I didn't take anything for granted. After my first experience.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 9:46PM
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Ok I am going to try and load my pictures so you can see...

this is how green the pool got before we emptied it... I dared anyone in my family to jump in but everyone was to grossed out....

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 9:56PM
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We bought this house a year ago and the pool was built in the late 1960s so It was in need for a face lift.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 10:02PM
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So the Demo started at 9:00 am I was so excited to see them start... From this point on no one in our family (besides for us who live here) will be able to see the back yard. We are going to have a big party and suprise everyone with the finish project.

Here is a small clip of the work in progress.

So it turned out that there was two layers of plaster that they had to go through before they reached the gunite... and I was told that the gunite was a bit thin as well.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 10:32PM
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There goes the coping I am not a fan of the brick style coping just not my style..

Here I am with my little one standing at the bottom of our demoed pool...

Here is just another picture I found of how nasty the pool got.

So today turned out to be a rainy day so they were unable to finish hauling away the rest of the demoed material. Hopefully we can finish the demo tomorrow so that the next part of the project can begin... yet right now we can not come to an agrement on the tile that we want...

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 11:15PM
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So we started the framing the spa that we are adding on 4/16 and I was really impressed on how fast they worked two guys dug the hole and then framed it our it will be a 5x7 spa nothing that big... we didn't want to take away from the size the pool so we built it on the outside which will then spill in to the pool on the shallow side. here is some pictures... the next step will be the plumbing and electrical.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 1:10PM
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So, today the new equipment has arrived... Which I was super suppriesed to see beacuse I was just on the phone with Gary yesterday afternoon when he said he was ordering it so that the plumbers could come out. I was thinking that everything would be here next week... But I was wrong everything got here today and the plumber is comeing tomorrow... I am just thrilled about how everything is coming together and how efficent Mr. Carlos Pools is. I have to say that I can be a little bit of a bug when it comes to projects I have to be 100% in the loop and in control. And I love to get a deal on stuff, so there were some things that we wanted in the back yard that were not in our budget when we did the contracts. So we looked around and I was able to find some Luminar Deck jets really cheap so they are going to be putting it in. They are really great about any changes that I want to make and all of my questions that I ask. I have to say I really am impressed with this company so far. I will post more pictures of the plumbing work tomorrow.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 6:13PM
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Ok so it's been a little crazy but here is my continued update.I last left off with the equipment being delivered. The next day the plumbers came Sergio was the one incharge he is the plumber and the electrician. As I mentioned earlier I was able to get some deck jets I just needed then to be installed. So, I asked the Sergio what it would cost? I have to be honest this is where I was a bit upset. He wanted to charge me $1900 to install the 3 deck jets that I bought. The reason that this made me upset was because when we were talking to Steve the sales man for Carlos Pools I asked him how much it would be to put in 4 deck jets he told me that it would be $1000 for the jets and the installation. Now I know that These were the Laminars not the standered deck jets but still. I thought that was a bit outragous. So then I asked ok just do the plumbing for me don't do the electrical or run the fiber optics. He then told me that it's going to be $1300 for that. I still thought that it was to much but I really needed the plumbing to be run and I had to make a choice right then and there so I bit the bullet and had it done but still felt ripped off.
I had to run the electrical for the light generator and the fiber optics for each of the deck jets and set them as well cause they were not going to do it either. Not only that but also I have a light switch inside my house that was connected to the pool light, I asked if we could have it still work that way. He told me that no cause it would be to hard to find out where that wire was. I was bummed about this cause I really liked that feature. But we let it go cause my husband was able to find a Easy Intelitouch by Pentair with the touch screen remote so that would solve that problem. But I wouldn't dare ask him the Electrician to install it instead of the sub-panel that he was going to install cause it was I already know it was going to be an outrage price, my husband has an electrican friend that will do it for us later on. Anyways we also ran some eletrical ourselves so that we can have some extra outlets around the yard. What we did was use the old electrical that was for the pool pump to power the outlets and the power that was for pool light which was controlled by the switch in the house connected it to a light we ran in the far conner of the yard which worked out perfect now we can turn on the light from inside the house, so that electric didn't go to waste.
Ok now for some pictures of the progress...

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 12:24PM
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So a new team came out the gunite team to shoot the spa and the bench seat. They were super nicethey explianed to me the gunite process and answered all my questions that I had. I was very happy with the work that they did. Here are the pictures that show there work.

After that was 10 days of watering it 2 times a day.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 12:46PM
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So this past Friday 5/4/12 Alex came a very nice man. He was to do the tile, coping and drains, grading and maybe the cement. So he showed us the stone for the coping that he picked up to make sure that it was the one that we chose. We chose Hy Desert Flagstone because it had the colors that we were looking for. Up to this point it was hard to see everything come together but after they cut and laid out the flagstone we could see our pool finally looking like we hoped it would. So here is what they have done so far...

They started to lay out the tile we had a very hard time choosing our tile we started looking since the start of the project and yet we didn't make a choose until a week before it was tile time. We ordered from National Pool Tile it was called Tuscany- Pietra Azul 6x6 HBLU
We were not 100% in love with it but it was the best of all that we saw except for a tile that came in 1x1 squares but everyone advised us against it because of the grout lines that it would end up looking horrible. But now that it is on there we actually like it alot more it blends very well with the coping.

Here are the deck jets that we placed ourselves we marked the place we barried the fiber optics cables so that Alex would not hit it when he did the grading. will have more pictures today after they finish more of the job.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 1:27PM
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Looks good so far! That's a LOT of work.

What is the name of your tile? I think I have the same. Also, in the first few pictures your pool looks so much smaller than the one with you and your daughter in it. What were the original dimensions?

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 8:16PM
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Aqua-Link Pools and Spas

Just a quick word of advice. Have your builder cut an expansion joint between the top of the existing pool bond beam where the new spa dam wall sits on and after cutting use a flexible mastic between the two. Engineers will tell you not to have any structural connection between the new spa and the pool. What happens is when the spa settles (because I'm sure no soils report was done)the spa will pull on the rebar that is epoxied into the pool shell and cause your pool shell to crack. Sorry I did not see this earlier but I've been busy and was just glancing through tonight. If you have any questions about it you can call Pool Engineering in Tustin, California or Water Shapes engineering in Cardiff, California.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 12:42AM
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Hey Banana_fanna Tile it was called Tuscany- Pietra Azul 6x6 HBLU I was a bit nervous in picking it because I was not sure if it was going to match the coping and the pebble that we chose but as you will see in some of the other pictures to come they it worked out great.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2012 at 12:56AM
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Ok I know it's been a little bit since my last post but I'm ready to show you what has been going on since my last post... so let me finish by showing you how the tile and coping came out as well as the stack stone around the spa.

Once again I can't thank Alex enough for the fantastic job that he did.

The Spa came out just beautiful.

He made it so that when the water falls out of the spa it dosen't just trikle onto the rock but forms a sheer decent.

here is the drain work that Alex did. We have to use French Drains because the level of your yard is the same level as the street so we can not have the drain lead to the street with out useing a pump.

And that completes the tile and coping. Next step is in the processes will be doing the pebble.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2012 at 2:04PM
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So I know that I said that next step that it was time for pebble but I forgot that it was time for the deck to be put in first. I was very excited to see it the cement truck just cause I was really tired of the dirt and it going inside my house.

The Cement truck has arrived...

let the cement run...

and pour..

I went with the crazy line design for the scoring to give the deck more life I didn't want that to see the straight score line way to boring for my taste.

After the score lines are done it needs to be smothed out like icing on a cake.

They had to climb on my fence to make the lines and smoth everything out.
We were so happy to have a deck again.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2012 at 3:00PM
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Ok so after inspection it was time for them to do the pebble. We chose the color Tropical Blue with Abalone Shells.I had no idea what a long process... I really liked the company that came out to do it they were the same company that did the demo. There company is called and would highly recommend them to anyone doing a small or large project. They are called Aqua Scape Pools.
Now for the pictures...

You really don't start to see the color in the first spray.

Now you can see the pebble come through.

So this is the first of look before the acid wash. It will happen the next day.

At first I was scared that the tile was not going to match with the pebble but after seeing I was so happy to see that it was a great match.
Well Acid wash coming soon and the plumbers were by to connect all the electrical and tonight we will be filling up the pool. Let's see how long it will take to fill it up. It's a 15x35 pool and it goes from 3 feet to 9 feet. I am going to take a guess and it will be 12 hours. Keep you posted.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2012 at 5:52PM
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Aqua-Link Pools and Spas

So my thought is.... how did you pass your pre-deck inspection without the required NEC bonding requirement around the pool?Just curious.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2012 at 11:45PM
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Pools94 yeah we had a pre-deck inspection and he saw that we did ground everything to the pool frame. I assume it was done done correctly or up to code because the inspector approved it.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2012 at 10:03AM
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They didnt fill it with water ?

    Bookmark   May 26, 2012 at 6:09PM
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Ok I haven't kept up with the postings since I was so close to the end.... Here is what happened since the day after the Pebble was placed....Which was May 24th, on the 25th a Friday they came to acid wash it and wow it just made it shine. We were very happy with it except for one small detail as you can see in a picture that I posted before in the middle of the pool there is a line or half circle that forms in the middle of the pool well that's were the second batch was mixed in and added so there is that line they say they have no control over that and well it's not like thay are going to take it all out and do it over. I mean I can live with it but it does drive my husband crazy... Anyways, that same day after the acid wash we started to fill the pool it took us 26 hours to fill the pool.... But it did look beautiful when it was done... although my husband didn't wait till it was full to get it.

This time around we dicided that we would do the chemicals ourselves to save some money I called many places for advice and the most helpful was a local mom and pop pool shop we have in town. Set me up with everything we needed and gave me a crash corse in how to maintain the pool. So far so good...

Now that we had the pool filled we were excited to start filling up our back yard with all of our patio stuff... so we needed to get a finally inspection so start doing that. Now most would think that would be the easy part of the this whole remodel project, think again it has been the most frustrating and annoying part.

So here is my story I will try to be breif... I called Monday after the pool was filled to ask for the gunite report so that we could have final inspection. They said no problem we will get on it and get that to you. So that week went by and no report that was the week of the 5/28. So let go to the next week 6/4 Called agian looking for my report hoping to have better news instead I was told that the report takes time it has to be analized in a lab and can take up to a month to get back. I thought well we did gunite about a month ago so where is my report. They said we will check on it. Another week went by now the week of 6/11 hoping that this would be the week so that I could have a nice family BBQ on the weekend... No I was told that the deputy inspector has the report and the it was done but that he need to get it to the gunite guy but that the deputy inspector lives in Lancaster and that it was to far and doesnt alway get to see him. At this point I offered to make the hour and a half drive if there wasn't traffic to go get the report myself. But then when I asked the gunite guy for the deputy inspectors information he was like well let me call Gary (my contractor) and I'll call you back. To say the least I did not get a call back that day so I called my contractor the next day to see what was going on... This is the next story that I got, Oh the report is still in the lab and they wont release it until you pay us which by this point I had for seen this issue and my contractor already had my check in his posesion. They said well the lab will need to send us the invoice and that takes about a day and then we pay them and then they release the report in another day or two. This is now our present week of 6/18 and now that the lab has been paid and the report has been released... I call the contractor and ask where is the report? They said to me we don't have it the Gunite guy has it you need to call him. I said alright, I called the Gunite guy and he says no I don't have it this other Deputy Inspector that works with the other one that lives in Lancater has the report, I say well give me his number so I can get it from him. The story only gets better I promise... He tells me that he will call the inspector but he has not been feeling well so I don't know if he will have it ready in time. I am like great another delay... By this point I'm starting to think that this report is a figure of my imagination. Anyhow, he says that he will call him and see if he can get it from him today. I call before 3 pm today to see if there was any world on my report. Well he said he didn't get a chance to talk to him cause he was not feeling well cause he has cancer so he is very under the weather. I was like great now the guy has cancer what else can go wrong... Well he says let me call you back, I was like sure but don't hold out much luck for a call and just figure I will go another week without my inspection. Well to my surprise he does call back and informs me that the inspector is still in surgery and doesn't know how long he will be in the hospital for so he could not know when the report would be ready....

So, I don't know what to think anymore is the guy going to die and I will never get my report so I can finish with my back yard... I am not saying that maybe there is truth to the story and I feel for the inspector if he is battling cancer but after so much run around that they have given me I can not help wonder if it is true or not.... It's going to be a month since we filled our pool and almost 2 months since we did the gunite job.

Now the reason that I can not put my BBQ island and other stuff in the yard until after inspection is that the BBQ island that we bought and restored (I will post pictures of that as well) Is that in the place we wish to put it is not up to code and although it is not a bad place or dangerous place that we want to put it we don't want to have anything that stops us from clearing ispection. And for me you can't really enjoy your back yard until you can BBQ in it....

I will keep you posted on my report sistuation... And I will up load more photos soon.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 2:18AM
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Hope you get it resolved soon! I agree it does sound like a run-a-round! And to me that is so frustrating! But have tried to learn to be patient!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 8:10PM
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Very nice! Post a pic with water when you get a minute. My brother is going through a nightmarish pool remodel at the moment. He told me today he wishes he would have sold the house and built a new pool. Would have been less headache. Hope you get your issues resolved soon.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 11:17AM
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Ok now that photo bucket is up and running I can post the pictures...

So the weekend past and I called the Gunite Monday the 25th to get an update on my report... So I call and now I am told that the deputy inspector doesn't have the report that it is still in the lab. But that he will try and get a hold of the deputy inspector so that he could call the lab and put a rush on it. I just don't know what to believe anymore. So I call my contractor and he tells me everything has been paid for and is all set but that they are waiting on the lab and the deputy inspectors. I asked him for the number to the Lab so that maybe I could call and rush them. But he said that he doesn't deal with them so they don't have the number or the name of the lab. I will try and get someones number so that I can start to bug them with phone calls and hopefully get this all done. I will post pics of how it looks at night with the LED lights and the deck jets as well as the finished back yard with all my goodies... as soon as I get my report so that I can pass my final inspection.
We really do like our pool but hate the professionalizm that Mr. Carlos Pools has provided. I have had so much stress over this. That I do agree with the post from banana_fanna I would have sold my house and built and brand new pool it seem way cheapper and less stressful.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 3:41PM
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Everything is looking great! How much did you pay??? Was Mr. Carlos still cheaper than your other quotes???

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 1:52PM
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What is a Gunite report?

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 7:44AM
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Aqua-Link Pools and Spas

A Gunite report test the compressive strength of the Gunite or Shotcrete to see if it matches what was specified by the engineer. The deputy inspector that the builder hires takes a sample on the day of the shoot and 28 days later he sends it to a lab to be tested. The sample then gets put in a hydraulic machine that compresses it until it breaks. Then through a digital reader it will tell you the breaking point. If it fails to meet the specified test then a core sample must be taken from the pool shell and retested. If it still fails you must tear out the shell and redo. I always pay my deputy inspector directly and receive the report within thirty days of shooting the shell.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 10:29AM
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Hey there! Not sure if you read our post / video but we are also recent Mr. Carlos customers. We're actually pretty happy with them. Small things here and there, but SO much we were able to afford that we couldn't w/ another company. Definitely worth it. I mean, even to this day we still feel comfortable calling Gary if need be about an issue.

Sounds crazy about the gunite report, sorry you are having issues. (sounds like the report takes 30 days to be issued? but if that's the case why don't they just say that?)

Pool building in general is such a headache.. I promise the pain goes away w/ time and a nice backyard, you will get there.

Our Thread: http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/pools/msg122244434822.html

Out Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3yylPvsBCs

We also LOVED alex! he was the hero of the entire build.. I mean, he has the job of pulling it all together.. where it starts to look nice. But what a hard worker that guy is.

(he's featured in a lot of photos :))

    Bookmark   July 3, 2012 at 4:39PM
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Oh, I wish this wasn't the end of the story. I want to know how it completely turned out for you with Mr. Carlos. They are coming out this week to give us a bid and I'd love to know how long it took to get the rpt and final inspection completed. And I'd also love to see a final pic of your pool. Thank you for being so detailed in chronicling your experience!

1 Like    Bookmark   March 2, 2015 at 4:26PM
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