Any recommendations for a gunite pool builder in the Jersey shore area. We have gotten estimates from $50,000 - 150,000. Hard to find reviews on-line for some of the smaller companies.
Seasonal World, in Clarksburg, down the road from Great Adventure.
I'm having a pool built now in Monmouth county.
Check out the build and the company:
If you're getting such variation in price I would suggest that you write a scope of work including everything you expect to be included in the price and have all contractors bid to that.
Your pool looks amazing. What stage are you in now? We contacted that company and they never got back to us (probably too busy with your pool) We decided to go with Swim-Mor. Mostly positive reviews online and on this forum. Hopefully we will be as happy with our decision as you. Cant wait to see the final product
The variation wasn't based on scope but on the pool builder. All but one were in the $50000 - $70000 range. Base price for an 800SQ foot for that company was $110,000
Sorrt about that, I hit the back button on my iPhone and it reported my last post.
Thanks Ortho, we are filling up the pool now from our well, good luck with your pool.
Can't wait to see the final pictures NJNS. Going to check out the plans and pick out tiles and plaster color tomorrow. Can't wait to get started
Now that we have chosen a pool builder, I'm not sure about the equipment. The pool is 16' x 50', depth 3.5 - 10'. 1 sheer descent, no spa. Included in the pool price is:
460sq ft Jandy cartridge filter
2 HP Jandy Plus HP Pump
Nature 2 Fusion Soft SWP
400,000 BTU Jandy LXI Heater
Polaris 280 with booster pump
Was thinking about upgrading the polaris or switching to a robotic cleaner.
Any benefit to a variable speed pump for a pool this size?
Suggestions / Comments?
Hey orthochk, which company did you end up choosing?
Went with swimmor. Excellent price and overall good reviews. Are you looking for a PB?
yes, so far we've been speaking with someone from Seasonal World.
we didn't contact them. But got estimates from about 6 builders. Previous discussions on this forum recommended seasonal world, swim-mor, and east coast. East coast never showed up for our first meeting so we eliminated them. Would definitely recommend getting a few estimates. Once the builders heard we were talking to other companies they couldn't wait to tell us how willing they were to "work" with the price.
I hope its not Scott Payne. I worked with him when he was with Blue Haven. Had several problems through out the process and it took them a year to complete because of them. He is not customer focused once the contract is signed.
Is this guy from Swim-mor or seasonal world? I don't recognize that name but we have only dealt with the sales guy and one other guy over the phone. So far everyone has been very helpful and responsive. We currently are dealing with permits which we knew were going to be a problem since over township is known to be very difficult to deal with.
Seems to me you played that game before. Your refusal to identify yourself or offer any evidence spoke volumes. I, for one, don't believe you.
I have known Mr. Payne for a long time. He has volunteered his time here and even, when I first discovered my cancer and was in the hospital,publicly, on this forum, let others know I was ill and wished me all the best.
I am extremely offended by your statements. I do not find anything you have said to be credible. Anyone dealing with Mr. Payne would do well as his knowledge and understanding are outstanding.
I am also looking for a pool builder in central NJ. I have quotes from Holiday pools which uses concrete with a vinyl liner and also from swim mor who just does gunite pools. I was wondering if anyone has ever used these companies before or can give me some insight on which would be a better pool in the long run.
Better is a very subjective term.
What is important to you will help you to narrow what you want, be it a Gunite, vinyl liner, or fiberglass.
Each has it's own share of pluses and minuses.
We love the look of a gunite pool and also the fact that we can add a thermal ledge to it. Our budget loves the vinyl pool. I just have a few concerns with both. One is the resurfacing of the gunite pool every 10 years,although we were thinking of upgrading to the quartz plaster (if that helps to extend the life.)
Have you ever serviced a concrete pool with a vinyl liner? I know vinyl pools do not usually have concrete walls,they have steel.
Have you ever come accross the work of either of these companies?
Holiday's pools have a wall foam between the liner and the wall to keep the cement's seams from the forms used from poking a hole. The wall foam gets changed when the line does.
They have been around a very long time. The "Safety Ledge" they build a hopper with is rarely straight and flat. That can make liner changes more difficult.
I know both only too well. Both build pretty good pools but Swim-Mor liked to use component pool finishes like Color Quartz, a product no longer available, that was added to plaster. I didn't feel then, and still don't today, that was a durable enough solution. What they are using today, I don't know but can only suspect its something similar.
If they used Diamond Bright for the quart finish, or Wet Edge and Pebble Tec products for the higher aggregate finishes, I would really like them.
Liners also have about a 10 year life in our area. The liner makers will tout a 20 year pro rated warranty but that just knocks a couple hundred off a new liner itself, not a significant savings. Adjust for inflation liner costs and an installation charge and you'll see what I mean.
Another builder in the are I like is Seasonal World. They do all three types, liners, gunite, and fiberglass.
Not sure what the finish swim-mor currently uses is but will find out. Did discuss this when we stopped by the store to pick out tiles, coping, etc but can't remember the name. I'm not sure if they would be willing to upgrade to one of the finishes you mentioned but is that a good idea if their plaster guys have never used the finish? What problems have you seen with the finish that they do use?
We had a pool built by Holiday Pools in December 1990, & a year or so later my neighbor used them also. The only problem we had was that our liner floated after about 5 years. We had it replaced & all was good.In 2004 We had a major oil tank catastrophe; with out going into great detail when we opened our pool in May the liner was floating again. We called another company who right away said our area had a high water table, we asked if this had happened in the past & said he knew how to fix it. They proceeded to drill a hole in the wall towards the deep end & put in what I think they called a hydrostatice valve, & bingo we never got water behind our liner again! Outside of that Holiday did a good sturdy pool build. We got 18 yrs out of it. On a side note we are now in Florida & had a pool built & can't believe all the spider cracks in our concrete decking & it's only 5 yrs old. We never had that in Jersey ! Sorry for the long post....
@orthochk, only durability issues. They are pretty set in their ways. For that matter, so is Holiday.
The only PT authorized plasterers, while good, don't allow any profit by builders and service pros. A homeowner needs to go to them directly.
Wet Edge products can be had by builders and service companies but if they have their own plastering crew, may not offer it since it comes from a plasterer in Pa. on the border.
I was also wondering if there is a significant difference when using different size piping. Swim mor uses 2" pvc pipe while Holiday uses 1 1/2 ". I have read on previous boards that 2" is more desirable. Also what are your thoughts on the Polaris 360 vs the Polaris 280?
360s don't have a booster pump. They tend to be slower. 280s are gear and friction driven while the 360 isn't.
It takes almost two 1.5" pipes to match the flow of a 2" pipe at the same speed.
Returns should be at least given a partial 2" loop to feed 1.5" pipe. This ensures the returns have flow at the same speed, or nearly so.
Another question for you, is there an advantage to a variable speed pump with a pool this size? I've been told that in order to pass enough water through the filter that the pump would always be running at close to 2 hp and negate the energy efficiency of the variable speed. Is this true?
With head losses from plumbing, 2" pipe will move about 90 to 100 gallons per minute (GPM) Lets use 100 gpm for simplicity. 100 gpm x 60 minutes and hour x 8 hour filter cycle = 48000 gallons of water that the pump has moved. That/s a pretty good sized pool! My pool, an 18,5' x 39' Grecian, is about 25,000 gallons.
Power around here is pretty cheap when compared to places like Southern California where it's $0.34/kwhour during the peak hours when it needs to run.
A one and a half or two horse power two speed may make more sense. They can use less energy than a one horse single speed and are a significantly less expensive than the variable speed pumps available.
Thanks Scott, its easy to hide behind a keyboard... the reason Burned doesn't want to say who they are is that I will be able to state the facts and their story will blow away like dust. I have a 99% idea who it is... they live on a postage stamp size lot in North Jersey that needed a variance to build on... its my fault of course. They didn't want to listen to my advice numerous times and halted construction because of indecision ... once again... my fault. So Burned last chance ... if you have an issue say what the issue was other than the BS you spew.... or keep to yourself ... I'd be glad to talk about any issues in person or on the phone....
There is also going to be a 4 foot sheer descent working off the pump. Still think a 2 speed 2HP pump is the way to go?
Laura, no problems in flow as long the return plumbing can be valved. Note that frequent use of the sheer will cause your alkalinity to drop and the pH to rise. Expecting it is a lot better than being surprised. A little baking soda takes care of that.
While more expensive, a lighted sheer is a lot prettier and gets used more at night. As an example, when turned on into a color lit pool, the red glow of the sheer looks awesome.
Scott (poolguy) - I think its a great thing that you do for folks on this forum. I too have learned from your many posts and appreciate the time you take to help others. I am however, surprised that you are "extremely offended" by my statements. I do not question Mr. Payne's knowledge and understanding but his morals and conscience. I disagree with your statements "anyone dealing with Mr. Payne would do well", this is not true. The words and accounts I have provided though high level, have been the truth and only Mr. Payne and I know this. For you to take the side of one or the other without knowing the facts is irresponsible.
Scott (top filthy builder) - Folks on this forum need to recognize that you had an opportunity during the build to address and correct Blue Haven mistakes (not customer mistakes) and that you and Blue Haven chose to lie and either not address them in a timely manor or not at all. During the build you and Blue Haven were contacted directly, you had your opportunity. To discuss them now will not resolve it and only provide opportunity to continue to deny and then miss-state the facts telling everyone its BS as you've done. You representing Blue Haven with Blue Haven's management were completely unprofessional, lied and neglected to act on some mistakes and unfairly on others, instead of accepting responsibility, and it cost me both time and money. If you and Blue Haven had acted properly, I would have provided different feedback. Your callous responses and lack of compassion should only add proof to others that you don't care.
Mr. Payne and I first got to know each other through this forum. Over the years, we have met each other a number of times. At no time, did my BS-meter go off and I have a pretty darned good one at detecting it.
While he is certainly more sales focused than I am, we get along great. Neither of us is afraid to speak his mind or look in the mirror. As long as we continue to tell it like it is to whomever we are speaking with, if the other person take umbrage, that is their problem. I have never known Mr. Payne to tell it otherwise though sometimes I may choose language that is somewhat seemingly alienating.
Just before the "Thought and Payers" thread was started about my health, Mr. Payne noticed my being absent here and called me to see how I was doing. I had just (2 or 3 days) had a brain tumor removed and he had no idea until I told him what I just went through.
He started the thread on his own. He knew this forum is important to me and our to the industry as it provides many with the information they need to make good decisions about who to use and what equipment works well, and how to get it to do what is desired and how to recognize marketing and sales propaganda versus actual and factual truths. He knew that because he feels the same way.
I stand up for my friends. Mr. Payne wouldn't have known about your previous statements had I not called him since he doesn't monitor this forum much anymore. You have made repeated unsubstantiated claims here and in previous posts against his character, up to and including your last post. I choose my friends carefully. Of course I am insulted.
Mr. Payne left BHP's employ some time ago. Why would he bring any issues that you may or may not have had or have currently, with him?
In sales, the #1 task of a sales person is to get the deal signed and then move on to the next opportunity. The support issues after that are supposed to be handled by others. If they failed, that, it isn't his issue but theirs. He did his job.
If your expectations weren't met, then you have to ask yourself what part did you play in that? Were any 3rd parties involved? What controls were in place? In other words, substantiate the claims. You haven't been willing to. Either prove me wrong or stop this nonsense.
Excavation started Thursday. So far very happy with Swim-mor and everyone we have dealt with. After speaking to a couple of friends who have the pentair variable speed pump we decided to switch. Both noticed significant savings with the variable speed despite keeping the pump running 24 hours. Also spoke to swim-mor and they are willing to use pebble-tec. They just finished a new build using it. They are looking into the pricing for us. Thanks again for all your advice. This is quite a daunting process.
Message me when the coping is done.
In you opinion would the pebbletec last longer before a need to resurface than the quartz? What is the typical span before a resurface on both?
I have never seen PT ever been replaced due to wear.
Quality quartz finishes, like Diamond Brite usually last 12-15 years, with proper care.
Day 1 - Excavation
What is the approximate cost of resurfacing a 800 square foot pool? I was also wondering what the start up care for the quartz consists of.
Thanks so much for all of the help.
Lookingforapool, that will vary from region to region with a fairly substantial swing in pricing. While Florida, for example, may be able to do this activity year round, in NJ, the pool plastering season is much shorter due to weather. This means the time to turning a profit for the year (equipment must still be paid for after all) makes each job cost more.
As for start up, a quartz finish is generally the same as for plaster unless the PB recommends a high alk start for a the plaster.
blah... blah...blah... Please post a pic of your completed pool that you had such a terrible time with and show everyone.... I call BS and still do because I built 250 pools with a company and NO pool took a year to build.... in fact not more than 8 weeks on a standard build.... my jobs are sold CLEAN... 250 pools.. no lawsuits.... your a broken record with no audience... your experience with BHP after the sale ... is YOUR experience. No good deed goes unpunished ..... I want it all.... but don't want to pay for it.... does that sound familiar ..??
Just got an estimate of $13/sq foot minimal for pebbletec. Is that reasonable?
Somewhat steep but not unexpectedly so for around here. PT is PT, after all. Wet Edge's Pearl or Satin Matrix (large and small pebble) is about the same on the less costly colors.
There's a telling word in your question and that's "minimal". For PT premium colors, I would expect up to 25% more is possible.
In contrast, plain white plaster would be about $4500.
Hmm, nearly forever or 8-10 year life.
Swim-mor subcontracts the PT out to a company from N. Jersey. From our experience the farther North, the higher the price. Just wanted to make sure that the price wasn't completely off the wall. Fortunately the PB is willing to give us a credit for the standard plaster that is included in the price. We have to give them some color choices before they can quote us a true price. If I really believed the surface would last forever the choice would be easier but forever is a long time. Is there a difference in the durability of the different PB's? (pebbletec, vs pebble sheen, pebblefina)
Gunite going in today
PT uses pebbles that have some diameter to them. This reduces the cement exposed. This makes it more textured (not rough though) but also makes staining easier to get rid of and has less calcium for the water to draw out (it is the Universal Solvent) as calcium hardness.
PF and PS have still smaller pebbles and thus, they expose more cement, but not much more. IIRC, it still a lot less than plaster or Diamond Brite.
With less cement exposed, more aggregate is. Since the aggregates are hard rocks as compared to plaster's marble dust being relatively soft and more porous, it can take stronger doses of chlorine and acid without eating at the finish.
Elevated wall with sheer descent & bench
Shallow end steps and bench
Forgive my stupidity but what I think you said was PT is the most durable but not significantly more so than the sheen or fina. Just emailed the PB for pricing on our color choices. Thanks again for your advice.
I have not seen a real definitive difference. If the cement is hidden by exposed pebble aggregate, you have a more durable surface that reduces solvent based leaching of calcium (portland cement's and marble dust plaster's big ingredient). Acid acts as a solvent. Hence, we watch the pH of the pool. If you pull the calcium out of the pool wall, it becomes roughened.
Coping tile and wall done
Two more questions for you. It rained the day the gunite was done. When I got home the crew said they would have to come back to finish. When I called the office today I was told they had already come out to finish but these pictures are from today and look exactly like the day the gunite was done. Will this be a problem with plastering?
Also we are doing pavers around the pool and the contracter isnt available to the end of September. We wanted to do the plaster and then the decking. Depending on who we talk to we have been told this is not a good idea. What is your thinking?
I don't think you'll want to plaster just yet. There is entirely too much exposed earth around the pool. That dirt is sure to get in the pool.
New plaster is at it most vulnerable when fresh and not fully cured. Stain removal may not be doable because of plaster not being cured yet. A dirt stain can become permanent, Even PT products with their shorter cure time and better stain removal characteristics have to respect this.
Laying pavers kicks up a lot of dust and dirt. You don't want it in the pool. Plaster after the pavers. A naked shell is easier to clean out. Dirt stains aren't as much of a concern since the shell is covered with new plaster.
The pool shell looks fine. You didn't say what they had to finish. It just needs to cure.
If the shell wasn't shot till 9/15 or so, you can't plaster until mid- September unless they used 7000 PSI gunite in which case the cure time needed to provide the strength needed is about 1/2. I only know one person that does this and they are in Texas.
I'm not sure what the guy from the gunite crew was talking about when he mentioned coming back. I thought he was referring to the etching on the floor and the irregularity of the deep end wall in the previous pictures. Happy to hear that it will not be a problem with the pebble tec. Gunite was done 8/14 so we will have no issues with the length of time the gunite has to cure since the easliest the paver guy can start is mid september.
Yet another question for you. Seems like pebble tec colors is a common concern on this and many other sites. Now that time is not a big issue we are going to try to see a few colors before making a final decision. I was thinking of going with slate blue. Not real dark but not white either. Also wanted a couple of mosaic tiles. Do you think this is a good idea with a non-white finish? The extra time is giving me way too much time to stress over this stuff.
I stay out of anything color oriented.
Mosaics look great on any finish, they are just expensive, especially ones made with glass tile. If you can afford it, go for it!
Thanks. Considering the amount of money we are sinking into this pool and how amazingly overbudget we already are, the mosiac is really not too bad. We chose a large dolphin and a few small turtles for the stairs. Excited to hear they will look good despite the colored plaster. Didn't want to give them up
How is your build going? We are considering using swim mor and would love any feedback on how your build is going. So far looks great.
Unfortunately our decking guy cant start for a few weeks so there's no much going on at this time.
As for swim-mor so far we are pretty happy. They were willing to upgrade to different equipment that they normally dont use and also allowed us to upgrade to pebbletec. Our biggest complaint is that there is no one person overseeing the build. Our salesguy was out of the Northfield location and the crews are out of the Mt. Epraim location. Communication sometimes is less than perfect. The crews however, are very professional, always show up on time, and do a great job.
Hope that helps. let me know if there is anything I can answer for you.
This may be a dumb question. But is this a problem? Noticed this after the huge rain we had last week.
They'll seal it up before plastering.
The plaster guys or the gunite guys?
Usually, the plaster guys.
Pebblesheen was installed yesterday and pool is currently filling. With the lights on tonight we noticed that the surface looked very irregular, almost wavy. Also there are a couple of areas with small indentations in the surface. Is some irregularity normal with pebble sheen?
Floors and walls are almost never flat surfaces. There are normally undulations, regardless of the finish. These are more pronounced at night with the light(s) in the pool on.
Thanks again Scott. I thought the undulations were probably normal but I was more concerned with the small holes. You can see very subtle footprints and the holes from the spikes on the shoes the installers were wearing.
Also I read somewhere on this forum that the heater and salt system cant be started with pebbletec for about a month. Is this true?
Holes from spikes are not acceptable.
If the plasterer said a month, follow his lead, if only for the warranty.
The guy that "opened" the pool today said that brushing would remove the footprints which are not visible during the day. I will contact pebbletec tomorrow to see what can be done.
As for the heater, that was from a post on this forum. The installers didn't tell us anything about it. Guess I can address this as well tomorrow.
The way I see it, once the pool's pH settles some (typically a week or so with PT brand finishes) and is balanced, I see no reason not to use the heater.
Weather is supposed to be in the low 70's during the day next week per The Weather Channel's 10 day outlook.
We have chosen a builder and they did the excavation yesterday. Today they are laying the rebar. We are supposed to get a storm here in NJ over the weekend into next week and I was wondering what your thoughts were on what kind of damage can happen to pool if there is a lot of rain and wind. I was told it would be ok but am still nervous.
I can't control the weather. I know next to nothing of the soil and drainage at your dig. You might be fine or you might have some wash outs. The PB is likely as concerned as you are though he won't be likely to say that. Hopefully, you'll have gunite at least 24 hours before it hits, if it hits.
The water level in the pool was at the bottom of the tiles (6 inch) prior to the storm. Is it better to let the water overflow or to drain some water out? We also shut off the breaker to the pool equipment. any other recommendations?
Hope your safe from the storm
As long as there isn't any serious and continuous freezing, keeping it up won't hurt. Jut try to scoop out leaves. Phones seem to be working again here.