New pool constuction

ktenosSeptember 26, 2011

Hi everyone. I've been perusing the forum and there is a lot of helpful information here, but some of it is over my head as I am very new to this process. My husband and I are building a new home and are considering putting in a pool at the same time. I have just started the process of reaching out to some designers in Massachusetts. I would love any input you have on questions I should be asking as I begin this interviewing process. We welcome any advice as we start this process.

Thanks

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cmanley33

I am no expert but I too am just finally starting a long awaited pool build. I have been back and forth about whether or not to build a pool for over 5 years now. This summer after watching friends put in a pool I finally decided it was time to get serious about the pool. I had 4 pool builders come to the house which like you said is very overwhelming. After talking to 4 different PBs I had enough information to make a choice. I am in MD so I cannot recommend a builder in MA.
As much as I wanted to rush this project I had to really make myself take my time making my decisions. I started seriously looking into things in July and I knew there was no way a pool was going in for summer 2011. I knew it had to be 2012 and I think if you want a pool for 2012 you have to start researching now. Here are a few things I had to deal with before I could even make a decision about the builder. I had to get a land survey because we decided to put up a fence around our yard as opposed to just the pool. I had to bring in fencing contractors. I had to go to the health dept to find out where our septic drainage fields were and the reserve fields (not sure if you have to deal with that).
I narrowed my builders down like this:
One was way way way too high in price
One had way too many complaints (A&S)
so I was left with 2 choices. One was a bigger company MD Pools and I really liked the sales guy. He seemed straight forward and his price was good. The other company was smaller and newer (which was a bit scary too). I called a lot of the references of the smaller company and everyone seemed very happy with the company, the project management and their pools. Many of the references had neighbors and relatives use the same company to build their pool. I think when you refer someone to a neighbor or a relative that says a lot about what you think about the person who did the work at your house. MD Pools had many happy customers too and I saw their pools and they were nice. I read some bad things about them on the internet but you have to take some of that with a grain of salt. Honestly, I think I would have been happy with either of the builders but in the end I chose the smaller company and am hoping I made the right choice. We are supposed to have our permits submitted tomorrow so I am hoping we have permits and can dig in the next 2 weeks or so.
Take your time. Call references. I did check BBB but I am not sure they are all that great. Check the internet and go with your gut. My builder didn't push a lot of upgrades and I think he was honest when I asked him some questions about certain products etc.
I think no matter who you chose you should expect some problems and setbacks. Pool building is a big project and along with that comes some headaches.
Now, ask me that in a few weeks and see if I feel the same way :) Couple of other things I have read on this site that people regret are NOT making their pool big enough and NOT adding enough decking. Good Luck!

    Bookmark   September 26, 2011 at 9:07PM
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sdfabrizio

Hi Ktenos-
I am in same boat, maybe a little further along than you, but no hole in the ground yet. I have interviewed Easton Pools and Andrews Pools as my two. I have built another pool with Andrews 5 years ago for a client- I am a GC- and they did a great job, top notch company. I met Dave from Easton Pool a few times & he has been great through the whole process, answering all my PITA questions and concerns without hesitation and he just brought me over to a local pool they are wrapping up-looks great. There is a lot of management and details to go along with the whole thing, and I feel that whomever pays the closest attention to those details in the interview process, shows some good recent referrals and who you are the most comfortable with is the right company for you. If you call Andrews ask for Ralph & ask for Dave at Easton. Right now, I am waiting for final revised numbers, but Easton is in the lead and I feel good with Dave.
I have a great list of questions I have compiled-pm me & I can send them if interested.
Good luck

    Bookmark   September 26, 2011 at 9:16PM
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ktenos

Thanks for your help!

cmanley33 - thanks for your advice and for walking me through your process. That is very helpful.

sdfabrizio, I'm new to this whole site, what does pm me mean? I would love a copy of your list of questions! Thanks again!

    Bookmark   October 1, 2011 at 10:04PM
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vanessafall

Hi sdfabrizio,
I would love to see your list of questions if you're willing. I am in the bidding process now for a pool/jacuzzi and want to understand as much as I can before we go forward. I don't know how to private message you though. Thanks, Vanessa

    Bookmark   October 2, 2011 at 1:26PM
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boc41

I am seriously considering a new pool in the Charlotte, NC area and I am looking for some reputable pool builders in the area. Several years ago a friend used Lombardo and they seem to have done a great job as my friend was extremely happy with them. If anyone would like to share their experiences good or bad I am all ears.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2011 at 9:28PM
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sceadu

Boc41,

Can you email me directly at 4fiddy@gmail.com . I would like to talk with you about your pool in Charlotte.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 9:41AM
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cmanley33

Did you see the post about the PBs in Charlotte, NC. Where the guy lists many builders and then gives a little history about each company. I think the post is from back in 2008 but it might still hold true.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 12:47PM
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marta_p

Hi Ktenos, we are in Massachusetts and just built a pool with Andrews. They wrapped up in May and we have been happy with the results. We did interview South Shore Gunite and Environmental Pools and thought that, on the whole, they could have build us a great pool too. We have a friend who used Easton and had a great experience, and some neighbors who used Doherty Pools, who also had a great experience. What swung if for us was the salesperson we worked with (his name is Rod). Where other sales reps "yes'd" us to death or tried to dissuade us from going in a certain direction, Rod would answer every question, and if he didn't have an answer, he would research and get back to us. When things were very pricey, he was upfront about it. We appreciated his candor.
Anyway, back to suggestions for you. My number 1? Make a list of EXACTLY what you want, size, shape, depth, pebble finish, sunshelf, decking, type of equipment (heater, heat pump, LED lights, variable pump), etc. and have each company give you a quote on just what you would like. Were I to do it over again, I would contract with a landscape architect to help me make those decisions because in the end, regardless of what you ask for, each pool builder will come back with something different and it makes it very hard to compare quotes. Number 2: Negotiate. Use this board - read all of the old posts - go back as far as you can - to become an informed consumer. You'll get what you want and hopefully the best price that way. Number 3: check out Angies List, the BBB, and other online opinion sites. Good luck. if I can help you more feel free to e/mail me. thanks, Marta

    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 2:25PM
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sbm0905

We are also in the process of collecting bids on pools. We are in North Texas. Depending on who we speak with sometimes the PVC plumbing is bent with heat to form a curve and sometimes the pipes are connected with glue. Is there any advice about which is better?

    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 4:44PM
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poolguynj

Minimizing the number of fittings reduces the friction water meets when traveling a pipe. Gentle curves can obtained using a rigid pipe that has been heated, reducing the need for fittings.
It's the fittings, specifically the ones which create 90, 45 and 22.5 degree bends that can be minimized. The glue has nothing to do with it for the most part. Sometimes there's a blob introduced but that is really insignificant. Most fittings are glued. Some are threaded.

Rigid pipe's main competition is flex pipe. While it has it's uses, I've found it to be, as have others, less reliable and subject to things like being impinged (punctured) by sharp rocks, eaten by termites, collapsing, swelling internally, and other issues.

Scott

    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 6:55PM
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ktenos

marta_p - thank you so much for your advice! We haven't made any decisions yet and your feedback is very helpful. Thanks again!

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 11:08AM
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