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New North Dallas Modern

Posted by j_royall (My Page) on
Fri, May 6, 11 at 17:15

Love this site! Any question I've had- I've typed into Google have invariably been led here. Also great to see so many local DFW folks being vocal on the site.

We're building a Los Angeles style modern architecture pool to replace the oversized koi pond that was located in the courtyard of our mid-century modern house. Basically, you walk up to what you assume is the front door to our house, and when you step through it, you aren't in the house yet, but a large courtyard that then leads you to the real front door. Rather than sticking a large pool in the back yard, we wanted a smaller pool (oversized hot tub?) in this courtyard so that it greets us when we come home, and we can see it through the large window in our living room.

Here are the concept drawings:



And our "Before" pic with the Koi pond still on place...

We've already had the dig, plumbing, electrical, and gunite. Now we're in the watering/curing phase, and naturally things have ground to a halt, so I should have plenty of time to waste on here!

JR


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: New North Dallas Modern

Wonderful, can't wait to see your pool build. We have a small pool too, we call it a Spool ( Social Pool )


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RE: New North Dallas Modern



so far, it looks like a tomb, or at the very least, an uncovered West Texas Tornado shelter!!


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Yup! RE: New North Dallas Modern

Hey Brentr- that's exactly it- a spool!


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well, at least all the rain today means I don't have to water the gunite. Tick...................... tock..........


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RE: New North Dallas Modern

They are continuing to dig up the courtyard, this time to install the gas line for our heater, as well as plumbing a new faucet from the water main in our front yard into the courtyard. Every stretch of grass I own now has a trench in it. Things definitely look worse before they start to look better!

Is this thing on???


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RE: New North Dallas Modern

We're supposed to start decking this week, but it looks like rain. I'm so tired of looking at my ugly courtyard.


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Looks like I'm just about the only one responding to my posts, so I'll keep at it, if only to amuse myself!

They've finally rebar'd for the decking. Next step, we will pour the planter boxes and coping. At least it no longer looks like a bomb went off!



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RE: New North Dallas Modern

Would you mind giving a ballpark cost for the pool only (excluding the decking)? We have a great spot in our yard for a small pool.


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RE: New North Dallas Modern

Hi J Royal. Great pool design. Just wondering, what are the measurements of your pool? I think it will definitely give you the "WOW" factor when guests enter your courtyard.


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Your not typing for nothing....

If you type it, it will get read :)


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RE: New North Dallas Modern

j royall keep the pics coming. A lot of people are reading and enjoying the journey:)


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RE: New North Dallas Modern

THERE you all are! :)

TheBalls- I'd have to look at the contract. I'm only thinking of this in terms of total cost- so I haven't paid attention to how much just the pool portion is! Plus, every single piece of our project has been classified as "custom," so our number might not do you much good if you're just looking for a regular small pool where you're not kvetching over every detail!

Sonepi- from waterline to waterline, our pool measures 8 feet by 12 feet. Just enough room for us and a friend or two to float, or 20 friends to sit. Thankfully, we don't have nearly that many friends. :)

They showed up today to pour the coping, the planter boxes, and the firepit, and also to finish the waterfall wall with the special cement material. It's a charcoal gray cement with tiny glass particles in it that sparkle. I'll have pics of all that tomorrow. We still need an inspection before they're able to pour the deck, which will hopefully get done on Monday or Tuesday.

We're finally in the home stretch!


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UGH! Well the concrete company came to pour the coping, the planter boxes, and the fire pit. The forms must have been off or something- I don't know what happend, but there's not a single straight, true line anywhere right now. The edges are not sharp and straight like the modern look we're going for. They're bumpy and wavy as if made from Adobe or by 3rd graders who go ahold of some potting clay. The southwest Santa Fe deal is great look, but NOT the look we're going for here at all.

They're coming out to redo it all, which means more delays. A delay due to weather, I can understand. Delays due to incompetence, I can't abide. Seriously peeving me off here.


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pool is looking great. don't stress about delays.......it does no good. agree w/the adobe analogy. can't wait to see the finish.
thanks for sharing!


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RE: New North Dallas Modern

Ugh, I can relate, we had a setback or two along the way, but it pays to be persistent in the long run. After all, you are paying for it. I love the modern look, it's going to ba fantastic! Stay sane and good luck : )


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So glad you are making them redo that concrete. It looks bad in the pictures, I can only imagine what it looks like in person.
so 2 questions:

1-Is it me or is the top of the skimmer throat higher than the bottom of the cantilever of the deck? Some pictures it looks like it others it doesn't. Bummer on the location of the skimmer- an in beam small spa size throat access skimmer would have been ideal in another beam to avoid staring right into it on the feature wall.

2- I see the jets are possibly stubbed out as 2"? What jets are you using?

Also, make sure they pull that trampled down steel up into the middle of the deck when they pour. Im sure they will, but I've seen lazy subs plenty of times that need a little common sense direction. Love the design! keep the pics coming!


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Construction has been called to a dead halt.

I've never been so stressed out or depressed about something that's supposed to be a fun addition to my life.

The concrete company has flatout lied to me. On day one, I went to them with pictures of beautiful, straight, architectural concrete from modern patios and pools. They assured me they could do that- and that they could do it with this particular concrete product. TUESDAY, when I was sitting outside, overseeing the redo job on the planter walls, etc- the rep from the concrete company told me that they absolutely CANNOT do straight edges or 90 degree corners with this product. The best they can give me is rounded off, hand-troweled, adobe looking garbage. But somehow, she still considers this "Modern". I wanted to smack her in the head with a copy of Architectural Digest!!! I almost lost my freaking mind!

Look how the planter wall closest to the camera slopes DOWN towards the house:

So now, I have a courtyard full of awful looking rounded corners. There's not a straight line to be found anywhere. Every edge is wavy-as if done by 3rd graders. Every corner looks like the pinched corner of a bit-o-honey bar. Basically, the EXACT opposite of modern design.

My PB asked why we didn't just use cut stone to get the corners I wanted. I told him the truth. That's what we were planning to do before the concrete company sold us on this other material that was supposedly gonna blow our minds. The only thing it has done is disappoint.

Then, yesterday, the concrete company came back to finish our waterfall wall. We had agreed to cover it in this black material that had all kinds of sparkly mirror pieces in it. The sample looked incredible. The finished result looks like someone needs to clean a dirty chalkboard. It's horrible, and we're going to have to figure out what to do with that horrible looking wall now.

Also, when they were grinding that wall down to expose the little mirror material, they slung black offshoot all over the planter walls that they had come out to redo they day before!!! UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!!!

Basically, this concrete company has lied to us, misled us, and fallen short of every single expectation that was set for us. Every product they have put in my courtyard has been disappointing, and every day I come home from work, I see another new thing they've screwed up.

So the PB called a halt to the project and wants all parties to have a meeting. I'm positive this means we're going to end up paying thousands upon thousands more dollars. Pretty much everything they have done needs to be jacked out and restarted. We are back at PHASE 1 of this project. I'm so angry- you have no idea how much restraint I'm using with my language here.

Oh yeah, go back up to that first picture in this post. See the glaring white waterfall scupper exposed on top of this wall? That's because the concrete people waited till the day of the job to tell us that they weren't going to be able to cover it up with their "material." So now on top of an already ugly wall made of ugly material, we have an exposed white plastic scupper. They are all so fired.


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So sorry for your troubles. I hate hearing stories like this.

Is the concrete company somebody you hired or are they a sub of the PBs?
I SOO wish you were in AZ. I have an unbelievable concrete guy and highly prefer straight lines, contemporary and modern designs. Use these photos as you wish to show them what you expect. (I have to credit waterscapes by bianchi design for the design of this job...hope I dont get banned for mentioning an architect..not a plug.)

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket


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Yup, that's pretty much exactly what we want. Problem is, we live in Texas, and most people here don't have these tastes. Most people just want oklahoma flagstone with a freeform pool, so these pool companies have no experience with the modern stuff. Sadly, they didn't tell us this beforehand.

The concrete company is a sub of the PB. A sub that is so FIRED it's not even funny.


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Glad to hear they are a sub and you didnt hire them direct.
Let the builder you are in contract with try and sort it out....if it does not go well, I assume the pb is licensed and you have a registrar of contractors you can go to?


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j royall

We encountered the same issue in louisiana. We moved here from Las Vegas, and the concrete work there is fantastic. PBs in Louisiana are not familiar with the clean lines and contemporary look, and it is a nightmare to attempt the technique here. We have scrapped our plans for this finish and are going with limestone instead......toooo much of a headache!!
Is there a stone that will give you the look you want that the PB can overlay on the existing concrete?


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The PB is sorting it out as we speak. Needless to say, he's p.o.'d because this pool should have been finished by now. We're most likely going to go with a cut stone. We've been to a stone yard, and yes, we were able to find some that will look exactly like what we want, so that's good news. The owner of the pool company is supposedly coming out to look at the mess today. Hopefully after seeing it, he's as angry as we are.

Once we get the go-ahead, they will jack out the existing concrete and replace it with cut stone. Then we can finally get on with this project. And about time too, because it's already HOT here in Dallas. We should be soaking in cool water by now!!

I'll let you know when we hear about the next step.


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Still no movement. My PB asked us to write a letter to the bigwig at the pool company detailing our experience so far. I typed up what had to be a 2-pager, and attached a spreadsheet my wife has been keeping of the timeline and all issues. We've been sitting still for over a week now with no word on what's next, or what's going on behind the scenes. As people who have had pools built, you know how crushingly long a week can feel when your mid-project.


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j royall, usually don't post negative comments, but as wife of a licensed contractor in NV, I showed him your pix. His opinion - don't know what "product" they used, but he would jack it all out. The job looks terrible.The pool builder wants you to write to the bigwigs at the company..... what? Don't they talk, can't they see? Look at how much you have paid, can you get other subs to finish at close to original bid? We have seen many good and bad over the last 20 years here, most times it is best to walk away, your sanity is worth more than you can imagine. It honestly sounds like the concrete guys wanted to try out new products at your expense and you are left holding the bag. We don't do pools, just all the hardscape around them, have seen Natural one's work on here, awesome. He's in AZ and like NV, we contractors are highly regulated and must perform or the licensing board steps in, but it can take months if not years to fix a bad job. We will watch your build as well, sure hope it works out for you, our best to you. Barb and Larry


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Please let us know who this PB is! All of us modern fans need to avoid like the plague!


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Nothing helpful to add - only - I'm sorry for your troubles.

This shouldn't be so &$#@!)! hard.


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Barb and Larry, Angie and Banana- Thanks for the thoughts. Honestly, this PB is bending over backwards to make everything right, which is why I'm not going to name them on here. I don't believe it's the fault of the PB. It definitely was the concrete company trying out some new products on my dime.

We ARE jacking it all out and starting again. We're going to use cut stone, because at least it has straight edges, and since nobody around here knows how to do that sharp concrete, this will be our best bet. It's not going to look as great as it did in my imagination. Hell, it's not even going to look very much like the original pic in this post! But hopefully, it will be beautiful anyway. The bad news is that we will probably have to custom order the cut stone from the quarry, which will be anywhere from 2-6 weeks. @$!#$^!~@#%~@#%~^

The PB is coming over today to re-measure everything with a Stone guy. Here we go again!


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It's been 3 weeks since my last update. That's because almost nothing has happened during those 3 weeks. They did finally come to jackhammer out all of the awful concrete coping and planter walls. And as of this last Saturday, the new crew showed up to replace those awful walls with cut stone. They started the job, only to use... once again... THE WRONG THING! Well, to be fair, they used the correct stone, but they erected an entire wall out of stone that was NOT the size we asked for. They built the 2nd planter wall much smaller than we asked, and built the firepit wall much bigger than we specified. I swear to God, it's like nobody around here pays attention to detail at all. I suppose at this point we're lucky they're actually building walls rather than doing whatever the opposite of building walls is. (digging trenches?) The staggering level of incompetence from every single sub-contractor we've dealt with has been breathtaking and truly demoralizing.

I've been told that there's a saying in the armed forces. Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is Enemy Action. Well at this point, we're way beyond enemy action. The actions of everyone involved in this project are so, completely, crucially WRONG at every step of the way, that at this point, it almost HAS to be on purpose.

I realize that a pool company is, at it's core, nothing more than a project management company whose job is to wrangle a series of subcontractors. So basically a pool company is a dude with a computer who can draw pretty pictures, farm out the real work, and prepare a bill. I'm fine with that. This is not a judgement. However, since the entirety of the real work done by a pool company is actually done by subs, then can we agree that a pool company is only as strong as its sub-contractors? If that's the case, my pool company sucks b@lls.

We've been told (again) that the whole thing will be done within a week and a half. This is of course before losing yet another entire day to the witless, clueless crew coming in and screwing up every possible thing they could screw up yesterday. Using the wrong size of stone, screwing up the measurments, etc.

To their credit, the PB keeps saying that they want to make it right. They keep hiring and firing crews. I appreciate this to an extent, but what I would appreciate more is if they hired ONE crew filled with excellent, talented, SKILLED workers with a foreman that actually bothered to communicate things (like measurements for example) to those workers.

What worries me most is that we haven't seen the final bill for all the redo's.


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Dear j _royall,
I have been following your thread since they very beginning. I have watched as your excitement and enthusiasm during the early days gave way to anger and despondency as the concrete work fell far short of your expectations. Once again, you became hopeful...and now this! I am so very, very sorry for all of your troubles. We completed our Poolscape last fall with a highly respected Pool Builders whose subs...are employees! There were several ocassions where the work was acceptable to my husband and me, but not to him! He would have them do it over -- on his dime, not ours. Now that we are enjoying our first summer, with our flawlessly operating pool, we realize that he has become a cherished friend for life. I truly wish the same for you. Is it possible to reclaim your funds spent to date, and move on to another PB? Please keep posting...you are not alone!


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I have trouble understanding why the bill for the redo's is relevant to anyone but your PB. You contracted for one thing and they delivered the wrong thing. You should not be fiscally responsible for their errors.


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Nylsor- The only good thing happening in this whole deal is the PB being on our side, and making subs come back to redo work. Unfortunately, it's happening way more often than we'd like. But- in his defense, he keeps making them redo things. Even today, he had them pull all the fire-brick out of the fire pit and made them redo it because it wasn't up to his standard.

Stewart- I was being dramatic when I said that. I don't know for a fact that they're going to make us pay for any of these redo's. In fact, we have over $20K worth of "credits" with this company due to all the stuff that's gone wrong. As long as we stay within twenty thousand dollars, I don't think they'll try to upcharge us for anything. And if they do try, good luck. My wife is a tax accountant. She LIVES for going over items line by line and finding discrepancies. You should have seen her take 30 mins to read the entire contract before we signed it, while all parties sat around twiddling their thumbs.

Work continues today. There is still a very good chance that all the planter walls and firepit are completed on schedule (as it were) by tomorrow. Next week the paver guy starts. Yes, instead of letting the concrete company pour anything, we are going with large, architectural pavers. He came out to survey the site today, and he's ordering our gray color this afternoon. Fingers crossed, we could be done with this whole thing in a week and a half.

I'm not hopeful though!


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Fingers crossed for ya.


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Don't forget to post pics please.


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I will absolutely post pics as soon as there's anything worth showing! Right now it's just a messy courtyard again with white dust all over everything as these subs saw pieces of our calico white stones! Hopefully when I get home today, they will have finished the planter walls and firepit.


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I totally feel your pain that no one here gets it that we all don't want a kidney shaped with a grotto and flagstone. We interviewed 4 pool builders and most of them told me that I really didn't want that. That I wouldn't be happy with it. Alas I found 2 builders that got it. We went with Robertson who did an amazing job on their workmanship. Our pool is a formal rectangle with a square spa separated and raised. Travertine decking/coping and pavers in between the pool and spa. Ours is more of a classic look than a modern (to me) with all grass surrounding. At any rate, I felt like with the products we selected and their workmanship making sure every single angle was perfect that our pool couldn't look better.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pics of my poolbuild


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Steph- What a great looking pool! Love the concrete pavers in the grass.

Ok, so step one- the dream team (ahem) came in last week and jackhammered the ugly adobe walls and coping. GONE.



Step 2- For the last 5 days, the stone guys have been putting up the cut stone (Calico) for the planter walls and coping. It's an amazing improvement, and for the first time in a long time, I'm actually kind of excited about this project again. Of course, experience tells me that this just means I'm due for a staggering downfall any minute now...

Just look at those smooth, clean lines!

They were supposed to have this done by Tuesday. Well, it's Wednesday and they're still working on it. No surprise there. As soon as they get this done, the decking can begin. Large gray square concrete pavers. Then the courtyard will start looking livable again.

Sidenote: because they've been cutting this white stone for 5 days in my enclosed courtyard, everything is covered in white dust. Trees, windows, chairs, you name it. As soon as they finish this stone- hopefully today- I will be taking a water hose to the whole area! :)


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OMGosh What a difference! It looks amazing!

Like me, just keep reminding yourself..."One of these days it'll all be worth it."

It's the mantra I repeat to my reflection every morning as I prepare for the legion of landscapers, fence guys, cement pourers, irrigation installers, etc. that have become like family. /sarcasm (Honestly, they're been wonderful people, I just want 'em done.)

And the dust? Gurrrrrrl.....my windows are so dusty/dirty that from the kitchen, it looks like the fog has rolled in.

The end is in sight.


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j royall,
Love the follow up pics. So glad things are back on track for you.
PB here has been busting out the whole pool a little at a time since July 6!! Hope to one day get to your stage, but it looks for now we are on our way to the attorneys.
Keep us updated on progress.
Good Luck,
shelli


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What an astounding transformation! I am so relieved for you and hope that things will continue to progress smoothly,

Take care,
Roz


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J_Royal

I have followed your thread in the beginning but off for some time. Catching up, I am so sorry to hear about all the mess you have been going through and having to deal with.

Natural_Ones photos are what comes to mind when I think Modern. I could sense your utter disappointment in what was built for you.

It looks like things are coming along nicely now. The cut stone is beautiful and elegant. Your modern spool will be dynamite in the end, I'm sure.

Pool building is kinda like a birth, I think. Takes some pain, a few curse words, and in the end, a beautiful result.


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Thanks for all the kind words, everyone. TODAY, the stone mason is supposed to "finish" all the stone work. The sad thing is, there are only like 5 cut stones that need to be placed, and despite that, I doubt he'll finish today. His guys are the slowest on the planet.

Funny story, yesterday the wife and I were having a meeting with the PB at their office. Another customer of theirs came in, looking not-too-happy, and said he needed an update on his pool situation. I thought, "Oh Lord, what did they mess up on this guy's site?" But his question was "What's taking so long with the PERMITS?"

Wow, he's not even past the permit stage yet! Poor b@stard has NO IDEA what he's in for!

Anyway, supposedly we finish the stone today and do the decking next week. The material we chose for our waterfall wall is a black, water-blasted granite. It's freaking gorgeous, but will take 4 weeks for delivery. That puts us well into September, which is unnacceptable. We asked if they could just go ahead and finish off the pool so we could start swimming (the Texas heat is crippling) and then install the granite when it comes in later. He said they could definitely do that. They would either put up some scaffolding so the guys could instal the granite while sitting above the waterline, or they would drain the pool, have them install it, and then fill it back up quickly.

Does this worry anyone? The PB says it won't be a big deal either way. Shouldn't hurt the plaster, etc at all. What do YOU think, Pool Forumers?


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Quick update- the stone mason is FINISHED! It only took him 3 1/2 weeks! Wouldn't have been so bad if only he hadn't promised to have it done in one week. Pool Builders, it's all about setting the correct expectations!

Concrete pavers start tomorrow. Then it will finally look like a patio again, rather than an awful dirt hole with some cut stone placed here and there.


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SPOKE TOO SOON! Tuesday morning, the paver guys showed up and said that they'd be finished by Tuesday evening or Weds evening. When I got home from work at 4pm on Tuesday, they had only prepped half of the courtyard, and had apparently taken off early. Sure, why not? You've done half a day's work. It's Miller Time!

It wasn't until I got home from work on Weds that I became furious again. They hadn't even SHOWN UP on Weds. So, to recap, they were supposed to be stone cold finished, and they still hadn't even prepped half of my courtyard. This morning, when it got to be 9am and they STILL hadn't shown up, I called the PB. "Oh, we're having issues getting the pavers delivered to your house." Something about an Excel spreadsheet mixup between the pool company and the paver company. I said, "That doesnt' explain why my courtyard hasn't been touched in two days! Even if you delivered the pavers now, we wouldn't be able to install them, because the courtyard isn't prepped!" To me, that means there is still a full day's work to do before we can even THINK about installing pavers. Or if experience has taught me anything, more like TWELVE days work. Considering how slow these subs all are.

I am freaking FURIOUS. This pathetic, hack pool company and their complete inability to communicate even the most basic of directions with their subs has put me over the edge. The only thing left to do is finish the pavers (or START the pavers) and plaster the pool. IF this were any other pool company I'd say we have about a week's worth of work left. But with these vapid morons, I'd say we're easily looking at another month.


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j royall,

Just to make you feel better, we paid our first draw in March. PB did not get out to start till May. Only had plaster and coping left, so 90% paid. Found out pool wrong elevation and size, so busting entire pool out and starting over. Have 90% paid, and 80% busted out....4 months and counting and only a big muddy hole in the yard!!
Keep your chin up!
s


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Shellip- That's horrible! I can't even imagine how frustrated and angry you must be feeling. We both thought we'd have a pool finished in time to cool off this summer. As it stands, we'll be luck if we swim Labor Day weekend!

We had another in a long line of big meetings yesterday where we stand around the unfinished pool and make plans for what's next. Supervisor came out and brought the paver guy and another crew whose job it will be to fix various things around the courtyard. Everyone came to an agreement, and knew exactly what was coming next, and as always, I went inside my house feeling confident and ready for the next phase. And, like always, I woke up this morning to find that somewhere in the last 10 hours, everyone had totally forgotten what was agreed upon the night before.

They were supposed to be at my house at 8am, starting work. As I left just before 9, still nobody there. That's way past stupid right? I mean, even a genuinely stupid guy can write down and remember a time, right? This is all the way past stupid, and heading straight into "intentionally fraudulent" wouldn't you say? Anyway, hopefully they will have actually shown up and done some work for a change by the time I get home tonight.

PB says we'll be swimming by next weekend. I'm not exactly holding my breath on that one.


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Well, the excruciating grind continues. Talked to the paver guy last Thursday, as you know. He said they'd be done by Tuesday. Let me dispel the suspense for you right off- it's Tuesday today, and there's no way they finish.

Friday came and went without a visit from his crew. Saturday- not a sign of them anywhere. Sunday, obviously nobody does work, so that's a bust. Monday rolls around (yesterday). I worked from home so that I could see what happened. The crew rolled up around 1pm, worked for a solid four hours, and then split. In that four hours, they managed to lay down ELEVEN pavers. You heard me right- eleven. There are 9 pallets of pavers sitting in my driveway, and they haven't even used up all of the first one yet.

My wife stayed home today to see what time they show up. She said she'd call me when the crew got to the house. It's almost 10am, and no call. This pool company and ALL of their subs are the worst business I've ever dealt with in my 37 years of walking the planet. Furious.

My awesome 11 pavers:




One day this courtyard will look amazing. I just hope I'm still alive to see it, and also not in prison for murder.


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Sympathies. My pool building experience was awful as well- 8 months from contract execution to completion. The pool company was absolutely the worst business partner I've ever had. Low life losers with absolutely zero regard for service. I know how frustrated you are- I'm still pissed and my project is completed and looks great!


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Stewart- I doubt my project will ever be finished OR look great.

The paver boss showed up today, and he's making the work crew start all over completely. All the pavers are being pulled up and reset. First of all, the completely inept crew made tons of mistakes setting them down. You can see in the pic above, the huge "valley" that the pavers make in the middle. The whole courtyard is a complete clusterF once again, and we have lost another week on this project for NO REASON WHATSOEVER other than the fact that the crews NEVER have any supervision. SUPERVISION. It's critical. When you send 3 guys to my house in the morning on day one, and don't even TELL THEM WHY THEY'RE GOING THERE- then your business SUCKS. Period. You are a horrible businessman.

Thankfully my wife speaks fluent spanish, so we're able to tell the guys what their idiot boss SHOULD have told them. But we also have jobs, so we can't be at home every day of the week. Not that being there every day would matter because the crews don't even bother to show up most days.

No amount of enjoyment I can possibly get from this pool will ever be able to make up for the sickening amount of anger and depression that I've had to put up with for the last 4 solid months. I wish we had never started this project.


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j...

I know there are bigger and worser (worser?) things in life to be depressed about but that doesn't negate our feelings of deep disappointment over our respective pool projects. (We dug last October and it's been a constant headache.)

I hope things start going in the right direction for you soon. I've built 2 houses from the ground up and haven't been this frustrated and upset. Hang in there.

Keep posting if you have the werewithal because I believe there are people here who are interested in our projects and want to share information and support if they can. I haven't posted lately because I'm so sad and wiped out over what's going on in my own backyard but felt the need to respond to your post to let ya know you're not alone.

I hope next summer we're both posting pictures of our projects complete and in good working condition. With all our hair. A little money left in our pockets. And marriages intact....


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RE: New North Dallas Modern

Banana- I might have some hair left, and I might have some money in my pocket, but I doubt it'll be both! :)

Ok, they were supposed to come and finish the deck this past Saturday. It was going to be the last day of decking. Then cleanup, and then plastering this week. Those of you in the DFW area know full well that Saturday, for the first time in months, it rained here. Rained and rained and rained! So now we're off schedule again.

The good news is that the decking crew did show up this morning to finish the job. And it's 99% finished anyway. They just need to level some stuff out and fix one or two things. HOPEFULY, they are done with that as of today. I don't count on it, but it would be nice. I've had patio furniture sitting in my living room for months now, and I'd love to get it outside where it belongs!

I hope to be showing you pics by friday. We'll see!


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RE: New North Dallas Modern

The decking actually got finished. I couldn't even believe it when I walked into the courtyard yesterday. Not only that, it actually looks good. PB still says we are on track to plaster and fill by the end of the week. I truly hope so. Then it's just a matter of the landscaping and lights, and finishing the fire pit.

The empty drain holes will be filled with polished black river rocks...



What really freaks me out is that it's actually starting to look like the original sketch!


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RE: New North Dallas Modern

It is really looking great. Sorry you had so many obstacles.


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RE: New North Dallas Modern

This is exactly why I never get excited when my PB starts saying things like "You'll be swimming by this weekend!"

When I last posted, it was Tuesday. On Monday night, by PB said that he would be out to sand and seal the white stonework on Tuesday. Cleanup and prep would happen weds/thurs, and we would be plastering the pool before the weekend. It's now Thursday afternoon, and he still hasn't shown up for TUESDAY'S work.

Look PBs, I understand that you can't get to stuff as quickly as your customers would always like, but for the love of GOD, man- don't make promises you have no intention of keeping! It's bad business, it ruins your credibility, and worst of all, it's just unnecessary! Set realistic expectations, and I'll be with you every time. Promise me something for the next day, and then don't bother doing it, or contacting me to tell me WHY you haven't done it two days later? That's just stupid.


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RE: New North Dallas Modern

Can you tell us who your builder is so we can stay away from them?


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RE: New North Dallas Modern

Hi jRoyal. Just catching up with your threads. I am so sorry you did not get the straight-edged concrete of the original design, but I think what you have now with the cut stone and pavers is very beautiful, classic and modern-looking.

I am in Plano and I know you are wishing that you could be relaxing in that pool right now, but your time is coming and from the looks of your photo, it should be pretty soon now.

You are right, the free-form, flagstone edged pools are common here but you DO expect a company to be honest in their dealings and realistic in their time lines. I have to say our pool company was very specific on how long everything would take. I hope for the best, but prepare for the worst, so even though they gave me a time frame, I added 3 weeks to their completion date, just so I would not be frustrated if the time frame was not met. Luckily, they were right on target.

It does sound like your PB is working hard to make you happy, BUT I do think part of his job is to make sure that any subs he uses can actually perform the work and not put that added aggravation and stress on you, the customer. That being said, your pool is beautiful and I love the modern, Zen-like vibe of your pool and patio. It looks like an optimal place to just relax and de-stress.


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RE: New North Dallas Modern

Hi jRoyal. Just catching up with your threads. I am so sorry you did not get the straight-edged concrete of the original design, but I think what you have now with the cut stone and pavers is very beautiful, classic and modern-looking.

I am in Plano and I know you are wishing that you could be relaxing in that pool right now, but your time is coming and from the looks of your photo, it should be pretty soon now.

You are right, the free-form, flagstone edged pools are common here but you DO expect a company to be honest in their dealings and realistic in their time lines. I have to say our pool company was very specific on how long everything would take. I hope for the best, but prepare for the worst, so even though they gave me a time frame, I added 3 weeks to their completion date, just so I would not be frustrated if the time frame was not met. Luckily, they were right on target.

It does sound like your PB is working hard to make you happy, BUT I do think part of his job is to make sure that any subs he uses can actually perform the work and not put that added aggravation and stress on you, the customer. That being said, your pool is beautiful and I love the modern, Zen-like vibe of your pool and patio. It looks like an optimal place to just relax and de-stress.


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RE: New North Dallas Modern

Four months and two days since we started digging, they plastered the mother yesterday. Then, with fresh plaster curing, the pb shows up, turns on the pump, and blows dirt and rocks out of the returns to settle on the bottom. There are already stains, and the plaster isn't even 24 hours old yet! I don't have a vacuum hose or I would have immediately sucked that stuff up. Oh well- hopefully the startup process will take care of some of those dark brown dirt stains. I'm not hopeful, but maybe...

The plaster crew did every single thing the diamondbrite manual and other posters on this and many other forums said repeatedly NOT to do. They did an acid wash of the diamondbrite, which causes tons of streaks in dark colored plaster (the color is Diamondbrite "Steel Blue" which is 3 parts Tahoe Blue and 3 parts Onyx). They left the metal garden hose dangling from the side which puts lots of water pressure on the new plaster. They didn't put a rag or sock around the end of the hose, leaving the metal hose tip in heavy contact with the plaster. Etc and so on. I called him out on every single one of these, and the plaster guy had some reason why our pool was an exception to that rule. Whatever.








So here we are. We have a plastered pool. The black granite for the waterfall wall is still one month away from being delivered, so that's not in place yet, and the plants and landscape lighting haven't been put in place yet, so the project is a good long way from being done. Whatever- my wife and I spent last night floating in a nappy pool full of hose water, just to cool off. Being extremely careful not to touch the plaster!! It was more stressful than relaxing, but at least for once in this awful Texas summer, we weren't sweating outside!

Here is a comparison pic of the original design, and where we're at so far. I'd say we're pretty much on track with the larger design...




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RE: New North Dallas Modern

Congrats, it looks very classy with clean lines.


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RE: New North Dallas Modern

Watch you pH. New DB raises the pH quite quickly as it cures. Test it 2x a day for the 1st couple weeks and add acid as needed.

They could add the black stone to the drains and planter now, I suppose. That will further the setting some.

Scott


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RE: New North Dallas Modern

Our pH is sky high! I keep adding acid slowly, but the pH is still so high its color doesn't even appear on the test kit. It's such a small body of water (2700 gallons), I'm afraid to add too much acid! Yes, I've been using the calculators, but it's still intimidating! The guy sent by the pool company to do our startup is clearly insane. We had the system circulating 24 hours a day, as is recommended, but he scheduled it to only run for 7 hours a day. And this TWO days after the plaster! I killed his schedule and set it back to run 24 hours. Naturally, I'm terrified that we're going to ruin the plaster.

Thanks for the compliment Brentr. We're still a month away from being finished with the project, but at least we can get in and cool off now.


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RE: New North Dallas Modern

Add a quart at a time, waiting an hour between testings to allow it to do its thing.

What pump do you have? Two speeds and variables should be run slow to avoid aerating the water which drive pH up.

Scott


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RE: New North Dallas Modern

Good grief! Are all you folks having similar problems to J Royall in Dallas? Makes me think I should open a branch there! Your time line was horrific. Your PB did the right thing apparently but not in the right time frame. I always give my buyers a two page expectations sheet before they sign and again before we start. Then as the PB I have to meet or exceed those expectations. Normally I exceed them. Leave them smiling!


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RE: New North Dallas Modern

Anybody know of good umbrellas to use in umbrella sleeves in your pool? We bought an umbrella, had it in our umbrella sleeve for a day. Took it out, put it on the pavers to dry overnight- rusty water came out and stained the living CRAP out of my not-even-two-weeks-old pavers. Naturally, I'm devastated, especially because for the first time, I can't blame someone else for screwing up my project. This is all my fault.

I need an umbrella that goes in the water and doesn't rust up on the inside!!!!!!!


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RE: New North Dallas Modern

We have five Treasure Garden rust proof cast aluminum umbrellas situated throughout our poolscape. They are expensive but worth it. Ours do not sit in water so I would make sure that they are approved for this use. Good luck and I am so happy you now have a pool and pavers in need of a quality umbrella:)


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RE: New North Dallas Modern

I've been begging the pb to seal the white stone coping for weeks now. It's been sitting out there in the elements for over a month. It's getting more yellow every day, like freaking tooth decay. Last night, some kind of raccoon or possom walked thru mud, and then spent the entire evening walking around the perimeter all over my white coping. I spent half an hour scrubbing it today, and I still see paw prints.

I'm done. I'm taking a motherf***** sledgehammer to the whole courtyard. I wish we had never started this idiotic project.


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RE: New North Dallas Modern

You poor guy. Barb here again. So nice to see you are almost done, it looks gorgeous. About the stone, yes it needs sealed of course. Hubby prefers a penetrating one, it doesn't give the stone the tacky shiney look, unless you like that look.... the stone can be cleaned. Try some powdered dishwasher powder on one, hopefully a spare. Wet the stone, put the dw powder on and scrub it, then rinse. It has chlorine so it will bleach it, but please use a test piece first. The umbrella needs an aluminum pole, there are some nice Sunbrella ones at Pottery Barn, aluminum poles, on a nice sale right now. Hope this helps. b


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Hey Barb, the one that rusted on us was aluminum. It rusted on the INSIDE of the pole, which I guess wasn't protected. The packaging for the umbrella simply said "Aluminum pole" and didn't mention anything about "inside" or "outside" so now, we're naturally terrified because any pole claiming to be "aluminum" could have the same exact issue. I have no idea how to proceed.

That said, we went to the stone yard this weekend and bought (quite literally) ONE TON of Texas black gravel. I shoveled one ton of gravel into our planters and basins on Saturday and Sunday. We sank the plants and are now completely landscaped. I should have gotten pics for you guys but quite honestly I was too exhausted, and too angry. The SECOND I finished the landscaping, the winds picked up, blowing tons of leaves and garbage all over the deck, and the temperature plummeted. It's now too cold to swim in the pool.

AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Stupid @#%!$^!$% mother nature.


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RE: New North Dallas Modern

Yea do post pix. I have seen this tip for umbrellas on here too...... get a piece of aluminum pipe, sink a screw into each side well above water line and then put the umbrella in toward the top of the pipe, not underwater, the screws will hold it up.Its gonna raise the umbrella quite a bit. Or just add the aluminum pipe permanently to the bottom of the umbrella. Stay safe down there. b


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RE: New North Dallas Modern

Ok, here are some low-rez pics now that the planters are full. I tried to take these at Dusk to get the pool light in there too. It messed with the pic quality...




In that last pic- You can see black glass in the firepit that wraps around our brick column under the covered portion of the courtyard. They finally let us heat the pool a little- not too much- but enough to make it warm and bearable. This lets us swim despite the chilly evenings. It'll be another couple of weeks before we can do full hottub mode. The only thing left now is the black wasabi granite that will cover the waterfall wall.


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We have had the best luck with the umbrellas from Albertsons. They have Dupont material and poles are all alum. 39 bucks or 29 when on sale. We replaced our $260 "nice" umbrellas with these since the expensive ones broke or rusted after a year.


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RE: New North Dallas Modern

j royall,
SSSoooo excited for you! We had to have ours torn out too, but had to do the pool and all, just getting the replacement in and they are working on the tile now. Been a long time since our first draw in March!
Had the same prob. as you with the concrete.....no one here can do it either. Glad to see you were able to find a stone that gives you a similar effect. It looks great!! Can't wait to see the finish prod.


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The masabi granite for the waterfall wall arrived yesterday. It will be installed over the next week, at some point, probably, maybe. At that point, we will be done with the actual construction of the pool and courtyard.

I had the landscape lighting installed yesterday, and it really looks amazing out there at night now. Very dreamlike to sit outside and see it all. I took the last week off to finally relax and enjoy the pool, and of course the temperatures stayed pretty low and it rained a ton.


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RE: New North Dallas Modern

Just checking in. The granite for my waterfall wall is STILL sitting in the garage. The white limestone STILL has not been cleaned and sealed, and is more yellow than white at this point. They just redid several pavers yesterday because water was puddling under the door from the driveway to the courtyard. No end in sight. At least we got two weeks of swimming before the weather turned cold. Now we have to heat it.


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RE: New North Dallas Modern

Today the PB finally begins the almost-last-phase of my job- putting the black Masabi granite on the waterfall wall of the pool. We just had brand new doors installed in the courtyard entrance, and also on the house. The plants are planted, the landscape lights are lighted, so this granite wall will go a long way towards making the project feel done.






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RE: New North Dallas Modern

Checking in again. The Granite got installed on the waterfall wall... finally. And of COURSE in the act of doing so, they slung black crap all over my white stone. The black crap has now been sitting on the white stone for about a month. The PB says they can try to sand it off and seal it, but it might "stain the stone" at this point.

Now remember, I have been BEGGING these ineffectual losers to sand and seal my white stone for over THREE MONTHS now. If they had done if before the granite was installed, we wouldn't even be having this conversation. So the fact that they tell me now that it might be too late is INFURIATING to me as a human being with the common sense god gave the common DOG.

There are also a large number of "odd jobs" that need to be taken care of by the pool company like fixing the fence they wrecked on day one, replacing water main covers, etc and so on, which I have no doubt will never get done. In one week we will be entering month SEVEN of this project. I have never been more dissatisfied or angry.


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You should name the PB... seriously - even if he's a nice, sympathetic guy who is trying to make this right for you - he has the worst subs in the history of pool building and people need to stay away. And honestly - not sealing the stone isn't a subs fault - the PB should have hired someone for this job.

Other than paying more money to work w/ someone else.. I guess you have to see it out w/ this guy. (assuming he's messing up and then paying for all these 'fixes')

But I have complete stress and worry on a pool build that's going relatively smoothly.. i can't imagine one like this. I might get an ulcer.


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RE: New North Dallas Modern

So read all your thread and can't believe you didn't throw that PB under the bus where he belonged long before the end of the thread...
How has the pool/pavers held up over the last year+
and who jerked you around so badly...
they should have paid you stress and trauma recompense...


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RE: New North Dallas Modern

I would love to see some photos of how it finally turned out and hear the 'rest of the story'.

My husband (The Architect) would love this project/pool!


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