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Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Posted by mil__98 (My Page) on
Fri, Jun 9, 06 at 9:36

Hello! We are thinking about getting a pool in the Houston area (Katy) and wanted to know if anyone has any experiences with anyone that we should know about. I would love to hear the positive and negative feedback. Anyone recommend a certain builder? Also, we don't want to spend A LOT of money so nothing too fancy. What was everyones price range?
Thanks for your help!!!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

G & L Poolscapes 936-258-2376


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

If I lived in Houston I would definately call Kelly a.k.a. Huskyrider!


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Mil -

We live in the Dallas-area and are in the process of building our pool right now. We got bids from 5 builders - four were local/regional builders, one was national (Blue Haven).

We went with a company called Platinum Pools. I'm suggesting this to you because they're actually based in the Houston area. What we found during our selection process was that Platinum was not the least expensive (Blue Haven was), but I'm not sure that's what you would want - not what we wanted, anyway. (Asking around, Platinum actually had a reputation for being one of the more expensive builders around.)

However, although Platinum wasn't the cheapest, their upgrades were more reasonable priced, so with all the features we wanted rolled-in (salt, beach entry, pebble finish, raised spa, waterfall, etc), they were actually very competitive.

Of the top 3 builders we talked to, Platinum's price was very close. What finally caused us to go with them was their unconditional lifetime transferrable (one time) structural warranty. Everyone had a lifetime structural warranty, but most other companies' warranties weren't transferrable, and most had conditions tied to soil conditions, etc. Living in Texas, I'm sure you're very familiar with the expansive clayish soils we have here. Platinum's warranty will cover it unconditionally. Of course, we won't find out if this works once we really need it, so we shall see.

Here is a link that might be useful: Platinum's website


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

joelq - Thanks very much for the info. Platinum Pools is on my list to visit. What price range did you end up spending. It sounds like you want about the same things we want. I'm not sure if we want a spa or not though.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

WE've just settled on a builder here in Tomball, so I can't make any recommendations at this point. I like what I saw on the Platinum pools web site and went down with the survey of my house. The guy I talked to didn't seem all that interested in talking to us or even having someone come out to my house to look over the project. I pressed him to give me a ballpark figure based on the size and what we wanted. He told me 45 to 50K. I was surprised because the website has pics of pools that are much less than that. It does look like they do good work, but three other builders we talked to were all within 3K of each other at around 35K. I looked at Backyard Oasis - very nice an knowledgeable. They use all Jandy equipment and Ocean Blue Pools - all Heyward. My wife met the third - I don't remember who with. I've heard good things about David and Taylor, but their pool sales guy stood me up after making an appointment with me. Should be breaking ground in less than 2 weeks.

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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Ocean Blue is who put in my pool. I don't recommend them.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

I saw the pics of your pool suburbfreak. It looks nice. Why would you hold back on a recommendation?


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Mil - ours is exactly $40K for an 80 perimeter, custom shaped pool. As I mentioned in my previous post, it will have salt, pebble finish, raised spa with spillover, waterfall/weeping wall, beach entry, flagstone coping, and about 500 sq ft of aggregate decking. We also had extra expense because they had to raise the back side of the pool due to the grading of our yard (it slopes up from front to back).

Adding a spa will add about $7K to the cost of your pool, so think about whether you really want it. If you can, talk to some realtors to see if they think lack of a spa hurts resale.

Good luck! Let me know if you have any other questions. We hope to break ground next week!!!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Thanks for the compliment... I had some major Customer Service issues with OBPI during the build and afterwards. They just didn't want to fix the problems, so I gave up (after about 6 months of emails, phone calls, etc), hired somebody else to fix the problems, and now I tell everyone in the world how much I think they suck :P.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

suburb - I hope you don't mind my prying, but what issues did you have? I just want to protect myself in the event things don't go as smoothly as I hope they will.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Might be too late but I absolutely love Tomball Pool & Spa. Ron, the owner, is such an awesome honest person.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

I am in the The Woodlands and almost went with Ocean Blue, I am glad we didn't I hate poor cutomer service. I still haven't borke ground, but we chose Blue Haven, not sure how their customer service will be but so far it is good.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

I wrote this in another thread on contracts:

We had the builder-favored contract and it DID create a problem in the end. I told them I was holding payment until they fixed some things that were pretty serious (and nobody had been out for weeks) and they were demanding the final payment (which they were entitled to, according to the contract I'd signed).

I told them that they could take me to court or get somebody out to fix the stuff. But I wasn't going to give them the last penny. They had somebody out the next few days working, and I did release the funds once they did fix everything and then we moved forward with the PebbleTec. It was quite scary though, on my end, and I could have done without the stress. I won't sign anything like that ever again.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And this is the biggie - the letter that I sent to Baron Bissett and Mike Prince (edited any personal info):

This will be my final request that my pool cleaner problem is satisfactorily resolved by Ocean Blue Pools. My husband and I signed a contract with you in June of 2004 for an in-ground swimming pool that cost $XX,XXX which stipulated a suction-side cleaner called the Hayward Navigator. At that time, we were requesting that all of the trees in our backyard were removed. We were all informed that The Woodlands Community Associations were not allowing the removal of 2 trees that were very close to the pool during the permit applications. I spoke with Mike via telephone to let him know that we couldn’t remove the trees, we also spoke about the cleaner and Mike said that it wasn’t a problem and he would put us down for a Hayward Viper. I later learned that a Viper was a pressure-side cleaner, but at the time I didn’t know what the difference was and trusted Ocean Blue Pools to provide us with the best cleaner for our pool.

The pool was completed in August of 2004. Approximately a week after startup, Terry brought out a Hayward Navigator and installed it to clean the pool. I asked him about the Viper, but he didn’t seem to know what Mike had promised me. I didn’t know that it would make any difference, so I let it go. After a few weeks of flawless performance, the Navigator began to stall whenever a leaf or acorn got into the cleaner mechanism. I called Terry repeatedly over the course of a few weeks. He did everything that I believe he could do, given what we were working with. I ended up having to unwedge debris from the cleaner, occasionally several times within an hour. Over the course of the next month, I realized that the Navigator was not going to work properly no matter what we did with it.

I contacted the office of Ocean Blue Pools yet again and asked Jackie to have someone come out and let me know what it would take to have the vacuum/suction line to the pool hooked up to a additional booster pump with a pressure-side cleaner attached. I had been reading Internet pool forums extensively during this process and now knew what it was we needed. It appears to be common knowledge everywhere outside Ocean Blue Pools that a suction side cleaner such as a Navigator simply will not work when there are trees that drop debris near the pool. On Ocean Blue Pools own website, it states this! (http://www.obpi.com/cleaners.htm) Why was it you ignored your own advice when it came to my pool? After a few days of my request, Jackie quoted me about $800 to have someone change the plumbing enough to accept a booster pump and pressure side cleaner. This was without the actual booster pump or cleaner! I bought a Polaris 360 from a pool company that is a pressure side cleaner that does not use a booster pump. It worked much better than the Navigator, given it’s MUCH wider throat opening, but it does not have the power to make it from one end of the pool to the other consistently. I had 2 other pool companies give me quotes and one company quoted $800 for the plumbing, installation and Polaris 280 cleaner and booster pump, another company quoted $1000 for all the work necessary with a Polaris 380 and booster pump.

I am requesting that Ocean Blue Pools make my vacuum/suction side outlet and plumbing suitable and ready for the installation of a pressure side cleaner and booster pump at no charge. I will provide the new cleaner and booster pump. Our beautiful $XX,XXX swimming pool is filthy with dirt and debris and I want this problem resolved quickly. I expect to hear from Baron Bissett, the owner of Ocean Blue Pools, before close of business, March 11, 2005, with a promise and plan of action to resolve this issue according to my request, before close of business, March 31, 2005.


I appreciate your full and prompt attention to this matter.


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re: obpi

Sorry - my touchpad freaked out and I couldn't finish the post after cutting & pasting, but that was the letter I sent and was completely ignored.

So OBPI didn't do anything and I had to spend $1,000 with another pool company to change out the plumbing and provide me with a Polaris 280 & booster pump. This was such a small issue in the grand scheme of things; it came down to that fixing their mistake was too much trouble. My pool was completely filled with debris from my 2 oak trees for the first 6 months after startup.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

We haven't installed a new pool, but we did a major deck remodel this spring. We've had a number of customer service and communication problems with our builder -- Richard's Total Backyard Solutions. We have a leak under the new deck, and we've finally had to select another contractor to do the repairs because we've been unsuccessful in getting anyone from Richard's to return our calls.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Thanks everyone for the info so far. Anyone use Blue Haven Pools? We got a bid from them and it looks good so far.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Don't go with Blue Haven! Check the consumer reports and their BBB.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Platinum

joelq - Did you read the exceptions in Platinums "unconditional" warranty? About how Mother Nature and God's will, movement of the pool or cracking will not be covered. They have exclusions. They were a contender for us, but we chose not to go with them because of this. There are other PB's in the area with real unconditional transferable warranties.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

santorin
I have looked at Blue Haven on the BBB website and they do have some complaints but so does every other pool company I have looked at. I have not found one pool company without complaints.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Blue Haven has more than any one else. Check the consumer reports. I also have friends that had their pool built by Blue Haven and have had nothing but problems. While not in Houston, it is in Texas.

Look at these two sites.

http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/ripoff25055.htm
http://www.consumeraffairs.com/homeowners/blue_haven.html


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

We had a pool put in last summer by Platinum Pools and were very pleased. We have had a couple of small items we have needed repaired since then and they are easy to get a hold of and come out within a couple of days to take care of it.

Our pool is 30 x 23 with a 2 ton waterfall and it ran us about $27,000.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

We had our pool put in by Platinum exactly a year ago and have been very pleased. Our pool is 32x18 and 3 1/2 to 5 to 4 feet in depth and we love it. Due to the elevation of our yard, we have a raised bond beam along the backside of the pool with flagstone (12" in the middle and 6" on either end), a saltwater and ozone system, and quartz plaster (no heater, waterfall, spa) and we came in right at $28,000. We went with Platinum because I had two friends in different parts of the city that had gone with Platinum, had there pools for several years, and were still very happy. We contacted Blue Haven and made an appointment. The salesman canceled at the last minute (I think he had car trouble) and never got back with us so we figured they weren't for us. We also got a quote from Anthony Sylvan. We definitely would have contacted Kelly at Atlantis for a quote (since he's kind of in our neck of the woods) if I would have known about his company. TWo of our neighbors have had pools put in by Alliance within the last year. The decking on both of those pools sits about 4-6 inches above the grass and the PB didn't come in with enough dirt to slope it naturally. The decking is just exposed but the pools themselves are very nice. One of our neighbors is currently having a Blue Haven pool (some special deal and the only PB they contacted) put in and although things seem to be going smoothly, I'm concerned because they have the same kind of elevation that we had. They don't have a raised bond beam so the dirt on the back side of the pool is sitting about 12" above the height of the pool. Not sure how that is going to work. We do have another Blue Haven pool in our neighborhood that was put in 2 years ago and they were very pleased. My best advise - check the BBB and go with your gut instinct.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

  • Posted by
    john-999
    (gw:john-999) on
    Tue, Oct 31, 06 at 14:56

Mil
Who did you go with in the end as i live in Katy and need advice etc


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

John - We went with CastleRock Pool and Spa located here in Katy. Here is a link with the details/pics of our pool...

Completed Pool Pictures


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

  • Posted by
    john-999
    (gw:john-999) on
    Wed, Nov 1, 06 at 11:57

Mil; Sorry but i can't open the link any chance of e-mailing,sorry to be a pain. John.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

John -

Trying again....

http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/pools/msg092222463353.html

Here is a link that might be useful: Pool Pics


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

  • Posted by
    john-999
    (gw:john-999) on
    Thu, Nov 2, 06 at 11:35

Mil, that worked that time, WOW! can i be cheeky and ask how much you spent, as i think i might have to increase my budget. Thanks john.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Mil, I talked with Platinum Pools also. I have also been talking with Pleasure Pools in Katy. They seem like a good family owned business and their price quote was very reasonable. Have you contacted them yet?


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

We studied and interviewed 5 pool builders in the Houston area. After hiring one pool company we had to fire them because they were un responsive and would not correct errors to the contract within the period allowed to rescind. After reading this forum and all the good things said about Platinum Pools Houston, we hired them, off to a very rough start. Salesman would hardly communicate with us after signing contract, lied to us when he did speak to us, he does not work there anymore as of today. Assinged new person. 3 weeks after signing contract that supposedly going to deliver us a completed pool in 6 weeks, our progress to a complete pool is about where we expected to be in one week. We are very hopefull they will live up to our expectations to deliver a quality pool to us, we have given up on the timeline. We will keep you posted.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

General Manager came out to our house, very nice guy, but had a bad taste in my mouth from sales process, then the lack of return calls after contract signing, bad gut feeling. He offered us to do the pool, or to be released. I chose to get out. I think they did the right thing to offer us an out, maybe the right company for others, it just did not work out for us. So now we are searching for our thrid pool company, we might just give up. We just figured when spending 55k we would be treated with a basic level of customer service. I guess the pool business is booming, one company told me today, they could not update a quote they gave us 2 months ago for two weeks.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

After a terrible experience last year with a local company we were a little gun-shy of having any work done on the pool. We found a company we're very happy with and can highly recommend based on our experience. We just finished a major renovation and were very pleased throughout the process and with the finished product. We used The Pool Man in Tomball...I don't know where in Houston you are and if they work in your area, but if you haven't spoken to them yet it might be worth a call.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Mysecondpool, I am sorry to hear abut all of the trouble you are having with pool builders. I am a builder and it is very busy; howeverm that is no excuse for poor customer service and a lack of professionalism. Don't give up on your dreams of owning a pool. The right builder is out there for you.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Thanks for the encouragement. We are very thourough and we want our pool to turn out right. We started at Blue Haven, A&S and quickly got the heebee jeebees from them. We are not wealthy people so spending 55k is a big deal to us. We dont want a bucket of problems with our pool. We want a quality pool built. We dont want to have to chase and manage our pool builder. Each time we think we found a quality builder and sign up, they let us down in some way. We are just careful, not nuts.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

mysecondpool,
I'm curious, what part of town are you in?

See ya,
Kelly


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

We are you located Clear Lake


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

If I lived in Clear Lake I'd use Brad at Backyard Amenities.

See Ya,
Kelly


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

We are going into our 3rd summer with our pool built by Brad from Backyard Amenities. We love our pool--Brad is the best to deal with and we would highly recommend him and his pool company. We live in Clear Lake and talked to several builders before going with Backyard Amenites--he was always available during all phases of construction and built our beautiful pebble lagoon deep end pool/spa with double waterfalls, tanning shelf, dive rock that we just love!! We just walk outside & we are on vacation!!! MANY pools in Clear Lake are built by Backyard Amenities---he doesn't need to advertise---he stays busy enough by just referrals!!! Good Luck....


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Has anyone ever used or heard good things about:

Houston Pool Design Construction Co. - John Shifferd

??

Also, anyone used a good builder in Sugar Land area?

Thanks!


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

bumping up I want to know too, we are about to start digging with Houston Pool Design. Could not find anything bad on the BBB or orther sites.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

DO NOT USE APES POOLS AND SPA ( ARTISAN POOL AND EMBELLISHMENT, INC) OUT OF KATY, TX. WE STARTED THIS MESS LAST FEBRUARY, WE ARE NOT COMPLETE, NOT HAPPY WITH THE OWNER OR HIS CUSTOMER SERVICE. WE ARE NOW TAKING LEGAL MATTERS.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

We are currently getting bids to build a pool in Spring, but we have pretty much decided on Adam Traugott with Sunset Pools Inc. (www.sunsetpoolsinc.com)We have gotten bids from many builders including Master Formation, Acclaim, Creative Lifestyle, A & S etc....but Adam hands down gives you more bang for your money...We really were looking for someone to take care of everything. For example, I have an existing sprinkler system...all the other builders were simply going to cap it...and if any other part was broken during construction, they were not going to fix it. Adam though will be completely re-desiging the sprinkler system for all the new landscaping etc. Obviously, we are paying for that, but it was something that they do regularly and wasn't an issue. I know you say you do not want to spend a ton of money, and Sunset is a "custom" builder, so you will be paying a little more. Companies like Blue Haven, A & S and even Platinum Pools are more cookie cutter with everything packaged together in these really cool packages to make it more appealing to the consumer...but you really have to look deeper into the overall quality of what you are getting...

FYI on the earlier post on the "unconditional lifetime warranty"....Get that "lifetime" statement from your builder to state exactly how many years that covers. I know that sounds crazy, but "lifetime" in the United States is only 7 years. If you were to fall off the face of the planet tomorrow and never be heard of again and show up in 8 years, you would have to apply for a new identity and start all over again. Believe it or not, A & S Pools won a lawsuit against them based on that argument.

Good luck with your pool and happy swimming.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

I'm sorry but I've never heard of Adam at Sunset pools, and I've been building pools as a subcontractor and a builder in the
FM1960/Spring/Woodlands/Conroe area since the late 70's.
I think that the top companies in my area, besides mine of course, are Iguana Pools, Texas Pools, and Wise Pools.
We've all been residents of the area and conducted business here under the same name for a very long time.
I'm not trying to direct you in any particular direction. I'm simply pointing out my take on the area's long term pool builders. FWIW, any of these pool builders would handle your sprinkler dilemma by simply adding an allowance for repair and reconstruction of your irrigation system.
I'd like to know, where did you hear about these other pool builders. I've never heard of Master Formation or Creative Lifestyle before. I know Steve at Acclaim, he's been a builder in our area for the past few years, he's a good guy.

I'm curious, what subdivision do you live in?

See ya,
Kelly


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

I am on the north side off of Rayford Road.

Adam is the son of the owners of Laguna Pools in Katy. He started his own company, Sunset Pools, about 5 or 6 years ago, also in Katy. He's a great guy and builds a quality product. I am confident with selecting him.

On the sprinkler issue...this was not my reason for choosing the builder I did, but I would expect the PB to offer to fix the system when I ask, " what about my existing sprinkler system, will that be fixed? " Every builder, including Steve with Acclaim, said no, we'll just cap it.

Adam is the only builder who said, yes, we will definitly redesign the system for you.

And that's the way he has been with the whole process. I will say this, I have heard great things about Iguana Pools.

Thanks for your input, but I feel very comfortable with Adam at sunset.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

wardsntx,
I am currently having a pool built by Sunset Pools. If you would like to see my progress go to the attached link.

Here is a link that might be useful: ktdave's pool build


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Thanks ktdave!

Other than your few little snags, how has your experience been with Sunset? Are you happy with your decision?


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

wardsntx,
Yes, I am still happy with my decision. The quality of work has been outstanding. Of course, as an owner, you always want things to go faster, but the delays are to be expected at this time of year. I really wish we would have started the process about a month sooner. Do you know who your project supervisor is going to be? Mine is Jason.

Keep me posted on your build.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

hey ktdave,

have not signed contract yet. Have Adam making some changes to contract and will hopefully have contract signed and funding closed by next week! I know someone who is having Sunset build his pool in Katy, and Jason is his supervisor. How has your experience been with him?


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

We are almost done having our 30x14 w/12" raised spa, 6' weeping wall, stonescapes pebble aggregate, and staggered flagstone waterfall coming out of the spa finished by Anthony & Sylvan (plaster+stonescapes is all that's left) We had one minor discrepancy - the stepped waterfall coming out of the spa was supposed to be 6' wide and they made it 4', but they came out and fixed it pretty quickly (couple days). We got quotes from Houston Pool Design, Backyard Oasis (who we never got a quote from) and "South Shore Pools". South Shore seemed really hokey. Houston Pool seemed like they skimped on equipment quality. A&S seems to use top notch equipment (Pentair, Polaris, etc). The total was 33k and took about 6 weeks (it's been VERY rainy!)


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

We looked at Houston Pool Design, Richards Backyards, Platinum Pools and Pearland Pools. Houston Pool Design looked good. I would be interested in to know how Houston Pool Design is doing for you. We started this process last August. We signed contracts with two of the above companies, we had to terminated the contracts for various reasons. After a recomendation from a friend, we selected Diamond Pools Spas and Decks, Rudy Supulveda. www.diamondpsd.com He is a small builder. So far so good, he has been responsive to our requests, but he is a little slow, the pool was dug 6 weeks ago and the gunite was sprayed 5 weeks ago. They just put the coping on the pool. They still have to pour the decks and build privacy walls, install tile and plaster. We are working very hard at being patient. We are confident that this week they will make a lot of progress if the weather holds up.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Houston Pool Design Update

So far so good John has been a pleasure to work with, Started digging on June 15th, Gunite on June 23rd ( would have been sooner but weather was Yuck) Was plased to see that they flashed the hole with gunite to hold the shape while the plumbed and did the rebar.

Everytime John has stopped by to see how things were going, he always returns calls in a timely manner. Crew have been efficient, polite, and right on time. (said they would gunite Saturday early moring and they were there setting up at 5:30 am!!!)

We are at the sit and wait a week point, will post when pool is done. So far I would give them a 2 thumbs up :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Houston Pool Design


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Hello,
My husband and I are building a home in Sienna Plantation, Missouri City, TX, and we are looking for someone to install an inground gunite pool.
we currently live in NY. Can anyone recommend a reputable company in that area? I've emailed a few recommended on this site but unfortunately, they don't service the area I am in.

Thank you!


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Call Scot Benson of Benson Pools, tell him Mindy sent you (he's in Katy) and make sure he includes a glacier pool cooler in your package. You will NOT be a happy swimmer in the summer time without one!


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Call my buddy Michael Hipp at Hipp Pools.
He's built a bunch of pools in Sienna Plantation.
If Huntington Homes is your builder he has an exclusive with them. He's the only builder that they allow to construct during the home construction process prior to the final close on your new home, otherwise you'll have to wait until after closing.
Tell him Kelly referred you from one of the pool forums that he frequents.
I can't guarantee that he'll cut you a better deal, but it'll guarantee me a free twenty pack pack of Miller Lite the next time he and his girl come over to the house for a get together, LOL!!!

Thanks for supporting the industry with your new pool purchase. I can't speak for New Yorkian's (is that correct?) but I can for Texans, NOTHING BEATS A SWIMMING POOL IN THE HOT TEXAS SUN!!!

Welcome to SE Texas, I'm sure your going to love it.

See Ya,
Kelly


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Thank you so much for all of your recommendations!!

also, reading some of the quotes I've gotten and lists of the items included is like reading Chinese! can any of you tell me what it all means? lol

also, what are some must-haves?

Thank you!


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

I am using Michael Hipp also. I interviewed three other builders but, after talking to Max at Hipp it was a no-brainer. They may not be the cheapest but do you really want that? They came highly recommended and I was extremely impressed. I was within hours of signing with another company and Michael asked me to give him one day to come up with something special. I am so glad I gave him that one day. I close today on my loan and hopefully will be swimming by Labor Day. Check his BBB record. Zero complaints:)). I am in The Woodlands area. He builds there also.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Hi! Newbie and first post, glad to meetcha!

Anyway, we're under construction on a 21x40 w/ spa, 3.5' - 6', 2 multi-color SAM lights and spa light, sunburn shelf, 3 skimmers & 8 returns, Pentair IntelliFlow 4x160 pump, SW system, cartridge filter and some other doo-dads. In addition to the pool, he's doing 1,000+ sq. ft. of pea-gravel deck and a patio cover. Heckuva nice pool - I'll get some pictures up later.

Anyhow, my builder is Starlight Pools in Spring. I hate to brag on a job that ain't done yet, so I'll let y'all know in another thread how it finishes out. James is kinda funny - he's like the Mattress Mack of pools (have to be around Houston to get the reference I guess) and you can tell he likes what he does.

So far so good, and pretty quick. Yesterday was 3 weeks since groundbreaking and we're ready to plaster! They're not rushing anything, it's just that my pool is one of the few they can work on despite all the wet weather thanks to the hard-*** clay soil I have here. When the bobcat took the first bite the blade bounced off the ground and it barely made a dent. :)

Anyhow, all of his subs have done a good job and have shown up on schedule. Just about every day someone has been out there doing something. The workmanship has been very good (and I'm picky), and obviously I'm happy with the schedule.

Your mileage will vary; my build is kind of a special case because of the weather delays on other projects, but you still have to be organized, schedule the subs and keep the work moving regardless.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Hi street jockey,

We liked James at Starlight also but went with Kelly because of good recommendations on this website. I think we both couldn't lose.

Be sure and post some pictures.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Wow, we gunited May 22nd, our pool builder says the rain has slowed us down. We have the wall built and decks poured. This week will be the telling tale on our pool builder Diamond Pools. If he gets after it and finishes, we will be happy. Otherwise, our patience will run out. Will let you know.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

I wonder if the timeline is partly affected by a builder's relationship with his subs? After all, they can only go as fast as the subs do. Maybe some of the more reliable subcontractors prefer working with certain builders and give them better schedules?


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Well our pool is finally up and running. Rudy Supulveda of Diamond Pools Spas and Decks has been pretty good and the pool has so far turned out well. However today we discovered that the pool has a leak. From talking with several people it is not uncommon for a new pool to have a leak, so we are not freaking out yet. This will be a defining moment for Diamond Pools. We will see how he handles the problem. From what we have seen so far we expect he will take care of the problem. We will keep you posted.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

I used Pearland Pools. I went through the same through process. I started out with Blue Haven, Platinum Pools and one other company that I can't remember because they were such a joke it was unreal. But they are a national company. When I remember the name I will let you guys know.
First up was Blue Haven. A whole lot of fluff. They bring out the rep with the powerful computer and he can hook you with the graphics that show what your pool will look like after its finished. Very nice. But I remember speaking with a friend who started out with Blue Haven, but after signing the contract, BH came back to them saying they underbid and wanted more money. This after signing a contract. My friend even tried to meet them halfway and they said no. Moved on to the no name company. These clowns wanted a 100 dollar down payment to "lock" in the price. I told him no one else is doing this. Plus he was so ho hum it was unreal. His famous line was "Well you can use me if you like, it doesn't really matter". Oh and this company is the one you find in the Sunday circulars advertising pool packages for a set price.
The final two that I narrowed down were Platinum and Pearland. I canceled out Blue Haven because of the price and the uneasiness that I felt about them. After reading all of these posts I'm glad I did.
Platinum is a very nice and well organized company. But what ultimately led me to Pearland was that with Platinum I had a rep who was very used car salesman. He wanted me to nickel and dime things that I felt made me feel cheap. He would tell me that to save money here I could do it myself. For example on my decking, I could caulk the spaces in between the pool and the decking. Or stick a garden hose into my pool to fill it and drain it. Now this is my only experience with Platinum. I've heard other people have good experiences and the owner is on a local radio show down here in Houston.
I decided on Pearland because of the quality that I saw and the glowing references on them. With Platinum I specifically asked them if these references were current. They show you this HUGE book of references. But when you dive into them a lot of them are years old. Pearland had current references and all of them gave such glowing reviews. A lot were repeat working on their second pools. Also Pearland's owner use to be an inspector for the City of Pearland so he knew exactly what was code and what wasn't code. And after talking to the inspector for Pearland, he told me that Pearland pools is the only one he trusts to get it right the first time.
Well after hearing all of this,that was what sealed the deal for me.
And it has been smooth sailing since then. I have yet to call this PB for anything. Matter of fact, they are moving so fast I've had to rush home to put my dogs up so that they can continue work. The work so far is beautiful. Also he knows what it takes to make sure a pool is troublefree. He mandates that there be at least seven pool jets as to the industry standard four.
They are not the cheapest and they tell you up front, but they don't skimp on quality.
All my neighbors are asking who my PB is because we are moving lighting fast as compared to the other PB.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

I finally remembered who the used car PB was that was so bad.
Challenger Pools
Do not under any circumstance even ask this PB to come out to your house.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

To echo from a while back. I STRONGLY recommnend AVOIDING Richards Total Backyard Solutions. We have only begun working on the deck and kitchen portions of the contract. THey have have grossly misrepresented costs, conveniently found numerous points to demand more money after contract signing, negligently misrepresented service, product design, and product quality, and clearly lack any form of effective management internally in their comunications and training. We have been to the edge of litigation 4 times in 6 weeks and they have not even gotten the deck and Kitchen built. Their contracts are poorly written with no protection for the buyers and the sales staff is to say the very least poorly trained, incompetent to solicit accurately, and have no interest in generating effective results until they have obtained max dollar from you with " unforeseen overruns" AVOID this company!!!!

You will likely not get what you are told you will with this company at the price quoted.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Has anyone had any recent experiences with Platinum Pools? What about Perry Pools? Any recommendations for a PB in the Cypress area?


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

quote" Any recommendations for a PB in the Cypress area? "quote
Here are 4 quality builders who build in your area

Kelly @ Atlantis Pools
Brian @ Cypress Custom Pools
James @ Starlight Pools
David @ Perry Pools

These are well established pool companies that have conducted business under the same name for a very long time.

Our area has always been riddled with JohhnyComeLately pool companies. They come and go as quickly as the seasons change. When they go they'll usually leave the buyer with an unfinished project or subs coming to the buyers door to collect payment on open invoices for the work at their home.
Note, if your builder didn't pay the invoices for your service, your responsible to make it good or you put your home at risk for a lien.

See ya,
Kelly


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

I used Precision Pools - 281-265-2774 ask for Suzy. Their pricing was in the mid-range of those quotes we received. I checked the references and found that the other pool owners were overall very happy. It seemed as though these referrals were not solicited and were honest. That I could appreciate. I also wanted a builder that was not so busy with the millions of other things in process. I felt very lost in the crowd when getting quotes from Blue Haven and Anthony Sylvan. I liked the personal service we had with Precision and continue to love my pool.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

I used Preferred Pools in League City/Kemah. We've had problems trying to get our builder to finish up the details. They started building a pool for us this last spring, and we are still trying to get them to finish up the final details. I recommend withholding about 5-10% of the total cost until after final inspection and you are completely satisfied. We gave them the final check almost 5 months ago, when it is was close to being done, and the quality and effort they put forth pretty much disappeared immediately. I've tried to talk to the owner to resolve it, but not much luck. I wouldnt recommend using Preferred Pools, based on my experience. Their project management and control of their subcontractors appears to be virtually non-existent.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

We used Anthony & Sylvan. Experience was pretty decent overall, they fixed under warantee a couple of leaks on our weeping wall and the gas heater had a gas leak, everything is working well now.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

I wish I would have found this forum before building our pool! We live in Kingwood and had 4 quotes. We went with Nelson Pools. We started construction in early August and we are still trying to get some issues resolved. One biggie to us (that they say is "normal") is that if we leave the pool and spa drains open for pool circulation (turn off the pool shark) and the pump shuts down for the night, our spa drains down to pool level (nearly dry). My husband wants them to put a check valve in to prevent this drainage and Nelson Pools won't do it....they never have, they never will....it's up to us to shut the drains every night.

Of a bigger concern to us is that the water drains from the filter and through the lines so that the pump starts dry every day. They won't correct this issue either.

Since this is our first pool, I guess I need to ask are these 2 things normal?


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Pool contracting business in Houston is the worst, why do we put up with it and how do they get away with it.

What other contracting business is funded 90-95% before they are completed. And then want the remaining 5-10% before the plastering is done. Never mind that you lost total quality control over the plastering, everyone is paid. But, what motivates them to come back and finish, put water in perhaps even install the filtration? They have your money and are out selling/installing new pools to get the money.

Did they all get together on this and colaborate?


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

I believe that when you go to purchase a vehicle you are only given a test drive to see how the vehicle drives. However before leave for home, you are entitled to "pay" for it first. With no inclination on how it will perform in the future. Any other high end purchase is the same and I don't believe that pool builders are any different.

My recommendation is to check the BBB on any pool company that you have in mind. As consumers this is the best way to forecast what kind of reputation a builder has.

We had a great experience with our builder and continue to give them referrals. We live in Seabrook.

Just my 2 cents.


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Pool builders are different

I'm sure there are good pool companies out there, as I am sure I finally found one.

Bad analogy with the car example though, at least with the car you know it runs and inspected the finish and interior before making final payment or signing loan agreement and accepting the vehicle. Again, not so with a pool, final payment before completed or working.

Who would pay for a new home in advance before final inspection at closing? Duh, no one.

Pay for a full kitchen remodel before completion, don't think so.

Pay in full for a new furnace or ac unit before it is installed and working, you know the answer to that also.

Again my statement that pool builders remain different than most remains true.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

quote" I'm sure there are good pool companies out there "quote

I can assure you that there are some AWESOME pool builders in the Houston area. I can equally assure you that there are some scoundrels in this market too. Some of these men are borderline criminals. Completion of the pool was never their objective, their objective would the collection of the gunite check.

I've mentioned well over a half dozen of the best builders in town in this thread. Even though I've built pools all my adult life and am perfectly capable of building my own I'd sign with any of the companies I mentioned and know that I'd be treated fairly and receive great work.

References, legwork, and patience before signing are the prerequisites that the ultimately happy buyers enjoy.

My suggestion to potential buyers is to look for a builder who's been in business under the same name for 5 plus years and ask for a list of the most recent hundred pools.
Check for membership and standing with the local BBB and Chamber of Commerce. The best businessmen participate in these organizations.

See ya,
Kelly


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Avoid "Richard's Total Backyard Solutions" like the plague. Very poor management of the construction operations of this company to the point of incompetency. I will be filing in court once we finish the pool school. took the bafoons 7 months to finish my pool and its still not right.

Run away as fast as you can -


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

This is my first post. I really appreciate this forum and all I have learned on here so far.

We chose Perry Pools as our builder, and so far we have been very pleased with every aspect of the pool building experience. We chose them because of their excellent reputation and his proposed design. David Perry will only build pools in the Cypress area because he like to be very hands-on during the construction process and therefore must limit the distance he must travel. This is what David has designed for us:

[IMG]http://i95.photobucket.com/albums/l160/ronjenson/Swimming Pool/SecurePool.jpg[/IMG]

He came out yesterday (3/8/08) and staked. We were scheduled to dig Monday, but it looks like rain, so probably Tuesday. The weatherman said the jet stream is parked over us so we can expect a 3-4 day rain cycle.

As soon as they get going I'll start a thread with pics.


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RE: Image reload

Let's try this..

Photobucket


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Huskyrider -

Can you recommend a supplier to apply a new finish and new equipment on an old, large pool in the medical center area?

Do all companies that build also repair?


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

PLEASE listen to jslwkl we have had a similar experience with a pool that has taken over 7 months and cost more than quoted. This company will eventually go out of business run as fast as you can- do not get involved with these folks.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Has anyone heard of The Pool Man? If so are they good?


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

The Pool Man in Tomball/Cypress is AWESOME.
I'd have them build me a pool without hesitation.
I bid against them all the time and have found them to quote fair prices and deliver a quality pool to the buyer.
They also turn a quick finished product, not a bunch of dragging the project along for weeks and weeks on end.

See ya,
Kelly


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

jgk67:

We are also considering The Pool Man. In fact we have almost decided upon using them. I have had great feedback and have called for references and so far I have heard nothing but positive things! Also, my friends also used them and highly recommended them. Will let you know when we sign the contract


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

I also called some referances for The Pool Man and heard great things about them plus no problems were listed on the BBB. Pleas keep me informed on the builkding of your pool..


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

New to the site, but have really enjoy reading all the information. We are just starting to research having a pool put in in the near future, so this site has really been helpful. Has anyone dealt with Wet Pools in Katy?


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Hi:

Have anyone heard of Mystic Blue Pools in Katy?


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

David's a friend of mine who conducts business in the Katy area. I've known him for many years.
He's one of the good guys in the business.
Don't expect him to be one of the lowest price bids you may get. His work is worth a little more coin than most of the other contractors in your area, especially those builders down off of the Highway 6 and I-10 corridor who I won't name.

See ya,
Kelly


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Huskyridor,
Which company does David work for?


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

David is the owner of Mystic Blue pools in Katy that Firsttimepool asked about.

See ya,
Kelly


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Kelly,
do you build/install outdoor kitchens? we were just looking for a fridge/sink bar area (a tv would be really nice too)

We do have a pool and would like it converted to a salt system also

We live in Copperfield


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

I have a pool in my backyard now, but our quest began 2.5 years ago. At a home show, we met platinum pools. I went to the show with the intention of finding a pool contractor exactly as I had done with my first pool. After presenting my carefully prepared requirements I was given a price. I called them after the show and had them come to my home, where the price went up for reasons I can not understand. Even though the price was higher, I wanted a quality pool and thought that this company was reputable as the owner has a radio show about pools and was the former chapter president of the National Association of Pools and Spas. Well to make a long story short, after 6 weeks past our intitial payment, and many lies, I was told that our plans were approved by the city a permit had been issued, and they would start digging within days. After a week of leaving messages, I called the city building dept myself, they had seen no plans, and no permit had been issued. I left more messages for my salesman. After 3 days, I called to speak to his boss. Apparently this guy had not checked his voice mails for 3 weeks. Finally the salesperson called me and apologized, but then was fired. The management of Platinum willingly gave us our money back after informing us the bid to build our pool was lower than it should have been.

Next up was Richards Total Backyard. I will skip the boring details, but it came down to after a marathon day of design and quote, bleary eyed we signed the contract. The next day I reviewed the details of the contract; there were some major mistakes that I did not catch the day of the contract signing. I called our sales rep and requested immediate corrections be made. After being put off for two days, I gave notice of termination prior to 72 business hours passing. Luckily if someone comes to your home to sell you something in Texas, you have 72 business hours to rescind, this does not apply for other contracts where you purchased goods not at your residence.

Finally I found a small builder who did a good job. He took longer than I would have liked, but it did rain last summer a lot. My advise to anyone building a pool is to be careful.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Has anyone had a pool built by by Bay Area Pool and Spas in League City, Tx.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

I recommend Pulliam Pools in the Katy area. There are only three weeks into our pool build and it's almost complete. We are slated for river rok on Friday. Less than 28 days from start to finish! Chris is fantastic to work with!


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

I was very pleased with Custom Pool and Spa Concepts in Richmond. They are a family owned business and were great to work with during every step of process. Two years later I am still able to call with stupid questions! Great company.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Got quotes from Blue Haven, Platinum & Challenger. Seen informatin on BH & Platinum what about Challenger...


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Ready2swim: Here is a message that was posted by whodini on this thread regarding their experience with Challenger. Here is their experience......... I would check the BBB and their references.

Posted by whodini (My Page) on Sat, Sep 22, 07 at 18:26

I finally remembered who the used car PB was that was so bad.
Challenger Pools
Do not under any circumstance even ask this PB to come out to your house.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Considering a pool start in Sienna. Talking with Custom Pool & Spa Concepts, Hallmark Pools & Spas, and one or two others. Any suggestions or feedback, specifically Hallmark or Custom Pool & Spas? Thanks in advance.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

We are wanting to put in a pool in Pearland. Does anyone know any good, reputable builders in the area? Thanks!


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Sugar Land - do not use Emerald Pools. Fast build but quality issues.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

mocitypool - Have you started construction yet? Custom Pool & Spa built my pool in Sugar Land two years ago. We were very pleased with their professionalism and quality of construction. We have not had any problems at all and have had all of our minor issues addressed immediately. I would recommend them in a heart beat!


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

We live in Sugar Land and have started looking into getting a pool built. Based on what weve seen so far it looks like Hipp Pools and Custom Pool & Spa are pretty good choices. Unfortunately, were on a tight budget. 35K is our max. We've checked out Custom Pool & Spa but thought it was a little over our budget. does anyone have someone else to recommend that would work with out budget? or am i better of spending more now to avoid some of the headaches most of you had to go through with some of the PB mentioned here.

Thanks.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Have you spoken with anyone at Custom Pool regarding your budget? When we were in the bidding process, I made sure to tell them my budget and Troy was very good working within my budget. He gave me several options to get the price where I needed to be. I would say (and I think most on this board would agree) that you are better off spending a little more at this stage to get what you want and a quality product than pay for it later. Did you know Custom Pool has a really nice showroom? Maybe you should go by there and look at their products to make you feel a little more comfortable with the company.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Thanks for the response. me and the wife will definitely stop by their place this weekend. i'll let you know how it goes. thanks again


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Glad to help. What style pool are you looking to build?


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

nothing fancy just a simple freeform pool with maybe a small waterfall.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Mine is very similar to what you are looking for without the waterfall. I've not heard of Hipp - where are they located? I know what you mean about staying in your budget. You could really go crazy when you start to tack on bells and whistles!


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Hipp Pools is located in The Woodlands.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Very important in the process of selecting a pool builder is knowing their financial stability. They may have been in business a long time, but they are constantly borrowing from Peter to pay Paul. I know pool builders that owe so much money to contractors and suppliers that they have to sign up new contracts and do the excavation and Gunite to get the big draws to pay for pools they have already built. Hiring a builder that is onsite frequently and returns calls and emails promptly is critical to a successful relationship.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

I just used Gulf Coast Pools out of Richmond to build my pool they were great from start to finish and the pool not only looks great but is bueatiful you should try them. I think they service All of the Katy area as well as all of the Fort Bend county area


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Does anyone have any information Pro or Con about Harbor Pools? I'm going to be building a pool in the Kingwood area.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

We live in Katy and this winter will most likely be putting in a pool. We have seem many different pools from many different pool companies..Some we like some we dont.. but from all we have seem we know eactly what we want...We have taken all the options people have put into there pools and now know what we want Heres my question we definetly want a boulder pool but we do want the imitation boulders not the real boulders.. In your opinions which pool company does the best design with these.. The ideal pool for us(if we can afford it lol) would be a medium sized free form pool with a beach entry with a few fountains a spa(can be raised or not doesnt matter) a boulder pool area with slide and a cave with a waterfall and with lighting boulders to dive from(which means the pool at that end has to be 8-10 ft deep at least) I have seen pools with skimpy amount of boulders we want to have enough to make it look fuller. Anyway a couple of swim outs a small round table in the shallow end that an umbrella would fit.In one pool we saw a rock cooler now that was cool LOL... As far as the pool itself salt water system and pebble tech, lights and the decking i want an area that is rasied for lounge chairs. Outside of the pool would like a fire pit and a pergola Anywone want to take a guess what this will cost us.. We have no clue im guess anywhere between 50-75+++ thousand does that sound right( im also including in that some landscaping and decking but not including the fire pit or pegola) TIA


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Sashagirl, Probably closer to the 75 range for all of what you want on that. Have you called any builders yet... If not try Gulf Coast pool co. in richmond they build in your area and the can build exactly what you want. I think their number is 2812328825


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Sashagirl, I have to agree with drknjk... My guess is that 75 is on the low end of what you want, but definitely call some builders and explain in detail what you want. You will get a much better idea of what you are looking at price wise.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Sasha,
The beauty of living in the greater Houston area is that we enjoy a lower than the nationwide average cost of pool construction. I'd be certain you can get that pool with a firepit and the decking. There won't be much coin left to pay for a landscapers services. Purchasing the plants and planting them yourself will save a ton of money. Landscaping is a high markup industry.

I'd encourage you to request from your pool builders giving quotes that Boulder Creations from Modern Method Gunite does the work on your waterfall/slide/cave. MMG's men do the best work in the whole city on the faux boulders.

Wysard,
I've never heard of Harbor pools and I've been building pools out here for a very long time. My guess would be that they're a young company and are most likely a small organization.

See ya,
Kelly


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Thanks for the replies.. We havent contacted any builder yet but heres my list tell me what you think!! Sunset, Pulliam, Platnium, Castlerock, Wets, Supreme, Omega and Quest. I also like Laguna but i was told they are really at the top end... As far as the landscaping that is my husbands passion so yes he will be doing most of that himself. I thought it may be at the high end(75G) and it could be a bit more..I will keep MMG on my list when i speak to these builders.. One of my neighbors just gave me a heads up about my development and what they require for pool builders one being a $5000 deposit.. Not sure how many pool builders will go for that.. Truthfully not sure what thats actually for but i am assumming if they mess up common ground!!! Is it true or it makes no difference having a pool built off season meaning you get a better deal??? again TIA


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

The deposit for your development/HOA comes from you not the pool builder, I'm sure. It is usually part of getting the approval from the architectural committee.
For me it was $1000 in the form of a check that they never cashed and returned it to me after their inspection that every thing was returned to normal, built as per plan and I didnt harm any common areas or property.

Ive seen Castlerock's, Wet, Pullium, Platinum and Lagunas pools all in my neighborhood. All seemed to be built well and in a timely manner.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

I asked around to a few different neighbors who put pools in and the $5000 does not come from the homeowner it has to come from the pool builder...From what they said the this is the only development in the area that requires it. but it is for possible destruction of common ground so its basically a security deposit.. which Im sure is a factor if a pool builder builds here or not


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

You can be sure the pool builder then will want that 5000 from you, to be returned later or he doesnt do the job.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Has anyone used or have any information on Houston Pools and Spas? I've checked on BBB and they have the least number of complaints, however they are not a member. We have gotten estimates from Ocean Blue, Bay Area Pool (get their final design and quote today), Team Aqua, American Pools and Houston Pool Design. So far all of the estimates are close. Ocean Blue is out due to comments on various forums; although we really like Bay Area, their reviews are 50/50; Team Aqua has the most complaints in 3 years, but all resolved and only 1 in the last 12 months. Any comments?


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Sorry for the double post. I have one pool bid with 6" steel on centers - all others are 8". Is 6" overkill or a sound option (Friendswood area).


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

cgpilot--I don't have any info on any of the builders you asked about but I do know a little about Aquasport Pools of Friendswood. He has built several friends pools (5) and they have all been very happy with him. He is local and from what I understand, he supervises all aspects of the build. We had planned on having our pool built this summer by Aquasport but do to unforeseen circumstances on our end, our build is going to have to wait til spring. He always answered our calls or returned messages right away and he was great about designing our pool to our exact requests. If you are still taking bids, I would definitely give him a call. He does not have a website, (kind of old-school that way) but you can google the number. Hope this helps.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

quote" the most complaints in 3 years, but all resolved and only 1 in the last 12 months. Any comments? "quote

I'd like to place a little input towards the BBB.
It's a very great organization for both homeowners researching and also the companies being researched.

My take is that the homeowner reached the maximum frustration level and called a complaint into the BBB.
Resolved simply means that the BBB member (builder who had the complaint levied against him) proved that he did everything within reason to satisfy the customer. It doesn't necessarily mean that the homeowner was satisfied with the resolution or determination of the matter that the BBB acted as the mediator for.

I'm not going to knock a company that has BBB complaints, but I'd feel reasonably certain that there are potential builders who've had zero complaints levied against them.

See ya,
Kelly


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

I can recommend Houston Pool Design. Built our pool a couple of years ago and have had no issues. We have since sent them numerous friends for their pools. They were very straight foward and lay the pricing of the pool right out in front of you.
Hope this helps and good luck.

League City area


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

DO NOT SIGN A CONTRACT WITH PLATINUM!!!!! We have had numerous problems dealing with Platinum. Contract signed in June. Now it is mid September and we are ready to take legal action. Although we are satisfied with the quality of the pool, the "schedulers" are extremely frustrating. In fact, they lie. It is shocking to me that they think they can get away with this! Let me explain. They have been dragging us out for weeks on the flagstone. Told us, on numerous occasions, the workers would be here and they never show up. No one calls me, I have to call them. Come to find out another friend is being told the same lies. I know people research pool builders on this site. I want everyone to know that this company should go out of business. To anyone reading this who is experiecing a problem with Platinum: PLEASE complain to the BBB right away. People need to quit giving these crooks their hard earned money. In this day and age, with the economy being so bad, it is criminal that a pool builder can get away with this.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Does anyone know a contact # for MMG (Modern Method Gunite) I cant seem to find a # or a website Thanks


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Hey.. We have had in the last week some pool builders come out and they are preparing estimates and will be back this week. I was very please with 3 out of the 4 that came. Platnium pools was the only one who actually gave me a quote on the spot. but.......... didnt have the warm and fuzzys as soon as he walked thru the door. He was supposed to be a senior designer but quite honestly poor salesman techniques. He had promised to send us a disk overnight with all the info on the pool(he did not bring anything to leave us to review) and we never got it. i did get yesterday a rinky dink email with the plain of the pool and a list of what was included but no names of equipment etc.. We had Sunset, Castle Rock and Omega very professional people very knowledgeable people.. So we are excited about what they come up with. I did want Pulliam pools to come out as well but after 3 phone calls to them and leaving 3 messages with no one calling me back.. that didnt leave a good taste in my mouth. Anyway I have a question for someone who may know.. 2 of the pool builders offered Pentair and Paramount pool equipment and 1 offered hayward. does anyone have any opinion on which may be better. Also has anyone had any trouble with pool loans. with this economy this may be an issue! Anyway i will keep you up to date what our outcome was!


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

I went with Gulf Coast Pools after several quotes and consultations. You can see some of my build progress on this forum. The header is pool build begins.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

We are gathering pool quotes in the Katy area as well. So far we have met with Anthony Sylvan, Richards and WetPools. I wasn't that impressed with the first 2 but kind of liked WetPools. Does anyone know anything about them?

Any other suggestions for reliable pool builders in Katy?


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

I have had 2 pool builders come back with price quotes..(Both Katy pool builders) Both pool builders we liked very much.. They were castlerock and omega.. They both came in within approx $1000 of one another.. Omega being less expensive and more for the dollar. We are now trying to see if we can get a loan.. our credit score is excellent but with all whats going on with the ecomony I a hoping we do not have a problem... One pool builder said 85% of his potential buyers apply for loans and get turned down!! Not promising!


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

I am in Katy as well. I looked at Platinum, Blue Haven, Anthony Sylvan, and Richards. But In the end I used Gulf Coast Pools out of Richmond. They not only had the best design but they gave me more upgrades for the money.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Thanks for the feedback sashagirl and drknjk.

We actually met with Omega last night and liked what we heard. Bobby did mention the same issue with financing and has me a little concerned as well. I'll have to check out Gulf Coast Pools.

I'm curious to hear if anyone else is running into issues with pool financing right now. Any tips, preferred lenders, etc.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

We have not gotten a loan yet but we are working with our bank. My husband is self-employed so this is where the issue is. I did really like Bobby(from omegas) whole approach and he geniunely is excited about doing this project.. Prior to me checking pool builders i looked for gulf coast pools website and couldnt find it..so I moved on to the next. Hopefully we will hear something by next week so we can get this started. What community in Katy are you in Tropical???


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

We are in the Green Trails Area, how about you sashagirl?

We met with Castlerock last night for the first time and also like what we heard. Not that impressed with the salesperson but Castlerock seems to have a pretty good reputation. Bobby at Omega returns tonight with our design so I am excited to see what he came up with.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Have either of you tried Custom Pool & Spa Concepts in Richmond? They have done a lot of work in Katy. I was very pleased with them when I built. The owner has a great eye for design and will work with you to get it exactly how you envision. www.custompoolinc.com


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

well Kelly is a great contributor here and I think he is in the Katy area,look at Huskyridors posts his company is Atlantis Pools and he doesn't appear to hide from anyone I don't know him, just like his attitude and business practices. I do believe he is in Houston area, could be wrong. I would use him in a heartbeat but I don't live in Houston. Sorry Kelly if I got your area wrong. He looks like a straight shooter, we like that in NV. Barb


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

We are in firethorne.. We are still in the process of getting a loan or should I say possibly geting one.. No news yet...I would say you will be happy with Bobbys design.. Tell him I gave him the thumbs up!!!


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Gulf Coast has not completed their website yet. They have been a commercial builder for a long time and are expanding to resedential. You can call David Kelly. He is a great guy. Their number is 281-932-4646. They are located at 1207 FM 359 in Richmond. I am completely satisfied at this point. we are ready for tile and plaster.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Atlantis is located off of FM 1488 in Montgomery, but I'm pretty sure he builds all over. I know when he was building my pool, he was also working on one on Lake Houston and that's about as far from Montgomery, as Katy.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

I'm currently working on a pool remodel and everyone who we've asked "Who did your pool?" gives us the same answer...."I'll tell you who NOT to use!"

We've contacted Sunshine Pools and gotten a bid from them. They seem great but a bit high. Richards Pool is coming tomorrow but from all these messages, I'm very leary (even though a neighbor has a BEAUTIFUL pool from them).

We're in the Memorial area. Any names? Going to call Kelly tomorrow.

Thanks!
Jenny


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

We are thinking about using the material beadcreat for the interior of the pool....anywone know anything about this product?


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

We had a TERRIBLE experience with Richard's. We were doing some reno work, not a new build, but every aspect of the process was a headache. For an eye-opener, check out the comments on Angie's List if you're a member, and check out the number of complaints Richard's has with the BBB.

About a year after our bad experience with Richard's, we had a major overhaul done by The Pool Man in Tomball. The experience couldn't have been a sharper contrast to Richard's. I can recommend The Pool Man wholeheartedly.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

I have never had a pool and looking at getting a pool in December. Some of the features I want are 100ft diameter pool, 18 raised spa with 4 ft opening to pool, a waterfall/slide made out of rock, 850 ft of cool decking, pool lined with pebble 1ft flagstone for the edge of pool. What should I expect to be paying? Should I expect to see a big difference since it is offseason building time? Any recommendations in the NW area?


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

We hate our Laguna Pool, built for us by Laguna Pools & Designs, 1010 Greenbusch Road, Katy, TX 77494. To see more of why we hate our Laguna Pool and to see pictures of the pool Laguna Pools & Designs built for us, visit us at our website at www.WeHateOurLagunaPool.com


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

quote" What should I expect to be paying? Should I expect to see a big difference since it is offseason building time? Any recommendations in the NW area? "quote
I doubt that you'll see off season savings. A pool, by any company, is quoted by cost plus markup. Some men pay more or less for service than others and some use a more or lesser markup.
It's impossible to throw out a price without a plan.
If you go to a lot of pool companies you'll be surprised at the price differences between them. On a pool like yours you could see a spread from 45000 to 75000. Sight unseen I'd guess my price in the high 50's.
My suggestion is don't buy your pool exclusively on low price.
Look for the attributes and portfolio of the company.
I could recommend a company to you but it would come at the risk of being considered a spammer.

See Ya,
Kelly


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Correct office number for Gulf Coast Pools is 281-232-8825. They are located on hwy 359 in Richmond.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Memorial area...try IP Design by Karen Bishop. 832-928-4380. She has built a lot of pools in the Memorial, River Oaks, Heights, in-town areas. (I am not Karen Bishop, by the way. I am one of the few other Houston area pool builders owned and operated by a woman).

Be careful just comparing price...not everyone builds with the same care, specifications, etc. For instance, how far apart is the steel (rebar) installed inside your pool shell? The closer the better. I build mine 8" o.c.; others do theirs as far apart as 18". What size plumbing lines are being used? The bigger the size, the more efficiently the pool operates and extends the life of the equipment. How many pool returns? Skimmers? Lights? Are you getting pool equipment that will be energy efficient or guzzlers? There is a lot that can vary. Compare apples to apples. How good is the communication with the PB? Is the PB onsite during construction? I own a pool construction company in NW Houston and I build as far away as San Antonio and Huntsville to Katy, Houston, wherever. It depends on the job. Be sure to compare apples to apples, not just area size, perimeter, etc.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Regarding the question about savings you might achieve building in the off season, I disagree with Kelly. I do think many pool builders will discount during the winter months. I know I have and will continue to do so. The caveat is that it has to be built and finished in the winter. You won't get any kind of a break on materials or equipment, but some of the labor costs and profit margins are a bit more flexible in the winter here in Houston. Don't expect a huge savings, but there will likely be some savings.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

You can't really go with what the BBB shows either. If a pool company does not answer a complaint or they change addresses from time to time then the complaints never get listed or logged. Houston Pools and Spas aka Houston Pools is not one I would go with if I had a second choice. They work real hard the first two weeks and once they have almost all of your money they disappear. We haven't seen them for over two months now.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Last summer in June we had our first pool built. We used "The Pool Man" in Tomball, Tx. I highly recommend them. They are extremely professional and very knowledgable. We have not had any major issues with our pool and the customer service has been excellent after the sale.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Here in The Woodlands/Spring area I have many friends and acquaintances that I talked to when I was considering a pool. Far too many of them said: 'I spent (the figures runs from $35k to 95K) on a pool and I never use it anymore.' I chose to go with what I WANTED the pool for! I got a FANTASTIC waterfall with a 20' stream that meanders from the back of my property to a Koi pond beside the deck! We had an arbor and some minor landscaping. We go out in the evening and UNWIND! It is so peaceful- no chemicals, it is ALL NATURAL! All this for one third of the cheapest of pools! I have attached a link to the company I recommend.

Here is a link that might be useful: Magnolia Ponds


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

So take it to the ponds group. This is the pools and spas forum. This smacks of spam which is not encouraged here.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

The issues discussed in my previous post regarding Laguna Pools'construction of our swimming pool, spa and deck have been resolved.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

We have had several friends used Ecoquatic Pools, we use them for service and repairs. The owner Kevin is the greatest, he stays on site for the entire build. Custom pools designed for you, my neighbor just finished his for $49,000 with travertine, glass tiles, spa and sheer descent waterfall. Like I said we love him!!!

Here is a link that might be useful: Ecoquatic


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Do NOT use MADDOX. Awful. Maddox does not stand behind its work product. It installed our pool with flagstone around the pool. Within a year, we have already had to replaster the pool due to faulty workmanship. In addition, the flagstone was not sealed or installed properly. We will likely have to remove all of the flagstone and reinstall new flagstone. Very costly to say the least. Maddox would not pay for one penny of it. We are considering litigation against Maddox. STAY AWAY FROM MADDOX.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Hello,

Considering a new pool in the Katy area and would like to get some idea of who I should trust for bids so that i don't waste my time.

Cheers


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

DO NOT USE PLATINUM POOS!!!!! In November of 2009 my husband and I signed a contract with Platinum Pools for 50,000. As soon as the contract was signed all we got was the run around. We had to call them over and over again to see when they were going to start on the pool. Finally they told us a date and when that date came nobody ever showed. When we called the women at the front would always say everyone was in a meeting and then send us to voicemail boxes. We would leave voicemail after voicemail and would never get any call back. Finally we got someone that was helping us and then a week later we were told they had to be let go. Long story short the pool was finished three months later than it should of took. It has been about a year and a half now and all of the pool tile has started to come off. We have gotten several other pool compaines to come out and look at the tile. They said that all the pool tile needs to be replaced and that it is in horrible shape. This is going to cost us 4 to 5 thousand dollars. There is no reason that pool tile should start dropping off after only 1 1/2 years. We have called Platinum pools and still we have not recived a call back (of course they are still in that meeting 1 1/2 years later). They wouldn't even let us talk to anyone about this problem. So as of now we are sending a letter to the BBB and also hiring an attorney.


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RE: Questions on Pool Builders - Houston Area

Has anyone used Wetpools??? I'm thinking of using them for my pool in Katy..


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