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New Pool Horror Story

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Old July 2nd 03, 04:23 PM
Monica Butler
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Default New Pool Horror Story

What a nightmare!!

After reviewing several estimates, I selected Premier Pools and Spas
(Sacramento, CA) as the builder for my in-ground swimming pool. What
a big mistake! It was disappointment from day one of construction.
The sales staff, the job scheduling staff, and the construction crews
obviously do not meet with each other as they do not know what the
heck is going on. Here's my horror story:

Salesman's final quote for a free form gunite pool, 40' length, 18'
width, 3.5' to 8' depth, $30000 if we had no problems. This was with
their Winter discount. I couldn't decide on plaster or Pebble Tec so
the quote didn't include the cost for that.

Salesman quoted $800 to $1600 extra if we hit water during excavation
as I live in a high ground water table area.

Signed the contract on Friday the 13th of Dec 2002 (bad luck already).

Jan 1 2003 - Contract is binding. Salesman said construction should
take about 8 weeks.

Feb 14 - Came and drew the pool layout on the ground. Had to shift
the pool location over 10 feet since the excavation crew needed space
to operate the equipment. The pool is now right in the middle of my
backyard. I wanted more space on one side for some kind of lawn area,
but now that has changed. Bobcat excavator was getting stuck in the
mud, so they called it quits after digging down 1.5 to 2 feet.

Mar 9 - Subcontracted out for better equipment, dug down and hit the
ground water table (at 5 feet), called it quits.

Excavation supervisor came out, said it'll be $3900 to $6000 to finish
the dig!!!! Salesman said to save money, I could just go with a
shallow pool. Bogus!!

Apr 15 & 16 - They rented equipment and finished the excavation (I
don't know what the total excavation cost will be yet).

Apr 22 - Installed the plumbing.

Apr 24 - Installed the rebar. Started the dreaded pumps that will try
to control the ground water, runs 24x7.

Apr 28 - Installed the electrical.

May 2 - Shot gunite. I picked out the tile (decided to upgrade, cost
extra $) and decided to go with Pebble Sheen (will also cost $$),
picked the color for that too.

May 8 - Installed tile on waterline.

May 23 - Installed forms for concrete decking.

May 28 - Poured concrete decking. I decided to upgrade to a colored,
stamped finish for $2450. The color did not turn out right, they
missed stamping on several areas. Said they would come out to look at
it, I'd be at home waiting 3 different days for no shows. They
finally came on the fourth try and fixed the the color and stamping,
it looks OK now.

Jun 4 - Cleaned and prepped the gunite.

Jun 5 - Installed the pool equipment. Things are looking good now,
may have a pool soon! But, this is the last major work done. I
haven't seen any work done since.

Jun 20 - Called my salesman, he said it'll be done on by next Friday.
Alright! Will be swimming soon.

Jun 25 - No work yet this week. I called, oops, no work has been
scheduled for this week for me. So I complained about the pump, it
sits right outside my bedroom window, is so noisy it hard to get a
good nights sleep. My electric bill is 3x higher. So they came out
and disconnected it from my electrical panel. They said I could have
turned it of - hard to do that since it is wired into the electrical

They still need to install an electrical outlet and fix one of the
waterline tiles (as they installed a pipe there that leads to

Many phone calls and a letter have not been sucessful. My salesman
now tells me that the Pebble Sheen color I have picked is not in
stock! To date I have paid three installments (90% paid!!).

I have notified the Better Business Bureau and the Contractor's State
License Board.

Moral of this story, get it all in writing, keep good records, take
pictures. Good luck on your pool!

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