Contract question regarding a pool remodel

Construction or upgrading of new or existing
swimming pools. Pool building materials and
miscellaneous construction techniques.
Isla

Contract question regarding a pool remodel

Postby Isla » Wed 22 Sep, 2010 21:04

Hi,

I bought a foreclosed house few months ago and I am interested in remodeling the existing inground pool.
Original pool size is 30'X10" and we are looking to extend in another 10 feet in length and 4 feet in width.
We are also looking to add a spa and redo concrete decking.
We have interviewed several contractors and narrow it down to one.
Can anyone tell me what are the things that should be included in contract before I sign one?
We are located in California. It will be a concrete pool.
Regards,
Isla


Mark Berman

Contract question regarding a pool remodel

Postby Mark Berman » Wed 22 Sep, 2010 22:57

That's an excellent question, and I am glad you are asking it. Too many homeowners do not do their homework and end up paying the price in many ways.

How old is this pool? What is the condition of the pool? Are there cracks of other defects? Are you going to have plumbing or equipment redone/replaced?

It might be best to have the old pool completely removed so that you can start from scratch. Trying to extend a pool will probably cost as much as putting in a new one. And, if there are any problems, the contractor could blame them on the old work.

Going online is a good place to start, and hopefully, you will get plenty of good suggestions and recommendations.

I also recommend that you find an expert to advise you about everything you should have in a good contract that protects your interests. I could write a book on what a good contract should contain. It's much more that I would want to do here, for free.

I recommend that you are as specific as possible when you send out your Request for Proposal. I recommend that you are very specific about how you want things done, who will be responsible for what, timelines, standards of quality, tolerances, payments, warranties, completion bonds etc.

You might even want to hire your own pool engineer/designer to create the plans, which you would then use to create your request for proposal.

It would probably be in your best interest to have an attorney review the proposal to make sure that you are as legally protected as possible.

Do not be afraid to draw up the contract, or at least negotiate every detail. Too many homeowners rely completely on the contractor to provide the contract, and of course, the contractor is going to make sure that everything is in their favor.

You should have your own expert that will verify that the work is being done properly and that it is meeting the specifications that have been agreed to in the contract.

Everything should be specified, in detail. What constitutes such qualities as flat, level, square, straight, parallel etc? Details like what concrete will be used and how thick it will be, the dimensions and spacing of rebar etc should be specified so that there are objective standards that can be measured and verified. That way, if you're unhappy with something, the contractor cannot try to weasel out of it by claiming that it is fine and within "Industry Standards".

I know that it seems like a lot to do, but I have seen far too many projects go bad and the homeowner ends up with little recourse.
Isla

Contract question regarding a pool remodel

Postby Isla » Thu 23 Sep, 2010 10:41

Hi Mark,


thank you so much for your reply. I have some work cut out for me ;)
Better to do it right the first time!
Isla
Mark Berman

Contract question regarding a pool remodel

Postby Mark Berman » Thu 23 Sep, 2010 14:12

It would probably be worthwhile to get a few books about hiring and working with contractors. Here are a few titles to consider.

Before You Hire A Contractor: A Construction Guidebook For Consumers
What Your Contractor Can't Tell You: The Essential Guide to Building and Renovating
Tips & Traps for Hiring a Contractor
The Homeowner's Guide to Managing a Renovation: Tough-As-Nails Tactics for Getting the Most from Your Money by Susan Solakian (Paperback - Nov 4, 2008)

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