As the title states, this article is about swimming pool project horror stories and exemplifies the need for potential pool buyers to research their potentail contractor extensively to avoid these horror stories.
The photo above is a Barrier Reef Milano Fiberglass Pool in Midnight Shimmer Color. This pool was built in De Pere, WI by a Pool Contractor that is no longer in business and there is a reason. This pool looks good from a distance but when you get closer to the pool, you begin to notice it is drastically out of level. From one end to the other, the pool is 3″ out of level. This drastically exceeds the tolerances set forth by the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals. The pool also features foreign made filtration systems that are not available in the United States. So when this homeowner contacted Pool Pros to repair the pool equipment. It took some time to get the parts in and in the mean time the pool was unusable.
The pool on the right is a pool built by the same contractor as the pool above. This pool is a Barrier Reef Oyster Pool in California Shimmer. This pool was within standards for level, however the plumbing was completed without the use of pvc cleaner or primer. The plumbing was also never pressure tested. The pool was left in this condition, leaking and uncompleted. The plumbing and fittings had to be removed from the pool and replumbed. After Pool Pros took over the project it went from a plumbing repair to paver patio and Pool Cover Specialists Automatic Pool Cover. Antother project from an unethical builder from the Fox Valley Area that is no longer in business.
The next pool is a San Juan Luxor Pool. It features a Pool Cover Specialists Automatic Pool Cover, Hayward Pool Products Salt System, Sand Filter, Automated Controls, Spa and Waterfeature in the retaining wall.
This pool was poorly designed from the begininning. It has a Natural gas heater that is not vented in the garage along with the rest of the equipment. The garage is 8′ above the height of the pool, which makes it very difficult for the pump to pull and maintain a prime. The pool skimmer is also below the water line so it does not skim the surface of the water. The retaining wall was backfilled with sand. The sand bled through the retaining blocks, so they used caulk to cover all the joints. The junction box for the power supply to the automatic pool cover had no cover and had exposed electrical wires in the cover box.
The pool was also backfilled with sand in a high water table area. When the homeowner hired a new Pool Service Contractor to address a repair to the automatic cover they drained the pool and once the water was removed. The pool began to buckle as the liquified sand moved and pushed up the floor of the pool opening a large crack . The Service technician was in experienced with fiberglass pools and caused substantial damage to the pool. This pool was also built by the same contractor as the pools above.
This above ground pool was built as a side job of an employee of a competing contractor. This was a cash job that did not go well and the homeowner regretted it from the start. The first mistake made was that the builder did not get the diameter of the pool correct. When the pool wall was installed the panel did not line up correctly at the designated pre drilled holes. Rather than adjust the pool to the correct diamter, the builder left it as is and drilled new holes. This started another problem. Since the pool was not the correct diameter the liner did not fit and had 18″ wrinkles up the bottom and the side of the pool. The builder was prepaid, so once they finished they were not to be heard from again.
The pool to the right is a typical above ground pool. However this pool was buried in the ground and finished with a stamped concrete pool deck. Once the water in the pool is removed to replace the pool liner, the pool collapsed. This is why no reputable pool contractor would recommend doing this with a traditional above ground pool. Besides the fact that this will inevitably happen to any pool that is buried, the manufacturer will also not cover this under any warranty. This is quite a substantial investment to have it last as long as the pool liner which is typically 8-10 years.
The next photo is of a concrete pool that is a mere 7 years old. This pool was built in Sturgeon Bay, WI by a local concrete pool contractor. This pool has extensive tile failure and the rebar from the pool is coming through the concrete and plaster of the pool causing rust bleeding over the plaster. There are also section of the concrete bond bead that are failing as well. Pool Pros removed and replaced the tile on this pool and cut out and repaired the rebar and stained plaster area. Another reason why fiberglass pools are the best investment for in ground pools.
These horror stories are why Pool Pros always recommends doing extensive research about potential builders. Find out who the owner of the company is, who the people are that are building the pool, how many subcontractors will be used, what there experience level is. Also do a personal search for court cases, lawsuits for not only the company but the owner and lead builders, foremans or service technicians.
Without doing your due diligence, you may end up with one of these Pool Project Horror Stories.