Splash Luxury Pools
Pool Deck Design & Construction, Pool Lighting Installation, Pool Liner Replacement, Sauna Installation, Swimming Pool Construction, Swimming Pool Design, Bathroom Design, Bathroom Remodeling, Sustainable Design, Universal Design, Swimming Pools
Alexander, Asheville, Barnardsville, Bent Creek, Biltmore Forest, Candler, Enka, Fairview, Leicester, Swannanoa, Weaverville, Woodfin
Landscape Architecture degree - University of Georgia HGTV designer- 'GroundBreakers' and 'Mission Organization'. APSP award winner. Guest Exhibitor - Atlanta Flower Show. Certified Pool Building Professional with ASSP. Platinum level - Factory trained 'Endless Pool' Installer
I wanted to reach out to you before too much time had passed. First of all, I am truly sorry that you feel taken advantage of. You must have been pretty scared to kick us off your property before we were finished. I do realize that the cost of an endless pool is daunting and the whole project must have seemed overwhelming. You expressed doubts and concerns about the cost with me at our very first meeting.
I have been in business a very long time. I chose this line of work to help people create beautiful spaces. In all my years I have not been accused of being a scam artist. I can assure you that I am not. Quite the contrary, I believe the vast majority of my clients feel like I gave them something valuable and that I was professional and fair to them. I certainly understand that you do not feet that way and the intent of this response is not to convince you that I have been fair or professional. I want you to have a completed project based on our original agreement up to the standards we both believe should be reflected upon completion.
We set out to create something special with you. I am sure that you ultimately want to have your project 100% complete. I agree that there have been some hiccups along the way. We could go point by point and discuss them, but I also believe that you and I might not fully agree on the details of our previous conversations. What is important is that you receive the project you contracted for and that we are compensated for delivering that project.
I would like to make you an offer as an act of reconciliation. I certainly do not want you to spend any amount of time or money on your pool that you did not already have budgeted. I am willingly to complete your project exactly per contract with the additions of drainage, sod, gate latch, and alarms at no additional cost to you.
I can speak towards some of the specific issues you have raised.
1.You expressed that the materials we used were inferior. I can assure you that is not the case. If it is determined that any of the material is inferior, we will gladly and promptly replace it with materials of the quality specified in our contract. As to the specific materials you brought to my attention, I offer you the following:
•The pool coping is Brazilian Ipe wood. Considered by most to be a very high quality wood. It is expensive, but great for use outdoors and will last a lifetime.
•The skirting (or sides) of your pool are panels built out of cedar siding. We made large removable panels so that any future maintenance required with your pool is as simple as possible. Each panel is secured to the pool framing with stainless steel screws and “t” nuts commonly used in furniture. The long sides of your pool are a 20 feet and we made 1 panel for each side. The horizontal slats run the entire length to give a seamless look. You expressed that the material was flimsy. Yes, it is flexible while not attached. But once secure to the pool frame with the removable stainless steel screws, it will be very tight and will not move at all. The 1” x 6” cedar boards are commonly used for house siding. It is considered an upgraded option for house siding. Siding is not meant to be structural on houses nor for your pool. The stain we offered you and that you selected is Cabots Australian Wood Oil. Perfect for outdoor wood and considered an upgraded stain.
•The entry steps and landing are framed with pressure treated lumber and will have cedar siding to match the pool. The decking will be 5/4” cedar decking. We originally had pressure treated decking but I delivered replacement cedar as the wording of my contract was ambiguous to this finish and I wanted to err on the side of provided you the best material. Only Ipe and Cedar will be visible upon completion of your project.
2.The black metal railing was onsite and ready to install. I shared with you that we had used wood in the past but, without a structure to tie into, I felt it was difficult to get sturdy railing that would not loosen over time. So, I proposed the railing and shared that I would need to do some additional research to find the best fit. It took some time to find the right product, but no change to the cost we agreed to.
3.We set all your equipment, except for the gas heater, underneath this deck. It is to be completely enclosed by cedar skirting with access on the far side of the pool. The access panel was to be a cedar door with metal hinges and latch. These were on site and ready to install. You stated your concern about the heater not being placed correctly. We included a section of the patio immediately adjacent to the pool equipment under the deck landing. The heater, by code, can not be under a wooden deck. We placed it outside the deck and ran plumbing out and back from the heater to the other equipment. It meets all other relevant codes. We added ball valves not included in the kit for easier maintenance.
4.The stamped concrete that we placed was not complete. We also placed 80 square feet more decorative concrete than our contract, but I felt it was needed and did not bring this to your attention earlier as I would not have charged you for it. The concrete is in place and stamped. WE poured a minimum of 4”. We placed ½” rebar on a 24” grid for additional support. Many contractors only add fiber or install mesh wire. We used 4000 psi cement with “high early” strength to ensure patio was cured quickly to support the pool weight. We planned on placing a stamped concrete overlay over your small existing patio so that the texture would match and the finish look the same. I offered this to you at no additional cost because you were worried about your budget. I did this because I believed that your final project would look best if we addressed you old beat-up concrete in a way that matched the rest and I wanted you to not feel like you skipped something important. As discussed, we planned on pressure washing the entire area, antiquing a secondary color for contrast, and then sealing. We were adding a slip resistant product in the seal coat. The stamps, antiquing color, sealer, and slip resistant materials were onsite. It will be a beautiful finish when completed.
5.When we first spoke about your poolscape we discussed a larger patio, a small retaining wall, a fire pit, landscaping, and outdoor lighting. To meet your budget, we pared it down with you to the patio and pool. I overlooked that drainage of the small area of lawn on the uphill side of your new sidewalk. Immediately upon recognizing this, I told you I would make it right. As we were experiencing historical rains during your project, I asked for some time to work out the best solution and tried to explain that holding water in this are for a short period of time would not cause any damage. Upon further investigation I found that 2 downspouts were releasing into this area. My solution was to connect the 2 downspouts and carry under the sidewalk and down the lower lawn to release on grade near the fence. In addition, I added a channel drain across the sidewalk and placed an area drain with decorative egg rock in the two newly created landscape beds. I quick calculation from NDS drain’s website suggested we needed a 3” corrugated pipe to successfully drain this area including the roof. We installed a 4” pipe. There might be some small areas between the pool and closest area drain still puddling as I see in the photo you provided. This is because that small section has not been ‘final graded.” The area drain is in a lower spot and we plan on sloping from the pool patio to here. We also created a small swale on the uphill side of your pool to direct water down and to the back of your property. We removed enough soil uphill to create a gentle slope that will need no soil retention measures beyond mulch and some plantings. It will all drain perfectly fine when we are completed or I will redo what is required to make it right.
6.You shared concerns with the trenching performed by the electrician and the gas contractor. Much of the mud (in addition to the historical rains) was caused by this work. You said that someone told you the trenches were not deep enough. I can not speak to that. Per our agreement, you hired and paid them directly. They both pulled permits and passed inspections. The gas company left off a pressure gauge for the inspector to check, and after speaking with the inspector, I added one for him. Our contract did not cover this work nor cleaning up after others and I told you I would not be responsible for repairing their work. I have since offered and still honor my proposal to repair the lawn with new sod at no additional cost to you.
7.Two additional items that were specifically not covered in my contract, but that I agreed to do so that you passed inspection, was changing your gate to meet pool code and adding an audible alarm to your back door. I am willing to complete the gate alterations at no additional cost to you. The alarm has already been installed.
8.Endless pools are made of tall steel panels connected with hundreds of steel bolts. Your pool is “on grade” meaning the entire pool sits on a pad with no wall support beyond the steel bolts. The water pushes against these walls. There is no danger of the walls breaking or the bolts suddenly coming loose, but the pool actually bows out a bit form the pressure. An on-grade pool is secured to the concrete with anchor bolts. Endless Pools supplies 2 per panel as part of their kit. This is what we used on your pool. Because your patio is outside, we sloped the concrete 3/8” per foot so as not to hold water. Then, per manufacturer’s instructions, we lifted one side of the steel walls to level the pool out. What was not obvious to me at the time, was the supplied anchor bolts were too short for this. Due to the nature of the connection, you cannot see the bolts which are naturally under the steel walls. Your pool’s anchor gave way from the hydraulic pressure and this side of the pool bowed out tearing the liner. I spoke with the manufactured and we removed the skirting (the cedar panels you saw bowing out) and the anchors. We replaced the anchors with 5” long anchors, 3 per panel, and added pressure grout under the raised sections of the wall. This is above and beyond what the manufacturer recommended. The material and labor are completely covered under warranty. Of course this was alarming too you. I completely understand that. You do not have the understanding of the pool’s construction and I believe that many would be very alarmed to see the pool walls bulge like they did. I know there was no danger of a total pool failure and I also know that our repairs are more than adequate and above the manufacture’s instructions, but someone without my experience with Endless Pools would not know this. Endless Pools offered to send someone down for you to inspect this issue as well as any other pool related items to ensure that your pool was installed to their standards and specifications. All I can do is make sure it never happens again. I am confident it will not. We can offer you an extended warranty on this particular issue if that will help ease any concerns that you may still have.
9.Upon start up of your swim current, the front grate came out and tore a hole in your liner. This was 100% a defect in the manufacturing of you pool. I t had nothing to do with the installation and was not preventable by me. I spoke with the manufacturer and they sent you a new liner and we outlined how to do a field fix to prevent this from happening again in the future. The repair was to include (4) stainless steel screws through the exterior of the housing to hold the grate in place. I was planning on adding (6) for extra caution. The manufacturer agreed to cover the material, there was no additional cost to you for material or labor.
10.I offered to meet the 3rd party delivering truck as a courtesy to you. Sometimes the acceptance of a large crate and a few pallets of material can be overwhelming for a homeowner and sometimes the delivery company needs a little onsite help. Endless Pool contracts the shipper who many times then contract as out the delivery to a local carrier. It can be a bit hectic getting it all to happen. When it was rescheduled due to the shipper believing the large truck would not fit on your road, I tried to ease your concerns that a few days would not affect our schedule and that we had plenty to do before uncrating the kit. However, this seems to be a an issue that concerned you greatly and you made repeated calls to Endless Pools in an attempt to rectify this delay. They, in turn, contacted me, and the shipper and ultimately found a different shipping company to make the final delivery. I Bring this up, not to defend Endless Pools or the shipping company, but to show that some of my attempts to help you were hampered by things outside my control. I have installed over 25 of these Endless Pool kits and it has been an issue with the 3rd party shippers that used to bother me too. After going through the same frustration that you did and making many phone calls trying to hasten the pool delivery, I gave up on trying to have it on-site on the first day. We have built our schedule around it. Usually we have it dropped a week or so earlier to give the shipper time to reschedule if necessary. With your pool, we needed to grade and pour a concrete patio before setting the pool so getting the crate too early would not make a difference. You also, understandingly, did not want a crate sitting in front driveway too long. I bring up the shipping scheduling for this reason, I agreed to keep the shipper on site, I was in communication with the original shipping company and would have handled it on your behalf. However, the new shipping company gave me 30 minutes notice and I was over 2 hours away so I was not able to meet them after all.
I am certainly open to discuss any additional issues that you may have as long as the intent of the discussion is in findinq a resolution for you. I am proud of our work and only want to create something for you to appreciate and enjoy. I hope you take this opportunity to let us complete our work for you and then enjoy your beautiful poolscape.