Installation of a defective pool, failure to follow through contract agreement, and poor service
On 5/1/2013 I contracted Backyard Pool Creations, Inc. with *** to "Demolish and Haul off existing 12'x24' concrete pool, pool deck and leave the two big slab sections in tact $5000" and install a custom pool with a waterfall, slide and beach entry. I was told it would take 8-10 weeks to complete. I was also given a drawing of the pool prior to starting the project. The drawing also included three planters. It took the company a month and half to start the project. We were told *** would be onsite every day and the only time we saw him was during demolition. The demolition process included hauling off the old pool. This was not done. We have large chunks of concrete, tiles, and old piping and pool pump that was never hauled off. We did not say anything in the beginning because we wanted to give them the chance to finish the pool and then clean up. The pool was finally installed and "completed" in September. Upon the completion of the installation the LED lights were installed and the pool was filled. The LED lights havent worked appropriately since, even after having the electrician come out several times. The pool has not been able to hold water since being filled originally. The pool would lose over 6 inches of water in a matter of two days. During the waiting process for inspections we made comments of this and *** and his crew all advised that it was due to the waterfall and heat causing the water to evaporate. We insisted there was a leak but it was never checked. We also asked about the clean up. Our yard was completely destroyed and was filled with concrete chunks, tiles, trash, rebar, and old pool piping and parts. We complained of this issue and were told that it would be cleaned up. Naturally we did not want to pay the remaining $350 balance after paying already $57,150 because the job was not complete. Not to mention we knew we had a leak. It is now 7/2/2014 and we still cannot walk in our backyard barefoot due to the parts of the old pool still being in the yard. My husband even got cut on a piece of rebar that was sticking up out of the ground. We had to hire finally a licensed leak inspector to check the pool because it just cannot be maintained. The leak inspector determined that all pipes and lights in the pool had been installed wrong and are leaking around the edges of them, and not just a little. He advised there is a lot of leaking. We could potentially end up with a sink hole now. Backyard Pool Creations has refused to fix or address any of the problems that we have had with the pool and the process. They did not complete the job, although inspections were done. The pool area was not cleaned, old debris hauled off, they destroyed our irrigation systems in our front and back yard, destroyed a side walk we had in the back yard, refused to fix the leak problem, the leak problem keeps the slide and waterfall from working properly and have refused to work with us on the issues at hand.
I am seeking to have the pool area cleaned up, the leaking fixed, a test of the ground area around the pool to check for potential sink hole issues, and to have the missing rock planters installed. If this is not done I am seeking a refund so that I can hire a company to replace the existing pool.
Customer failed to make us aware of many of their concerns or issues until June 27, 2014 - 10 months after the completion of the project. The pool construction takes 8-10 weeks from commencement of work not including the demolition process. This does not include the permitting process which is made very clear to all of our customers. The drawing is a rough sketch based on discussions with the homeowner who stated they wanted to place planters in the areas designated. If planters were supposed to be added by Backyard Pool Creations, Inc. then it would be in our contract. The homeowners have installed trees in this area as they had originally intended which was not part of the contract or our responsibilities. Contract was signed on 5/1/13; permit was submitted to the county on 5/6/13 and was picked up from the county on 5/23/13. *** has never and will never say that he will be on a jobsite every day. Building a pool is a process and some days work will be completed and other days there may not be workers there because of the process.
Upon demolition of the existing pool, the debris was hauled off. The homeowner's husband requested that the old pool equipment be left onsite because he wanted to give to a family member. We cleaned up the yard numerous times when we saw debris or were told of issues. Upon leaving the jobsite, we removed all debris that was able to be seen. However if the ground is disturbed after the fact, it is possible that additional debris may be found. Just as if anyone was to go in their backyard and start digging you may find all kinds of things that you were unaware of that may hurt your feet.
The pool was completed and we were waiting on the homeowner to do their fencing and sod (which at completion was never done) that they wanted prior to us being able to call in final inspections. We attempted for weeks to get this done so that the inspections could be completed in a timely manner and even once completed and inspections were called in the homeowner was not there as advised which is a requirement by the county and we had failed inspections. This delayed the final inspections which were finally completed on 9/18/13. Hernando County final pool inspections is a 2 day process, the first day was completed on 8/26/13.
We were never made aware of any leaking. We were aware of the issues with the light and continued to have those addressed. We had been told that it was resolved and working properly by the electricians and had not heard differently from the homeowners. In order for the pool to pass inspection the plumbing inspectors come out and test the pressure on the lines two separate times, first time was 7/9/13 and then again on 8/26/13. If 'every' pool line was installed improperly and leaking the pressure test would have failed and we would not have been able to continue the construction of the pool until resolved. We received an email in Feb 2014 asking for our owner's cell phone number which we do not provide. We responded back with the office numbers and said if they wanted to call the office or email we could make sure that *** gets message. We did not hear back until 6/27/14 which was an email stating the customers concerns and threatening legal action. We replied to the homeowner addressing the false claims in the email and reminding them that we had made numerous attempts for weeks at the completion of the project to go over everything and try to take care of issues, final payment, warranties etc. to no avail. The homeowners made multiple appointments with us and intentionally would not be there to waste our time. They did not pay the remainder of the contract which voids any warranty per the contract terms and is a direct breach of contract. Had we been aware of the supposed leaks at the time of the pool construction, we would have addressed the issues and checked them. At this time, 10 months later, there can be many things that may have been done to the pool or lines to cause leaks which would have no direct link to our construction. We have no way of knowing how things have been taken care of or what has been done since we left the jobsite and now are being blamed for things that we did not do.
When we completed the pool project the pool, slide and waterfall were all functioning properly as per our contract and our terms.
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
My husband and I did not decide in 7/2014 to contact them out of the blue about issues the pool has. These issues were made known in the very beginning. First off, their comment about the clean up contradicts what they said in the beginning that the old pool was demolished and hauled off. They admittedly said that they had their guys come out numerous times to clean up. Their version of cleaning up was picking up a few concrete pieces here and there. This is precisely why they came numerous times. The guys did not attempt to even try getting up the debris. It was like they were showing up attempting to make it look like they were actually cleaning. They had no rakes, shovels, equipment, etc for cleaning up. In fact at the end of august we did have our trees installed by eddies sod which was hand dug in specific areas and filled with the same dirt. They took pictures of their work and asked if they could use them on their website for advertising landscaping. This company took their last picture which was dated 8/30/13. I advised them that they could do so. In the background of their pictures there was clearly trash and debris left by the pool company. Pinellas county fined them and caused a lawsuit over the concrete bags that were left on site because of the fact it made it appear on their website that they did pools, even though they clearly only talked about the trees. Pinellas county said that the company did not pull a permit for this job which took place in Hernando county and were advertising pools. They had to get a lawyer because of the mess that was left in our backyard to fight this fine. They are willing to come forward as witnesses. They also were made aware of the leaking because we complained that Backyard Pool Creations refused to check or fix a leak and that our yard, front and back was a disaster. As far as the leaking I will repeat that *** was made aware of our concerns but since the "pressure check by the county" passed he concluded there was no leak. we did set for the inspection to be done and it failed due to the wrong alarms being installed which was left to us to do. We bough alarms that were labeled pool security but Hernando county required a different type. So we had to redo the alarms. The alarms were redone and the inspector came back but we had our mother n law house sitting because of a death out of state of my uncle. *** never showed up to the appointments when they were scheduled. My husband was here at the house each time. I worked. We made the leak, again, known from day one. We have had to put water in the pool every other day but they insisted since it passed inspection that there was no leak and never tested it. They refused to give us our warranty paperwork, show us how to operate the equipment , and do any more cleaning until we paid the remaining $350. We paid everything during the process when we were supposed to and had no problem paying once the obligations were met in the contract. I refused to pay the remaining balance because that was the only security to hold on to until the job was complete. *** was on site one day and talking about another client in front of us that was being a pain because he had issues with his pool and *** was having to make repeated trips. Obviously we are not the only ones that had issues. We finally had to hire a company to show us how to operate the equipment and maintain the pool because we couldnt. The company has had to constantly put salt and shock in the pool (weekly) because the pool will not hold chemicals because every other day we have to add at least six inches of water. This has been since the pool was first filled with water. Finally the company sent the owner out (pool Care Florida) to do a leak inspection test. He found that every pipe and light was leaking in the pool because the pool company never used hydraulic cement to seal the pipes which caused the pipes to leak around them. This would not show up when the county did their pressure check with the piping system.He stated that this was an issue with installation and nothing more. He also said that the pool company should have put caps on the pipes that are exposed in the pool which was not done. As far as the contract goes, we chose a pool out of a catalog that we wanted it to be designed like and so the contract states that and not the specifics of the planters. This company had poor customer service, lack of professionalism, and did a poor job with the install and clean up. I feel like they are insinuating we may have dug up pieces of the old pool but in fact our yard has remained the same and we would have no reason to dig anything up. There has been no sod laid. The problem with the pool is that they cut corners and now we might have a larger problem with a sink hole. Our pool just in this last week has gone down over two feet. We cant even use it because of the leak issue. I am in the construction industry myself and know that if a client does not pay upon completing a job that we put a lien on the house. Obviously the company knew they had done wrong and didnt want to deal with us anymore just as they talked about the other client that was having issues. If it was that big of a problem they would have liened our house. I find it odd that we paid the rest of the job and they want to use our pool for advertising which we never agreed to. They are making money off of a job that people dont understand was a faulty install with cropped pictures. I can provide any proof you want including all email conversations and also pictures and you can even talk with one of their subcontractors that agreed in the poor service and was also aware of our issues with the pool. I did not breach any contract. They did by not hauling off all of the demolition of the old pool and not finishing with fixing the leak issue that was caused by them and noone else. I will include the report that was sent by the licensed leak inspector. He can also give more details about what he has observed. Eddies sod can vouch for this too being they were fined over the mess that was left and they had nothing to do with the pool to begin with. another note: we paid $5000 for the pool to be demolished and hauled off, not spread all over the back and front yard Many of the conversations were verbal. Once the pool was filled with water we never saw *** again. And refused contact with us. Also through out the process *** took several vacations which prolonged our pool being installed. It had nothing to do with rainy days or other issues. He was vocal about his trips. At times *** was rude with us and his wife even came to our house to apologize for his behavior while taking pictures of the pool to use on their website.