Pool Builders in BCS and your experience

5,998 Views | 42 Replies | Last: 3 mo ago by JR Ewing
JR Ewing
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AG
Curious about thoughts from folks on their pool building experiences with the below builders...

Sunshine Fun, Premier Pools, Mobley Pools, Pool Guy, Paradise Oasis, and Brazos Lone Star Pool

Looking for: Attention to detail; closeness to cost estimates or forecast, support and service after the fact, things you wish you thought about before building or included now that you built, things to make sure you include in your discussions with them at design and construction phase, how they left your property at completion.

Any feedback is appreciated, but if you're giving me negative feedback or comments, please email to atm98john@yahoo.com. Otherwise, please keep it positive on this forum so that I can get good information to review and dont harm any reputations around town.

TIA Ags!
happyinBCS
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Mobley all the way, the best by far but usually a bit more expensive
BCStalk
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Don't just limit yourself to BCS. Check the Houston area as well.
befitter
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Mobley has built us 2 pools over the last 20 years. I would still go with him.
aggiepaintrain
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AG
Mobley built mine and stands behind his work.
The guy who poured the deck (well known concrete contractor) said my house will fall down before my pool cracks.
I'd use him again.
75AG
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AG
We used Sunshine. After 2.5 years, some coping tiles have cracked and splintered. The decking has numerous surface cracks. And the mastic between the coping and the deck is failing/pulling apart. So far the pool holds water, but given the surface imperfections, I'm concerned.
happyinBCS
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who was the concrete guy that poured your deck I would like to get a bid on a small patio area
RGRAg1/75
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AG
happyinBCS said:

Mobley all the way, the best by far but usually a bit more expensive

When you say "the best by far," how are you making your comparison? Have you had other contractors build a pool, or just anecdotes from acquaintances etc?

Genuinely interested as we will be in the market soon. Following this thread.
RGRAg1/75
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AG
BCStalk said:

Don't just limit yourself to BCS. Check the Houston area as well.

Anyone there you'd recommend? Does it drive up cost exponentially to get a Houston crew to make the drive daily?
BCStalk
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I don't have any personal experience with a certain company, but quite a few local companies contract out of Houston. A friend was able to get more square footage for around the same price and lead time. I'll see what contractor he's using the next time I see him.
RGRAg1/75
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AG
Appreciate it. And feedback on said contractor other than extra footage and lead time (ie would he use them again).
ukbb2003
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Go and look at pools while they are being built by different contractors and you will see why Mobley is usually more expensive. He puts in way more steele than the other companies, which is why the pool lasts longer. You get what you pay for.
EvenPar
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AG
We have not built yet but have received bids and from Mobley, Sunshine, and Traditions.
Two of the three we are personal friends with.
Mobley was the only one that offered to meet us around town and show us 4-5 pools he was currently working on. That was very impressive. Can't say which is better as far as pool construction bc we haven't built one. Just thought I'd throw that out there.
tombdaddy504
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AG
If you're going with an in town builder, Polar Bear pools and patios. Fastest builder in town, competitive pricing
JR Ewing
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AG
I have enjoyed the information so far...keep it up! I think this helps a lot of folks considering a pool...it has certainly helped me with who I would like to get additional bids from.
EliteElectric
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Sunshine built ours in 2007. Salt water pool no issues. Only problem we've had is finding a pool cleaner service that isn't lame. I've been through 8 of them in 12 years.
www.elitellp.net
toolshed
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AG
I would not hire a Houston builder to build here without doing A LOT of homework up front. I worked for Mobley in the late 90's while in college. He was called in to fix numerous pools done by out of town guys that built for their conditions and not our local soils, etc.. Or they simply under built to save costs.

Mobley does a lot of over engineering on the pool as far as steel and gunite, uses the proper piping under ground (I've seen some use flexible pvc which was not rate for that use, among other things.

Sunshine had some issues, I know of one pool first hand that they way undersized the equipment for, some of the equipment was for hot tubs and not pools. I know they're under new ownership and the new owner has been responsive in remedying the issues. Not sure if they are done with the fixes but I think the customer is pleased with the new owner over the old one.

I would defiantly do your homework, ask lots of questions like you're doing, before deciding on a builder.
Stupe
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S

Quote:

I would not hire a Houston builder to build here without doing A LOT of homework up front. I worked for Mobley in the late 90's while in college. He was called in to fix numerous pools done by out of town guys that built for their conditions and not our local soils, etc.. Or they simply under built to save costs.
I know several people that have had issues with people out of Houston and Austin because of that.
AGFAMTX
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I have known Chip and Trina for years and they really are a great family business. Son attends A&M. They are Premier Pools. crayburn@ppas.com
They will be happy to visit with you and give you an estimate and information. They have a location in CS. They are off of Brothers Blvd. They also can clean pools.
datageek
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I saw this pool by 'the pool guys' here in town, they did a great job (no, not my pool, but it was nice and wish it was)
http://thepoolguybcs.com/thehawthornepool
Jetty
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AG
Plus one for Mobley.
Mobley built our pool in March/April 2015. He was at the job site every day. Making sure everything was done to his specs. I take our water in to be tested a few times a month and they are always super nice and helpful.
rptsAg03
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Mobley. Professional, knowledgeable, and cares about what he puts his name on. We used him because we knew multiple people with 15 year old Mobley pools that are still satisfied customers. He won't be the cheapest, and he won't throw in freebies, but he will listen to you and build you exactly what you want, and build it well. Came out himself at 4:15 on a Friday afternoon when I had a concern, and when he says he uses more steel than anyone, he means it! Great experience building our pool, no regrets.
Fire_Aggie
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AG
We built our pool in 2004, Brazos Lonestar Pools built it, and they were the only ones that didn't try talking me into something I didn't want. Structurally the pool is great, the steel was put on 6" center in the deep end and 8" center in the shallow end. The only issue we had with it was the PVC from the light fixture cracked under the deck and was leaking. After the leak was found and sealed we haven't had any other issues. I converted it to salt in 2008. At the time the owner was a husband and wife who were very interesting to talk with. I think their son, whom done the electrical on mine, is running it now.

We had the pool remodeled in 2016 by the Pool Guy. The white plaster was showing age and the original blue tile constantly had the white ring due to our water. Had a few issues when the Pool Guy's folks started the pool back up. Since it was all original equipment the motor started giving me problems but I was able to swap the motor out. The pool guy service could not get the chemicals balanced and it was throwing large white deposits in the pool, looked like it was constantly snowing in the pool. This caused the new bottom to start having a calcium build up, Sean sent someone out to scrub to bottom. The guy that came out stayed in the pool all day with pumice stones. Still couldn't get the balance right. I finally did it myself after I ask the guy they sent out a few questions and was told, "I don't know anything they just sent me out to sweep the pool".

I will say that all the contractors The Pool Guy used were great, his electrician and plumber were also good. However, his maintenance folks leave a lot to be desired and sometimes he comes off as very arrogant but I've been dealing with him since his days at the other pool store so I knew what to expect. Anything major on my pool I take care of, but my weekly maintenance I have someone to do it and have really been happy with him.

This was our first pool so we were going at it blind that is why I change several things when it was remodeled, darker bottom, neutral tile and coping, and LED lighting. We have a deep end so with the white bottom it was very slow to warm up, sometimes it would mid-June before it was warm enough to get in. Now we're in it in May (depending on the rain) and with the deep end it still stays a decent temperature all season.
trackaggie76
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AG
Having owned three homes with pools in my life, my generally comment is they are all a pain in the a$$ to maintain but are really nice to have during the summer in Texas.

My guidance would be to buy a house with a pool rather than building one yourself since you will never recoup your investment upon resale---having said that, all that we used Mobley for pool maintenance and had no real issues. We also used Freedom Pools for service and some maintenance work with no complaints.

Can be a money pit!
TexAg1987
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datageek said:

I saw this pool by 'the pool guys' here in town, they did a great job (no, not my pool, but it was nice and wish it was)
http://thepoolguybcs.com/thehawthornepool
FYI, Shawn Hawthorne IS the pool guy.

So that is his personal pool. FWIW.
OTSmith
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I have built two pools - one with Mobley and just finished one with the Pool Guy.

I would *strongly* encourage you to meet with those you are interested in working with because the impression they leave will be critical. Also, know that if you are just now considering a pool, it's unlikely you'll have it built in time for much summer swimming. I started talking to builders in Jan/Feb because I watched the neighbors start one in April and they still weren't swimming in August.

Re the Pool Guy, he met with me at my home and we discussed options. He is not a high pressure sales person. He nailed the design I wanted at the outset. Once he had permits and the spring rains stopped long enough to move foward, our pool was built in five days. It took another 4 weeks to get tile, coping, plumbing, etc. The dig date was March 5 and my kids were in the pool swimming (in pretty cold water) on April 6. Took four week for the plaster to cure completely so they didn't let us turn on the hot tub until early May. But we hit our goal of having a pool for summer. Communication was okay. He replies quickly to email. I asked a lot of questions.

Re Mobley and a previous house, this was 10 years ago, but we met in his store and he showed us options there. We picked out coping and tile. I looked at old pics and we broke ground April 20. Pool construction itself was done by April 27. Then several weeks for plumbing etc. Kids were swimming on May 22. It was a fairly simple pool and no hot tub.

Neighbors used Sunshine Pools but they were in transition in ownership and it took months to complete. Neighbor said they did not use Mobley this time because he didn't like high efficiency equipment. Sunshine was aggressive but I emailed back and forth with someone on texags who used them and he thought they did a great job for them.

I ultimately went with Pool Guy this time because I liked his design and it felt right. He didn't pressure me. He's very blunt and honest but low pressure. I appreciated that and his quick response time on email to my sometimes really stupid question. We get a year of free pool maintenance.

Know that your back yard will be a ginormous mess! If you are a control and neat freak like me, it's a wild ride. No pool gets built fast enough for your kids.

There is a thread from this past January or so with a discussion of pool builders.

As noted at the beginning, be comfortable with who you select because it's an expensive and time consuming process. Good luck.

nought
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datageek said:

I saw this pool by 'the pool guys' here in town, they did a great job (no, not my pool, but it was nice and wish it was)
http://thepoolguybcs.com/thehawthornepool
Wow, I wonder what that would cost if you asked them to do it for you! Incredible. I have no idea what the price difference is between a basic pool, a pretty nice one, and an over the top make your neighborhood jealous one like this.
dave99ag
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AG
I'll be in the market in a few years once the kids are older. One thing folks that have put in pools told me is the cost of landscaping, rock work, etc is what can really drive up the cost.
BwdAg
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AG
Mobley just finished ours this past month. I would recommend Gary. Honest and trustworthy. I worked with two others for bids and they did not follow through when they said they would. Gary was higher, but I am well pleased.
camra
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Better balanced pools
JR Ewing
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AG
Anyone have experience with Brazos Lone Star Pools or Paradise Oasis? Feedback has been pretty consistent so far on the others mentioned. Anyone heard anything about them from others? Just want to make sure I do my due diligence...TIA...
Hyacinth
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If I ever want to go through building a pool at my home, I would talk to Swimming Pool Solutions. He doesn't over-engineer, he just builds his pools to last you a lifetime.
313-7-12thMan
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Sunshine Fun Pools built mine in early 2015. It was a complex project with pool, spa, fire features, and an elaborate stamped and stained concrete patio. My yard has a large slope so part of the pool is elevated on the back side and the patio has a series of steps and levels on each side and wraps around the back of the pool. I say all this only to emphasize that my project was very complex. Sunshine took elevation readings and measurements of the home, setbacks, and easements and created a detailed 3D rendering of the entire design. Despite being a very wet spring, the entire project was delivered with minimal delays and was exactly what I was quoted and agreed to. Communication was great and I was never pressured to add things that I didn't want or need. I've had friends that built with Mobley so I have seen the steel that he puts in. I can tell you that Sunshine uses just as much. Being my first pool I cannot begin to describe all the small details that have to be addressed by the builder. Spa spillovers must be perfectly level. Waterline tile and coping has to be cut precisely to minimize grout lines. Gas meters and flow rates have to be sized properly for the heater and fire features to work. Plumbing has to be planned to reduce hydraulic resistance. Patio decks have to be designed to drain water properly. And on and on and on. My pool has equipment on it that minimizes chemical use and maximizes electric efficiency. All totaled, I spend less than $40/month on maintaining and operating the pool. I know many of the home builders in the area and can tell you that some of the most popular ones use Sunshine exclusively for their clients. Another thing you can check is the BCS building permits. It will show you how many pools these companies actually build. A quick review of the past year shows Sunshine almost builds more pools than the others combined. I believe that level of experience is critical for a pool builder and for these reasons I'd suggest adding Sunshine Fun Pools to your short list.
mosesrab90
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AG
Used Sunshine about 3 years ago for home in Traditions. We're very happy overall, couple of hiccups along with the way with the outdoor kitchen layout (including installing a kegerator but leaving me an empty CO2 tank), but everything works with no issues to date. We're on the 15th at Traditions if you're out here playing; we're usually the drunks floating in the pool watching baseball.
Tigermom84
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AG
We used Todd with Paradise Oasis 2 years ago and had a good experience. He was on time and on budget. Our pool is great and we haven't had any issues with it. His contractors were out of Houston. He drove us around so that we could see his other pools. My one minor issue is very small, just a couple of very small minor details were left off during the construction process and weren't able to be added later (stuff like umbrella holder in the sun shelf). The pebbletec surface on the bottom is pretty, you can pick the water color you want, but it's hard on your feet and if I had it to do over again, I'd prefer a smoother surface. But I really enjoyed working with Todd and Michelle.
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