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Old 07-04-2012, 11:28 AM
Location: southwest TN
8,179 posts, read 14,276,689 times
Reputation: 14787


So I've been accused of being an impatient Yankee. We are moving in under 3 months and had wanted the deck and pool to be completed before we moved.

Back in January, I contacted a pool/deck company and requested an estimate for a wood deck and on-the-ground pool. It took over a month and the estimate came back very high and was for a concrete patio and in-ground pool. WTF?

So weeks went by and I found a deck contractor. I submitted a link for an on-the-ground pool, overheads of the property, a sketch of the deck with pool and requested an estimate. Mind you, not a contract, just an estimate. A ballpark figure. My first contact with this company was in early March.

Today, I still do not have an estimate. About 2 weeks ago, I received a communication saying they were getting an estimate for an above-ground pool but the person for that company is on a week's vacation. Ummm, it's 3 months after my initial contact and I specifically stated I did not want an ABOVE-ground pool nor an IN-GROUND pool. That e-mail also asked how I intend to pay for the deck and pool being that we are not in the area.

Am I just an impatient yankee?? Am I speaking a foreign language in writing? Is there too much work and too few employees?

I'm bringing money and work to the area that everyone tells me is desperate for work. Why can't I spend my money?

If I can't get a simple estimate for exactly what I ask, how can I trust the company to do the work?

Old 07-04-2012, 12:06 PM
Location: Cumberland Co., TN
20,042 posts, read 20,541,910 times
Reputation: 20398
Welcome to Tennessee.
Old 07-04-2012, 12:16 PM
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
9,531 posts, read 13,372,671 times
Reputation: 20050
I had to google to see what you meant by on the ground pool as I have only ever heard of above ground and in ground. Maybe those are not popular in this region and the companies you contacted were confused about what you were looking for.
In any event I think I'd be looking for another company if it took them that long to get back to you just on the estimate.
Old 07-04-2012, 01:43 PM
Location: southwest TN
8,179 posts, read 14,276,689 times
Reputation: 14787
One of the manufacturers of On-the-ground pools is located in Nashville. I would think a contractor would know how to look up the information especially since I gave them the link to the pool we want.

There are other contractors in our area. But, and this is a big but, they don't have a website or email address. I am late deafened and need to communicate via writing - preferably e-mail but snail mail would be fine with me, except the only other contractor in the area has ignored my snail mail and I'm in touch with the only 1 with an e-mail address.

I'm just so frustrated!
Old 07-04-2012, 01:56 PM
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
9,531 posts, read 13,372,671 times
Reputation: 20050
You've expressed frustration with this type of thing before. As you are moving to an area where the internet is still somewhat behind times would it be worth your while to look into TDD?
Old 07-04-2012, 02:34 PM
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
39,195 posts, read 37,806,900 times
Reputation: 73970
A couple of things:

I assumed an "on the ground" pool was the same as an above-ground pool. I have never heard of an "on the ground" pool, so you are speaking a foreign language as far as that goes. If you're talking about a fiberglass pool with a deck built around it so it looks built in, around here it's known as an above-ground pool.

In addition, many contractors around here are handymen, not IT guys. Yes, it is 2012, but some of the guys who work in the area where you are trying to move are the kind who "organize" their jobs on the dashboard of their trucks. They aren't checking smart phones or even looking at a Dell desktop every day. That's why they aren't getting back to you.

I honestly think that between your inability to use the phone and the distance, you should wait until you get here to get some of these things done. I feel like you are really running the risk of being dissatisfied if you try to get this kind of thing done via e-mail.

I just don't know many contractors who would be comfortable even going on the property to measure based on an e-mail, much less rely on links to photos etc. for specs.

Given your limitations, you would get better results in person.
Old 07-04-2012, 03:28 PM
Location: southwest TN
8,179 posts, read 14,276,689 times
Reputation: 14787
I wouldn't even consider a handyman for this project. I have specifically contacted general contractors - one of whom previously did work at the house, hired by our property manager, yet could not respond to me even though I sent a sase. He could at least have said, "not interested" and it wouldn't have cost him a dime!!!

And when we get there in person, and I still cannot communicate in person, how is that going to fix the problem? Someone who can't write on a piece of paper "not interested" is not going to face me writing down the answers to my questions, or negotiating via writing whether it's by mail to NY or in person over a table. Again, I'm only dealing with companies I have checked out through the BBB, licenses, or personal recommendations from those in the area. Even with a personal recommendation, the person totally ignored my desire for a wood deck; even going through our Property Management Co, my letter was ignored.

Btw, you may have assumed on-the-ground and above-ground pool are the same thing. But I was writing to a contractor and in my e-mail, I wrote:
We have researched in-ground, on ground, and above-ground pools and we wish to have an on-the-ground pool.
I also included a link to the 2 pools we were considering.
Old 07-04-2012, 04:08 PM
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
39,195 posts, read 37,806,900 times
Reputation: 73970

I did not mean you should hire a handyman. I used the word "handyman" in contrast to the technology frustrations you are experiencing.

I am saying that you are not using the best method of communication to reach these guys and expect them to get back to you. Phone would be best, at the least. They are out on the jobsite, they are in their trucks, and they are stopping for lunch. Most of them are not checking their mail and e-mail regularly. They are on the phone.

That is my experience anyway.

As for what kind of pool, all I'm saying is I have lived here 44 years and never heard the term "on the ground" pool.

Sorry, I'm all out of ideas.
Old 07-04-2012, 05:14 PM
Location: southwest TN
8,179 posts, read 14,276,689 times
Reputation: 14787
It would be nice to be able to use the phone. But I can't. It's not an option. I'd love to borrow ears that work, but that isn't an option either.

I'm actually pretty patient. I give a "we'll be in touch after the weekend" 2 weeks after that weekend. I've been dealing with this for 7 months. I just don't understand not responding at all when here's a job.

As far as them going on the property based on an e-mail, that isn't what I've asked them to do. I've asked them to set up the site visit with our local to them property management company. The two who have made site visits found it not problematic. And that isn't an issue. Getting the dollar figures is the issue. They've been there, they've seen it, they've measured it, they've had opportunity to calculate, to look at how easy it is to get equipment over the acre on the side of the house to the back of the house, they've seen how easy it is to get equipment from the highway to the house. I've held their hand all the way. I've provided details: professional sketch of the proposed deck with location of the pool, details of the kind of wood, the shape, the exact location of the well pump house, everything down to within in an inch's accuracy. But I am not there so I cannot build it myself. If I were there, I would. But I don't want to. I want to bring employment and jobs to our new home. I also want to enjoy my retirement. I want to GIVE to the community, even if just this first job, there will be more.

What is the problem?
Old 07-04-2012, 07:38 PM
Location: Chattanooga, TN
2,774 posts, read 3,684,721 times
Reputation: 4241
Just a general suggestion, but would your property manager be willing to serve as an intermediary? People hire remote contractors all the time, but it usually makes things easier if there's a person on the ground locally who can do things like meet them in person, talk on the phone, etc.
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