Friday, December 23, 2011

California Pools

Today they are filling up the pool and wrapping up.  My father-in-law says the backyard looks beautiful.  We are in Oregon so we’ve been unable to see with our own eyes.  He has been monitoring the entire process and calling my husband about 10 times a day to give updates.  If my father-in-law says it looks beautiful then it does.  He has been on poor Steve and the workers daily.  I guess during the process his two little doggies Boggy and Zammy escaped out the side gate while Dad was on the phone.  The construction guys came around to the front door ringing the door bell to get his attention.  Then the other guys chased them down and brought them back home.  Thank you guys both Jeff and I appreciated that those dogs are everything to him.  As you know if you’ve been reading I sent my first email to Mike on 6/14/2011 and we went back and forth for months.  I gathered all of the bids at the end of July and covered up the contracting companies and sent it to Mike to give me comparables and the difference.  He sent me a detailed email explaining the difference between his bid and the others.  He broke it down to every detail and his emails were very lengthy.  We finally decided to go with California Pools in October.  The first day of construction was 10/10/2011 and today we are filling the pool wrapping up the project December 23, 2011.  We pretty much up graded everything.  My husband purchased a Lynx BBQ, burner, sink, fans, outdoor heater, and outdoor shower in Oregon.  When we moved dad out we placed everything on the truck.  My husband found a Lynx BBQ from a contractor in Oregon that was brand new.  I guess it was installed improperly and caught on fire burning only the wires to the BBQ.  He picked it up for $800 and worked with Lynx to replace the wiring harness which was nothing.  He installed that one here and cleaned up the older one that we have replacing all of the guts and polishing the stainless steel. My husband was a purchasing manager for 17 years and is not only thrifty but handy.  He knows how to pick up his electronics and high end appliances and picked up an outdoor hanging heater for a ridiculous amount to hang on the patio.  So none of that stuff was included in the bid just the installation.  Kami was our scheduler and Steve was our construction superintendent.  My husband Jeff pretty much took over the project once I selected the company that I felt was most competent to do the backyard.  We picked up all of the materials and he kept upgrading during the process.  We did have a few bumps in the road.  The hard dig was the first one but that was out of every ones control.  Then we came out over Thanksgiving for the week and noticed that the materials were on the sidewalk and partially on our neighbor’s yard which they did not mind.  The backyard was a complete construction site and a mess with mud and stuff.  During that week no work was done and we thought that we would be having a meeting.  They were painting the fences in Estrella and the contractors had stuff leaning up on the fencing which my husband had to move.  He was concerned that all of the soda cups and mud in the pool would clog the drains.  We both sent an email to Mike and Kami upon returning to Oregon.  I was none to happy.  Mike had no idea about the trash in the pool and I chalk the entire situation up to poor communication between all of us about the construction schedule.  We should of scheduled a meeting if that was expected.  Mike had a cleaning crew out to clean up.  We decided to add lighting in the front as well as the ones we purchased for the back.  The ones that were shown to my husband by the lighting guy from California Pools was gorgeous copper not a spot on them.  They came out and installed the lighting and they had spots on them oxidizing.  Dad said that only two lights were acceptable.  My husband received several calls from Dad angry about the lighting.  When Jeff went to the lighting guy he said polish them.  Now that is unacceptable.  We purchased new lights and we understand that copper does oxidize however not right out of the box.  Jeff sent the email to Mike and he said he would take care of it that this must be a manufacturing defect.  This was a very reasonable response and customer service.  Mike sent people out to polish the lighting and all was great because Dad was completely happy.  Overall I want to say that California Pools was wonderful.  I have not seen the finished product I go out in two weeks at that point I will take tons of pictures.  I would recommend California Pools to anyone who is considering installing a backyard.  They did not do the putting green we will have that installed when we visit in January.  Estrella has lots of vacation homes and if you live out of state you need a good company that you can count on.  I hope this helps.


  1. Can we get some pictures? I just remodeled my backyard as well. The entire process took about two months of full-time work. We ended up getting a slide as well as an 8 foot cliff that hangs over the deep end of the pool which measures out to be 13 feet. Don't ask me why we chose 13 feet, but my wife was the one who picked it. However, the finished product looks like something out of cribs. We were featured in the Southern California Swimming Pools Monthly Magazine and were asked for an interview after our first month of use. It is something we still haven't gotten used to yet. Please let me know how yours went! I love hearing about other peoples projects.

  2. I would be happy to send some additional pictures over the long weekend. I've been so busy that I've been unable to add to the blog. We live in Portland, OR and purchased the home as a vacation home. We have a pool in Portland as well and just installed a major putting green at our home here. With my husbands background in purchasing we never pay full price and are involved in the entire project. One issue that I found is that most pool companies are unwilling to invest time via email with clients. California Pools worked with me via email during the entire project. Most of the other companies were struggling with the email deal. Shasta told me they were unwilling to work with me unless I visited the office. We live in a community that has HOA's so the design had to be approved. A slide would of been denied and that was fine we took our slide out in Portland because the kids are gone. For some reason in AZ they don't have deep pools. We looked at 50+ homes and not one pool was over 5-6 feet. Ours is 9-10 feet we could not go any deeper because of the baja step. It was a fun project.