Part 2 of 2: What happens when payments are late?
What happens when payments are not made per the contract schedule?
The bottom line is this: Regardless of who builds your gunite pool, payment delays can prolong the time until your project is completed.
The reason why is that—like most home-improvement contractors—virtually all pool builders will stop work if payments are not received according to schedule.
For example, on excavation day, a payment is due. However, if the scheduled payment is not available when the crew shows up, most builders will pull the crew off the job.
Even if payment is made the next day, and your builder resumes work, that initial delay may have a lasting impact. The one-day delay can easily create a domino effect. Now the excavation work has to be rescheduled around other projects. In some cases, this could be quick; in other cases it could take longer and throw off the completion timeline by a number of days.
The time lost may not ever be recouped during the construction process. And even if your contract specifies a completion date, your builder will not be responsible for meeting the target. The reason for this is because construction industry practice—as included in most contracts—is that building time lost due to missed payments does not count toward the total working days allowed for completion.
Another impact of a late payment is that it can trigger additional charges during some construction phases. For example, a gunite crew and truck arrive. But since you do not have a check ready, your builder pulls them off the job. Your contract may contain a provision that allows your builder to recoup some of his losses by charging a “pull off” fee.
The Good News
For pool buyers, the upside to all of this is that a quality pool contract will include a payment schedule that safeguards customers. A reputable builder will not seek money from you without delivering.
Unfortunately, some homeowners have been burned by pool companies that try to grind most of the contract amount from them in advance. (Builders may resort to this kind of tactic if their business is desperate for quick cash flow.)
However, a financially stable pool builder will have no reason to do this. And their contract should illustrate a commitment to fair, appropriate payment schedules.
When you follow the payment schedule, your builder is legally obligated to complete work as outlined the contract. Then, with both parties holding up their end of the bargain, you will soon be enjoying your new backyard resort!