We picked the pool company (again) and finally signed the contract last night to build a pool in the yard.

It’s funny how this worked out.  We were ready to sign the contract with a different pool company on Monday then something happened… I was ticked and didn’t want to use this company.  You see, we picked this first company because the day before we discussed with them and agreed on a price with discount.  Being a finance person, I put all the numbers onto a spreadsheet and expect the total to be X.  The guy started to put all the numbers down on his contract sheet but didn’t bother with the discount that we agreed to the day before.    When I pointed out to him that he missed the discount, he started by telling me ‘but I included this and that for free’ and wanted to see what the other company is giving me in the pool package.  He also made a math mistake by somehow tagging on an extra 10K to the total price.  He did realize his own mistake and fixed it.  By then, I was soooo ticked that I didn’t want to deal with this anymore.  So we called it a day.

Then, I called the other company and spoke to the sales guy and asked him to give me a better price and throw in some of the options that the first company was giving for “free”.  Of course nothing is free, you are paying for it one way or the other.  It’s included in the price.  Free is when you don’t need to pay anything and they still give it to you.

That was Monday Columbus day where we were all taking a day off.  My plan was to sign a contract on Monday so we can start the process of getting a permit from the town while I am away for 10 days starting on Wednesday.  Well, things didn’t quite work out on Monday so it leaves only Tuesday.

Tuesday morning before 8:30, the first guy called a few times but I was still upset and didn’t want to talk to him.  Work was busy and didn’t get to speak to the second guy until afternoon.  Finally got the numbers and they looked OK but 10% more than the first guy.  The truth is we can’t really compare the two companies solely base on the total cost because they are providing two different options.  Since our house is on a slope, we need to have retaining wall built for the pool.  The first company suggested using a lot of boulders for retaining wall (turns out the guy bought a lot of them and need to use them somehow) so the price is cheaper by more than 10% for the wall.  The second company suggests building retaining wall using interlocking block system and won’t even suggest using boulders.

From the beginning, I was not comfortable with boulders and kept asking if they may roll down the hill.  I am also not too crazy about the natural unfinished look of using boulders.  I much prefer retaining wall with the finished look.  So I got what I wanted (as always).

The funny thing was I got what I wanted only because the first guy didn’t give me the discount (it was less than 5% of the total price).  I ended up paying 10% more but got what I wanted.