Phoenix-based Shasta Pools and Spas made a mainstream media splash when it recently finished, free of charge, a half-completed project by Riviera Pools.

While each takeover job presents different challenges, certain items should be checked anytime you step onto an abandoned site, says Jonny Marshall, marketing executive at Shasta, a Pool & Spa News Top Builder. Following is a partial “punch list” provided by Shasta, which has rescued more than a few projects over the years.                       

  • Make sure the project complies with safety criteria outlined in the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act.
  • Take into account unseen areas associated with excavation, steel placement and gunite application. These may be known as latent defects, or hidden flaws or imperfections that cannot be discovered through reasonable inspection. In these cases, attorneys advise drafting a reservation of rights letter, which acknowledges that you’re taking over the site, but that you can’t guarantee what’s essentially unknown.
  • Make sure the bond beam is level. If not, a host ofadditional steps may be necessary to repair or accommodate the existing pool structure so it can handle a deck. In addition, waterline tile must be installed on pools where the bond beam is out of level to prevent cracking in the interior finish, particularly when the interior comes out of the water and ends at the base of the deck.
  • On an in-floor cleaning system, make sure the plumbing is balanced for the system that’s being installed. Does it match the manufacturer’s specifications? If not, the head location and zoning may need to be adjusted or altered prior to applying the interior finish.
  • All electrical work must conform to NEC guidelines. However, municipalities can choose which version of the code to adopt, and this could vary by city, county or state.               
  • Watch for elevation changes in the floor, also known as slope compliance.
  • Make sure riser heights for entry and exit fall within the appropriate range.
  • Check for over- or undersized pool equipment and plumbing lines.
  • Be sure the pool complies with all barrier code requirements.
  • Follow ANSI-7 standards governing suction-entrapment avoidance.

Source: Shasta Pools and Spas


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