I'm In A Pickle!


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Warning: This is me venting a bit. Not to be taken too seriously, and I don't necessarily need "answers" because I'm stuck in a waiting game for now. Bottom line: I picked the wrong person for the job. We moved to a new house back in October, and of course with our koi being beloved members of our family, we worked on lining up a pond contractor ahead of the move, to ensure our fish would have a (bigger and better) home at the new place. We live in a VERY remote and rural location now, so finding someone willing to travel there was one of the most restricting challenges.

I know... I can already hear all of you saying "Do it yourself!" There are several reasons why we weren't willing to tackle this on our own. I don't need to get into that.

So work started in mid-November, and things were going decently (hiccups here and there). We were told the project would take 2-3 weeks. Then things were taking longer than expected. Materials and time had been under estimated, and expenses were mounting. Then more time.... and more. FINALLY, in late March (more than 4 months after starting), the project was to be completed. We were filling the pond! The contractor, paid in full, took off.

Well, the pond is partially above ground, concrete construction with an epoxy coating liner. And before it had finished filling to the top, it became hugely apparent that there were leaks. So filling ceased, and we call the guy. He delayed his return date. Then delayed it again. And again. And again. Claiming family obligations, then vehicle troubles. Now 2 months later (6 months from start of project), he still has not returned to properly re-seal the pond. He is saying the job was "complete," and that this is a "warranty issue" (he says he guarantees his work for 5 years). How is a pond that was never able to be filled "COMPLETE?" The only thing complete was our payment, and now I realize what a huge mistake that was.

The warmer the weather gets, the more detrimental it is going to be to move the fish back into a 500 gallon holding tank while the pond is drained, dried, and re-coated. Because of holes in the liner, the concrete is leaching lime in, and we are sitting with a fairly high pH around 8.4. I am certainly not able to obtain any new fish this season under these circumstances. And I'm losing hope that I'll even be able to fully enjoy my pond before the next hibernation begins. This is so stressful!! I've been so hopeful to put up a proud new gallery on here. And I can't just fix it myself, or pay someone else to step in and make it right, because we are financially WAY too far in on this as it is. The guy that has all our money needs to fix it, and we are patiently trying to avoid legal conflict.

Specs: 12' x 12' square, formal pond, mostly a 5' depth, one section at 3' depth, approximately 4,800 gallons. 3 stainless steel waterfall spillways, bottom drained. 8000 gph bead filter, 3 qty 36W UV's. Same 13 fish I've had for a long time (some have lived at 3 different houses with us now!). I'll share one photo of the sadly unfinished pond. Thank for listening to me rant!
Pond 1.JPG
 
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I assume you paid a lot of money and the thought of going to court can be burdensome.
Do you have a contract stating all the details? Such as the fact that (although obvious) the feature should hold water.
If you don't want to go through the court hassle, just drain it and lay in an EPDM liner.
 
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I assume you paid a lot of money and the thought of going to court can be burdensome.
Do you have a contract stating all the details? Such as the fact that (although obvious) the feature should hold water.
If you don't want to go through the court hassle, just drain it and lay in an EPDM liner.
We do have contracts and invoices, although I don't have them on-hand at the moment. We can't lay in a liner based on the top blocks already in place (we would have to break the pond apart). Again, not looking for answers--just frustrated at the current mess we've gotten into. Hopefully he'll have the integrity to get it properly fixed before it goes to a court hassle.
 
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You have my sympathy... wish I could offer more. I hope you can avoid court - nobody but the lawyers win when you get to that point.
 
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So sorry to hear of this ongoing issue you are having. Vent as needed, as I'm sure many of us can understand your frustrations.

At least the design looks like it will be a very beautiful pond once these issues are addressed. I know you are not looking for advice, but maybe a report to the BBB could help.

Wishing you the best of luck with this, and hopefully once it is resolved you will be able to show off your pond in the gallery soon. I know I will be eager to see how it turned out.
 
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So sorry to hear of this ongoing issue you are having. Vent as needed, as I'm sure many of us can understand your frustrations.

At least the design looks like it will be a very beautiful pond once these issues are addressed. I know you are not looking for advice, but maybe a report to the BBB could help.

Wishing you the best of luck with this, and hopefully once it is resolved you will be able to show off your pond in the gallery soon. I know I will be eager to see how it turned out.
Thank you! I'm eager to get the landscaping done around it, and resume my usual position at the old feeding bench.
 
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Well, if you don't want to chase after that "contractor" or use a liner, then perhaps research the proper fish friendly sealant to coat the pond with. How hard could it be?
 
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Ugh, what a pain :( In our area there are very few pond builders, and many of them are scam artists ! It's a beautiful design and hopefully you'll be able to enjoy it very soon! BTW, don't know if your builder has any social media accounts....if so I'd post an update that you're patiently waiting and waiting and waiting ......also check Yelp.
 
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Ugh, what a pain :( In our area there are very few pond builders, and many of them are scam artists ! It's a beautiful design and hopefully you'll be able to enjoy it very soon! BTW, don't know if your builder has any social media accounts....if so I'd post an update that you're patiently waiting and waiting and waiting ......also check Yelp.
I'm losing my job soon and actually considering to start building ponds/waterfalls as a business.


Sorry to hear of your troubles, he is definitely responsible for this not being correctly built and needs to fix it. Maybe give him some indications of lawyers being involved and he may change his tune and come back and finish.
 
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If you end up adding a liner the top row of brick could be left in place and another layer on top with the liner in between.
If you do use a liner there has to be a way to drain water that gets between the pond and liner.
I know this is not the perfect solution but it would allow the pond to be used right away.

It makes me angry that people that are "supposed to be professionals" dont know what they are doing and dont stand behind there work. When I was contracting if a customer had a problem I was over that night or the next day to fix it.
 
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In Canada we have "Small claims court" that you represent you represent yourself without a lawyer, the limit is now $35,000.I have used it a couple of times and found the venue easy to work with and not real formal. The judge is usually understanding and rules on the problem not who has the best lawyer.
 
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I agree with Ronfire except for water getting behind the liner.I don't think happen.
 

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