Your Home Improvements

By Robert Lamoureux

Last update: Friday, July 21st, 2017

Robert,

I live in Canyon Country and am putting in new plaster and tile in my pool.

The pool company is offering and recommending a product called pebble tec. I’ve never seen or heard of it, but they sent a sample of it and it looks like a tiny granular type product that makes up the finish and look of the pool, in place of the plain or colored plaster.

It is nice looking, but, I’d like your opinion if you know enough about the product to provide one, please.

This option is more costly but they say it’s more durable than plaster and I’m leaning in that direction but, will wait for your opinion as I value it. -Fred S.

Fred,

Thank you.

You are correct, Pebble Tec is gorgeous. It is a beautiful product and it’s a very fine, aggregate stone and can be done in many colors for a beautiful look.

It is mixed with a resin and applied much like the pool plaster, and offers a beautiful option.

My only negative about this product is that if it is put above the water line where the sun can bake it, it will turn opaque, meaning it will yellow above the water line.

When designing your pool, you can choose Pebble Tec but if it were me, I’d do this only to a point below the water line, and have a complimentary tile to finish up to the coping/ top of the pool. This would give you the beautiful option of the Pebble Tec, yet you’ll skirt the issue of the fading and have a gorgeous look.

 

Robert,

Some time ago you recommended a person to re-glaze tubs, sinks and counter tops. We tried to contact him but he never returned our calls.

We did get responses from three other companies. One had the highest bid, but we decided to go with them anyway since they were local. What a nightmare – terrible quality work and poor response to customer complaints!

After three glazing attempts, we are left with a counter top full of debris and sanding dimples; runs in the sinks, tub and counter edge; and rough surfaces everywhere.

During this process we have been out of our master bedroom for 13 days and out of our master bathroom for 35 days. We told the company that we are done with them and want a refund.

The owner came out today and inspected, and said that what we have is a quality job with just a few imperfections that can be remedied and he will not give us a refund. He was very arrogant and refused to admit that he could see the problems we pointed out to him.

Since we paid for the job with our credit card, we will go to them to get a refund and if that fails, we will file suit in small claims court.

Since you make recommendations for local contractors, we wanted to give you a heads up about this company and the lousy work and customer service they gave us. We enjoy your weekly column.

You provide very valuable information to all that read the Signal. -Thank you, Rudy and Sandy D.

Rudy and Sandy,

I’m sorry to hear they treated you like this.

I would recommend that you touch base with the Contractor’s State License Board and make a formal complaint. This direction may save you a court trip, as the board is good about lighting fires under these guys, if he’s licensed that is. Good luck.

Follow-up:

Robert,

We followed your advice and filed a complaint with the Contractor’s State License Board and the company has given us the refund we requested.

We can’t thank you enough for your advice! -Rudy and Sandy

Hi Robert,

My name is Trevor J. and I live in Canyon Country.

We have a bonus room in our home that is pretty large, and I’d like to split it in half in order to make a bedroom out of one-half. I’d only need to add the wall and a door and, being that this is a non-weight bearing wall, do I really need to get permits for this?

I know you’re an advocate of permits but I can’t see the sense in going through that for just one wall and a door.

Trevor,

Absolutely you do need permits. This job will require framing that is necessary, and will need to be tied into the existing ceiling in the proper manner.

The city is there for safety, and they’ll want to make sure that your new “bedroom” has a second exit, i.e. a window, for fire safety. Just these two issues alone are very important, and the city of Santa Clarita is there to ensure the safety of all.

At any point that you’ll sell your home, you’ll need the permits attached to this new “bedroom” or you will not be able to list it as an additional bedroom.

Just do a drawing which includes a footprint of the whole house, then show your plan with measurements and be sure that there is a window included for a second exit to that room.

You don’t need anything too elaborate, just details of what your plan is and then the city will work with you for anything additional needed. And, they’ll walk you through the process.

If you’re well versed in construction you’ll likely breeze through this process, but we all miss things at times and especially with the city of Santa Clarita – they’ll help you through the process with ease. Good luck.

 

Robert Lamoureux has 38 years of experience as a general contractor, with separate licenses in electrical and plumbing contracting. He owns IMS Construction Inc. in Valencia. His opinions are his own, not necessarily those of The Signal. Opinions expressed in this column are not meant to replace the recommendations of a qualified contractor after that contractor has made a thorough visual inspection. Email questions to Robert at robert@imsconstruction.com.

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Your Home Improvements

Robert,

I live in Canyon Country and am putting in new plaster and tile in my pool.

The pool company is offering and recommending a product called pebble tec. I’ve never seen or heard of it, but they sent a sample of it and it looks like a tiny granular type product that makes up the finish and look of the pool, in place of the plain or colored plaster.

It is nice looking, but, I’d like your opinion if you know enough about the product to provide one, please.

This option is more costly but they say it’s more durable than plaster and I’m leaning in that direction but, will wait for your opinion as I value it. -Fred S.

Fred,

Thank you.

You are correct, Pebble Tec is gorgeous. It is a beautiful product and it’s a very fine, aggregate stone and can be done in many colors for a beautiful look.

It is mixed with a resin and applied much like the pool plaster, and offers a beautiful option.

My only negative about this product is that if it is put above the water line where the sun can bake it, it will turn opaque, meaning it will yellow above the water line.

When designing your pool, you can choose Pebble Tec but if it were me, I’d do this only to a point below the water line, and have a complimentary tile to finish up to the coping/ top of the pool. This would give you the beautiful option of the Pebble Tec, yet you’ll skirt the issue of the fading and have a gorgeous look.

 

Robert,

Some time ago you recommended a person to re-glaze tubs, sinks and counter tops. We tried to contact him but he never returned our calls.

We did get responses from three other companies. One had the highest bid, but we decided to go with them anyway since they were local. What a nightmare – terrible quality work and poor response to customer complaints!

After three glazing attempts, we are left with a counter top full of debris and sanding dimples; runs in the sinks, tub and counter edge; and rough surfaces everywhere.

During this process we have been out of our master bedroom for 13 days and out of our master bathroom for 35 days. We told the company that we are done with them and want a refund.

The owner came out today and inspected, and said that what we have is a quality job with just a few imperfections that can be remedied and he will not give us a refund. He was very arrogant and refused to admit that he could see the problems we pointed out to him.

Since we paid for the job with our credit card, we will go to them to get a refund and if that fails, we will file suit in small claims court.

Since you make recommendations for local contractors, we wanted to give you a heads up about this company and the lousy work and customer service they gave us. We enjoy your weekly column.

You provide very valuable information to all that read the Signal. -Thank you, Rudy and Sandy D.

Rudy and Sandy,

I’m sorry to hear they treated you like this.

I would recommend that you touch base with the Contractor’s State License Board and make a formal complaint. This direction may save you a court trip, as the board is good about lighting fires under these guys, if he’s licensed that is. Good luck.

Follow-up:

Robert,

We followed your advice and filed a complaint with the Contractor’s State License Board and the company has given us the refund we requested.

We can’t thank you enough for your advice! -Rudy and Sandy

Hi Robert,

My name is Trevor J. and I live in Canyon Country.

We have a bonus room in our home that is pretty large, and I’d like to split it in half in order to make a bedroom out of one-half. I’d only need to add the wall and a door and, being that this is a non-weight bearing wall, do I really need to get permits for this?

I know you’re an advocate of permits but I can’t see the sense in going through that for just one wall and a door.

Trevor,

Absolutely you do need permits. This job will require framing that is necessary, and will need to be tied into the existing ceiling in the proper manner.

The city is there for safety, and they’ll want to make sure that your new “bedroom” has a second exit, i.e. a window, for fire safety. Just these two issues alone are very important, and the city of Santa Clarita is there to ensure the safety of all.

At any point that you’ll sell your home, you’ll need the permits attached to this new “bedroom” or you will not be able to list it as an additional bedroom.

Just do a drawing which includes a footprint of the whole house, then show your plan with measurements and be sure that there is a window included for a second exit to that room.

You don’t need anything too elaborate, just details of what your plan is and then the city will work with you for anything additional needed. And, they’ll walk you through the process.

If you’re well versed in construction you’ll likely breeze through this process, but we all miss things at times and especially with the city of Santa Clarita – they’ll help you through the process with ease. Good luck.

 

Robert Lamoureux has 38 years of experience as a general contractor, with separate licenses in electrical and plumbing contracting. He owns IMS Construction Inc. in Valencia. His opinions are his own, not necessarily those of The Signal. Opinions expressed in this column are not meant to replace the recommendations of a qualified contractor after that contractor has made a thorough visual inspection. Email questions to Robert at robert@imsconstruction.com.

About the author

Robert Lamoureux

Robert Lamoureux