Back to one star.
Finding a good pool builder is important, but if you are reading this you still haven't found one.
Don't waste your time reading this review, instead put your time into finding a better builder.
And believe the reviews.
Don't fall for the line "they are different companies with a similar name"
Believe the reviews.
In fact, in writing this review, it feels like I am giving them more consideration than they have given me.
They have some nice people working for them, but they can't plan effectively enough to make the most of their staff/contractors. Freedom pools needs to work on their planning and communication, as well as things like giving staff explicit instructions and product training. (Other trades people I have seen use Safe Work Method Statements and risk assessments)
Any way, my pool is now more than 8 weeks late, and there is still no sign of them replying to me, let alone actually finishing the job. With freedom pools you can expect additional expense.
Here is a summary...
After 4 weeks of excuses, half of the original build time was gone, they told me their excavation contractor had gone on holidays, so they couldn't even get started. But what could I do?, I had signed a contract, and paid a deposit. So I had to find my own excavator. It wasn't that difficult, but it was more expensive. The contractor we found was $1800 plus removal costs, but apparently freedom only allowed $1500. So I had to be an extra $300 out of pocket. But again what could I do? They had me over a barrel, either I pay extra, or the pool won't even get started.
So then we got the hole dug, but then nothing else happened for a couple of weeks. This surprised me, as I got the impression that they had a whole lot of staff sitting around twiddling their thumbs while they were waiting for their excavator to return from holidays.
After many calls, and my initial one star review, some more work was carried out. The pool shell was put in place, and they began to back fill the hole with gravel. It was a very hot day, and the guys did pretty well, but a large amount of gravel ended up inside the pool. Freedom pools did not respond to my request for assistance in removing the gravel. So, I had to pay another maintenance company to clean the pool. A similar situation occurred a few weeks later when they did the bond beam. (Aside: I was surprised that they didn't use a concrete vibrator for the bond beam, and they had a lot of concrete left over.)
A significant amount of concrete ended up in the pool, now completely full of water, and again I had no way of removing it. So I again had to pay extra to another company to clean the mess made by freedom. I don't blame them for the mess, they did better than any thing I could have done on a 40° day. But my issue is with the company management who paid no attention to removing the mess - when they supposedly have the equipment and know-how. Then, I had to pay more money again to have the formwork removed, and other rubbish disposed of. Freedom pools left a lot of rubbish around, including items from previous jobs, including an old broken wheel barrow, off cuts from the pool fence from some other job, etc etc. So I was regularly paying more (or twice) for work that freedom should have done... but if i didn't pay extra, it just wouldn't happen. I showed them respect by paying all progress invoices on the day I received them, but it doesn't feel like respect is returned.
There are only minor things left -1- doing expansion joints between some tiles left un-grouted. It is almost a month since the tiles were laid. I have even purchased the silicone for this already! I could probably do this step myself, but then what am I paying freedom for? -2- Moving the filter a bit to stop it pressing on the boundary fence, and -3- the hand over kit.
I don't understand why there is such a delay to finish things off. I just expected them to be keen to finish off so they could get the final payment. But now, the late penalty is at a fixed amount, so there is nothing motivating them to complete the job in a hurry. Should i go and buy my own items that would be in the handover kit?
So it is now roughly 4 months since approval, and the job is still not finalised.
I will update the review if anything changes.