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Dying woman’s dream of a backyard pool leads to fallout with contractor

Couple waited one year for pool builder to finish job
pool problems
Posted at 11:43 AM, Feb 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-16 11:43:05-05

PASCO COUNTY — Pasco County homeowner Harry Bergner says he’s angry every day.

His wife Amy is dying and her dream was to turn their backyard into a sanctuary. She wanted to enjoy the time she had left. But a year after hiring Coastal Pools and Spas, the couple is still waiting on the pool cage to be built.

“All she asked for was a peaceful place.” Harry said.

Doctors diagnosed Amy with stage 4 colon cancer in 2020 and then it spread. She told ABC Action News the thought of a backyard sanctuary gave her comfort, a retreat where she could “shut (her) mind off from everything else going on.”

The couple signed a contract with Coastal Pools and Spas in February of 2021 paying $50,000 of the $55,000 total. Harry showed some of the dozens of texts he’s sent over the last several months regarding the pool cage, but says the company hasn't responded.

Amy says she’s been unable to use the pool because the drain clogs with leaves and there’s a serious bug problem.

When contacted by ABC Action News, the company quickly responded in an email writing:

“Coastal Pools and Spas, Inc has secured a screen enclosure company to do the labor portion of the screen enclosure last week.  Their schedule is two weeks out.  We will have materials dropped the day prior to their arrival.  They are requesting a deposit prior to installation.  We have not collected for the final pool interior finish draw yet.  This was completed a few months back. We understand that it is being held because of the screen special circumstances.  We will try and work it out with installer.  

Please know that we have been continually trying to secure a substantial qualified installer.  In today's climate, labor shortages, and wait times, it has been difficult to get someone to commit to our special request.  We are confident this vendor is committed to completing project.  They feel it will take a week to get installed entirely.  Our goal is to have all final inspections done by the end of February or sooner.”

The company has delivered materials and work on the screen enclosure is expected to start soon. Amy, who just went through another round of surgery, hopes the pool builder follows through so she can recuperate in the backyard sanctuary she's waited so long for.

Anything construction-related is taking longer than ever due to COVID-related supply and labor shortages. Always check a builder's license and complaint records with the state. You can do that at www.myfloridalicense.com. And if you are on a certain timeline, ask the contractor to put it in writing.