DENHAM SPRINGS – Backyards turn into nightmares instead of the oasis homeowners thinking they were coming with a pool. Fed up and needed help, they called 2 On Your Side.
Recently, 2 On Your Side heard from the same person and pool company by a handful of people. They say they spent a lot of money and the job done doesn’t reflect their investments.
During the pandemic, Brian Bercegeay and his wife decided to build a pool in the back yard.
“Back then it was something to look forward to, but not now,” said Bercegeay.
During the research, the family decided they wanted a fiberglass leisure pool. But instead of enjoying his new slice of paradise, Bercegeay says he spends his time frustrated with what happened and how it all turned out.
“The plumber of leisure was Jeff Albarez and his pool company, La Belle Piscine,” said Bercegeay.
A year ago they signed a contract with the installer, but shortly after the project started, there were red flags.
“Little things popped up earlier this year,” he said.
Those little things include features that never worked. The jets in the whirlpool never turned on. A water feature stopped working shortly after installation. And the pool lights don’t work. The pool also has problems with the pump and heating. The concrete around the pool is not finished and has different colors. The French drains lead nowhere, and the sump pump runs all day, every day, pumping out water.
“We pumped it out to keep the concrete and basin from cracking, creating pressure and cracking the shell,” he said.
Cracks have already appeared in the concrete and part of the pool is submerged. Bercegeay suspects that the pool’s foundation was improperly laid with just sand.
Shortly after completing the project, Bercegeay said he paid $ 75,000. Then the communication between him and Albarez was patchy and practically silent.
“We couldn’t bring anyone here and he was slowly starting to lock us out until communication,” said Bercegeay.
It wasn’t long before they found others who had similar issues with the same company. Some of these customers also spoke to 2 On Your Side.
One customer says her pool was installed an inch too high, messing up the drainage and causing the concrete to crumble. Other customers have had the same complaint about uneven concrete surfaces. The concrete was torn open but never reinstalled. The pool is now in a mess of mud.
“I wouldn’t recommend him at all … recommend,” said Bercegeay.
That’s because he’s now stuck hiring third parties to fix the work he already paid for and spending even more money getting things right.
Monday, 2 On your side, Albarez’s cell phone called and a woman answered. Brittany Weiss was told Albarez was out of the office but was calling back. The call was not answered until Monday evening.