Good read for the Client

sceaduJanuary 7, 2011

Shopping for a Pool anytime soon?

1.Shopping like you are buying a car.

Swimming pools are custom construction projects and are built by many individual trades and pool contractors with different standards. All pools are not built the same, unlike an automobile which is manufactured in a factory under controlled conditions. With a swimming pool much of what you do not see will impact the cost of pool ownership.

2.Not asking enough questions.

Do not assume every builder is going to give you an education or is capable of giving you one, for that matter. The more you know and understand the better buyer you will ultimately be. This helps you and your pool contractor. Do your homework. Your resources are endless, so use them!

3.Paralysis by analysis.

This is when someone gets 10-15 or more estimates for swimming pool construction and than cannot make a decision because they have become so confused. Do your due diligence and get 3 or 4 estimates from reputable swimming pool companies. Then make your decision and go with it.

4.Not checking out the experience level, history, or background of a Contractor.

What makes them qualified to build swimming pools? Consider the saying, "If you think the cost of a Professional is expensive, wait until you hire an Amateur."

5.Shopping based on price.

Usually if a deal seems too good to be true, it is! If you shop for price alone you are destined to be disappointed. Bottom line: you usually get what you pay for.

6.Shopping over the phone for a pool.

It is impossible and a waste of time. Visit the swimming pool builder or have them come to your home to provide you with an estimate. Visiting a contractor�s place of business will tell you a lot about the type of business it is. If they don't have a place of business, don't panic just go check out some of their work and talk to references.

7.Assuming swimming pools cost less to build in the wintertime.

We have seen increases in steel prices, concrete shortages, gas increases, and insurance premiumhikes. Pools don�t get cheaper as time goes on; swimming pools will never be less expensive than they are today.

8.Not reading contracts.

Make sure you understand what you are getting into. Make sure everything is in writing. It is very difficult to cancel a contract with many contractors after the obligatory 3-day rescission period. The contract should protect you AND the contractor.

9.Focusing on the aesthetics and not the mechanicals of the project.

Hydraulic design, flow rates, pipe size, pump and filter types, chemical management systems, and many other factors will make a difference in the ability of your swimming pool to stay clean and sanitized.

10.Not thinking about safety.

Swimming pools can be a great place to recreate, exercise, and just enjoy the outdoors. They can also be dangerous. Make sure you know what your City requires for barriers and fencing. More importantly, make sure you protect the ones you care for, and protect the ones that cannot protect themselves.

The more your customers know the better buyer they will become and you will look like a hero in their eyes...

Found this on Pool Genius! It can't be said much better.

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Thanks for posting - very good info.

I'm making a spreadsheet to compare my bids, and it's revealing holes in some of the quotes. Very difficult to compare apples.

Also interesting, because it's been very, very difficult to get four quotes. Two came for interviews and never came back with a quote. A third was cost-plus from another county and we decided it would be too difficult and risky to pull the permits ourselves (we still have to close permits on house remodeling).

    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 1:08PM
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Additional things I think we can/should add and are in no particular order yet:

The suitability of the desired pool location is a huge concern that often leads to added costs that weren't mentioned. For example, what if there are large rocks found at the excavation, a high water table, heavy clay content, run off water coming from up hill neighbors, septic systems, and other situations that might make a particular location require some sort of corrective actions, some of which can be costly. Learning about any potential geological issues in your area before they are surprises will save you money. While surprises do often happen anyway, most can be foreseen with some investigative work.

While not all that hard to do, pool care education is important. No pool is maintenance free. Liken it to an artificial life form in the back yard. It has at least one heart (pump), veins and arteries (suction and return lines), kidney (filter), needs to be fed a proper diet, needs grooming, and has some sort of intelligence (timer or automation). Pools can get sick in different ways. Even if you plan to hire a service, you still need to be able to judge if they are doing it right.

More on contracts: If it isn't written, it wasn't said. Different states have different laws and recourses when it comes to contractor law.

Pay schedules often become a sore spot.

PBs need to make a fair profit. Good isn't cheap. Different regions have different costs to contend with so don't expect a pool in Massachusetts to cost the same as one in Florida.

Different regions may use different materials and even similar materials may have things like added shipping costs that you might not see burdened in.

You might be able to buy equipment on the 'net for less but the 'net is not going to show up if something breaks under warranty. It's great for the DIYer but you wouldn't bring your own steak to The Outback Steak House and expect them to cook it and serve it to you for free, would you?

Using builder A's design but not compensating him if you use builder B or going Owner/Builder to do it is wrong. That is the theft of intellectual property.

While it is often said that business doesn't have morals or ethics, there are a lot of people that don't work that way. Many are here to help counter the ones without the ethics or morals. It is a two way street though.

Pools cost a lot. Doing your research will pay off. This doesn't mean you have to learn in detail, every aspect of the project but finding reliable and trustworthy resources before hand is important.

A Mens clothier had a tag line I loved, "An educated consumer is our best customer."


    Bookmark   January 30, 2011 at 10:19AM
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