Who’s Your Pool Builder?
Do you really know who is going to build your pool? Have you called them for service? Have you visited their place of business? Will they be there if something goes wrong after installation? Think those things don’t matter and price is so important? Well…Read on my friend.
The 4 Types of Pool Companies
1. Schmuck in the Truck – This is a common term in the pool industry. Even our vendors use it to refer to these builders. This type of builder, term used loosely, is not really a builder at all. They are the cheapest form of hired help. They are similar to the jack of all trades, master of none. They run their entire business from their truck, which as you can imagine is less than effective. They are quick to give you what they call “a fair price”. It’s fair because it’s low and they know when you call for a repair you won’t get a call back and if you do, it will be done in months, not weeks. Many of these Schmucks are running from bill collectors and previous customers which is precisely why they don’t have a place of business. They even go as far as this: after they have put in your pool, they log your number in their cell phone so they can screen your calls. Yes, it’s true. Don’t expect service from these guys. So if price is what you’re after, they are sure to please up front, but all you will get with them is a one night stand. No long term relationships here.
2. Not so Elite – These are an interesting smaller group of pool builders, once again term used loosely. They “sort of” have a business address and a nice website, but yet if you drive by their business, no one is there or it appears closed. That should be a big red flag. Do they want to have a business or don’t they? Clearly they can’t make up their mind. What kind of service do you think you will get from them? There is even a new website that just popped up this year advertising fiberglass pools, yet there is only a 1-877 number and no address or location. That tells me your warranty on that pool is useless. How would you find them? You wouldn’t, don’t be fooled.
3. Yes, we’re Reputable, But you really don’t need permits – These companies make me giggle. We pulled a permit for an above ground pool last week in Bladen County and do you know the inspector told our builder that we were the first company in years to pull a permit for an above ground pool. Yes, dears we follow the rules at Parrot Bay. Do you know why that is important? Because pools have electricity and water. Don’t you want that inspected? I surely would; I don’t need shock therapy. Don’t be fooled by the pool store that tells you not to worry about a permit for your pool. Yes, there are real builders that do that. Go figure. Plus, just because they have a store, doesn’t mean they are licensed for construction. It just means they sell pools to the unassuming who don’t check to see if they have a license. (see below for how to check licensure)
4. Established Companies with a Conscience – Hallelujah, the promised land. You have been to their place of business, they answer the phone when you call, and bless it even have more than 1 phone line, they have references, a website, an e-mail address, and more than 5 employees, and they even have a real NC Building License. The real license you can only get through serious audits and test taking. The one mandated by the state, not the one you can get for $10 in town or the one where they just made up a number. Companies who are serious about their customers are members of trade organizations and committees that further our industry. Find out more below.
So how do you know who to choose?
Check these sites for state building licenses and Affiliations:
www.nclbgc.org click inside the box for “licensee name” and enter the pool company name. Didn’t find your contractor, then he’s not licensed. That means your building a headache, not your dream backyard.
http://poolandhottub.apsp.org/Find-an-APSP-Pro.aspx Association of Pool and Spa Professionals Website. Search here for member companies in our area. Once again just because you’re a member doesn’t mean you are licensed. Be sure to check licensure as it is the most important!
I hope this was helpful. Happy Swimming!
“Quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten” – Aldo Gucci