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Selecting a Pool Builder
It is not everyday that you make a decision as big as selecting someone to make improvements to your home, such as a swimming pool. This is a very big decision and should not be taken lightly. Your pool becomes a permanent part of your real estate and is usually the focal point of the backyard; therefore it is critical to do your homework in choosing your builder.
Texas is one of the most populated states to have no licensing or bonding requirement for swimming pool builders. Although many states, such as California and Florida, require pool builders to maintain licenses, Texas does not. In the state of Texas, you must have a license to install a sprinkler system, but not a swimming pool. Although there are many good swimming pool builders in the area, the fact that there is no licensing is one of the reasons that the swimming pool industry has had trouble with its reputation.
According to the Better Business Bureau, the pool industry is one of the top 10 most complained about businesses in Texas. How can you avoid this potential problem and select the right company? Following are some tips that can assure that you make a good decision when selecting a swimming pool builder:
How stable is the company?
Stability is probably the most important part of the selection process. Do no assume that all pool builders are financially stable-please investigate. It is a good idea to call the bank and the insurance company of the pool builder, and possibly even the Better Business Bureau and The Association of Pool and Spa Professionals. In addition, ask for references and visit as many pools as possible-ask to see pools that are at least 5 to 10 years old. Financial responsibility also includes carrying the proper insurance. Homeowners can be ultimately responsible for any personal injury of construction workers or lawsuits, due to subcontractors' negligence. If the selected pool company does not have proper insurance it can leave a consumer open to tremendous liability.
How much experience do they have?
The experience level of the pool company selected is very important. Proper knowledge of construction techniques will ensure a top quality pool. The quality of a pool is measured in direct relationship to the person who is in charge of its construction. Quality subcontractors are not enough. The builder must have substantial knowledge of pool construction to know where problems can occur. An experienced construction superintendent can recognize potential building defects. Past experience gives him the knowledge to prevent major problems before they occur. In addition, check the warranties closely as many different types of warranties exist in the pool industry.
What kind of reputation do they have?
When choosing a pool builder it is essential that you have complete confidence in the company. Will your pool be constructed properly? Will your pool include the latest innovations for lasting beauty and durability? Does the pool company have the financial strength to guarantee its workmanship? Will the company be around when you need service in a year, five years, or a decade from now? It's astounding how many pool companies have come and gone over the years-how few companies have stood the test of time and can assure you of getting a premium quality pool with a long term commitment to your satisfaction.
How much do they charge?
One of the biggest mistakes when selecting a pool builder is basing everything on price alone, instead of options that the client wants and needs. The pool industry constantly hears complaints from pool owners that they wish they had some option on their pool that they did not know was available. Although price is important because you do not want to overpay, be sure to select a pool builder that will let you know what the options are. It would be like buying a car without an air conditioner, although you bought the car for less money, you really did not get what you wanted. If you cannot afford the type of pool or the builder of your choice, maybe you should wait until you can, instead of rushing into it for the sake of owning a pool. Bottom line-It is a good idea to never make money the number one priority in building a pool-once that happens, bad things start to occur and rarely the customer ends up happy.
Can they provide service after the sale?
The ability of the selected pool company to provide the consumer with technical support and service of the pool after the sale is very important. Consumers always have questions even with the most professionally-built, high quality pools. If the company you choose cannot provide the answers to your questions, it can spoil the pleasure of owning a pool.
Although asking these questions cannot assure that you will be happy with the end result, they will certainly increase the likelihood that you will have a good experience with your pool builder and enjoy your pool for many years to come.
We believe that we measure up very well in these areas-give us a call if you have any questions or if we can be of service to you.
Ask The Pool Guy.....
200 YEARS of pool care experience at Gohlke Pools means we have seen it all. If you have questions about pool care, pool construction, renovation or repair, click here to ASK THE POOL GUY!
Down home genuine feel. Always feel like your staff is being honest and courteous with us. I like the face that your service technicians are nice to my dogs and are able to do their service and I don’t have to lock the dogs up in the house for the day. It may not sound like much but this is a really big deal to us. - Christine W.
Answered questions and gave honest advice. Also, Saturday service since that is the only day I can be there. - Dennis W.
The fellow who came to the house and showed me how to work the filters, pumps, etc. and let me do it hands on so I knew what to do myself. Very informative, friendly, and “pool knowledge” are not silly questions. They understand not everyone knows about pools. Very knowledgeable staff. I felt every employee, either in the store or those that came out to the house knew exactly what they were talking about. - JoAnn O.
Timely response, honest answers, and friendly service. A.W. was a great guy to work with . - Patricia B .
Matt Watson is friendly, caring , and prompt. - Gary & Carol P.
Genuine concern about my pool’s problem. Taking initiative to solve the problem and having authority to do so. Seems like a family unit more than a company only our for a profit. - Mary F.