BEWARE OF THESE SCAMS
This is a topic I feel really needs to be addressed. Especially in my neck of the woods, Northeast Wisconsin. We have been dealing with low ball fiberglass pool builders for years in our area and the problems associated with that price point are beginning to show up. These 2 key issues need to be concerns of any potential pool owner.
1: THE FACTORY SECONDS FIASCO
First and foremost the biggest problem we are seeing with our low priced competitors is that they are selling factory second fiberglass pool shells. Most notably from the Latham line of fiberglass pools i.e.) Viking, Trilogy and Blue Hawaiian.
These big 3, offer sales of fiberglass pool shells at drastically reduced rates due to imperfections that occured during the manufacturing process.
These imperfections are typically gelcoat related or in some instances an out of level pool which can happen if the pool is pulled from the mold prematurely casuing the pool to warp enough to make it difficult to install to current APSP/ANSI standards. These steeply discounted pools will often come with no warranty at all or a structural warranty only,etc.
These pools can be sold to you unknowingly by less than ethical builders. You could be under the impression that you are buying an A+ grade brand new pool shell with a full warranty, only to find out that once something does go wrong that there is no warranty and neither the builder nor the manufacturer will help with your issue.
WHY DOES IT MATTER?
A Gelcoat warranty is critical as it is the first thing people look at when they see your pool. If it begins chalking, yellowing or has visible repair marks, osmotic blistering,etc. your pool will become an eyesore. not to mention very expensive to fix?
So when you are comparing pricing on fiberglass pools and you have found one builder to be significantly less than others question that quote, question the warranty, contact the manufacturer to ensure you have a brand new full warranty pool shell. This is becoming a big problem in the Green Bay and Appleton, WI area. As builders get desperate to sell a pool they often have no other option but to cut cost and the easiest way to do that is to sell a customer a factory second pool at a fraction of the cost of a new full warranty pool.
2: WHO IS ACTUALLY BUILDING YOUR POOL?
It has come to our attention that a few new local competitors of ours are selling a line of fiberglass pools and not even building the pools themselves and without notifiying the clients. They are hiring a competitor out of another city to build the pools. When I heard this news I asked myself, why would anyone buy a pool from a builder that is hiring another builder to build that pool? That makes no sense to me. If I were spending $40,000.00 on a pool I would want the company that I hired to build the pool, not to mention know who is going to be showing up at my house to build the pool.
This is becoming a growing trend in Wisconsin and most notabley the Appleton and Fox Valley Area. New pool contractors are opening up locations in the area, selling pools and are actually building very few of them. This is unsettling to new pool owners when it comes time to begin their project and a contractor that the home owner didnt hire shows up to build their pool! This is not only akward, it can be a big can of worms for the homeowner if something were to go wrong with the pool. If there is an issue with the pool it becomes a fight with the company you bought the pool from, the manufacturer and then the actual company that built the pool. Why take that risk. If a builder does not have the resources to build your pool themselves you really need to question why they are in the pool business to begin with!
Currently there is one builder in Green Bay that uses this gimmick to sell fiberglass pools and another firm based in Kaukauna WI, but claims to be based in Green Bay. Either way, be sure that when you are screening potential pool builders, you get something in writing stating who is actually building your pool. Its easy to fall for a smooth talking salesman, but it can come back to bite you if you dont do your research.
MORAL OF THE STORY
There are a lot of less than ethical salesman out there trying to make a quick buck. Do your research and know who is building your pool, and know that the pool you purchase is not a factory second. If a builder wont put something in writing in your contract addressing these 2 issues, walk away, better yet run.