For this article we are going to outline some of the most critical aspects that should be covered/researched by potential pool owners when trying to hire the best fiberglass pool builder for you.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
EASE OF INSTALLATION:
As a fiberglass pool builder the biggest stereotype we hear is that fiberglass pools are easy to install. This perceived ease of installation and all time high demand for fiberglass pools has more and more "new" fiberglass pool companies starting up. The biggest problem is most if not all have no experience building or servicing pools and that should be a big concern and leads us right into our next topic.
Like anything in life to get good at something you need 2 things, training and real word experience. The perceived ease of installation has lead to alot of in my opinion unqualified individuals building fiberglass pools. Over the years we have had dozens of fiberglass pool companies open up and last for 2-3 years then close up shop. The biggest hurdle for those companies is that fiberglass pool installations are much more nuanced than what the internet may tell you. Secondly they did not have the training required to properly install pools. In my opinion a quality reputable pool builder should have a foreman with the minimum of a CBP certification form the Pool and Hot Tub Alliance. There are no fiberglass pool builders in Wisconsin that have this title other than Pool Pros. The reason no other fiberglass installers have this certification is that it requires an investment in both time and money. Investing in training is an investment in your clients. If your pool builder is not willing to invest in you should you invest in them? Like all things in life repetition makes you better. The more pools someone builds generally the better they get at it. I get it though, we all have to start somewhere but ALWAYS look for the builder with the most experience and training and certifications to back it up.
Is your pool builder equipped properly? Do they have their own equipment to deliver pools to your home. Do they have adequate support equipment and vehicles to supplement the installation process. This includes goose neck trailers for transporting the pools, pilot vehicles to aid in transport of the pool, skid steers, track loaders, dump trucks, construction trailers etc.
Does your builder have pools in stock on the ground? Having fiberglass pool shells in stock is critical and aids in a more fluid installation process and gives a reputable pool builder the ability to show pool models to potential clients. If they do not have fiberglass pool shells in stock chances are they don't install many pools or refuse to invest in the long term success of the business. Which should be a red flag! At Pool Pros we have at least 3-4 pools delivered at a time from the fiberglass pool manufacturer weeks in advance of their scheduled install date. We stock these pool shells in our yard where we can pre plumb the fiberglass pools and prep them for installation. This provides us the freedom to work at our pace and not rely on a manufacturer to deliver the pool to the job site on their terms and timeline. This allows us a more streamlined process and reduces the amount of time we spend in your yard in turn means a quicker pool installation and less hassle for you the pool owner. This simply isn't possible if your installer has 1 pool delivered to the job site at a time. The reason a lot of fiberglass pool builders don't do this is simply cost. Its an expensive investment to purchase enough land to store and stage pools. However if a fiberglass pool builder is not willing or able to invest in land to have a pool yard its typically a sign they are not in this for the long haul. If your pool builder is not in it for the long haul should you be investing tens of thousand of dollars in them hoping they get your pool right?
WHO CAN GET YOUR POOL INSTALLED THE QUICKEST?
This is a major question we get asked all the time. How soon can you build our pool? While we all want to swim as quickly as we can, this question should be one of the least important. The reason is, that typically the pool builder that can get to your project the quickest is the least qualified to do so. Generally they are the pool builder with little experience and little demand for there service. That is why they are available quickly. A reputable, quality pool installer has demand for their service and with that demand comes a backlog of work. This can be anywhere from 6-12 months during these times. It may be a tough pill to swallow but having patience and hiring the most qualified builder regardless of when they can get to your project is a recipe for success.
Most reputable fiberglass pool builders that have been around for a while know and understand what it costs to build a pool at a fair price while being profitable enough to sustain the business. Generally speaking those pool builders are more expensive then "new" fiberglass pool builders that don't truly know what it costs to sustain a pool business for the long run are typically cheaper as well. Those companies typically don't last long and are gone within a few years. So when it comes to cost be aware that like everything in life you get what you pay for.
WHO IS BUILDING YOUR POOL?
Is the company you hired actually installing your pool. Believe it or not there are many pool builders that truly don't build your pools. They sub out each aspect of the process and have no actual employees. They are merely project managers. While that can work in some cases make sure you know that up front. We have had calls from clients that were shocked when another pool company was subbed out to install their pool. Also get the qualifications of each of the crew members to ensure they are qualified to be performing there work.
Last but not least check the builders BBB rating, Goolge Reviews, Facebook Reviews, etc. If a builder has an A+ rating and a review average of over 4.0 with at least 20 reviews that typically means they are doing something right. Also do a quick search with your local clerk of courts for lawsuits, etc. This will also give you a good idea of who your potential pool builder is.
MORAL OF THE STORY
Do your research (alot of it) before purchasing your pool. Be sure you are getting a reputable legitimate pool builder with as much experience and training as possible and that will lead to a recipe for success.