The Don'ts of Purchasing a New Pool

THE “DON’TS”  OF PURCHASING A NEW POOL

I have been around the pool business now for 43 years.  I have seen many pool companies and pool products come and go.  I can tell you straight up that it amazes me how many times I have heard the folks tell me they have had a bad experience with another member of the pool industry.  Here is my “short” list of “don’ts if you want to receive exactly what you are expecting to get in a new pool purchase.

1. Never buy a pool over the phone: If a pool contractor is too lazy to come to your home to take all factors into consideration that can give you a final purchase price, run away, don’t walk!  Why is this so important?  In my opinion you are setting yourself up for additional costs, change orders, and frustrations.  I can assure you that if the pool guy / gal does not visit your home to do a site review, they will not be fully aware of important things like:

a. How to get the pool excavated.
b. What size equipment to excavate with.
c. Where your utility lines are located (gas, electric, sewer, water, telephone, cable, & sprinkler system). Are any of these lines requiring reroutes?  If so, how much more money will they cost to do so?
d. Where are trees and bushes located in the yard that may be in the access or pool area?  What trees and bushes do you intend to keep?  What is the additional cost to get them removed or the stumps dug up and hauled away.

2. Never give a deposit, no matter how small, using a credit card over the phone.  I hear all the time, especially in Houston, Texas area, that folks give these types of deposits and for whatever reason change their mind and never receive their deposits back.  Bottom line, it is impossible for a pool builder to give you an exact price on constructing a pool unless he / she looks at the site.

3. Never sign a contract at a business location, always sign in your home.  Why?  According to the way I have been informed about this subject, your 3 day right of rescission is waived automatically unless the paperwork is performed in your home.  You likely will have to forgo receiving any deposits back if the contractor is unscrupulous.

4. Never buy a pool from a contractor that is substantially lower in price from all the other bids you have.  Never buy a pool from a contractor that tells you they have “figured out how to provide a quality product at the lowest price”.   My experience in the industry tells me that 95% of pool builders are paying the same price for most of the items necessary to construct pools on an “apples to apples” basis.  The companies that don’t know how to create budgets, analysis cost, supervise their workers, etc., may be able to offer a better price for a year or two, then most likely they will be gone forever, just like your warranties.

5. Never buy a pool from a contractor that will not disclose to you where he has been in business previously, under what name(s), and the circumstances of them now being in your area. It is unfortunately that there have been numerous pool contractors relocate during the last few years.  It is further unfortunate that Texas has been the final destination for most of them.  Why?  Since Texas does not require pool contractors to be licensed or bondable, it is just too easy to begin new pool businesses here.  If you have all the facts in hand about the past business dealings of a transplanted pool contractor, you should be able to research whether they were previously good or bad builders and how they are addressing warranty claims for previous clients in other states if they filed bankruptcy before or after arriving in Texas, etc.

6. Never buy a pool from a contractor that cannot or will not provide you with a Certificate of Insurance, this applies to both General Liability and Worker’s Compensation.

7. Never buy a pool from a contractor that you don’t feel comfortable with one that acts like a used car salesman, that you catch in obvious untruths, wants you to sign today or the special price goes away, or does not present all warranties on the products used to build your pool.  Always take the time to read, understand, and ask questions about the contract, warranties, and agreed conditions.  Do not accept the old adage that “Nobody reads this stuff” of “it’s all boiler plate items you have read before”.  My experience is most contractors, including pool builders, home builders, and home improvements, will provide you only what the contract says what they have to.  You want to understand the where, when and how of every situation that may occur.

8. Never buy a pool from a sales person that is too flashy or too homey.  You should expect professionalism from the very start to the end of the construction process.  It literally starts with them respecting your valuable time and showing up on time for that very first visit.

 

19 Responses to “The Don’ts of Purchasing a New Pool”

  1. Rain Man says:

    We sure wish you had posted this last year! We had an experience with a pool company that did take and keep our cash deposit when we told them the next day that we had changed our mind.
    It is our intention to select another fiberglass pool company this spring and move on in spite of our past experience. We still believe that a fiberglass pool is the only way to go.
    When do the prices on your pool change?

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      Sorry to hear that you had a bad experience with another pool company. Prices on all pools change weekly due to price increases in gas, diesel, and shipping costs. I would not continue to wait. Call us today and one of our friendly customer service agents will be privileged to assist you.

  2. Jorge says:

    Your comments are very helpful sir . We will be building a fibreglas pool in the spring and very much wish to work with only honest company . Our home is in Willis Tx sir? Do you build fibreglas pools here sir ?
    There are much fibreglas pool in Mexico City . They do well in the earthquake . Have your company send fibreglas pool to Mexico sir?

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      Yes, we build pools all around your area in Conroe, The Woodlands, April Sound, Bentwater, Montgomery, and all the way up to Huntsville! Yes, we have sent many American Fiberglass Pools to Mexico over the last 41 years, also through out the Carribean and Central America. American Fiberglass Pools have weathered hurricanes and earthquakes with equal success.

  3. Huckleberry says:

    Thank you for posting all the “don’t's” of pool purchasing. We have friends that live down south on I-45 that had a terrible time with a pool guy. I wish they had been more careful about who they selected. Turns out the jerk was previously in the pool business in Michigan. He certainly left a trail of issues there as well. The internet is a wonderful way to research people like him. If only our friend had done so. I’m sure most pool contracters are wonderful people. When we are ready for our pool later this year, we will certainly take your advise and ask all the right questions.
    Thanks again! Huck

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      Sorry to hear your friend had a bad experience with another pool company. When your family is ready to start scheduling your first pool parties, let us know.

  4. Nett and Ray says:

    Hello Wayne,
    Thank you for being such an easy person to deal with! You went out of your way to have us know what to expect during each stage of our pool project last March. Your workers were always courteous and respectful of our property. We had a fantastic time cooling off in the model Rio Bravo pool. It was the perfect size to accomodate our 8 grand kids.
    Please accept our thanks again for doing everything you said you would do and then some. Any time you want someone here in the Beaumont area to see our pool, just give us a call. Our invite for you to stop by for a tuna salad is always open!!

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      Hi Nett & Ray,
      Very nice to hear from you and very glad your family is having such a great time in your American Fiberglass Pool. Thank you for volunterring to be a reference for us and I will take you up on that tuna salad very soon!

      • Nasser says:

        above, but i must say ,Your are truly well-informed.I cant believe how much of this I just wasnt aware of .Thank you for phulisbing more information to this topic for everyone .Im truly thankful and really impressed.

  5. Cajunpoolman says:

    Mr. Wayne, very good topic . I have built inground pools for almost 30 years in the north shore area.Your suggestions are on the mark on how not to pick a builder. I look forward to reading more insite from you in the future.

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      Glad you enjoyed my thoughts. If you are ever over this way, allow me to introduce you to enchiladas al carbon!

  6. Zena says:

    You have had some people reflect on having serious problems with some other pool companies. Don’t you think it will be helpful to us all if you find out who the company or companies are and then publish them here on your blog?

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      Zena, I’m sure that letting you know the names of some of those pool companies would help a lot of people. Unfortunately our legal counsel does not recommend it to us. I suggest that you check with the BBB, use the internet, etc. You are welcome to call me at 800-324-7665 and perhaps I can help you a little more.

  7. roger says:

    Happy to read this. We live in a small east TX town. Seems like most of the bad guys that work here are from the big city and have poor service after the sale. They should notwork out of their area if they have no intentions of taking care of us in the future.

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      Roger,
      Amen to that! Some of these guys have just as poor of service if the pool is only blocks away from their locations. You should try to find out if the pool company has its own service department.

  8. Batt Mann says:

    Where do we go to complain if we have a problem with our pool builder? Do you suggest that we allow a pool builder to fix his mistakes prior to complaining somewhere?
    If so, what do you think is a reasonable number of attempts to repair before getting bent?

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      I think anyone in life is entitled to at least one chance to remedy a situation. I would go to the BBB first. If that is no help, try an attorney.

  9. Derrick Hawes says:

    We are very much wishing to have a fiberglass pool. We intend to follow your suggestions to a tee. We are sorry that our friends did not buy from you. They said your price was a little higher than ********** *****. They have had lots of issues with the owner there and constantly catch him in lies as to when he will take care of them.
    You can reach us at 979-*******. Please call us.

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      Hi Derrick, I enjoyed meeting your family last evening and welome you to our list of over 41 years of customers. If it ever stops raining we expect to be there to begin the pool construction in 3 weeks or so.