TIPS FROM A 40 YEAR PLUS POOLMAN - PART II

As pool buyers, many of you are always seeking to get your pool built or serviced for the lowest possible price.  The problem with this is you are failing to realize that you likely are setting yourself up for a disaster by electing to work with a pool guy all too eager to satisfy your lowest price possible requirement.  These contractors will work for the least amount of money, but in the process will give you the least they can in terms of time, labor, and material, attention to detail, quality and value.

When you stop to think about it, who can blame them?  Why should they be willing to give you more when you are not willing to pay them for more?  It is common for a “lowest possible price” buyer to moan and groan to everyone when they don’t get the quality of work or service that they really want.  This is a double edged sword that cuts both ways and is only escaped when one can realize and accept the fact that a low price and excellent quality / service are truly at opposite ends of the spectrum.  We live in a capitalistic society where better people command and get rewarded for their better skills, service and work.  It is really very plain and simple, makes perfect sense too.  You have heard all the old clichés during your life.  If you pay peanuts….you get monkeys; you get exactly what you pay for, etc. etc.

So now you need to ask yourself what it is that you want from a new pool installation?  Is a job done correctly with attention paid to all the details so that you have both a beautiful and trouble free pool?  Or do you just want a pool built at the lowest possible price?  Obviously some of you will respond that you want both, but these two ideals cannot be met for the reasons listed previously and a few more to follow.

A job performed at the lowest price is the lowest for a very good reason.  It is missing all the ingredients and input necessary to provide a quality pool project.  This definitely is a direct cost for the contractor providing it and adds to the price of the pool construction.  In other words, the project will be missing well paid, highly skilled labor, a quality control and training department that knows what works and does not work on your pool construction.  Add to this equation the lack of man power to conduct proper supervision and inspection on jobs. It is necessary to control installation personnel who when left unsupervised have a natural tendency to rush things, cut corners, take short cuts, etc.   Men who are well trained, paid well, and supervised as in the case of American Fiberglass Pools, will always do the right thing, take all the time needed to do the job properly, and pay close attention to all the details.

It costs money to employ supervisors.  Most pool companies do not have a fully staffed (if any) supervisory department. This will force them to raise their prices to pay for them and the pool company will be afraid they will lose your business to a lower bidder.  Frankly, it only stands to reason that for a lower or cheaper price, steps must be left out of a quality installation process and details will be omitted.

What will you get if you select the cheapest price? Well, the pool will be cheaper and then it is just a question of time before problems occur and the joy you had by getting the cheaper price is soon replaced with the bitterness and frustration of an improperly constructed pool.  Plus a great deal of unnecessary expense and inconvenience.

At American Fiberglass Pools, for your sakes and ours, we strive to do the job right from start to finish.  We don’t leave out any vital details, employ only highly trained and skilled labor, plus follow up with supervision / inspection from men that are paid to do nothing else but this. We believe that this is exactly what our customers expect and deserve.

We do whatever makes sense to offer competitive pricing, but due to all additional costs that are necessary to ensure that you have minimal problems in the future, we are unlikely to be the lowest price on a fiberglass pool that you will find.  American Fiberglass Pools has invested heavily in the establishment of worker training, education, quality control, supervision and inspection departments.  Since we have raised the bar on our standards, our crews are required to work harder and longer than they would with another pool company.  Bottom line, we pay them more to keep them with American Fiberglass Pools.  All this adds up to an investment in quality and customer satisfaction. We will build a correct, trouble free fiberglass pool with attention to every detail that requires the knowledge and expertise of well trained and experienced fiberglass pool installers.  American Fiberglass Pools concerns itself with the correct, appropriate choice and applications of materials and workmanship.

We will not do anything at the expense of the integrity of the pool or its installation.  We will not leave any known incorrect condition in place just to be able to give you a lower price.  Doing this will come back to haunt everyone later.  We will do everything possible to correct things as it is in the best interest of our customers and for a trouble free pool installation.

American Fiberglass Pools has opted for a quality approach to its fiberglass pool business. We are convinced that with a quality approach to our work, we will continue to remain successful since quality is what customers really want.  The lowest price alternative results in enormous amounts of “go backs” , unhappy customers, high cost of repairs, substantial loss of reputation, diminished referrals and ultimately crippling one’s business.

QUALITY WORKMANSHIP IS THE WIN WIN OPTION OVER LOW PRICE FOR EVERYONE!!!

In closing, we at American Fiberglass Pools truly believe that we have been in business for over 41 years due to our commitment quality.  Our BBB rating is A+ and we are the oldest swimming pool company member in the BBB today, 33 years.  OK, one more cliché to remind you of before I sign off.

THE BITTERNESS OF POOR QUALITY MATERIALS AND LABOR WILL LINGER FAR LONGER THAN THE SWEETNESS OF THE LOWEST PRICE!

Of course as always, I encourage you to share your thoughts or experiences with us, so it’s your turn to reply…..

 

American Pool

Trinity

44 Responses to “TIPS FROM A 40 YEAR PLUS POOLMAN – PART II”

  1. Fishin'Fool says:

    We live down south on the way to Galveston. Our great price included a pool deck that averaged only 2″ thickness. Take a wild guess what happened within less than a year. You got it…we had to rip it all out and replace it ! Once we gave the pool guy his last cashiers checkfor $500, we could never get him back on the phone. Went to his office several times up north on I-45 but could never catch anyone there. My words of wisdom to everyone is investigate very thoroughly to see what kind of rep pool contractors have. Especially if they came here from out of state to get here.

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      Wow! It is unfortunate how many times I hear this kind of stuff occurring. I have tried to warn several times for buyers to beware pool companies that come from out of state. What you want to find is their record back where they came from before making that decision.

  2. Got Fooled Again says:

    Seems like I tell myself every time to hire a proffesional, pay their rate, & get things I need done in a timely manner.
    The real truth is that I end up selecting a cheap, unproffessional scam artist that either takes forever to complete stuff or never completes the work.
    I consider myself to be a smart guy but somehow always fall into the same kind of bad situation.
    I do not own a pool but I ran across your blog & consider your advice to be sound.
    If I hear of anyone wanting a new pool, I will send them your way.

    Sounds like your company is top-notch!!

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      I hear the words of your reply more often than I can count. Thanks for the kind thoughts and all the best to you.

  3. Roscoe says:

    We have always tossed out the lowest bid on any major purchase. Knock on wood, we have never regretted our decisions.
    We know other people that adhere only to purchasing based on the lowest price available. Seems like they are constantly complaining about their experiences.

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      Yep, you are right sir! Wise thoughts you have shared here with the masses.

  4. E. Huddleston says:

    Dear Sir,
    It appears that we have similar ideals. We are interested in obtaining a quote from you.
    You may contact us at 713-*******. We are very interested in beginning a pool immediately.
    We are definitely not interested in getting a low ball price to substitute for quality.

    Thank you, E. Huddleston

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      Welcome to our family of American Fiberglass Pool clients. We feel privileged to have scheduled your new American Fiberglass Pool on July 14th. Weather allowable, we have you scheduled to excavate on August 2nd.

  5. Killian says:

    Your blog thoughts are very good advise to all.
    Anyone interested in getting a new pool constructed should follow the road map you laid out.
    An educated buyer will do so !!

  6. Tig Proske says:

    Just curious how often you find your company offering the lowest price when multiple pool companies are involved?
    In those cases, are you recomending that your quote be the one that is tossed out?

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      Good question Mr. Tig. The honest answer is rarely are we the lowest quote. An honest answer again is yes. If all bids contain the same equipment options, amount of pool deck and other options. I recommend NEVER buying a major purchase of any kind from the lowest quote.

  7. Aron says:

    I agree with your opinion that value and quality cannot be expected with the cheapest quote. It is sad that so many people have to find this out the hard way.

  8. Addie says:

    First time visitor to your site. You have some pertinent info on here.
    Count me in the list of people that believe the cheapest price is most often the dangerous way to buy a pool.
    Quality and value are the most important reasons to make a purchase.

    Addie

  9. Mach One says:

    We bought a pool 2 months ago from ********** Pools. The owner, **** ***** kept telling us that he was the only pool company in town with no complaints at the BBB or on the internet. What he did not say was that his previous business in Michigan was the worst pool company in the state. Or that he had lawsuits out the wazoo, or that he filed bankruptcy just weeks after moving here.He comes across as your friend[even has his dog there] but in reality is crooked, schemming, and a liar. The amount of untruths we caught him in during the construction are too many to count. Now we have problems and are tired of all the empty promises to take care of us.We got a great price though, now we know why.

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      Sorry to hear about your experience. You are not the first one to complain to us about that company.

  10. Swimmingly says:

    You really hit the nail on the head with this one !
    I have built pools in the New York market for close to 30 years. I have seen first hand many times pool buyers get hung up on the low price. A short time later they are left with a garbage pool and no one to blame but themselves for the experience, wasted money, and frustration.
    It is beyond me why some folks chose the bottom feeder pool companys instead of doing a little research, spend a little more $$$, and have a beautiful, completed, long lasting pool.

    If you can ever find out the answer to this question, please put it into your blog too !

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      Welcome fellow pool guy! The problem of folks buying from the cheapest bid is country wide. I like your description oif those low ball bids being given by “bottom feeders”. Trust me, if I can ever logically answer your question, you will be the first to know.

  11. Dasann says:

    Tossing aside the low bid pretty much works with any kind of construction purchase.

    Too bad more people don’t follow their brain on this stuff instead of their wallet.

    Best way to hold onto your money plus get the job done right is to avoid doing business with the cheapest bid everytime !!

  12. Chuck says:

    You were not the lowest price either time that we bought a pool from you.
    We have never had an issue with any work that you have done for us.
    We are blessed that we met you back in the 90′s and continue to tell all that we meet that you are the only pool man to do business with.
    Our first pool back in the 80′s was gunite, your pools have been all that you said they would be plus more.

    Thanks ol’ buddy, Chuck

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      Hey Chuck! How’s your bride Cindy? It is so nice to hear from y’all and please accept our thanks for the kind thoughts.

  13. Denton says:

    Your theory makes sense. Maybe for those that do not adhere to it, it makes too much sense. Doing things the right way is not the easy path to followw. People that are looking only for the cheapest price in order to make a major purchase are lazy. They will attract lazy contractors too.

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      Good point sir! The cheapest contractors are almost always the lazy contractors as well.

  14. Burton says:

    Live in Wales and am in agreeance with your bottom price not representing quality.
    Your perception is a validity across the ocean too.

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      Hi Burton, thanks for joining us. What time is it over there? Thanks for the nice words of wisdom.

  15. Howard says:

    I am never the least expensive price when quoting a pool to someone.
    I am always busy with pools to build & truly most of my customers are referals from other familys I have built pools for over the years.
    I have witnessed so many cheap pool builders here today & gone the next.
    Profit is not a dirty word. Profit keeps the doors open, allows you to pay for top notch labor, allows you to supervise the work in progress, allows you to pay for insurance, allows you to hire only the best sub-contractors, etc, etc.
    Lastly, profit allows the pool to be built right, & to be serviced correctly if necessary.

    Who in their right mind can say any of this is not true?

  16. Doug W. says:

    We live in the New Orleans area. After Katrina there were lots of contractors here offering low prices and preying on citizens that were trying to save every nickle possible. It really appears that most of those houses have already been redone over the last couple of years due to the krappy workmanship from those low price contractors. Those of us that went with the legitimate bids have avoided that nightmare plus the additional expense. Amazing ly, most of those houses repaired by the cheapest guys looked pretty good for 2-4 years. Time has a way of exposing the short cuts taken in materials and in the cheap labour. It is a real shame that the 2nd time around it was totally out of the pockets of those unfortunate citizens that made bad choices………..Doug

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      I heard all about the scam artist trying to extort money out of your neighbors after Katrina. A contractor that does not pay attention to the details will cost the Buyer more money later everytime.

  17. Sally Anne says:

    I wanted you to know that you have a lot of people out here that agree your opinoins.

  18. Kate & Chuck says:

    Please add our name to the long list of people that have been nailed by the lowest price pool guys.
    Our pool was plumbed in flexible piping 100%. Since it aws built 2 years ago we have had so many leaks fixed that we now consider ourselves to be pool plumbing experts !We have had to fix collspsed suction pipes and are now considering breaking out the entire pool deck to have the rigid pipe installed. It is a travesty that we are having to add another $6000 or so to make our pool funtional. Truly we should have eliminated that lowest bid and gone with an ethical contractor that was more expensive. We would have been way ahead financially if we had.
    Everyone should learn from our mistake. DO NOT GO CHEAP !

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      Sorry to hear all that. You have had to learn pool plumbing for self defense. I am personally NOT a fan of the use of flexible PVC except for spas. I sure have seen it a bunch along with lots of problems.

  19. Javier S. says:

    It is easy to predict the kind of workmanship you should expect from the lowest priced contractor. GARBAGE.

  20. Stupid is....... says:

    As stupid does.
    Yep we fell into that cheap price trap on our pool a few months back.
    The pool guy said he could offer us a great deal cause he had “figured out” how to sell pools cheaper by using his own “system”.
    All I can say is we still do not have a pool to swim in. We do have a hole in the ground and a muddy mess.
    The pool company, ********** Pools is a total scam. We have contacted the Attorney General’s office and await their reply.
    Turns out this guy has a long track record of problems in his home state. Wish we had checked things out there before making a decision. Wish this guy had never come here and had stayed there.
    We will never be trapped by a low ball con artist again.

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      So sorry for your problems. Anytime someone tells you they have “figured out” or have a “system” that allows them to be less expensive than everyone else, run….!

  21. TBS says:

    You have got some scary replys answering your blog on this subject.
    I can’t believe that in the age of the www that people don’t do more homework on these cheap pool builders.
    All it takes is a few minutes.

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      Good advice. It is easy to find out information on almost any company that can reflect how you make a decision. I do not have an answer why some people just won’t do it.

  22. Texan Fan says:

    One of my Buds bought a fiberglass pool from another pool guy locally earlier this year. That company continously advertizes “Great” prices and “Save thousands locally”. His experience was terrible and almost caused he and his wife to split up.

    Saving money and great prices on pools obviously means low quality and problems galore. My friend wishes he could start over in his pool contractor selection process. No way in heck he would go with the lowest price quote again.

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      Wow! I hope they have reconciled by now. I know of the company that you reference with those advertising claims. Tons of negative stuff on them in the state they moved from to open up here.