Interviewing swimming pool contractors
It goes further than how long has that business been in business. You need to know how long have they been in business in the same exact company name. A lot of companies have sort of the same name but add something to it most probably because they have been bankrupt and they need to. It is VERY difficult for a homeowner to research this which is VERY frustrating hanging you the homeowner as to trust whatever that company tells you. I believe when a company goes bankrupt one time there should be a waiting penalty after the second that contractor should loose his license from his or her trait. Well it is so easy for that to file a name under a spouses’ or friends’ name therefore leaving the homeowner guessing. This is the most difficult step, WHO TO TRUST???
The second step for a homeowner is to compare apples to apples and not to banana’s. In the swimming pool field there is a wide variety of equipment on the market. Just a residential filter for example can range from $200 to $1,300. That is just for the filter!!! So when comparing companies you need to know what you are getting! Another short cut by some builders are to have thinner gunite/concrete walls and flooring to save a large bit of money. As a state licensed contractor, you have to give a lifetime structural warantee of the shell or gunite/concrete of the pool.Â Well if a company is not in business for long or gets sued that warantee means NOTHING!!!! This should be VERY important to a homeowner looking to build a pool. This step of interviewing a contractor can be very time consuming but VERY important to protect your investment. There are plenty of ways, too many to name, for a contractor to cut cost resulting in a cheaper price. Good established contractors in business for a long time under the same name will not cut corners just to sell a couple of extra pools. Remember, you get what you pay for!!!!
The next thing you consider should be, are you talking to a salesman or the horse’s mouth. A salesman is exactly what it sounds like, he will sell the job and you will never see him again. He or she works off of commission and is usually very savvy and have lots of tactics and colorful brochures because they work off of commission. There are plenty of tactics out there where a company for instance will say the pool is including 3′ of decking around water’s edge. What home owner’s don’t realize is that the contractor knows the homeowner will have a greater amount of decking installed than the 3′ and then suddenly have the homeowner over a barrel to pay whatever price once the contract is signed and the process has begun. It is important for the homeowner to weed out the dishonest contractors that use modern day tactics just for the sale. Not all builders have a sales/design team. You should be looking for a BUILDER not a seller!!!!Â You need somebody that you communicate through the whole process, from start to completion. You are the owner, and your only worries should be color selection. You should not worry about some crew being faxed a set of plans showing up to your home UNSUPERVISED! Also as a homeowner, you should not have to worry if you do have a foreman/overseer that they are actually concerned or paying attention to your job. I tell people on the initial visit look outside and see if the salesman has a truck, second see if he has a toolbox attached to the truck, thirdly open that toolbox up and see if there are tools in it and finally the most important is are those tools used? If you would open up my toolbox on my truck you would find some rusty tools, some with dents/scuffs,etc. A true builder should not be driving around picking up checks but to actually care and supervise your one and only pool. Not thinking about his or her next project!!!
Another aspect of choosing a contractor is the referral world. If you are getting a referral somebody you know and it is a good one you should keep asking around. I think it is a joke when a company gives a list of say 10 referrals to a customer to call and check. Let’s think here, I bet the 10 referrals he’ll give are his top 10 customers and you won’t get the one’s he or she has disappointed. For the sake of some reason people like a list of references I have posted some on our website and will add everyone here on out that will take time to write one. I will not exclude any, that is not being honest.Â I feel that a client should get ALL references and it’s not a being honest to take only the happy. You have to remember hiring a contractor is not like buying a vehicle that is produced by the same plant. A swimming pool is hand crafted and everybody put’s in different components. I always tell people they can come choose from every client my father and I have built a pool for.
Now about Crystal Pools and Spas Inc., all I can tell you about is Jeff and Kevin Knott. We work to give our clients 100% satisfaction not only during the process but after also. Our prior customers are not forgot about and I still get a good call back from past clientele to ask me questions. We please 100% of our customers by the time the job is complete because you are our future! I will be honest there are many very nice sales techniques out there today but honestly that is NOT what we are about or use. We are about being upfront and honest from the very first time we meet a potential client. That’s all we can be, no bright colorful pamphlets, no creative sales techniques. It is about looking into a potential buyers eyes and giving that person our word. That is what we are about. I am a realist, there have been problems come up during a job process through the years and anybody tell you things don’t come up are kidding them self. It is about how you attack and solve any concern/problem if it may occur. I know me not answering my phone when I know a customer may be mad will not solve anything only create frustration by the homeowner. I’m not saying all of my competition are outlaws but the pool industry epically in SE Louisiana has a used car dealership reputation. It is frustrating having competition that is incompetent. There are some that build pools that know a subcontractor and he will get other subcontractors and that person is all of a sudden a builder. That person relies on the subcontractors to build the pool correctly and usually will lead to bankruptcy. The thing frustrating to me is I lose swimming pools every year to a list of incompetent builders. There is a skill/craft to this industry and you can’t rely on subcontractors to keep you afloat because that is a loosing formula. A swimming pool is a investment for you and your job should be treated like it is that builders pool. If you give a client 100% of yourself for his/her job you will have customers’ for life! My wife is a RN at St. Tammany Hospital in the nursery and I told her that she can never have a bad day when she enters work. She needs to attack that day with a great outlook because you are dealing with people that has given birth and they want it to be the best experience. My wife represents the hospital and if she goes in with an attitude it can put a damper on what is suppose to be the best day of a couple’s life. Well I attack my job the same way, when I enter a job I leave any personal problems at home. It is not fair to the homeowner to get 75% of me and another customer 100% of me. We strive for consistency! Every owner deserves that and in return the referrals will come! We promise we will be on the job supervising not sitting there or not on the job. We interact with our subcontractors and we give them information. We build all our swimming pools as our own, I’m sure others say the same thing as a sales catch but we back that up with action. We are not about cutting corners which a lot of contractors view as profit but seldom realize the long term loss of satisfaction. There are a lot of different subcontractors for every phase out there. Some less expensive that others. We only use subcontractors that take pride in there work and we pay more for that. For instance we use the same plaster crew my father has used since 1980. We not only go on our own salescalls and supervise but we do the blue collar stuff like plumb our own pools (equipment/piping), clean up and haul off trash, clean driveways after the dig, startup our pools, etc. The most graitifing part of my job is to take a design on a sheet of paper and then take that into a finished project. I LOVE that part of my job!
At the end of the day when the lights go out and it is you and your finished swimming pool will you have the best and most efficient equipment, will you have a sound structure, will you have the dedication and service you deserve even after the project is complete? That is what it is all about! Most builders can give you a pool that has blue water when the job is complete but it goes WAY BEYOND that, what are the components that makeup of your swimming pool?
If you or anybody you know has any pool related question please feel free to share our website and just ask us. We are willing to help with all that’s possible. I enjoy what I do for a living and love to interact and I am motivated in making people happy. I hope I helped you in the pool decision process and I hope I gave you information so that you can make the best educated decision in choosing the best possible swimming pool contractor for you and your family. Thanks!
Kevin and Jeff Knott
Interviewing swimming pool contractors