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In-House Pool Construction vs. Sub-Contractors: Which Is Better?

In-House Pool Construction vs. Sub-Contractors: Which Is Better?

Finding A Pool Contractor  |  Installation & Construction

If you’re in the market for an Inground Pool you may have wondered about the importance of your pool contractor doing the work themselves verses using subcontractors.  Today we’re going to answer some of the most common questions consumers have about this topic.  Let’s get started!


What are the advantages and disadvantages of both In-House Construction and Subcontractors? 


In-House Construction


  • Pool builder has more control with Scheduling
  • More control with Quality of Craftsmanship
  • More control with Response Time
  • Lower Cost Per Job
  • Shows more stability to the consumer


  • Higher fixed cost (full-time employees/vehicles/equipment/insurances, etc.)
  • Not scalable (can’t adjust to dramatic fluctuations in sales/installations)




  • No fixed overhead for the pool builder
  • Scalable (can accommodate few or many projects, based on relationships with subs)


  • Pool Contractor fully accountable for someone else’s work
  • Viability of business dependent on outside sources
  • Less overall control (schedule, quality, response time)
  • Can result in loss of accountability from the customer’s perspective (finger pointing)


When is using Sub-Contractors a bad thing?

The worst case scenario for a Pool Builder is to become dependent on a subcontractor who doesn’t value their business. This is the plight of many smaller pool contractors. The subs they use, often the only ones available, also work for larger builders and their schedule and other needs get put on the back burner. This results in the builder being between a rock and a hard place, and ultimately an unhappy customer. 


When are Subcontractors good?

Success with subs is all about relationships, and frankly in the pool world the strength of relationships is often (but not always) based on sales. Notwithstanding, the strength of the relationship between the builder and sub ultimately determines the success of the operation. So in the end if a pool company has strong sales and strong relationships with its subs, that’s a good thing. 


Cutting The Gordian Knot

But from you, the pool customer’s perspective, it’s relatively impossible to determine the strength of a contractor’s staff or subcontractors. We’ve all heard the saying “the proof is in the pudding”. Well, it’s in the pudding that you’ll find your answer. 


Simply ask how many pools the company has installed, and then ask for that many references.  The truth will come out in talking with their past clients. If you only get a small percentage of the references, that should immediately raise a red flag. We happen to do the vast majority of work in-house, and are fortunate enough to have references constituting 99.9% of our clients.

Notwithstanding, over the years I’ve encountered highly successful pool companies employed both methods and managed to run a highly effective operation.

Well that’s it!  Please be sure to leave questions or comments in the section below.



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