5 Things Every Pool Shopper Should Know BEFORE They Receive an Estimate
Ok, so you've finally decided this is the year for a swimming pool in your back yard. Great! As I sit here at my kitchen table and consider the words for this article, I want you to know this article is specifically written for you, the inground pool shopper.
Because buying a pool is something we don't get much practice at, many people frankly go about it the wrong way. This is understandable; especially considering "How to Buy a Pool" is not currently part of any high school curriculum across the country.
But we live in a day and age where information abounds at every corner. And with such information now available to everyone, the pool shopper of today is nothing like the one of just 5 years ago. However, with more availability of information comes with it more of a responsibility on the pool shopper's part.
5 Things Every Pool Shopper Should Know BEFORE They Receive an Estimate
- Know that all parties involved want a swimming pool.
- Know what's MOST important to you about the pool.
- Know what's MOST important to you about the pool installer.
- Know your true budget.
- Know the general difference between concrete, vinyl liner, and fiberglass pools.
1. Know You (All Parties Involved) Want a Swimming Pool .
I know, you probably think this sounds silly, but trust me it's not. In fact, knowing that you do or do not want a swimming pool in your back yard is the key to your ability in making sound and rash decisions on what will be a pretty expensive project.
Just the other day, I had a lady call me and tell me how much she wanted a pool, and all I had to do was convince her husband that he also wanted a swimming pool. Although I certainly empathized with this lady's dilemma, I simply told her that such wasn't my job. That's just not what I do.
I help people, who know they want a pool, choose the right pool with the right options that will meet their needs not just today but years from now as well. So in the case of this lady, I sent her our educational company DVD and also referred her to multiple articles on our website, but as far as the 'convincing' was concerned, that would be contingent on the husband's intrinsic efforts to seek the right answers.
2. Know What's MOST Important to You about the Pool.
Low maintenance? Aesthetics? Customization? Warranty? Designability? Play area? Water feature, etc., etc.?
These are just a few common goals pool shoppers normally have when considering what they want their pool to be. This is why every pool shopper should consider what's important to them about their pool and then rate these in order before they meet with the pool installer.
Trust me when I say that by doing this, your ability to focus on the right pool with the right options will be enhanced drastically.
3. Know What's MOST Important to You about the Pool Installer.
Are you looking for turn-key? Are you solely focused on lowest price? How much do quality and workmanship come into play regarding your decision? These are incredibly important questions that every pool shopper should answer before they meet with a pool guy. In fact, I believe the question of price is maybe the most important question shoppers will ever ask themselves.
This is because if a consumer is solely price-motivated then they likely don't even need to have a bunch of pool guys come to their home for estimates. And to be honest, I've had pool shoppers tell me their biggest concern was getting the lowest price to which I responded we probably weren't the company for them. I say this because it is impossible to be the lowest priced guy and give the best workmanship and quality. The whole idea is contradictory and simply not feasible when running a business.
Over the years, I've given thousands of swimming pool estimates and on most of these, our company was the middle or top guy in terms of how much the quote was. Notwithstanding, I've also witnessed roughly 60% or so of the pool companies I've competed with go out of business during this time.
Fact is, companies must make a profit in order to establish longevity and be able to offer great service down the road. So please consider these questions as you shop for your swimming pool. Write down your priorities and let these priorities be your compass as you seek to find the best pool installer for you and your family.
4. Know Your True Budget.
Times are very different than they were just a few years ago. Today, it's much more difficult to get loans for items like swimming pools because property values have gone down, meaning equity lines and second mortgages can be very tough to come by.
I wrote an in-depth article about pool financing recently but the key is that you, as the homeowner, take the time to get your financing in order before you actually start getting pool quotes. I know for many this might seem like putting the cart before the horse but in reality the exact opposite is true. For example, last year I had over 20 customers give me deposits, get on our install schedule, and then find out the financing wasn't going to be available to them.
This is why I strongly suggest to homeowners to seek out your financing resources before you sit down with the pool guy. I can assure you that if you do this neither your, nor their, time will be wasted.
5. Know the General Difference Between Concrete, Vinyl Liner, and Fiberglass Pools.
I find in general that the internet is much less biased than pool guys when it comes to explaining the pros and cons to different types of pools. Personally, and anyone who has dealt with me can attest to this, I try not to be 'that guy.' Despite the fact that my company only sells and installs fiberglass swimming pools, that doesn't mean I haven't told people before that we simply didn't have a product to fit their needs. Fact is, fiberglass, although it fits the needs of most consumers, isn't for everyone.
If a homeowner has a distinct idea as to the pros and cons of each type of pool before they receive an estimate, they will be more able to make logical decisions on the type of pool that will fit the needs of their family for years to come. So do your research on the different types of pools and I can assure you it will greatly help you as you go about this pool shopping experience.
So there are 5 things you should know before you receive a quote for your inground swimming pool. I've literally given this advice to pool shoppers all over the country with great results and I hope you implement these suggestions into your pool buying experience as well.
If you'd like to learn more about the different pool options available to you, check out our free ebook, "Comparing Fiberglass, Concrete, and Vinyl Liner Pools in the Modern Age."
At River Pools, we manufacture state-of-the-art fiberglass swimming pools for customers across North America. If you're interested in buying a fiberglass pool for your home, you can browse our catalog of models, try out our pool pricing calculator, or request custom pricing using the button below.
Editor's note: This blog article was updated on July 20, 2020.