Our Pool Experience - The Investigation
So attacking this like we do everything else in life, we started researching all parts of building a pool. After about a month and a half of investigation - talking to people with pools, cruising the internet, going to home shows, looking at model homes with pools, we decided to call three different builders to get bids on a pool.
Our first call was to a landscape company that did pools. We initially talked to this company at the Auburn home show and their designs focused around whole yard design. Unfortunately for them, they did not return my numerous calls.
Next we called a pool company that had a good reputation in our area, Geremia Pools, and two other pool companies out of the yellow pages, California Pools and Sunrise Pools.
When we met with Geremia's designer, the first words out of his mouth at the front door was, "Well you have a small yard. It is going to be a challenge, but we may be able to find something that works." He then produced a design for a small narrow pool. After several revisions we found something we liked.
The California Pools designer also remarked on the size of our yard but said she could create a design that would make the yard look good. Her design was a weird shape. She also had the largest part of the pool as the deep end. The other designers had the largest part of the pool as the shallow end since most people use the shallow end more.
The Sunrise Pool designer, Don, did not mention anything about the size of the yard and produced a design that complemented the yard. The first meeting consisted of getting all of the measurements for the yard. During the second meeting, Don produced the pool design on a laptop computer and we made modifications directly to plans. This step was nice since we could see instantly what would happen if we changed specifics of the design.
After we had all three bids, we started checking on referenced and viewing some of their previous jobs. Both California Pools and Geremia Pools had pools in local model homes, so it was easy to view some of their work. The Geremia pools looked good and well built. The California pools design was not very complimentary to the yard it was in, it was dirty and dingy, and the color used on the concreted deck was over-sprayed onto the tiles. It was hard to believe that a pool in a model home would have such problems. You would think that the pool should have been used as a showcase to get more business.
I called all of the references for Sunrise Pools and they were all happy with the construction crews and workmanship. One of the references invited us over to see their pool. The pool looked very well built and she was extremely happy with the whole construction process.
So after compiling all of the information, we had a tough call to make. All three had spotless business reputations, no complaints, and the bid amounts were almost even. Weighing all of the issues we narrowed it down to two, Geremia and Sunrise Pools. The swaying factor came when I was talking to an impartial person in the pool industry, who asked to remain anonymous, and he commented on the fact that both companies were very good but Geremia specializes in large yards and large pools, while Sunrise specializes in pools for small and normal size backyards. Our decision: Sunrise Pools.
January 3, 2001 - The Contract
We meet with Don to approve the final design of the pool and sign the contract. We work through all of the design issues on the pool and he inputs them directly into his laptop. The final design is printed on his portable printer and we sign the contract. The next step is filing for the permits and we should hopefully start construction with three weeks. We are tentatively scheduled for the week of January 29th.