When you think of building a swimming pool and you are considering a custom pool builder versus a production builder , what comes to mind? When I think of this scenario, I compare it to a custom home builder versus a “cookie-cutter” or “tract” home builder. A custom home builder considers the of their client and is able to build a home around the needs and wants of their client. For instance, if they entertain frequently, they can design a dining room larger and create an open floor plan for large gatherings. If a couple will be having one of their parents live in their home, they can plan out a separate place to suit her privacy needs. In short, a custom home builder is able to create an atmosphere that suits the lifestyle of the client they are designing for. They do not merely pull a photo from a portfolio of past built homes and build the exact same one for you.
A custom swimming pool builder can do much of the same. They tend to sell fewer products at a higher quality than those companies that claim to be the “biggest and best”. Just like any other industry, you have those companies that make their money by selling a large quantity of cheaper products, versus those that sell less quantity and more quality. It’s like buying a Honda versus a Mercedes.
Consumers often times mistakenly assume that just because a company is “large” in size, that they are the best in the industry. That is not necessarily true. You need to first understand how the production companies grew large in the first place. Many of the production pool companies started by working with tract homebuilders. They installed a lot of “cookie cutter” pools, assembly-line style, to meet the demands of the masses. In order to stay in business, they started selling directly to residential homeowners by advertising in the yellow pages, web, and billboards, that they are the “largest” or “most experienced” pool company. They are banking on the fact, that consumers will assume that it means they are the best and that you should trust them to build your swimming pool. In reality, production builders are ONLY good at building cheap pools. They do not offer custom pools by an experienced designer. The so called designer that meets with you, just pulls a pool out of their portfolio of assemby line style pools. When you go with the production pool company, you are taking a risk that your swimming pool will not “match” your home design. You are risking price versus quality. Here’s where the difference is:
Design: A Custom Pool Builder is experienced in all aspects of design. They assess your lifestyle, your yard, and your home in order to come up with a unique design custom created for you.
Craftsmanship: With a production company, you are risking that your tile will not be level or the grout lines may be uneven. You are risking that the skimmer will be installed crooked. You are risking that they do not have a working relationship with their subcontractors; leading to poor communication and mistakes. The stone might not be of the highest quality and the masonry work, sub par. Your pool equipment may be the cheapest on the market and of far lesser quality with a production pool company.
Customer Service: A custom pool builder tends to rely heavily on referrals. With that said, they typically provide better customer service throughout the pool building process. They are usually there every step of the way with their expertise. The designer or project manager will oversee your project from start to finish.
Whether you choose a custom pool builder or a production pool builder, the choice is yours. Just be sure to educate yourself before making such an investment. Buyer’s remorse is not something you want to have on such a large investment.
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We at Watercolors Custom Pools are proud to call ourselves a Custom Swimming Pool Builder. We treat all of our clients with the utmost care.