Fiberglass swimming pool distributors are carefully zoned by regions through the manufacturer and can somewhat create a small monopoly regarding brand name. This strategy effectively creates zero competition for the builder carrying a specific brand as the manufacturer awards exclusivity to a contractor that successfully sells in volume. A buyer who wants a vinyl liner pool can shop as many dealers as they want to decide who they want to hire. If you were looking for a commercial pool furniture rectangle pool and were able to look at the finished product of every dealer you probably wouldn’t be able to tell one line from another. The end result is a rectangle pool regardless of who the manufacturer is. What’s more important to note, any vinyl liner dealer can go in after the fact to perform maintenance and repair without having to know who built or manufactured the swimming pool structure. This isn’t always the case with fiberglass swimming pool manufacturers because they may have different techniques or use slightly different materials to build their product.
It’s not common to see a contractor carrying more than one line of fiberglass swimming pool brand names. It’s the contractor that does offer more than one line of fiberglass pools that I personally would be cautious about. Not per say the contractor but more so the offering of multiple lines.
As a homeowner it’s safe to say that you are looking for the best product for your money and vice versa but note this fact. It’s common practice within the swimming pool industry for a factory to lean on a contractor in order to get them to drop their other lines. The market is competitive and a factory is looking for the exclusive niche. There are contractors that will not be persuaded by this effort but that doesn’t stop the factory from looking for a contractor who will be exclusive. This raises the possibility of a contractor losing their line to another competitor. You could possibly find yourself buying from the contractor of your choice one day and having to deal with another the next.
The biggest area of concern I would have as a homeowner in this scenario is possibly purchasing the brand that the contractor might drop one day. If you discuss purchasing a fiberglass swimming pool don’t be afraid to ask a few simple questions:
How long have you offered the particular line I’m looking at today?
How many lines have you offered over the previous three years?
Which line do you sell the most of and why?
These simple questions pry into facts that a contractor can’t deny, his or her answers will show you the truth of their ultimate stability and that of the product they offer.
Other areas to look into when considering a fiberglass swimming pool manufacturer is the factory’s location in relation to your residence. Some factories will say they have four or more manufacturing facilities across the country when in reality they have one factory with two or three drop yards. A drop yard isn’t necessarily a deal breaker but the biggest question is how long has your future swimming pool been sitting in this yard. The next question I usually ask is, “from the time the fiberglass swimming pool was built, how many times has the tub been handled”? This is a question that the contractor might not be able to answer but it brings to light some truth. If you purchase a pool that is delivered to your home directly from the factory then there is a good chance you are buying the best product available to you.
There are usually one or two things that can go wrong with a fiberglass swimming pool tub. The first, as with any in-ground swimming pool, is that the installing contractor did something wrong during the construction process. The second (and most important) issue typically happens during transit of your pool from the factory / drop yard to your home. This begs the question, “how many times has your swimming pool been handled”? The more times a fiberglass tub is moved, the higher the risk yours could fail. Not because touching them or using them is harmful but because most times if something were to go wrong with a tub it’s usually when they are transported. Additionally, every time a tub is lifted they are adding stress to the walls and structure. Fiberglass pools are designed to handle a lot of stress, but let’s be realistic and keep the lifting and flipping to a minimum.
Though selecting your manufacturer carefully can be a critical decision, don’t forget to thoroughly check out your installing contractor for proper licensing and insurance. If you ask for a few references be sure to take the time to call them. If you have time and the prior client is willing, visit the job site and inspect the final product for yourself. A question that is rarely ever asked of a bidding contractor but could be most important is if they could let you speak with a client were something went wrong. It’s a fact that things can go wrong during the installation but what I want to know is how did the contractor handle the situation and was the customer eventually given what they were promised by contract to receive. Finding a contractor that can deliver under abnormal circumstances is someone that I want to work for me.