Why Keith's Pools

Ten Simple Things Your Pool Contractor Should Be Doing For You.

1.  Run the waste water from your filter in pipe to a suitable location. "You wouldn't believe contractors that will leave you standing in a puddle or provide you with an inconvenient blue hose to roll up each time the filter is cleaned."

2.  Anchor your automatic pool cleaner hose on the side of the pool opposite your skimmer. This blunder has been committed by my competition for years. Skimmers are intended to gather floating debris. When cleaner hoses are anchored on the same side and generally right next to the skimmer, they create a floating dam which impedes your skimmers ability to skim.  Since both pieces of equipment are intended to reduce your workload installing them in such a way is the equivalent of your contractor shooting you in the foot! I resolved this issue 28 years ago. Ask my competitors to show you the pool they built last week!

3.  Recommend you have a set of main drains included in your new pool package. Let's face it most questions when purchasing a new pool are concerning ease of maintenance any option that makes your life easier should at least be discussed and few options are as inexpensive and beneficial as a set of main drains!

4.  Construct your pool using quality name brand components with widespread parts availability. Many home owner has fallen into this trap after shopping around and specking out their project with all the desired features they settle on a contractor who’s pool seems to meet all their criteria. The pool is also priced several thousand dollars less than other bids by reputable contractors. What a bargain!
After a brief period of ownership often just beyond warranty expiration, components begin to fail, pool owners then discover that the local pool suppliers only stock more prominent brands. After special order and freight charges, off brand parts often exceed cost of widely available leading brands, a two dollar part can leave you unable to circulate your pool resulting in a green mess, more expense and aggravation.                            
A builder willing to install substandard equipment is probably willing to compromise your project in other areas.            

5.  Allow adequate time for your dirt to settle prior to pouring your concrete decks. 
In my opinion Aside from hiring the right contractor this is the second most important part of your construction plan while the time passes steps should be taken to encourage settling. Overflowing or flooding the pool is a good practice. I like to flood and grade my projects at least twice prior to pouring coping footings and decks. The practice is especially important on Vinyl liner pools. The soil in the over dig and step areas will settle a foot after a good flooding.  It's rare that we receive enough rain between backfilling of the pool and pouring of the deck to adequately compact dirt. Timing of the rain is especially unreliable. Any pool requiring multiple loads of fill dirt should be allowed extra time for good compaction. More fill equates to more compaction needed.  Your pool will be there for a lifetime, a couple of extra weeks added to a construction schedule will increase your compaction and will diminish settling and cracked decks down the road. 
The dilemma for the quality builder is this, most pool contractors will quote you a completion schedule of approx. 4 weeks. While this is possible on basic projects I believe this is a rushed schedule especially on more elaborate projects if trying to achieve good compaction.  Prospective pool owners like to hear this tight construction schedule and commonly push for even faster completion.  They will often not hire a builder who quotes a more realistic construction schedule. This same pool owner will return to their builder in 4 or 5 years wanting to know why their decks have settled and have so many cracks.
They also tend to have no recollection of pressuring the contractor to pour their decks ASAP.
Some people will impatiently wait until the contractor says it’s time to pour the decks. In the long run they reap the benefits of his diligence but when referral time comes they offer up a luke warm recommendation "everything looks great but he took too long."
Unfortunately builders that tell people what they want to hear concerning schedules, price, Etc. seem to sell more jobs. Whether they live up to their statements is another issue.  All I know to do is put it all on the table, I know of no company that warranties their decks against cracks, including my own.  If you rush your decks you invite problems in the future. A patient client coupled with a good builder will yield a superior product.
Some might read too far into this and assume this guy wants forever and a day to complete my project. Nothing could be further from the truth. I only want the time necessary to do the job right. For the record I'm comfortable quoting a 5 to 8 week construction period depending on weather and complexity of the project.
"Yeah I know, that's not what you wanted to hear, but it's honest."

6.  Minimize the use of subcontractors
There is no disputing the quality craftsmanship that can be achieved when a project is handled almost exclusively in-house by experienced and talented owner/operators. While it's not always practical to perform every trade necessary to construct vinyl and Gunite pools in-house, it is best to limit subcontractor participation. The higher the number of people with her hands in a project the higher the potential for overlooked details and mistakes.
Hire a small talented crew willing to be responsible for all of your project. When a sub is necessary, your contractor should be on-site managing all the details. The sub may know his trade but the devil is in the details. 
I have personally inspected pool construction projects of every significant pool company in south Alabama as well as southern Mississippi, by far owner/ operator Type companies outperform the franchise/subcontract type Pool companies in quality craftsmanship. Companies that subcontract tend to focus on how many pools they can build rather than how well they can build them.

7.  Provide you with the owner’s manuals and warranty papers from the various manufactures equipment used in your project. 
Often this is thrown away when the contractor removes equipment from packaging on the job site. I prefer to unpack equipment prior to sending it to the job. This allows me to collect all paperwork and reduce the amount trash I have to contend with on the job site.  All important paperwork is placed in sheet protectors and compiled in a Keith's Quality Pools binder. This binder is delivered to you at the end of the project and can be handed down to future homeowners.

8.  Brand your pool. 
Any builder who does a good job should be more than willing to place his name or brand on his work. A reputable brand distinguishes your pool as being one constructed with superior craftsmanship as well as top-quality components I've inspected many a pool that was constructed lacking good craftsmanship, lacking quality components or both. This amounts to very expensive mess even if the pool was initially cheap.
We are well respected by our peers, our clientele, home inspectors and real estate agents. 
A Keith's Quality Pool will not be a detriment to the resale of your home. As a well-built beautiful project it will be beneficial.
At Keith's Quality Pools we brand each new construction project with stickers at your equipment pad proclaiming: 
"Proudly Constructed By
Keith's Quality Pools"
For Service Call 251-865 -3311

9.  Label your equipment and plumbing for user friendly operation. 
Even a pro could get confused operating today's elaborate electronic controls and ball valve manifolds.  They are unique to every pool installation.  Simple labels unravel the mystery of what pump and valve control fountains, slides, skimmers and main drains. I know this sounds like a no brainer but many companies don't seem to get it!
At Keith's Quality Pools we've ordered custom labels to identify equipment. We also adorn controls with our office number. If you have a question just call me.

10.  Sell you something other than a square pool.
This is more than just a fashion statement. Vinyl Pools built in the 70's, 80's and early 90's were predominately rectangular the corners were softened with tight 6'' radiuses. A few years after the boom in vinyl pool construction came the boom in vinyl liner replacement. These pools all seemed to have one thing in common, when the liner failed, it failed in one or more of the corners, usually in one of the corners where the liner is exposed to the direct rays of the afternoon sun. Often the rest of the vinyl was in fair condition, certainly able to go another year or three. The root of the problem was the corners, the vinyl never wanted to conform to that 90 degree turn. The end result was a stretch of vinyl drawn taunt like a drum with a hollow place behind it.  At least one of these 4 vulnerable areas are going to fail prematurely. Ultraviolet deterioration is considered normal wear and tear and by itself rarely makes a liner fail prematurely. When ultraviolet deterioration is coupled with the undue stress of a 90 degree corner the results are predictable. 
Good builders look for more liner friendly designs. One of the early solutions was the "Grecian" a variation of the rectangle where the corners are mitered off at 45 degrees the end result looks like an elongated stop sign. While this design was a breath of fresh air after seeing thousands of rectangular pools, it only partially resolved the stress in the corner issue. For several more years it seemed that almost all pools were constructed either rectangular or Grecian. Rectangles and Grecians are easy builds and most builders were content with these offerings.                       
When it comes to pool shapes with improved liner life and efficient water circulation generally speaking the rounder the better.  It is not practical to attempt to divide a circle into lengthy shallow ends and diving wells. Fortunately it's enough to significantly round the corners. Radius corners ranging from 2 ft. to 9ft allow basically rectangular pools to achieve long liner life and efficient water circulation, an oval pool is just a rectangle with rounded ends and happens to be one of the most favorable pool shapes. Once you get away from the 6" radius rectangle to a 2' radius or larger you've accomplished your goal.  The eight 45 degree corners of the Grecian is also an acceptable improvement over the rectangle. Any further concern over which shape is the best is just splitting hairs, it's now a matter of personal preference and what will reasonably fit into your yard. 
In a nutshell I like to tell people "build anything but a rectangle, it's just the wrong thing to do!"  If during your shopping you run across a builder who tries to sell you or has a lot of rectangle pools in his portfolio, shop elsewhere he is either ignorant to quality construction or he's not looking out for your best interests.  Even Gunite or concrete pools benefit from the added strength derived from the arched or rounded corner often referred to as "hoop strength."

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