• Tough Decisions

    by Karen Erstad May 2007

    Since the hardscape around a pool plays a major role in determining the look and feel of the entire space, picking an appropriate deck material is critical. Recognizing that this is an important decision, some clients take a long time determining just what they want this hardscape to be — sometimes they even hold up construction. By fully explaining all the...

  • First Impressions

    by Marsha Lindquist May 2007

    In companies around the world, those in the reception role — whether it be an office receptionist, a greeter, an airport counter clerk, or any other front-line position — set the stage for how customers view their entire experience with the organization. In fact, in five seconds or less, that person's greeting, attitude and words will either prompt customers to investigate other options for their needs or will encourage them to stay and do business with...

  • For Someone Special

    by Karen Erstad May 2007

    Hoping to build the dream pool they had always wanted, a couple in Huntsville, Ala., hired Johnson Pools and Spas to fix and renovate their decrepit pool. "The decks had settled, the return lines were broken, the main drain lines were broken, and the Polaris line was broken. It was basically sort of a disaster," says builder Tommy Johnson.

    After nine...

  • Good Fences Make Good Pools

    by Kirstin Pires May 2007

    You wouldn't think of using an unlicensed electrician to do the wiring when you are building or renovating a pool. Given the choice, you'd choose a certified pool operator to maintain your pool rather than someone who hasn't earned the CPO designation. Same with plumbing; the plumbers running your pipes — whether subcontractors or employees — better have the...

  • Navy Blue Lagoon

    by Karen Erstad April 2007

    The homeowner wanted his pool to look like a lagoon, so Phil Della Pietro, Sr., owner of Pool & Spa Doctor in Wall, N.J., suggested a Boomerang pool by Cardinal Systems with a black liner. "I modified the radiuses in the pool a little and had Cardinal add some benches," says Pietro. "But for what he wanted, this pool was the perfect...

  • Construction School

    by Kirstin Pires March 2007

    It's almost finished! After months of domestic chaos, my bathroom remodeling project is close enough to being complete that I can shower at home instead of at the pool. Not only do I have a wonderful new bathroom, but I learned a lot and I have a new perspective on how contractors affect their clients' lives.

    This was not your average cosmetic remodel. My house was built before there was indoor plumbing, and the bathroom wasn't added until those amenities...

  • Chameleon Media

    by Elissa Sard Pollack March 2007

    When things are exactly what they seem, it's easy to categorize them. Take filter media. Sand is time-tested and costeffective, cartridges are easy to set up and clean without backwashing, and diatomaceous earth (D.E.) gives the greatest water clarity.

    Introduce alternative media, filter aids, and new approaches to designing the filters, and those distinctions become less...

  • Go, Fight, Win!

    by Karen Erstad February 2007

    Choosing a contractor for any major home improvement project is a project in itself. First you've got to figure out who to call. You can find a few names in the Yellow Pages or on the Internet, or maybe ask your neighbors who they like to use. Then you've got to contact the contractors and meet with them. And then, finally, make a decision. How do you as a vinyl-liner pool...

  • Spec-tacular Pool

    by Karen Erstad February 2007

    This pool was done for a $4 million spec house in Nashville," says Gary Nannini, owner of Pool Art by Gary Nannini in Brentwood, Tenn. "The builder had a landscaper draw up a generic pool, which I didn't think fit, so I showed the builder some photos of pools I've done and he had me make some changes."

    Instead of installing just the straight brick...

  • Breakout Branding

    by Thomas Fuller and Matthew Jorgenson January 2007

    Happy New Year! Time to make this year's resolutions. Here's one: Become a breakout brander. Branding is key to building lasting success. It is also a large and often misunderstood field, with many paths. This article offers ideas to start you today on the right path and hopefully inspire you to further grow your skills in this critical field.

    Branding can increase your customers' perceived value of your products and services. When you think of Lexus and...