The lowest pool bid does not guarantee the lowest finished cost

There are a lot of costs associated with owning a pool. Some examples are opening the pool, seasonal chemicals and supplies, seasonal maintenance, seasonal services, and closing the pool. And if your pool needs work, this is another cost. Always get a bid when you need pool work. But don’t settle for any bid. Get a professional pool bid.

A professional pool bid should contain at least these 3 inclusions:
  • A notice of all legal parties will detail who is doing the work (the pool company/contractor) and who the work is being done for (you).
  • The scope of work will detail all of the materials and all of the labor (in-house and sub-contracted) that is provided.
  • The cost will detail the overall price for the job as well as a payment schedule to note when payments are due.

Our bids contain all 3 inclusions. This will provide you with clarification, data and numbers to make an informed decision.

While I pride myself on being a Registered Contractor with the State of Nebraska and the owner of one of the most reputable and tenured pool companies in town, it is safe to say that I am not the best salesperson in town. The main reason is that I simply will not always be able to tell you what you want to hear. But, I will always tell you what you need to hear (and this will be verified within the written bid). I tend to think this would make me a great salesperson, but it does not always translate to sales and jobs.

Some alarming news about pool bids:

The unfortunate truth is that many pool companies practice unethical bidding practices. They secure sales – and more importantly for them, the prized and often much-needed upfront down-payment money – with the “lowest bid” approach. I am certainly not telling you to red-flag and disqualify every lowest priced bid. Because I too have submitted what ultimately was the lowest bid. But I am advising you to do your homework when you are considering the lowest bid.

Too many pool owners too many times have encountered two primary problems when accepting the lowest bid:
  1. Once the pool company has your down-payment money they are hard to reach to schedule a start date. That pool company knowingly secured your sale with a low bid just because they needed your down-payment to provide some much-needed cash flow. Now, they have no interest in your job because they know it is not a money-maker.
  2. Once they do start on your job – which will only be when no other business revenue is coming in – they tend to execute change-orders (plural) with price increases (plural) to secure the money that they need – that they always knew they needed – so that it is now worthwhile for them to work on your pool. I am certainly not telling you to red-flag a change order. Because I too have had to execute a change order within a job. The unfortunate part of some pool work is that there can be unknown variables before the actual work can begin. Again, I am not telling you to red-flag a change order. I am merely advising you to do your homework when you are considering the lowest bid, primarily a much lower bid. These low and oh-so-attractive bids are the ones that typically include change orders (plural) when the work finally begins.

Excuses, delays, and pre-planned change orders are not fair to you. But they are often the result of accepting the lowest bid. And, more times than you think, these low bids often become the fair-market price (if not a higher price) than the other original bids.

I am not going to name names and point fingers. It is ultimately up to you to do your homework.

A real-life example of the lowest bid not resulting in the lowest finished cost:

I bid a fairly significant residential pool repair. We did not get the job. She said my bid was literally over $8,000.00 higher than her other bid. She had 2 bids, mine and another. I knew my bid was at fair market value. She thought my bid was high. I suggested a third bid. This would let her see where that bid was priced in relation to the other two prices. This third bid would have been a great indicator of fair market value. She had no interest in me or my advice. In fact, she was not shy in telling me how she felt about me.

She chose the lower – the much lower – bid.

Then, I apologetically heard from her later that Summer. Her job was not even close to completion. And the job was now going to cost even higher than what I had originally bid. Because of the amount of the down-payment and early-phased money that she had already paid that pool company, she had no choice but to stay with them. The project literally lingered through the entire Summer. It cost more than it should have cost. And it showed no pride of workmanship.

This happens way more often than you might think.

Do your homework when collecting pool bids.

And don’t just meet the owner or salesperson of the company. Also meet the contractor and/or jobsite foreman. What is nice about having us bid your pool work is that when you meet me, you will meet the company owner, salesperson, registered contractor in Nebraska, project coordinator, jobsite foreman, and a physical laborer.


Free Advice:

If a pool company needs a down-payment from you to work on your pool, think twice. You shouldn’t have to fund and bankroll their business operations. When you hire us, you will only pay once we meet pre-determined phases. This is fair to us. And this is equally fair to you. We are getting paid for the services that we did render. And you are only paying for what was already completed. We never require a down-payment.


Contact Expert Pool Work, Inc. at 402-341-8132 or info@expertpoolwork.com to discuss your pool or submit a short form to schedule free onsite consultation.


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