Randy Wilcox is our traveling pool construction consultant. For a flat fee, Randy will work with you to build your own pool - in just 4-5 days. We call this the SPP Rent-a-Randy program, and it's an exclusive benefit to SPP pool kit customers. What follows is an Interview we did with Randy, to answer some common questions about this unique pool construction service
Q: How long have you been in the business – and how many inground pools have you built?
A: I started in the pool business in 1983 and have built approximately 1000 plus inground pools in the United States, Canada and the Virgin Islands.
Q: How do you schedule your work? Do you get completely booked up? What is your “season”?
A: Scheduling is normally done based by geographical location on a first come first serve basis. That is to say, those customers who sign contracts and pay their deposits - we try to accommodate them first. Yes, we are completely booked at times but the norm is a 3 – 5 week waiting period. Our season can run from the first of March to the first of December because we do work all over the country.
Q: How do you work with homeowners, trying to build their own pool?
A: We try to walk the homeowners through the process from A – Z from answering their permit questions to hiring competent contractors such as experienced excavators; electricians knowledgeable with swimming pools; soil conditions; accessibility to the backyard for equipment and figuring out what to do with extra fill dirt.
Q: What exactly do Randy and/or Nate do, and what specifically is left for the homeowner?
A: Randy and/or Nate (Randy's son) oversee the pool layout for the dig; oversee the actual dig by the excavator; assembles walls and braces with homeowner’s help; oversees concrete pour for footings; installation of pool bottom; liner placement; plumbing of pool and filtration system. Homeowner is responsible for finish work; i.e. backfill, patio, deck and fencing if required and any inspections required in their area.
Q: How much pre-arrival planning is done, what does the checklist look like?
A: Many hours of planning are done by Randy and Joanne (Randy's wife). The more time spent planning and the more questions asked and answered the smoother the job goes. A thorough checklist outlines responsibilities of homeowner and contractor, and we go over it several times before we even arrive on the site.
Q: What sort of disclaimers do you have in the contract?
A: We have no disclaimers in our contract as we stand behind our workmanship and product. If a problem arises we are readily accessible to our customers to work with them to correct the problem or their concerns. Of course, there are things we can't warrant, like Acts of God or unforeseen underground circumstances, but our contract is pretty simple and straight forward.
Q: How does payment work, are you paid in advance?
A: A $500 to $1000 deposit is required before scheduled to cover travel expenses depending on geographical location. Balance is paid upon completion of install.
Q: Funny, peculiar or odd pool construction stories to share?
A: Built a pool in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, on the side of a mountain with no excavating equipment. Everything was labor intensive and done by hand…..jackhammering ledge, digging, mixing concrete. Enjoyed myself immensely working with the homeowner and his laborers and because of the intensity of this build I made a friend in the islands, and we keep in touch to this day.
Q: Fastest pool build? Slowest pool build?
A: Fastest pool build was 3 days, start to finish, of an 18’ x 36’, 8’ deep pool in Quincy, IL - thanks to the exceptional advanced planning by the homeowner, and the spectacular knowledge and efficiency of the excavators hired. The slowest was an install in Wolcott, CT. One of the nicest customers we’ve had, but the poor guy had problem after problem starting with rocks, stump holes; bad weather conditions; to a water table issue when digging started. The yard was also very small giving us little to no room to maneuver which slowed us down…October 2011 to March 2012 to be exact! This customer could just not catch a good break but was very pleasant, patient and understanding throughout the whole process.
Q: When you leave a typical job site, what is typically left to complete?
A: Backfill around pool; pool deck and/or patio; pool fencing if required, and any final inspections required in their area.
Q: What is most important for the DIY pool builder to focus on, for a smooth process?
A: Obtaining permits, checking soil conditions; water tables; ability to remove extra fill. Obtaining the proper equipment with experienced operators and an efficient way to fill their pool with water.
Q: Final words of advice for the DIY pool builder?
A: Never be afraid to ask questions.
Randy has been great to work with on our end as well. He's not an employee of SPP, but someone that we trust immensely. If you have some extra funds in your pool budget, consider giving Randy and team a call - it's worth it, just for the peace of mind, in knowing that anything unexpected can be handled quickly and properly. Plus, it really puts your inground pool kit construction on the fast track - an SPP Inground Pool Kit built in just 3-5 days, in most cases. More information on Rent-A-Randy.
SPP Pool Expert