The market opportunities in every category are a lot fewer than they were before, so you have to tap into each and every one. Three or four years ago, we were strictly new-pool builders, 95 percent residential and 5 percent commercial. Now we’re doing a lot more commercial, and new residential pools have dropped to about 50 percent of our business. The rest is remodeling and repairs.
On the remodeling end, there was a little bit of a learning curve. Once you get into a remodel, it’s kind of like opening up a can of worms. When you start digging into something, you never really know what you’re going to find, especially here in Vegas, where we have a lot of foreclosures and people picking up homes at auctions. These homes have been sitting idle for two or three years, and trying to assess all that’s needed is sometimes very difficult. Who knows what took place prior to the abandoning of the home? In all likelihood, things were probably neglected, even when people lived there, because they didn’t want to spend the money on running the pool or making repairs.
You have to be really explicit when giving a proposal to a homeowner, just to let him know that sometimes we can’t see everything, especially things that are underground. We do a visual inspection and say, ‘This is what we see, this is what we know needs to be done.’ And we explain that there may be additional costs as we move along. Then as we progress, mostly after we’ve got water in the pool and we’re able to turn everything on, then we’ll know if the heater is going to fire, if the filter is leaking, if the pump is running and so on. Most of the time you can pretty well expect that you’re going to need some o-rings and gaskets, and things like that.