We’re spending more time than ever just trying to convince homeowners that there’s more to building a pool than digging a hole and filling it with water. People are shopping price — and we’re competing with stone masons and former construction managers with little to no experience building pools.

I understand wanting to save money, but the complexities involved with building a swimming pool are much more significant than just digging a hole, putting cement and filling it with water. Pool building has gotten more and more complicated every year with the features we include and regulations increasing. It requires a certain level of education and knowledge, and not everybody’s prepared to invest that kind of time. It’s not the same business as when my father was active.

There’s a quote I put in my emails, from John Ruskin (1819-1900), an English artist, critic and social thinker: “It’s unwise to pay too much, but it’s worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money…that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot…it can’t be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better.”

— Michael Giannamore, vice president, Aqua Pool & Patio Inc. , East Windsor, Conn.