All posts by Charis Tyson

The Everything Under the Sun Expo is almost here!  Visit www.UnderTheSunExpo.com for all the information and to register to attend.  Don’t forget to register for education seminars, they are filling up fast!  All FSPA member company employees take classes for free!  Be sure to dress in your best 70’s gear  during the Gettin’ Groovy Friday Night Party as we celebrate the 45th anniversary of the show.  Contest for best outfit is at 7:30 p.m.!

The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention reminds you to enjoy the outdoors safely. They have named the Friday before Memorial Day Don’t Fry Day.Don't Fry Day poster

In the same way we teach kids to wear bike helmets, we can also teach them to wear wide -­-brimmed hats.

 

What You Can Do to Be Safe in the Sun:
  1. Do Not Burn
    Overexposure to the sun is the most preventable risk factor for skin cancer.
  2. Avoid Sun Tanning and Tanning Beds
    Ultraviolet (UV) light from tanning beds and the sun causes skin cancer and wrinkling. If you want to look like you’ve been in the sun, use a sunless self-­-tanning product instead.
  3. Cover Up
    Wear protective clothing, such as a long-­-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-­-brimmed hat, and sunglasses,where possible.
  4. Seek Shade/Use Umbrellas
    Seek shade when appropriate. Remember that the sun’s UV rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  5. Generously Apply Sunscreen
    Generously apply sunscreen to all exposed skin using a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30 that provides broad-­-spectrum protection from both UVA and UVB rays. Reapply every two hours, even on cloudy days, and after swimming or sweating.
  6. Use Extra Caution Near Water, Snow and Sand
    Water, snow and sand reflect the damaging rays of the sun, which can increase your chance of sunburn.
  7. Check the UV Index
    The UV Index provides important information to help you plan your outdoor activities in ways that prevent overexposure to the sun. Developed by the National Weather Service (NWS) and EPA, you can find the UV Index for your area online at: www.epa.gov/sunwise/uvindex.html
  8. Get Vitamin D Safely
    Get vitamin D safely through a diet that includes vitamin supplements and foods fortified with vitamin D.  Don’t seek the sun or indoor tanning.

The DBPR is responsible for licensing and regulating contractors in Florida.  Read what they want consumers to know about swimming pool cleaning, repair and building.  When is a license required for work on a pool?  Find the answers here!

By Brett D. Holland, Holland Pools & Spas, brett.hollandpools@gmail.com

Due to the constant advancement in technology, pool builders now have design tools made available to them that they did not once have in the past.  Although there are a few designers who still design on graph paper, the majority of the industry is now taking full advantage of the 3D software tools available.  With 3D replicated products from pool industry vendors, landscape options, and the ability to fully customize the pool/spa, deck, and house stages, designers now have the opportunity to give a presentation to the client like never before!  Being that 65 percent of all people are visual learners, this approach is extremely powerful.  We can now visually show the client just how tremendous their outdoor living environment can truly be from the click of a button.

Over the years a few friends/co-workers have been a little hesitant to take the plunge into this new idea of design, either due to the fact they weren’t too tech-savvy or were just complacent in the way they have been designing for years.  However over time I was finally able to persuade them into dedicating a few hours a week to get familiar with the work flow of 3D design.  The software I use is Pool Studio by Structure Studios
(www.structurestudios.com) which has a great tutorial library to assist with this transition.  The way the work flows is in stages.  There are house, pool, spa, fences/walls, terrain, steps/benches, planter, and custom shape stages.  Each stage has their own parameters where you can fully customize your project.  This gives the designer endless options, where the only limitation is their imagination.  Over the course of about two months of giving several hours/per week to learning it, my co-workers started to finally become comfortable with designing in 3D.  I remember one colleague telling me, “I wish I had started using this program years ago.  It would have been a totally different experience for my customers.”

Besides the sales benefits, another major benefit of having your project digitized is the ability to seamlessly convert it into a detailed construction plan.  If you have an engineer do your drawings, you have the ability to send them an AutoCAD file (.dxf)
of your project which allows them to import it into their software program.  If the plan is done in-house, templates are available within Pool Studio for you to use or customize to meet your specific needs.  By creating your own templates as you go, the workflow begins to get faster while you are in the construction stage.  Familiarity comes as you utilize the program more frequently, and eventually you feel comfortable designing in front of the customer rather than between appointments.

So whether you are already using 3D software or if you just haven’t had the courage to make the plunge yet, have faith in yourself, continue to invest time and expand your knowledge.  Take advantage of this powerful tool and leave it up to your imagination to do the rest!

recovery fund

From the eyes of a subcontractor

By Jon Temple, Tempool, Inc.

When I started in the pool business in 1986, I was employed by a shotcrete subcontractor. At that time, the only subcontractors that performed work for a pool builder were for the shotcrete, electric, and plaster phases. The pool builder did all the other phases in-house with foremen overseeing employees in each phase, including starting up the pool and turning it over at completion to the homeowners. Those are what we call “the good old days” of our industry. What we have now, is reversed and most pool builders subcontract out most phases of the pool construction, sometimes even the sales department is a subcontractor working leads for multiple pool builders!

As subcontractors, we get a lot of feedback from our builders’ customers. And many times it is negative. As an example, homeowners often say to us, “We haven’t seen anyone from the pool company on our job since we signed the contract.” And along with that statement we hear, “I should have just hired all the subcontractors myself and cut the builder out as the middle man.” These are definitely not comments we like to hear, and it puts us in a very uncomfortable situation.

Our goal should be to build more confidence in our industry. We need to work together by strengthening our communication with each other, not only with scheduling, but also about issues that affect our particular scope of work. Knowledgeable and professional subcontractors are rare in today’s labor force. It is important to form a good working relationship between the subcontractors and the foreman for the pool builder. By working together you will be able to resolve any problems and achieve the best quality swimming pool for the homeowner. It is important that the pool company foreman make a point to meet with their customer on each phase. The customer needs to know you are engaged with their project, and that they are important. This takes face-to-face contact with your customers, even if it is only for a few minutes during each phase of construction. If it is not possible to meet face to face, a phone call from the Foreman will do wonders to build confidence with your customer. We are all in this together, so let’s work to make it a great experience for everyone!

Construction

Entry forms and information for the 2016 Design Awards competition are now posted at FloridaPoolPro.com/programs-design.

The annual Florida Swimming Pool Association Design Awards program gives members an opportunity to enter their pools, spas and water features for judging on workmanship, soundness of design, beauty, practicality and safety. Categories customized for Florida pool construction divide the entries by size, type of construction and features.

Pools are awarded a Gold, Silver, Bronze or Award of Merit based on a panel of industry judges’ review. Each award winner receives a plaque with a mounted photo of the pool or spa so they may display their accomplishment to prospective customers.

Award winning pools are submitted to national industry magazines for publication and also distributed to the winners’ local media.

A special logo is available for the winners to use in ads, business cards and on company letterhead.

*FSPA membership must be paid in full to participate in Design Awards.