Contractors and Builders
Basecrete Launches OnDeck Wearable Waterproofing System
OnDeck waterproofing system promises to be a real game changer for pool contractors.
When it comes to the waterproofing of residential and commercial pool vessels, Basecrete Technologies has long been a leader in waterproof bondcoatings for the pool and spa industry. Recently, Pool Magazine had the opportunity to catch up with Vito Mariano and Christopher Gates to discuss the newest innovation to hit the pool trade, OnDeck, a new system they claim will revolutionize waterproofing.
The OnDeck Difference
“The actual application process is super simple. It can go horizontal and vertical and can be textured as the installer sees fit. Heavy and light textures can be rolled on, shot on, or troweled on but it’s based on the same science as Basecrete,” said Gates, who will be managing the OnDeck product.
One of the primary reasons the new system is predicted to be a surefire hit with pool contractors is due to its versatility, which Gates says will be a game-changer. “You can take a new project and marry it to an old project. Our material allows you to build up an old existing deck that’s chipped and broken. You can clean it out and build up to two-inch lifts using the material to build that up so that it’s seamlessly the same elevation as the new concrete. Then you coat the whole thing with OnDeck and it all is just beautiful and elegant. That all happens out of one bag and bucket of polymer.,” explained Gates.
Versatility and Customization
OnDeck is sure to appeal to contractors who have experienced frustration with other products in the past said Gates. As an industry veteran, he knows those frustrations first-hand, “you have to buy a bag of this for horizontal, and a bag of that for vertical, and a bag of that for waterproofing. Ours is just real simple,” explained Gates.
Color options and customization are a big factor when it comes to decking materials. OnDeck promises to alleviate many of those concerns as well. “The last coating is a pigmented stain and sealer which comes in seven different colors. We operate in a light base and a dark base so you can tint a custom color,” said Gates, “if you have a big project, say you were doing a stadium, for example, and you wanted to have the colors of the team, you can get your own color mixed with a lighter or darker base.”
A Cost Effective Waterproofing System
The OnDeck system is all the brain-child of Vito Mariano who has a history of producing award-winning products of this nature. His strategy for propelling the system into the market is to win contractors with a better product they can have at a smarter price point than what they’ve already been accustomed to using.
“Price per square foot is number one,” said Mariano, “OnDeck is not expensive and it’s a fast waterproofing decking system at the same time. Now you get all these new benefits that the industry isn’t used to; instead of just your typical low-end cementitious spray, roll on, epoxy or latex-based material. We’re staying focused on simplicity, our waterproofing capability, and price. That’s very important out there.”
Bringing OnDeck To The Industry
Mariano is confident in having an industry professional like Gates to help drive the product in the market. “I’ve been producing OnDeck for a long time. The formula goes back many years,” said Mariano, “and I’ve used it again and again for my own applications. I never really had the time to pursue it because I was busy with other products. We think Christopher will be ideal for us. He’s got an edge because he knows the industry and he gets it. “
The success of Basecrete has industry insiders eager to demo the OnDeck system. “I had a phone call from a gentleman I did a contract with a while back who wanted to thank me. He told me ‘Where has this product been? I’ve used everything out there in the last 35 years. I’ve never seen anything this good before.’ He now has 60 driveways totally converted to the OnDeck system and will be doing our training,” said Mariano.
Mariano expects many brand ambassadors to come forth and champion the product in the coming months. “We’ve got folks like Jose Garcia from Barefoot Pools in Arizona, chomping at the bit to get this product. He does phenomenal Basecrete applications on hundreds of pools. Those are the kind of companies and applicators that we’re going to go for,” said Mariano.
Gates, who has a long history in the pool industry, previously with California Pools and San Juan Pools; says the timing is ripe for a product of this nature.
“On pool and deck projects many years ago we started doing polymer overlays and acrylic top coats. Every one of them kind of marched to the beat of their own drummer, and you had to figure each system out. You’d try to stick with one that you could use if you knew the idiosyncrasies of a given system,” explained Gates, “when Vito started telling me that it’s the same bag to make the material that goes on the flat deck, that goes up the walls, that waterproofs the corners; it’s just different mixing styles – that’s got me excited. That coupled with this fellow he’s talking about who will doing all the training for our team members that are coming on board makes it a no-brainer,” explained Gates.
Listen to our entire conversation and learn more about the OnDeck system on the Pool Magazine podcast.
Contractors and Builders
Deckorators Deck Designer Lets You Start Dream Building Immediately
Deckorators, a leading manufacturer of outdoor living products, has recently launched a new deck designer software that allows users to quickly and easily design their dream deck.
With this cutting-edge tool, users can start designing their ideal deck within seconds. The software features a user-friendly interface that makes it easy for anyone to use, regardless of their design experience.
To get a better understanding of the full capabilities of the software, Pool Magazine spoke with Michelle Hendrick of UFP Industries and Jason Varney of Dock and Deck.
“It’s a consumer tool, but contractors can also utilize it as well to really plan out the project that they’re working on and work with a homeowner on ways to look at different colors and how that pairs well with the siding of their house,” explained Michelle Hendrick.
One of the standout features of the Deckorators design software is the ability to choose from a wide range of customizable options. Users can select from a variety of decking materials, including traditional wood and composite options, as well as different colors, styles, and patterns. They can also add railings, stairs, and other features to their design, allowing them to create a truly personalized outdoor space.
Another helpful feature of the software is the ability to visualize your design in 3D. This allows users to get a realistic idea of what their finished deck will look like, making it easier to make design decisions and ensure that their deck meets their needs and preferences.
“You can even pull in a photo of your home into the software as well,” explained Hendrick, this really gives you a good feel for what that deck could look like.” Hendrick claims the software gives users the “design flexibility to really look at different pairings and ways to really accentuate the backyard”.
In addition to the design capabilities, the Deckorators design software also includes a project cost calculator which is exciting to contractors like Jason Varney. The software allows users to see how much their dream deck will cost, making it easier to plan and budget for their project.
“I think it is a tool that a contractor can use too,” said Varney, “DIYer’s will definitely use this to get a basis of an idea or a plan and almost kind of see where their cost price points are going to be before they contact a general contractor to come out and either give them a full rendering.”
“It’s a great start of letting a customer kind of figure out where they want to start out price-wise and get a budget in mind of where they think they need to be as far as materials,” said Varney.
We had the opportunity to experiment with the Deck Designer software ourselves and can see the potential in software that allows homeowners to dream build right there on the spot. We rated the Deck Designer one of our top pool products of 2022. Ease of use, easy-to-apply options, and a simple-to-navigate interface are guaranteed to make the platform a winner for homeowners and professionals alike.
Overall, the Deckorators design software is a powerful and convenient tool for anyone looking to design and build a new deck. Its customizable options, 3D visualization capabilities, and project cost calculator make it easy to create the perfect outdoor space for any backyard. So, it can be a great help for homeowners, contractors and designers to create their dream deck.
To take a deeper dive into what the new software is all about, listen to the Pool Magazine podcast and our interview with Michelle Hendrick and Jason Varney. During our discussion, we talked about the new Deckorator design software as well as some other exciting new additions that you’re bound to see while making the rounds at this year’s trade shows.
Ready to try Deckorator’s new Deck Designer? Visit https://bit.ly/deckoratorsoftware
Contractors and Builders
Avoiding The Negative Spiral
Avoid the negative spiral by adhering to 4 fundamental principles.
A lot of builders compete on price and operate on narrow margins. This leaves little revenue to perform warranty repairs or to correct errors made during construction.
These builders oftentimes rely on the profit from the next job to fix mistakes from the last project. As the economy slips into a recession, these revenues shrink even more and the pool of funds available to remediate mistakes dries up.
Delays in performing repairs increases and customer frustration grows. As customer complaints intensify, the quantity of lawsuits rise.
The solution is simple, but multi-fold:
- Fix your errors and warranty call backs promptly.
- Maintain open lines of communication – don’t ghost clients or feed them BS.
- Increase the contingencies built into a project. Set them aside into a separate account, and don’t spend them upon each project completion.
- Improve quality control and reduce errors & mistakes.
Now, more than ever, as the economy constricts, clients will become more frugal and conscience of what is occurring in their yard. They will be less tolerant of delays and excuses.
Avoid the vortex.
This was a post originally published on Facebook that received an enormous response from peers within the industry.
Thoughts from some of my followers:
I don’t play the race to the bottom game to get the job. I have my margins and if someone goes cheap, they can have the job. If I don’t make what I need to, I walk away.
Another way to remediate this is to ensure that your profit margins are adequate enough that you don’t have to rob Peter to pay Paul. If you’re actually performing quality work, the customer should be charged accordingly. Quality work costs money; most reasonable customers understand that. Michael Calore
Great advice. As a a 40+ year pool builder I wish just one of ex employees that decided to go into business for themselves would take the time to learn the business. I wouldn’t have made a career of repairing (and being paid well) for repairing others mistakes. JA GROW
Contractors and Builders
Surety Bonds For Pool Construction & Outdoor Improvements
What Swimming Pool and Outside Improvement Contractors Should Know About Surety Bonds
If you are a contractor who is involved in pool construction or making other outdoor site improvements, you might be required to obtain a contractor’s license and a license bond. Swimming pool contractors in some states are required to obtain specialized licenses, and bonds are frequently required as a condition of licensing. For example, California requires swimming pool contractors to obtain a swimming pool contractor license, which carries a bonding requirement as a licensing condition. Other states, including Florida and Texas, also require bonds for pool contractors who perform electrical work on pumps and other components of pool installation.
Even if your state does not require you to obtain a specialized license for pool construction work, you might have to get a general contractor’s license and post a bond to perform work above a certain amount. In addition to license bonds, there are other types of contractor bonds that you might need based on the size of a project or the requirements of the project owner. Here is some information about contractor bonds for pool contractors and those who perform work on other outdoor improvements.
What Is a Surety Bond?
A surety bond is a legally binding agreement between the following parties:
• Principal – The individual required to post a bond
• Obligee – The party, which might be a governmental licensing authority or private project owner, that requires the bond
• Surety – The bond company that approves and issues a bond as a guarantee the principal will comply with its legal and contractual obligations
About Surety Bonds
Surety bonds are not a form of insurance. Instead, they protect the obligee and the public against potential misconduct on the part of the principal. When a bond company approves a surety application, the principal must sign an indemnity agreement through which it agrees to hold the surety harmless in the event of a filed bond claim and loss. Ultimately, the principal is the party who will be responsible for paying valid bond claims that might be filed.
Types of Bonds
License bonds are bonds that might be required as a licensing condition before a contractor can secure a license. These bonds might be required by a state licensing body or by a city or county before a contractor can obtain a license or certificate to perform work in the jurisdiction.
Many contractors who perform work on outdoor improvements or construct pools might also be required to post contractor bonds. A contractor bond is a type of surety bond that guarantees the contractor will perform work that meets the provisions called for in a contract.
3 Most Common Bonds
These bonds might be required for public projects valued at $100,000 or more. Many private project owners also require bonds before they will enter into contracts with pool contractors and those who will perform work on other outdoor improvements. The following three types of contractor bonds are common:
• Bid bond – A bond that might be required as a condition of bidding on a project that guarantees the winning bidder will follow through and perform the contract at the bid price even if the contractor forgot to include something in the bid.
• Performance bond – A bond that might be required by a public or private project owner that guarantees the contractor will perform according to the provisions called for under the contract and will not complete substandard work.
• Payment bond – A bond that guarantees the general contractor will pay its subcontractors and suppliers for their labor and materials that protects the subcontractors and suppliers as well as the private project owner. Payment bonds protect private project owners from potential mechanic’s liens that might otherwise be filed by parties that have not received timely payments for their work from the general contractor.
Public-funded projects worth more than a threshold amount might require contractors to post all three of these types of bonds since they guarantee the completion of the project to specifications, prequalify contractors before they can submit bids, and provide payment protection.
Savvy private project owners likewise might require contractors to post performance and payment bonds to guarantee the contractors they choose will perform the work as promised and will pay their subcontractors and suppliers.
How Do You Get Bonded?
To get bonded, you can apply for the specific types of bonds you need by applying to a bond company. The surety bonding process involves an extension of credit from the bond company to the contractor, so the application will be sent through an underwriting process. The factors that a surety will consider to determine whether or not to approve a bond application include the applicant’s credit, business experience, working capital, stability, reputation, and others. Evaluating these factors helps the surety determine the degree of risk it would face if it approved the bond application.
If you have a great credit score, substantial experience, strong working capital, and a good reputation, the surety company will likely determine you pose little risk and provide you with a bond quote of as little as 1% of your required bond amount. For example, if you are required to post a $25,000 surety bond, you won’t have to pay the full amount of the bond. If you are quoted 1%, you will instead need to pay 1% of that amount of $250. By contrast, if you have poor credit, your application might be denied, or the surety might provide you with a higher quote of up to 10%. In that case, you would have to pay $2,500 to secure your bond.
Bonds are not permanent. Instead, they must be renewed. Once you have posted the bonds you need, you should make sure to pay attention to when they expire and apply to renew them before they do. If you avoid bond claims and maintain good credit, you can anticipate continuing to receive low bond quotes. If you had to post a larger bond premium because of a low credit score but have worked to build your credit since you originally posted your bond, you might find that you receive a better rate when it’s time to renew.
Surety bonds are a common requirement for contractors who construct pools or complete other outdoor improvements. Making sure that you understand your requirements and that you always comply with the law and your contractual obligations can help you secure better rates and also build a strong business reputation.
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