STEVE:  Hi, this is Steve Westmark, Counselor Realty.  Thanks for watching my video blog this week.  The vendor I brought in this week is Mike Mulvaney of Custom Pools who are on the west side of town in Hopkins and have been building pools for what?

MIKE:  Forty-some years, 1968.

STEVE:  Nineteen sixty-eight.  Welcome, Mike.

MiKE:  My pleasure, Steve.  Thanks for having me. 

STEVE:  Well, Mike, I walk into the back yard with buyers many times, and they look at a pool and they go, “Okay, so how much is this going to cost me and how much time is this going to take?”

MIKE:  Well, Steve, it takes probably somewhere around 30 to 45 minutes a week I would say to take care of a pool, and it depends a lot on the year and the automation, how much you cover it, things like that.  As far as cost goes, you’re probably going to be looking at anywhere from $2,000 to $4,500 to maintain a pool for the course of a year.  That includes chemicals, opening, closing, heat, electricity, and all those things.

STEVE:  So Mike, what are the kinds of pools that are out there, and what are some of the things that can go along with the pool that they can have?

MIKE:  Pretty much out there there are two types of pools.  There’s the vinyl-lined pool, which probably consists of 95 to 99% of back yard pools.  And there’s also concrete pools.  Concrete pools over the course of years have somewhat lost some of their luster because of their costs, but what goes along with a pool?  Boy, anything you really want.  We can do slides.  We can do automatic covers.  We can do automatic salt generators.  We can do automatic cleaners.

All this stuff is available to you and can be put on virtually any pool that’s on the market and in the back yard right now.

STEVE:  You know, Mike, you put a pool in my back yard and I loved it.  It was great.  We had it for 20 years before I sold it.  But as you look at pools, what do you tell people they can expect as a return as they put money in in purchasing a pool?

MIKE:  Well, a lot of that depends, Steve, on where in the marketplace the home falls.  On the lower-end homes, you probably aren’t going to get quite as much out of it as you will on the upper-end homes.  On the upper-end homes, people are expecting to see more of the good amenities: the pools, the tennis courts, the spas, and all of that.  So when you get up to the upper-end homes, you’re probably looking at 30 to 50% return on a pool, and I think that would be a good thing.

The part that you also have to look at is the enjoyment that you get out of a pool and add that into it.  And you will find that at the end of the day, you will be money ahead.

STEVE:  Through the years with our pool, Jenny was the person that was the contact we talked with.  What should people expect as they contact a pool company to help in the running of their swimming pool?

MIKE:  Well, I think one of the big things a person should do is go and see their store, talk to the people that are there.  Make sure that they have computerized water testing, that they have a service company and everything so that they can take care of the pool and any issues that you have: heater problems, filter problems, if there be any. 

Everybody has a tendency to lose their water every now and then.  You have a big graduation party and you have a hundred kids go through the pool, the pool might cloud up a little bit.  You want to have somebody there that’s knowledgeable at the end and can give you a good water test and straighten that pool out for you in a day or two.

That’s really what you want to get is make sure that you’re comfortable with the company that you’re dealing with and that you’re going to get along with them and that they have a knowledgeable staff.

STEVE:  Well, I’ve enjoyed through the years working with Mike and Jenny and the staff at Custom Pools, and what’s the best way for people to get a hold of you, Mike, to have a pool put in or have work done on their pool?

MIKE:  You can just get a hold of us at 952-933-2255, and we’ll help you any way we possibly can.  Thanks for having me, Steve.