I've been seeing a steady increase of requests for subs in Houston and other parts of TX recently, so I finally decided to gather up all the information I had and put it on the website.|
I've had the information for about a year now, but I've hesitated on putting the information on the website because 1) I only had a handful of subs and 2) the situation is much different in TX than in AZ.
When I first started collecting information for Texas owner/builders, I started to make calls to some subs whose names had passed my way through various sources. What I found out about the TX swimming pool market was somewhat startling.
You know the old cliche about everything being bigger in TX? Well, apparently that surprisingly doesn't apply to the residential swimming pool market in some of their bigger cities. The few subs from Houston I spoke to collectively said that the market for swimming pools in the Houston area is about 6000 pools a year. This compares to approx 16,000 pools a year in AZ. Now, I can't verify any of these numbers, but they do seem to validate my experience with subs from Houston: they generally are a bit hesitant about working with O/Bs.
This was surprising in a place like TX where you would think that everyone and their brother owns swimming pools, but because their market is smaller, subs generally are very loyal to their pool builder overlords and pool builders fiercely protective of their sub resources. For subs to moonlight on the side for O/Bs, to go behind the backs of the pool builders that provide them steady work and provide the main source of their income, it would be like biting the hand that feeds you.
With all that said, there are still subs out there who are willing to work with O/Bs - you just have to look hard and long enough for them. So there it is - the situation in at least one city in Texas. I would just urge you to be a little respectful of these subs as you engage them, understanding their situation and being sensitive to it. Otherwise, have a blast!
As far as the list of subs I have currently, its only a handful right now. But every sub that I spoke to said that they could provide names of other subs for all the other phases of pool construction that the O/B would need. I have not had time to contact them all, so what I would suggest is to start with one of them and get the names of the rest from them. You will be amazed how quickly it will take you to get a full list. Keep in mind also, this is what I have now. I will be adding more subs as I continue to talk to them and will populate the database in the coming months, so continue to check back for more updates.
One last thing - as far as I tell and from my experience with the subs that I personally spoke to, most subs in Houston are not licensed. From what I can gather, most work off of their general contractor's (pool builders) license. This is a little different situation in AZ where subs can be (and most are) independently licensed. I don't know what all the laws are there in Houston, but it sounds like a situation where O/Bs don't have a lot of recourse if a sub screws them over with shoddy work (can readers in Houston clarify this situation for me? firstname.lastname@example.org - I will post an update with your information - thx!)
Because I cannot vouch for the workmanship of these subs I have listed in the "Other Subs" section, make sure you get references and maybe even ask if you can see some of their work. To their credit though, the subs I've listed have been around for longer than a year (year and a half maybe), so that says something. That's the time from when I first got their number to when I just recently called them to make sure they are still around.
Anyways, you have the low-down now. Proceed with caution, use common-sense, and above, have a great time!
To see the list, proceed into the "Other Subcontactors" section of the website.