Documenting my Home Pool Construction Project

Pool construction in Texas is a very competitive industry. There are companies of every size and shape offering to build the pool of your dreams. Many approach the project as a full backyard makeover complete with a new deck or patio, grill, canopy, landscaping and fire pits. “Outdoor living environments” is the new trending term in the pool business. This saves the homeowner the hassle of searching for other contractors to complete their desired design. Of the pool companies offering this experience, I choose to work with Blue Science because they created for me some very compelling design prototypes that are within my price range.

Here’s what they sent:

Obviously the first design has the higher price tag. Blue Science did a great job of educating me on what cost what and why, so I can get the best value for my investment. Some additional pool features are disproportionately more expensive and apply to very niche needs or eccentric tastes. I have none of those.

Niche Medical Job Boards

Niche job boards in many industries will always remain strong and quite necessary due to the native sensitivities of specifying position details in high skilled fields. The catch all approach of advertising these types of openings often attracts the wrong type of candidates, and worse, misses the eyes of highly qualified ones. In no other industry is this more true than the medical industry. Every medical specialty has nuances that require accurate representation in an appropriate place. As a recruiter, if you are looking to fill Internal Medicine positions, your “Internist” opening may attract a lot of internship seeking college students, unless it’s posted on a medical site dedicated to IM physicians.

Job listings like these below, ensure that applicants found each posting for the right reasons.

I think niche employment centers will continue to provide value and outperform catch-all career websites.


Austin Continues to Impress – Accolades Piling Up

Cities like Austin make Texans proud even if they don’t reside there. In 2013 Austin continued to rake in several top quality of life stats:

  • 110 people on average per day made Austin their new home.
  • Forbes ranked Austin #1 in economic growth.
  • Austin experienced a 19% year-over-year increase in single-family home sales.
  • New job openings at tech startups and growing small businesses averaged over 3200 per month.
  • The average Austin home was on the market a mere 50 days.
  • Median home prices increased 9.5% in Austin and the greater Austin area.
  • City unemployment dropped to 4.9%, far below the national average of 6.7%.
  • Austin’s future of education gained the interest of one billionaire investor.

Mark Cuban believes economic growth in Texas areas like Austin and Dallas will soon dwarf the Bay area and Silicon Valley.

Home Ownership in Dallas Texas

Having owned a home in the Dallas area for almost a decade, I’ve used dozens of contractors for outdoor services such as tree trimming, pool service, landscaping, yard work, and sprinkler system upgrades and repairs. Finding dependable guys to do these services can be a challenge so I’ve recorded my sources of where I’ve found the best guys in North Texas over the years.

For landscaping design use Houzz or Zillow. The contractors on these sites understand quality workmanship and have clients living in some of the nicest homes in Texas.

For pool cleaning services use local mini directories like or These sites will list the local reliable companies that can be difficult to find in the bigger commonly used directories.

For tree trimming or tree doctor services use Yelp.

For sprinkler system needs, try Angie’s List or if you are not a member, use the WFAA Directory.

I hope that helps my fellow Dallas residents.

Savvy Shopper: Researching a Pool Cleaning Service Company

I was recently searching for a pool management company to take care of weekly pool cleanings on two rent houses in Austin and San Antonio. Naturally I assumed I would be hiring two different companies, because most pool businesses are local to the city. I mean I certainly can’t think of a brand name in the pool service industry. However I discovered Blue Science which services Dallas, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio, so I proceeded to do some customer footprinting and check their history. In doing so I reminded myself how it’s wise to manage review expectations depending on the site you are reading from. For example, Yelp reviewers are notoriously negative towards local service businesses. Yelpers are looking for enchanting restaurant experiences to detail to the world and they forget that a home services company can’t meet them in that ethereal space. A pool company for example, deserves a five star review if they show up, do the job, and clean up before they leave; because most can’t even do that. Anyway, here are some thoughts on Blue Science reviews from different sources.

Yahoo: Generally more positive sentiments, so don’t become too assured by a five star rating, but read for details to understand the customer service.

Blue Science Austin on Yahoo Local Reviews
Blue Science San Antonio on Yahoo Local Reviews

Google Places: Expect far less reviews than seen on Yahoo do to more strict filtering and the annoyance of needing to join Google Plus to contribute one. Beware of narrow, short one-star reviews as it is often a competitor of the company trying to drop damage where they know it will be most visible – Google Search and Google Maps.

Google Business Listing for Blue Science Austin
Google Business Listing for Blue Science San Antonio

Kudzu: Good mix of positive/negative reviewers, but low traffic so don’t read too much into a situation where a company has only one poor review or one great review.

Blue Science Austin on Kudzu
Blue Science San Antonio on Kudzu

Zillow: These listings came up in my research for Blue Science but I don’t see Zillow being a popular review source, especially for non-real estate companies. However it does help to show that they are a legit company because Zillow doesn’t allow just anyone to list on their directory.

Zillow: Blue Science Austin, TX
Zillow: Blue Science San Antonio, TX
Zillow: Blue Science Pool Service Dallas, TX

Judy’s Book: Similar to Kudzu but with more traffic, so expect more reviews to both extremes.

Judy’s Book: Blue Science Austin
Judy’s Book: Blue Science San Antonio

So after this bit of due diligence I felt comfortable giving Blue Science a shot and they gave me reasonable quotes for both the Austin and San Antonio rent houses. They are currently servicing the homes weekly!