By Shay Moser
For many Arizonans, the end of summer means the end of that faint taste of chlorine. But fall and winter signal the time for numerous Valley residents to mend or upgrade a well-used pool or build a new one for the upcoming swim season.
Brian Morris, also known as “The Ugly Pool Guy,” founder of We Fix Ugly Pools®, is the name people of the greater Phoenix area trust when they need expert pool remodeling, repair, or custom construction.
Morris initially built the company’s reputation by refurbishing and upgrading aging and sometimes unsafe backyard pools — ultimately preventing homeowners from the embarrassment of having an ugly pool. He’s known for calling out competitors’ sloppy building practices and being the “go-to” guy for all things ugly.
“We Fix Ugly Pools® was born out of necessity due to the neglect in the industry,” says Morris. “I spent my career fighting other pool builders and decided to stop fighting them to do better and be the resource to fix their mistakes.”
Despite the name, and more than 20 years and thousands of backyard makeovers, We Fix Ugly Pools® is one of the industry leaders in both repairing swimming pools and new construction. His team even created and built the pool at Chase Field. Plus, Morris holds the record for the fastest pool build-out ever (just under six hours).
“We set out each day to break what is accepted and expected in the swimming pool industry,” Morris says. “We tell customers that we build from the knowledge of what can, and usually does, go wrong during the pool building process to help them avoid the pitfalls of construction and have the best swimming pool possible.”
What’s the pool process?
Morris says whether people inquire about a new pool, maintenance, and repair, or adding features, there’s a process.
“We sit down and consult with the client to develop an overall plan; that could be a two-week plan, a two-month plan, or a two-year plan,” says Morris. “The idea is to build the things that give the most of what they need and desire but give them a plan for anything they can’t get right now; those are the hopes and dreams stuff we can add in the future. When we finish, we want to make sure we put the right package together for any budget. I tell every customer that their only limitations are their imagination and budget, and I have no limitations to my imagination.”
Breaking down pool prices
Morris recommends not skimping on the foundational pieces, such as the plumbing and quality of pumps and other materials. He says people can save on the pool design and add-ons.
“A lot of pool companies want to get in and get out, and they think that by giving the customer the lowest price they’re doing them a service, but they’re not,” says Morris. “That’s what I preach against every day. We’re not the lowest or most expensive, but when we’re done, we’re the fairest as far as the product the customer gets, and our quality is second to none.”
When it comes to financing, Morris advises there are several home improvement-specific lenders especially suited for projects — from $5,000 to $200,000. “The key is to find the right lender that most directly fits your budget, project type, and payment needs,” Morris encourages. “We have multiple lenders and great relationships to make that happen.”
New, update, addition, or resurface?
While Morris built the business refurbishing and upgrading aging backyard pools, We Fix Ugly Pools® specializes in custom and in-ground pools, lap pools, plunge pools, and zero-edge pools. Exotic waterfalls and fountains, underground caves and grottos, outdoor kitchens and structures, and spas and hot tubs are also on the company’s list of additional features from which customers can choose.
“There are a lot of good reasons to update a backyard pool,” says Morris.
A pool represents a considerable investment, so upgrading it adds value. Restoring or remodeling it can also help save on energy bills, swapping out old and outdated equipment and technology for new.
“Energy-saving technologies are coming out every year that can help pool owners save money,” Morris explains. “Most people choose to remodel because the pool is old and in need of significant repairs. Other people opt to renovate their pools to fix smaller problems, install new features, and update the style.”
Concrete pools need resurfacing every 10 to 15 years because harsh weather, acid washing, and age cause chips and cracks to appear on the pool’s surface. Although many home improvement stores offer do-it-yourself pool resurfacing kits, Morris says, they’re good for only pools with minimal damage or small patching.
“If a pool has extensive damage, it’s best to call a licensed, bonded, and insured expert,” explains Morris. “Don’t fall into a trap with an unlicensed or inexperienced company just because the price is appealing. You can do it once and pay once or pay twice.”
When asked about the best time of year to renovate or build, Morris explains. “Winter is the best time to install a new pool or renovate one in preparation for the swimming season ahead. The last thing you want to be doing on a hot summer day is thinking about the pool you could have had.”
This content is sponsored by We Fix Ugly Pools®.