Each month, we enjoy learning more about a member of the Thursday Pools dealer family for our dealer spotlight. In November, we chatted with Chris Matthews, president of Easy Living Pools, which sells and installs both vinyl liner pools and inground fiberglass pools in Plain City, Ohio.
Easy Living Pools is located in Union County, Ohio and serves the central Ohio region, including the areas in and around: Columbus, Bellefontaine, Springfield, Marysville, Delaware, Granville and Marion, Ohio.
Our company, Builderscape was founded by my father Ron Matthews in 2003. We built our business on design/build commercial construction. I joined the company full-time when I graduated from college. My dad dabbled in the pool business on and off over the years but was frustrated by the unreliability of suppliers. But the pool business has changed a lot over the last 20 to 30 years. We dipped our toes in the water again about ten years ago. We were selling just a couple of pools per year. Pretty soon, we realized we needed to have the word “pools” in our name if we wanted to really penetrate the market. So we created a division of our company called Easy Living Pools. We started out selling vinyl liner pools, but around 2014, a guy named Gene Foster with Thursday Pools knocked on our door and told us we needed to sell Thursday Pools fiberglass pools. He was right. We did.
At this point, pools make up about 40 percent of Builderscape’s overall business. We do up to 50 pools in a year in our current market. Our pool business nearly tripled from 2017 to this year, and 2019 is going to be a record year. Another 40 percent of our business is commercial general contracting, with landscaping and snow removal comprising the rest.
My dad is in the process of phasing out his role so that he can retire. In fact, he just moved his desk out! He’s not here on a daily basis anymore, so my role is changing.
Pools are a place where families can be together for so many years, generation after generation. When we sell a pool, we’re selling memories. Not many other products can do that.
Like many other Thursday Pools dealers, our two biggest sellers are the Aspen and Lil Bob designs. We’re buying Lil Bobs by the truckload. Around here at least, the homes are getting bigger, but the lots are getting smaller and easements are plentiful, so it’s good to have a range of sizes available. Maya is our biggest seller in terms of color, followed closely by California.
This is definitely auto-cover country. Personally, I wouldn’t have a pool without one. So almost all the pools we sell are auto-cover ready. People will stretch their budgets to get one. Our customers also really like water features, like deck jets.
They’re interesting, for sure. They require a lot more space than a standard entry pool, so folks with smaller lots won’t be able to have them, but people with larger lots might try one.
We’ve got good dirt here with a few areas that require rock excavation. Tight access on smaller lots is our biggest challenge. Also, we’re heavy on permits and inspections here, within the city limits at least. You have to be a licensed general contractor to pull permits. Some want gas and electrical calculations, so we typically handle all of that for our inground pool customers.
An average installation for us is about $75,000. We do almost everything in-house, including fencing. The only thing we subcontract is the concrete.
People want ideas. They want a full-scale outdoor living environments–an entertainment space. So we’re installing pavilions, some outdoor kitchens and even putting greens with synthetic turf to round out the area surrounding the inground fiberglass pools we build.
Our buyers continue to get younger. Our demographic is between 30 and 45 years old. They’re not afraid to finance, so we’ve teamed up with lenders to make it easier for them. In their minds, it’s just like having a car payment.
We don’t even have a sign on our building. We work through word of mouth referrals.
Thursday Pools’ marketing is top notch. Their brochures are beautiful, and their website is fantastic. They’re setting the bar, and other pool companies are working to catch up. I also like the fact that Bill and Ed don’t hide behind their customer service staff. If you need them, they’re there.
Although Thursday Pools has some of the fastest turnaround times in the fiberglass pool industry, we’re in the Amazon Prime era. So I’d like to see a way to have pools ready to order. People don’t want to wait for their pools.
We are a full-service design/build firm, from concept to 3D design to completion. We have a landscape architect on staff. We have a design center, and our customers come to us first, just like they would if they were building a home or buying a car. Our team is top notch, and we’ve built a reputation over the years. All of these things set us apart from our competition.
Also, we’re continually reinvesting in our business. We bought a semi so we could control the timing of our pool deliveries. We have 15 acres of storage so we can keep an inventory of 30 to 40 pools on hand. People like to sit in a pool shell to get a feel for how big it is. We’ll continue to grow to the demand. We’re not afraid to grow.
Easy Living Pools is a division of Builderscape, Inc. in Plain City, Ohio. Located in Plain City, Ohio, Easy Living Pools sells and installs vinyl liner and inground fiberglass pools throughout Union County and central Ohio. They specialize in full-service inground swimming pool installations, including fencing and landscaping.
Thursday Pools designs and manufactures durable and elegantly crafted fiberglass pools. We are ISO 9001 certified, which means that fiberglass pool shells are made with the highest standards and from the best quality material available. We are also ISO 14001 certified, which means we are committed to environmental stewardship.
Our one-piece, inground fiberglass swimming pool manufacturing facility is based out of Fortville, Indiana. At Thursday Pools, we aspire to be the world’s most respected fiberglass pool manufacturer and to help our customers create a lifetime of memories with their family and friends. Our innovations, commitment to qualityand beautiful designs set us apart. Get a free estimate on the fiberglass pool of your dreams today. With Thursday Pools, your weekend starts early!
You are by this NOTICE advised that pools manufactured by Thursday Pools are sold by independent dealers and dealerships. Each dealer is an independent business entity, that is completely separate from the manufacturer, Thursday Pools. Each dealer is an independent contractor, and no dealer is an owner, agent (in fact or law), or employee of Thursday Pools, the manufacturer. Thursday Pools, the manufacturer, hereby disclaims any liability for an intentional or negligent act by any dealer, dealership, or installer, or any damage to any Thursday Pools pool caused by an act of any dealer, dealership, or installer.