Every month, we chat with a Thursday Pools dealer to learn more about their business and what’s trending in their area. This month, we talked to Jamie Sherrard, owner/operator of WetScapes, Inc. They specialize in high-end fiberglass pool installations in and around Scottsburg, Indiana, which sits about midway between Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Bloomington and Louisville.
Tell us a little about yourself and your business.
I’ve been in the pool business since I left the Marine Corps in 2005. When I left the service, I assumed I’d be a jet mechanic, like I was in the Corps. But my brother Rob was installing pools for a living so that’s what I did too. Apparently, that’s what I was meant to do because I’ve been doing it ever since! I started my own business, WetScapes, in 2013. Rob runs a concrete business, so we work pretty well together. We have seven employees between us.
What do you love about being in the pool business?
I love the feeling of taking a blank space and turning it into something cool that a family will love. There’s absolutely nothing better than finishing a pool and seeing kids enjoying it for the first time. Pools really bring families together.
What are the most popular features in the fiberglass pools you’re installing right now?
Also auto-covers. I think that’s why the rectangular-shaped pools are so popular … because they’re auto-cover-ready. Of the 30 or so installations we do every year, I’d say 25-28 of them have an auto-cover. The only exception to this would be pool installations in Louisville because the city of Louisville requires a fence whether you have an auto-cover or not, so some folks just do the fence.
What trends have you seen emerge lately in the inground fiberglass pool industry?
Lots of folks are doing salt water pools instead of chlorine alone. That’s what I have in my pool, and I really like it. We feel like it doesn’t dry your skin the way chemicals sometimes do.
The other big trend everyone is talking about is the new beach entry designs, (Grace and Sandal.) I’m really excited about them, and my customers are going nuts when they see them. They’re calling me with all kinds of questions, and they’ve clearly done their research. They want them. I know I’ll be installing some next year.
And lastly, I would say that we’ve come a long way in terms of fiberglass pool installation. For example, we used to leave the fiberglass edge exposed. Now, we use coping all around. And we used to use sand for backfill, but now we use crushed stone along with other cool Thursday Pools’ improvements.
What fiberglass pool colors are the most popular among pool buyers in the southern Indiana area?
When I first started out, every pool was white. Now, as far as fiberglass pool colors go, blues like Maya and California have been top sellers. But I think the dark gray, Graphite, is really going to be the next trend. That’s what I wanted for my own pool and Bill and Ed mixed it up for me and tweaked it until it was just right.
What fiberglass pool designs are the most popular among pool buyers in the southern Indiana area?
It’s Aspen hands-down for me, for a couple of reasons:
One, I helped the guys at Thursday Pools design it. I had a lot of customers who wanted the curved appeal of a freeform like the Sun Day, but they wanted a rectangle so they could have an auto-cover. So I suggested adding the curved ledge to give it that decorative freeform style.
And two, because I helped design it, it’s named after my daughter!
What particular challenges do you face with fiberglass pool installations in the southern Indiana area?
Rocks, rocks and more rocks. That’s just part of life here in southern Indiana. The other day we had to dig through four feet of solid limestone. We literally cross our fingers every time we start to dig.
What’s the cost of an average pool installation for you?
Our average fiberglass pool installation is $50,000. That includes concrete, but not landscaping or hardscape add-ons like travertine decks. We definitely serve a higher-end market.
One of the things that sets up apart is the quality of our installations and the extras that we do. We include stone coping in all of our installations and we specialize in glass tiling. We add it in to most of our pools. Glass tile adds that extra “wow” factor to the overall look of the pool.
What are your thoughts on Thursday Pools?
There are a lot of cool things about Thursday Pools. First of all, the innovation. These guys never stop. They’re always trying to come up with new ideas–problem solving and improving. If there’s ever an issue with a pool, I can call one of the owners, Bill or Ed, on their cell phones. They’ll not only answer me right away, but they’ll get on the phone to other dealers and ask, “Have you ever experienced this?” They won’t rest until they figure it out.
When I first started my business, I flew around the country looking at fiberglass pool manufacturers. Once I visited Thursday Pools, I knew I would work with them. From day one, they bowled me over with their quality, passion and attention to detail. And now, even though they’ve grown so much, they’re still just two great guys who love to make pools.
What’s the secret to WetScapes success?
We’ve got a great crew. We all love to work outside, and we’re like a family. We have the same goals, and we really have a good time at work. In our off time, they all come to pool parties at my house.
Swimming pools are really all about family. They help us keep engaged with our kids and make the kids want to stay at home and have their friends over. I love that. So, I think we’re doing all of this for the right reason, and I think that ultimately contributes to our success. Plus, we’re pretty good at it.
WetScapes is a family-owned fiberglass pool builder that serves the Louisville and southern Indiana areas. They specialize in upscale, fiberglass pool installations with beautiful, custom glass tile work.
Thursday Pools designs and manufactures the world’s most 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 quality and beautiful designs set us apart. Thursday Pools is the creator of the world’s first beach entry (or zero entry) fiberglass pool. Get a free estimate on the fiberglass pool of your dreams today. With Thursday Pools, your weekend starts early!