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Beware of bad Information on pool or landscape design blogs, do your due diligence before following recommendations. Cipriano Landscape Design- Bergen County, Northern NJ

If you’re looking for some professional advice be careful about what you read online. In today’s society, everyone with a computer has access to the Internet and the ability to post content online. Companies are always trying to get as many hits as possible on their website and some of them are just throwing up as much information as possible, but do their blogs really have any substance to them? As a homeowner, how can you tell whose blog actually has useful information in it and who is trying to act like an expert or just posting to push out content?

Make sure to do your due diligence when taking the advice of a company’s blog. There are a couple of ways you can distinguish a company’s level of expertise and professionalism. Browse their website and see what kind of credentials they have. Don’t look for phrases like “premier” or “best” but rather look for something substantial like industry certificates, license numbers, or professional associations they are members of. The Association of Pool and Spa Professionals (APSP) is a big one to look for if you are looking for pool designers or builders. The Certified Building Professional (CBP) is an earned credential from the APSP, which requires continued education and is the benchmark for professionals in the pool industry.  What’s even better than just having credentials are the awards that a company can show from these associations. Being recognized with an industry award, especially on a national level, means a company has excelled in their particular area of expertise to a level where they are being acknowledged by their peers, but pay attention to the types of awards a company has earned. A national award for lawn maintenance doesn’t qualify a company, as a professional pool designer/builder and pool awards doesn’t make you an expert in landscape architecture!

Another issue we see and have had to combat by hiring a full-time employee is the fact that many landscaping and pool companies steal images from others and list them on their site as their own work. The fact that someone is in our office 20 hours a week with the sole purpose of requesting these firms remove our project photographs from their site should illustrate how often this happens. We reach out to different firms across the world on almost a daily basis. The takeaway from this? Make sure to ask to see an actual portfolio or visit the projects. Ask specific questions about specific projects. Don’t allow yourself to fall into the trap of an inexperienced custom pool builder luring you in with someone else’s work in an effort to land larger jobs that they are not equipped or experienced enough to produce on their own. Don’t be a pricey experiment!

Below are some of the best ways to figure out which companies are the real deal, and which ones are trying to just get views to their website.

What makes a company’s blog legitimate?

Do they have the proper credentials and experience?

  1. Industry Certifications: look for the professionals in the proper field of expertise.
  2. Industry Honors such as Top 50 Pool Builders or Top 100 Landscaping companies.
  3. Awards for their achievements in the related field of expertise, don’t look for pool design advise from an award winning lawn maintenance company.
  4. Published in industry related periodicals or books.
  5. Look for pictures of their own work on their website or blog make sure they are not using stock photos or photos from other companies.

If you are on a company’s website and don’t find any of these items I would be wary of what you are reading. Anyone can take what they see online and regurgitate it in different words to make it a blog of their own, but does that really mean they know what they are talking about? If you want good information, then it’s important to protect yourself and get it from the source that you can trust the most.

The professionals at Cipriano Landscape Design hold the following industry achievements and accolades:

Design Office – Certified NJ Landscape Architects

Certified Building Professional (CBP) – Association of Pool and Spa Professionals (APSP)

Licensed Irrigation Contractor – Certified Nurserymen – Licensed Plant Dealer

2014 Pinnacle Award Winner – Luxury Pools Magazine

2014 CID Award- National Award Winning Tile Designer & Installer

2013 Top 50 Pool Builder – Pool & Spa News

2007 & 2013 Best In Competition Design & Installation Award – Northeast Spa & Pool Association

2013 National Landscape Design Award – Association Of Professional Landscape Designers

2006-2013 International Pool Design Awards – Association of Pool & Spa Professionals

2011 National Masonry Design & Construction Award – Mason Contractors Association of America