Just in time for the pool-closing season, a post about Dobson Pools in Litchfield! Good timing actually, because when you finish reading, you can start dreaming about your new Dobson Pool for next summer season!
Established in 1968, Dobson Pools is going into its 50th year in business. Founder Jim Dobson, who at 75 still oversees daily operations, runs the company alongside his son, Brian Dobson, and daughter Julie Dobson. Julie put together a pool experience for us that will be hard to top, and a post to honor her father’s 50 years in the biz!
Post sponsored by Dobson Pools
The Dobson Pool Experience!
When you are given a backdrop like the pool above (Dobson Pools has appeared in Vogue – just sayin’), it’s pretty obvious that it’s screaming out for the following: amazing hairdos by Byrde + the B, Natori poolside-wear, Pared (our favorite Aussie company) ultra-fashionable sunglasses, adult beverages by County Wines, and snacks, nibbles, and “set” by the tireless and so much fun, Julie Dobson!
Julie even managed to answer our questions about Dobson Pools while she multi-tasked like a boss!
In a nutshell, tell us about the family business, Dobson Pools.
We build inground gunite swimming pools and spas. Rectangular, free form, infinity pools, you name it. We mostly build in Litchfield County, but have built thousands in CT, NY, MA, and even one in Mexico, at Jim’s Rancho!
Besides building pools, what services do Dobson Pools provide?
We have a top-notch service department that offers reactivation, weekly, full service, and winterizing services. We also offer various sanitizing systems from traditional chlorine to salt systems, ozone, and clear comfort systems. Many clients are either allergic or sensitive to traditional chlorine so we are seeing a major upswing in sanitizing alternatives.
What makes you stand out in the pool business?
I think what makes us stand out is in large part, from our customer service. Our clientele is the type that don’t want to wait for a returned call or wait for an answer. We pride ourselves on being aware of everything going on. all. the. time.
Between the three of us, we handle our 50 +/- new pool constructions a year, our hundreds of clients in the most efficient and detailed way. We keep track of our 30 employees, making sure they are doing everything they can for their clients during the swimming months. Lastly, we’re keeping savvy to the latest in the industry over the winter months. Suffice to say, it’s a fuller than full-time job.
Tell us about your dad and the history of Dobson Pools…
Jim Dobson was born in Stamford, then moved to Darien. He started as a boy helping his father, John, with caretaking properties in Darien. That turned into Jim cleaning pools after school throughout his high school years. He bartered his first T-bird from a pool client he worked for over the summers. And so began his love of cars, namely Ford T-birds.
Jim has said there’s no better feeling than having money in your pocket, and so he has worked since age 10 doing anything to satisfy that desire. He used to caddy and instead of caddy one, he’d caddy two bags. His work ethic is unrelenting.
The Dobson Philosophy…
In this spirit, he asked Wagner Pools, where he had been working, if he could open his own pool company in Litchfield County. Enter Dobson Gunite Pools, est. 1968. Jim would work 7 days a week during the season and then go to Tahoe in the winters to build spec homes. Work hard, play hard.
Who are your clients mostly?
Dobson Pools was built on word-of-mouth recommendations. Rarely do we build a pool for someone who wasn’t directly referred to us by another client. At this point, we are building pools for the children of Jim’s original clients. Our clients are extremely loyal and in turn, it makes it fairly personal. There’s typically a chit-chat for every phone call. It’s clearly a family business and I think people like that. The buck stops at Jim, Brian, or me.
What else should our readers know?
Clients get us. Not a salesperson. Not a rep. Not a subcontractor. What separates Dobson Pools from our competition, even more today than ever, is our in-house construction crew…we do not need to subcontract out our work. We have all the equipment and the expertise. We get jobs done fast! Within a month, sometimes in 2 weeks, depending on the time of year.
What’s the typical look for a New England pool?
New England is traditional for the most part. We’re using materials fairly native to the area. Bluestone, limestone, Roxbury granite for instance. On occasion we are asked to venture out – coping stones were brought in from Greece for Bunny Williams’ pool project in Falls Village in fact!
What’s trending in pools?
The modern aesthetic is getting more in demand as well as wooden decks. Minimal is in.
Tell us about the Dobson fam!
Jim drives around on the weekend and very often drops in for a cold beer. Definitely always have a cold beer in your fridge if Jim built your pool. He loves to stay connected with his clients and has made some very interesting friendships throughout his 50 years in business!
We all have our own office and my 2.5-year-old, Colton James, has literally been at the office since almost the day he was born, so my office looks like a daycare. Colton keeps things light around here for us. When things are getting stressful we are all reminded why we are doing this and what is most important in life, family. Jim would say, customers! Ha! But Brian and I have been training him on how having a grandchild for the first time should make him slow down ever so little?
Pointers for choosing the right pool?
Always go off personal recommendations. Don’t Google companies. Keep it local. Keep it personal. To trust a contractor/service person is the most important aspect.
Parting pool thoughts…
Investing in a pool will change your life. Whether you are a weekender or a full-timer, pools will revolutionize your life. Your home becomes a haven, an entertaining mecca, something to always have to do with the kids, somewhere to always sit and truly relax at. It’s hard to stress when you hear and see water circulating in front of you. It brings happiness to you, your kids, and your dogs.
Box 2550, New Preston, CT 06777
Location: The River Oaks Golf Community
Words: Bev / Pics: Lora + Riley Cotton
Thank you, Riley, for being so amazing! xx