Diamond Certified Company Report

Classic Pools

Diamond Certified Company Report

Classic Pools

Diamond certified ratings dashboard
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION i
Customer LOYALTY i
Diamond Certified Qualification

Based on customer surveys, we declare this company has passed all rating steps and has earned The Diamond Certified Award

David Pak
Director of Ratings Research
Company Credentials i
  • Workers Compensation
  • Liability Insurance
  • License Verification
  • Business Practices
  • Current Complaint File
  • Legal & Finance
Phone SURVEY RESPONSES FROM 20 VERIFIED CUSTOMERS i

Bella O.

VERIFIED Classic Pools CUSTOMER

1 of 20

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They're a great company to work with. They're on time, professional, and they do quality work.

I could get a hold of him easily even after the pool was done. He did a good job. He gave it more than 100%.

Hookston S.

VERIFIED Classic Pools CUSTOMER

2 of 20

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I would recommend them highly. They were very responsive to any questions I had or clarifications I needed. They were really wonderful, and I'm very pleased with the work they did.

The quality of their work was fabulous. They came up with a great solution to a complex problem and found a way to build a pond inside a pond for us. They were delightful to deal with as people, and they did an outstanding job.

Myke H.

VERIFIED Classic Pools CUSTOMER

3 of 20

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I highly recommend them. They're super good guys, very dependable, and they know their craft.

He's just a great pool contractor.

Read All 20 Survey Responses at Ratings View
Diamond certified VIDEO PROFILE
Diamond certified company PROFILE

Val Toland, Owner & Founder

Classic Pools designs and builds custom, in-ground swimming pools and spas for residential and commercial clients throughout nine Bay Area counties. The family-owned and operated company also performs pool remodeling and renovation work, from pool resurfacing and reshaping to adding features like spas, waterfalls, covers and ponds. Additionally, the company has a special expertise in hillside or “tough site” projects, and it’s also able to build pools for commercial establishments like apartments and health clubs.
Owner Val Toland says Classic Pools’ customers appreciate its ability to handle their projects from start to finish, as well as deal confidently with unforeseen complications. “With pool construction, there are many variables to be taken into account, as well as unexpected issues that come up, so it’s important that a contractor knows how to manage these. By being upfront with customers and proactively addressing any problems, we’re able to give them reassurance that they’re in good hands.”
Classic Pools works with a reliable team of experienced subcontractors, including architects, landscapers and other trade professionals. In addition to handling its customers’ needs throughout the building process, Mr. Toland says the company remains responsive long after the fact. “If there’s a need or problem that arises down the road, customers can call us and we’ll do what we can to help them, whether directly or by referring them to the right resources.” 

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COMPANY REPORT NAVIGATION

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DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESEARCHED CAPABILITIES ON Classic Pools

COMPANY CONTACT
Service AREA

The Bay Area

SERVICES PERFORMED

Swimming Pool Construction
Remodeling and Renovation
Hillside Specialists
"Tough Site" Projects
Water Features
Spas

DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESEARCHED ARTICLES ON Classic Pools

Company Profile

Classic Pools designs and builds custom, in-ground swimming pools and spas for residential and commercial clients throughout nine Bay Area counties. The family-owned and operated company also performs pool remodeling and renovation work, from pool resurfacing and reshaping to adding features like spas, waterfalls, covers and ponds. Additionally, the company has a special expertise in hillside or “tough site” projects, and it’s also able to build pools for commercial establishments like apartments and health clubs.
Owner Val Toland says Classic Pools’ customers appreciate its ability to handle their projects from start to finish, as well as deal confidently with unforeseen complications. “With pool construction, there are many variables to be taken into account, as well as unexpected issues that come up, so it’s important that a contractor knows how to manage these. By being upfront with customers and proactively addressing any problems, we’re able to give them reassurance that they’re in good hands.”
Classic Pools works with a reliable team of experienced subcontractors, including architects, landscapers and other trade professionals. In addition to handling its customers’ needs throughout the building process, Mr. Toland says the company remains responsive long after the fact. “If there’s a need or problem that arises down the road, customers can call us and we’ll do what we can to help them, whether directly or by referring them to the right resources.” 

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Company Philosophy

"Most homeowners only build one pool in their lifetime, which is why we want to give each of our customers both a good experience and a quality product. By handling every step of the process, as well as communicating clearly and honestly with customers about their options, we're able to give them exactly what they're looking for and more."

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Comparative Summary

Maintaining customer satisfaction is a crucial aspect of any business, but it’s even more important for swimming pool contractors that have earned the prestigious Diamond Certified award. For Classic Pools, the key to achieving and maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction is simple: take a hands-on approach to every project in order to provide the client with a final product that meets their expectations. “We’re a family-run company, so our customers have access to our top people at all times,” says owner Val Toland. “We’re always available to answer their questions and give them the attention and quality service they deserve.”

Classic Pools has been designing, building, and installing all types of swimming pools and spas for residential and commercial clients throughout the Bay Area since 1990. The company also performs pool remodeling and renovation work (pool reshaping and resurfacing; spa, waterfall, spillway and pond installations) and builds pools for commercial establishments like apartments and health clubs.

Unlike less experienced swimming pool contractors that do the absolute minimum required to meet construction codes, Classic Pools regularly exceeds engineering and code requirements to ensure stronger, better quality pools. “Steel and concrete are relatively inexpensive compared to the cost of installing and repairing pools, so we install more steel and concrete in every pool than we’re required to,” explains Mr. Toland. “Structure is critical in a pool that’s going to sit in place for 50 years or more, so by building our clients’ pools better the first time, we’re able to give them trouble-free products that look better and last longer.”

To further differentiate itself from its competition, Classic Pools provides every project with the hands-on expertise of Mr. Toland himself. “I’m the original license holder of the company, and I’m still the one who builds the pools,” he says. “I’m part of the process from the planning stages to the actual construction, and that’s really beneficial to our customers. Experience makes for better pools, and I bring more than three decades of experience to each job.”

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Industry Info

If you’re thinking about installing a pool on your property, make sure you consider energy efficiency. Gone are the days when homeowners feel guilty about the wasted water, spent energy and high utility bills that come with owning a pool. New advancements in pool construction and equipment have made swimming pools more energy-efficient than ever before. “For example, pool pump motors used to be big energy hogs, but there are new variable pump motors that cost a quarter of what older motors cost to operate,” explains Val Toland, owner of Classic Pools in Concord. “Form meets functionality with these new options, and homeowners have more choices in terms of energy efficiency, water usage, and lighting.”

Pool lighting in particular has seen major changes that benefit both consumers and the environment. Most pools used to be lit by single or multiple 500-watt bulbs, which sucked huge amounts of energy without providing much lighting payoff. Today’s LED pool lights have changed that dynamic. “Now, pool contractors can install low-voltage LED lights all around a pool, and they only use 10 to 20 watts per bulb,” explains Mr. Toland. “That’s a huge cost savings for a lot better performance. Also, LED lights last much longer than traditional bulbs.”

Other advancements like infrared sanitizing systems have replaced expensive, inefficient and time-consuming chlorination, bromination, and salt systems. And regardless of the system, automatic filtration and computer-controlled systems allow homeowners to efficiently control their pools’ filtration and cleaning systems and tailor them to their unique needs.

But what about all that wasted heating energy and water? Solar pool heaters harness the power of the sun, and better pool covers hold in heat and retain more water. “Automatic covers are easy to use, so homeowners are much more likely to cover their pools, which prevents evaporation,” says Mr. Toland. “The new covers are also low-maintenance and provide better water retention, so refilling isn’t necessary.”

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long will it take to install my new pool?

A: Every pool project is different, so once we determine the specifics of your job, we’ll be able to give you a timeframe for how the work will go from beginning to end. Generally, it takes a couple of weeks to get the permit, and then we can move quickly from there. Our goal is to complete every job within 45 days of the permit being pulled.

Q: What’s the first step to building a pool?

A: The first step is to create a written plan (usually comprised of about 20 steps) so you can see what we’re doing at every phase and know what to expect. We’ll give you a copy of the plan so you can get comfortable with the process.

Q: Are you honest with your pricing?

A: Absolutely. We believe it’s better for our customers to know the whole cost upfront, so each of our bids and contracts is all-inclusive. Unless you want changes or additions, what you see on the original contract is what the final product will cost.

Q: Will you take care of the permit process?

A: Yes, we’ll pull all the necessary permits for your job. Permit costs vary depending on where you live, but we never charge more than what the city charges.

Q: Will you communicate with me during my pool project?

A: Yes, we communicate constantly with our clients. It’s easy for contractors to oversimplify jobs and not do a good job of explaining things because they know the processes so well, but we’ve found that our clients are happier if we take the time to explain what’s happening next and lay out our expectations for the rest of the job.

Q: How much will it cost to complete my pool project?

A: It depends on the extent of the work, but we’ll address pricing right away so you know what to expect in terms of your budget. Quality pool construction isn’t cheap, so we’ve found it’s best to explain everything to our customers upfront and give them honest estimates so they can make informed decisions.

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SELECTED PHOTOS FROM Classic Pools

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DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT CONTRIBUTOR ADVICE & TIPS FROM Val Toland

Expert CONTRIBUTOR PROFILE
  • Val Toland is a 37-year veteran of the swimming pool construction business and owner of Classic Pools, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (925) 201-6120 or by email.

Val Toland: Jumping in With Both Feet

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

CONCORD — As an officer in the Air Force, Val Toland had been contemplating a long-term career in the military. However, following a spontaneous visit with a relative, he found himself poised to jump into an entirely different livelihood. “In 1979, I was stationed in Omaha, Nebraska, when my wife’s mother unexpectedly passed away,” he remembers. “After attending the funeral in Washington, we drove down south to get out of the snow and stopped in Pleasanton to visit my Uncle Joe. He had just started a pool company about six months earlier, and he asked if I’d like to come out and help him build the business. When I got back to Omaha, I looked around at the three-foot snow drifts and thought, ‘I liked it there in Pleasanton.’ Plus, things had been getting awfully political with the military, which had me second-guessing my plans for a long-term career. After giving it some thought, I decided to resign my commission in the Air Force, move my family to California and get into the pool business.”

Today, as owner of Classic Pools, Val says his favorite part of his job is making his customers’ dreams come true. “That’s no exaggeration—I really do get to make dreams come true! Many families, especially those with kids, dream about having a pool, so the fact that I get to make that a reality for them is very rewarding. I love going to a job every day where I get to be creative and make people happy.”

A resident of Clayton (where he lives with his wife, Cathe), Val says the weather and topography of the Bay Area make it equally lucrative and challenging for a professional pool builder. “There’s a lot of demand here, including both residential and commercial applications, so we stay busy. With all the hills, building pools here can be very challenging, but I enjoy the challenges and seeing projects come together from our hard work.”

Outside of work, Val divides his free time between leisure activities and community volunteering. “I’m LDS by faith, and I’m heavily involved in my church, as well as the local Boy Scouts troop,” he explains. “I’ve been working with young men for about 14 years now, and I enjoy teaching them life skills like respect, etiquette and integrity.” Val also likes to travel and visit family. “My wife and I have several children and grandchildren, most of whom are spread out around the country, so we take a lot of RV trips to visit them. We also try to go on a big trip every year to Hawaii or some other destination.”

In his life and career, Val espouses a philosophy passed down from his grandmother. “When I was a boy, I used to visit my grandparents on their farm, which was out in the boondocks,” he remembers. “My grandma used to say, ‘If you never turn anybody away from your door, you’ll always have food for your family.’ It always impressed me that, despite living in the middle of nowhere, she had faith that if she provided for others, she’d be taken care of. Today, I continue to apply that philosophy to my business. I have faith that if we take care of our customers, the financial aspect will take care of itself.”

When asked what his future retirement might look like, Val says he’ll have no trouble staying occupied. “After my son, Shane, takes over the business, I’ll probably still help run the sales end, just to keep myself busy. I’d also like to do some more traveling, as well as some missionary work. After all, there’s a whole world out there to see.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite restaurant?
A: Ruth’s Chris Steak House in Walnut Creek.

Q: Are you a dog person or a cat person?
A: A dog person.

Q: What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
A: Catch up on little projects and chores around the house that I usually don’t have time to do.

Q: What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?
A: My children.

Q: If you could time travel to the past or the future, where would you go?
A: I’d go to the past and try to correct an injustice or prevent a tragic incident from happening.

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Expert articles
  • First Step for Installing a New Pool

    CONCORD — If you’ve decided to install a swimming pool on your property, you might be wondering what your first step should be. The answer is simple: find a qualified pool builder. While building a pool involves a multitude of crucial details, at the end of the day, the guidance of an experienced professional is the most important factor in achieving a quality result.

    A qualified pool builder will oversee every aspect of your pool’s construction, including critical features like its structure and plumbing. As the foundation of your pool, the structure must be carefully designed and engineered, and built to last. Likewise, as your pool’s “circulatory system,” the plumbing must be designed and constructed with the utmost precision.

    Besides ensuring general design and construction quality, a qualified pool builder will be able to address any unusual factors or concerns, such as challenging landscape or soil conditions. The builder will also be able to tell you exactly what needs to be done and how much it will cost, which will help you avoid mistakes or miscalculated estimates. Overall, by working with a seasoned professional, you can be sure to get an attractive, functional and durable swimming pool that you’ll enjoy for years.

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Expert video tip
  • Video: Importance of a Qualified Pool Builder

    Complete Video Transcription:

    CONCORD — Host, Sarah Rutan: If you’re planning to install a swimming pool, your first move should be finding a qualified builder. Today we’re in Concord with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Val Toland of Classic Pools to learn why.

    Diamond Certified Expert Contributor, Val Toland: Now, what do I do? In my 36 years of building pools, that’s the most common question I get. First, get yourself a qualified pool builder. Someone who is experienced, who has an interest in the company, but get somebody out there who knows what they’re doing to meet with you on-site. When you get the qualified builder out there, the first thing they’re going to look at is the structure of your pool. If your pool has major problems, he should be able to tell you how they can be fixed.

    The second thing that a builder wants to do when they come out is to look at your plumbing. Plumbing in a pool is absolutely critical. Plumbing is like your heart and the pumping system of your body. You will have long-term problems; there’s no getting around bad plumbing in a pool.

    To sum it up, when you have one of those “What do I do now?” questions, the important step is to get a good, qualified builder to come in and work with you. He can tell you what needs to be done, how much it costs, and the steps that are necessary. You will increase the attractiveness of your pool, the usefulness of your pool, and you’ll be much happier in the long run, even if it costs a little bit more.

    Thank you for letting me help you. And if you have one of those questions, give me a call.

    Host, Sarah Rutan: To learn more from local top rated companies, visit our Diamond Certified Expert Reports at experts.diamondcertified.org.

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Classic Pools WEBSITE AND EXTERNAL FEED
Diamond Certified RATINGS ON Classic Pools
Diamond certified ratings dashboard
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION i
Customer LOYALTY i
Diamond Certified Qualification

Based on customer surveys, we declare this company has passed all rating steps and has earned The Diamond Certified Award

David Pak
Director of Ratings Research
Company Credentials i
  • Workers Compensation
  • Liability Insurance
  • License Verification
  • Business Practices
  • Current Complaint File
  • Legal & Finance
Phone SURVEY RESPONSES FROM 20 VERIFIED CUSTOMERS i
Classic Pools : Average 9.1 out of 10 based on 20 unique customer surveys of customer satisfaction.

Bella O.

VERIFIED Classic Pools CUSTOMER

1 of 20

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They're a great company to work with. They're on time, professional, and they do quality work.

I could get a hold of him easily even after the pool was done. He did a good job. He gave it more than 100%.

Hookston S.

VERIFIED Classic Pools CUSTOMER

2 of 20

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I would recommend them highly. They were very responsive to any questions I had or clarifications I needed. They were really wonderful, and I'm very pleased with the work they did.

The quality of their work was fabulous. They came up with a great solution to a complex problem and found a way to build a pond inside a pond for us. They were delightful to deal with as people, and they did an outstanding job.

Myke H.

VERIFIED Classic Pools CUSTOMER

3 of 20

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I highly recommend them. They're super good guys, very dependable, and they know their craft.

He's just a great pool contractor.

Bob W.

VERIFIED Classic Pools CUSTOMER

4 of 20

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

We were very pleased with the quality of the workmanship. It was very good. They were on time, on task, and they completed the project on time. There were a couple of little issues after the job had been completed, but they came right back and took care of them.

I would say the quality of the workmanship, we got more than what we asked for.

Bob G.

VERIFIED Classic Pools CUSTOMER

5 of 20

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They're very competent, and they're very responsive to my needs.

They're very competent, and they're very responsive to my needs.

David M.

VERIFIED Classic Pools CUSTOMER

6 of 20

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They were great. They exceeded our expectations.

I liked how responsive they were to our needs.

Gundi Y.

VERIFIED Classic Pools CUSTOMER

7 of 20

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Reliable and friendly service, they have good subcontractors too.

Their advice was very helpful.

John F.

VERIFIED Classic Pools CUSTOMER

8 of 20

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I think they are incredibly client oriented. They did a vey tricky pool for us, and they went out of their way to make it happen.

It was state of the art technology, and as little things came up, they were always incredibly responsive. They stand by their work. Also, they didn't sub any work out without being present every step of the way.

Stefani P.

VERIFIED Classic Pools CUSTOMER

9 of 20

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Very professional and very attentive

He got the job done.

Charles D.

VERIFIED Classic Pools CUSTOMER

10 of 20

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Their customer service is beyond excellent. They go above and beyond, and the quality is a 10". My husband is the pickiest person in the world and they pleased him.

They listen to the client. We had a pool and a hot tub, and we wanted to add a spa as part of the pool. We had nine different people come out, but nobody could figure out how to do it and make it look nice. They all wanted to make it look like a wart on the pool. Val came up with a beautiful design, and he executed it. He added the spa by integrating it with the pool, and it's beautiful. It was seamless. Everyone thinks we have a new pool.

Gordon O.

VERIFIED Classic Pools CUSTOMER

11 of 20

Quality 9
9 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

He's experienced. He knows what he's doing, and he delivers a good product.

I use Val because I can talk to him and because he works with our clients and architects. He doesn't do cookie-cutter pools. All of our pools are custom.

Goto R.

VERIFIED Classic Pools CUSTOMER

12 of 20

Quality 9
9 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

He's hands-on.

Val's real good across the board. He does such a great job, and he's easy to work with. He also works with the client well. He's been in the trade a long time. He knows what he's doing, and he follows through.

George K.

VERIFIED Classic Pools CUSTOMER

13 of 20

Quality 9
9 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They're efficient, on time, and they get the job done.

I don't know. They got the job done.

Phyllis K.

VERIFIED Classic Pools CUSTOMER

14 of 20

Quality 9
9 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

He does excellent work. He's very easy to deal with and very ethical.

He was very ethical. I selected a tile sample while he was on vacation, but it was substantially different because the die lot was different. I decided to go ahead with the tile. When Val returned, he told me if I didn't like it, he would have them take it out and replace it. I decided to keep it because I liked it, but he was ready to replace it if I wasn't happy.

Ann C.

VERIFIED Classic Pools CUSTOMER

15 of 20

Quality 8
8 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I have recommended them to friends. They have a lot of experience with pool design, and they're willing to provide good advice.

Their experience with pool design and their willingness to provide helpful advice

Maggie L.

VERIFIED Classic Pools CUSTOMER

16 of 20

Quality 8
8 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I'm a general contractor. Val is very involved in the project. He oversees everything. He's a quality guy. I enjoyed working with him.

Val was personally on the job to supervise the work.

Greg D.

VERIFIED Classic Pools CUSTOMER

17 of 20

Quality 8
8 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

It was an extremely easy process to work with them.

Actually, I thought their follow-up was very good, and it was a very straightforward process.

Jennifer R.

VERIFIED Classic Pools CUSTOMER

18 of 20

Quality 8
8 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are good and nice people.

They responded quickly when we called them.

Laura P.

VERIFIED Classic Pools CUSTOMER

19 of 20

Quality 7
7 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Good quality but missing the design piece

They're very professional, the quality is there, and they were helpful if I had any questions.

Arun S.

VERIFIED Classic Pools CUSTOMER

20 of 20

Quality 7
7 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They were very good. The service was fine, and I thought they built a beautiful pool for us.

They know pools, and they did a beautiful job.

Read All 20 Survey Responses at Ratings View