Did you know that swimming is the fourth most popular recreational activity in the entire country?
And if you live in Texas… we are gonna make a safe bet that swimming is even more popular in your area.
Which is why putting a pool into your yard may just be the best idea ever. A beautiful pool can be a source of many benefits including family fun, entertainment, and great exercise.
But, there are a number of common pitfalls that can turn a pool installation into a potential nightmare.
Fortunately, you can avoid these pool pitfalls. Because we are going to walk you through just how to screen swimming pool builders. So that your pool installation goes like a dream.
Read on to find out how you can set yourself up for hassle-free pool installation.
1. Research the Type of Pool That You Want
The first thing to do to ensure a smooth pool build is to research the type of pool you want. You can check out swimming pool designs and trends, and draw up a list of your requirements.
You can also research pool filtration systems and get to grips with the types that will suit your preferences.
Getting clear on what type of pool you want will make finding a great contractor that much easier. For example, if you establish that you want to have an indoor pool, then you can narrow down your search and focus only on indoor pool builders.
2. Visit the Premises of Your Local Swimming Pool Builders
The next step to finding a reliable contractor is to visit the premises of your local swimming pool contractors.
Although you might be tempted to simply call up potential contractors, and get them to come to you, visiting their premises poses a big advantage.
You will get to see how professional their offices are, and whether they have displays or a showroom. This will help you gauge how trustworthy the different companies are.
If a contractor does not have any premises at all, this is a definite red flag.
3. Check for Certifications and Licenses
The next thing to do when screening swimming pool contractors is to check for certifications and licenses.
- Check for a contractor’s license: Check whether a contractor has a contractor’s license or not. You can check the status of a contractor’s license by searching for it on the license search function of the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.
- Enquire about what certified builders are on staff: Ask contractors whether they have a certified pool builder on their team.
- Master Pools Guild: Ask if a contractor is a member of the Master Pools Guild. If so, that’s great, but not a requirement like the licenses and certifications are.
- Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP): Another indication of excellence to check for is if a contractor is part of the APSP.
4. Ask About Warranties, Insurance, and Permits
The next thing to ask swimming pool contractors about is warranties, insurance, and permits.
Here are some of the warranties and insurance types to inquire about:
- Workers compensation and liability insurance: Ask for solid proof from contractors that they hold insurance in the area. If not, in the advent of accidents, you may just find that you are liable.
- Pool warranty: Be sure to ask the contractors you are screening whether they offer a warranty on their finished pool. A company that does not offer a warranty is usually one to be wary of.
- Workmanship warranty: Besides a good pool warranty, you also want to have a workmanship warranty. This ensures that any mistakes made on the job do not make a hole in your pocket.
- Building permits: Double check with your contractor that they undertake the submission of building permits for your pool. If they omit to do this and you don’t know about it, you could be fined for a hefty sum.
5. Ask for References
When interviewing potential companies, be sure to ask for references. But before you ask for references, inquire as to how many pools the company installed in the last year.
If they then hand you a significantly smaller amount of references for that period, you will know that not all of the installations resulted in happy customers!
Besides client references, you can also ask for partner references. Partner references are references from other companies in the trade. Such as pump suppliers and hardware stores.
These references will give you an indication of how the company does business in general.
6. Check for Complaints with the Builder’s Business Bureau
Another precaution you can take is to check for complaints with the Builder’s Business Bureau (BBS).
On their website, you will be able to see:
- How long a contractor has been in business
- How many complaints they have had lodged
- How many of the complaints were resolved
If the contractor has been in operation for some time, a few complaints are to be expected. But if there are numerous complaints, and mostly unresolved, then this is a warning sign.
7. Get It in Writing
If you are negotiating with a contractor and they are promising ‘extras’, such as a free pool pump, be sure to get this in writing on your quote.
When offered freebies, you may think you are snagging a bargain. But if the contractor conveniently forgets his promises the quote could turn out to be just as, or more expensive, than competitor rates.
8. Double Check Details on the Contract
Once you have received a contract, double check all the details. If anything doesn’t make sense, question the contractor.
Also, make sure that the contract covers the following:
- Clear descriptions of services
- The terms of payment
- The deadlines of the project
- An item-by-item list of materials
- A breakdown of your and their responsibilities
Building your dream pool does not need to turn into a nightmare. Now that you are armed with these tips, you’re more than ready to find a team of reliable and professional swimming pool builders.
So, start planning those pool parties!
If you are eager to get going with planning the build of your swimming pool, then why not take advantage of our free consultation?