Choosing A Pool Contractor: The Toughest Part Of The Process
How do you go about sorting out all those pool builders and picking the right one? Here are 10 tips that help you get organized, and move you along the journey in becoming a happy pool owner. Let's go!
Search Local Pool Contractor Websites
Find some pool builders and review their web sites. You can find the largest swimming pool builders, with information about their companies and links to their web sites. Look for the styles and designs that appeal to you. Pick out a few pool builders and contact them for an appointment.
Find a certified swimming pool contractor
Make sure the dealer has a CBP Certified Pool Builder on staff - the designation cannot be awarded to a company. This shows that the staff member has gone through extensive training and testing on pool building.
Ask For Referrals!
Ask the pool builder for a list of customer references or to see pools they have built. Contact those people and ask them how they felt about the entire pool building process, before and after the sale. Another great question to ask is how many pools they've built in the past year. Some of those referrals should be from brand new pool owners to give you an idea about how the process went for them.
Get It In Writing
If the salesperson makes any promises or claims affecting the purchase, construction or warranty of the pool, get it in writing. The builder should be comfortable backing the claims they make to you.
Take your time
Don't rush into your decision. Comparison shop. Get bids from competitor companies, but be careful not to get “Paralysis by Analysis”. This is a big project with hundreds of moving pieces. The right contractor will inspire confidence, and explain the good, bad, and the ugly. Relax and enjoy the process that ends in the ultimate "Staycation" spot.
Visit the pool store
Visit the pool company's office or showroom. Do the employees seem knowledgeable and professional? You will probably be dealing with these people, and, if any problem arises, these are the people who will be handling the issue. Do you get a good feeling from them? Having the right emotional fit between customer and builder is crucial when things don't always go as planned. And no project is absolutely perfect...
Read everything the contractor gives you
A reputable pool builder will have plenty of reading material with golden nuggets of information. Read all the written materials they give you. Don't sign any proposals or contracts until you're comfortable that all your questions have satisfying answers.
Know your rights
According to the Better Business Bureau, a contract which has been signed by the customer is not binding on the pool company until signed by an officer of the firm, and its terms are subject to change. The BBB further advises that, "potential customers should be aware that, if they sign a contract at the builder's place of business but do not finance the pool, there may be no rescission or three-day cooling off period. The finance contract has a 3 day rescission clause, but this does not affect the pool contract. Therefore, customers wishing to cancel the contract may have to pay a penalty of up to $1,500."
Are they covered?
Ask to see a copy of their Liability Insurance, Worker’s Comp Insurance, and their state Contractor’s license. This is important to know you are dealing with professionals.
Listen to your gut
Last, but certainly not least, go with your gut. Do you get good feelings from the builder? Do you feel like you are treated fairly? Have they listened to you and understand the vision you have for your backyard? Your intuition can tell you a lot about a person or company. Trust yourself and the rest will fall into place.
Now go get started and enjoy your new pool!