Almost no investment in your home can offer as much fun as a backyard pool. But an in ground pool is a major investment, especially if you’re going the fully custom route. So how can you find the right custom pool builders to take on the project? Here are five things you’ll want to know about before making a decision or signing any contracts:
- Licensing and Insurance
Ask any prospective contractors for proof of licensing and insurance, and check the name of the business against a registry in your state to verify. Do this first, because there’s no sense in even considering a pool builder that isn’t licensed and insured.
- Complaints and Resolution
Ask each company you’re considering to provide you with at least three references for pools built in your area, and check them. Also check the company’s history with the Better Business Bureau; even good companies may have a few complaints in their history, especially if they’ve been around for a while, but what is important is how those complaints were ultimately resolved.
- Warranties and Guarantees
There are basically two types of warranties that apply in the construction business: manufacturing and workmanship. The first refers to the quality of the materials themselves, and these warranties are usually offered by the original manufacturers. The second, which may or may not be offered, covers the quality of the installation, and would be offered by the pool company you’ve hired to handle construction. Ensure that you’re clear on all aspects of any warranty or guarantee you’re offered, as sometimes a company will throw around those words to lull you into a sense of false security — and then not have a way to back up their promises.
- Estimates and Timeline
Make sure you fully understand any quote or estimate you’re given, and what will happen if unforeseen factors raise the eventual cost of the project. Cost is often closely related to the construction timeline (since labor is one of the most expensive parts of any construction project), so you should also ask what the projected timetable would be for your swimming pool installation and what the company does to keep projects on schedule.
- Payment and Security
You should never pay completely in advance for a construction project, and certainly never in cash. If you must make out a check, do some research to ensure you’re writing it to a legitimate entity (and never make it out to a person, rather than to the company). It’s always best to pay with a traceable method such as a credit card; if that’s not possible, ask what steps the company takes to ensure your payment is secure.
Do you have any other tips for choosing a pool builder? Share them in the comments.