When it comes to having a swimming pool built, so many homeowners focus on the price that they forget to really consider the quality and if the work will even get done. There is that old adage that you get what you pay for, but sometimes, you can even pay quite a lot and end up with a contractor that takes off with the money or uses sub-standard equipment and materials.
So, while your budget is very important, this blog post is focused on providing you with tips on how to ensure you hire the right swimming pool contractor who will get the job done before you take the plunge and find that you come up empty with the one you selected.
It is important to know just how much construction experience the pool contractor has in terms of building swimming pools. And, that experience should extend to all the sub-contractors he is most likely using to get all parts of your swimming pool done. Ask your potential contractor about their background in swimming pool design and construction. This doesn’t mean just go with the swimming pool contractor that has 25 years of experience over the one that has 5 years.
It’s not that easy as some that may have years of experience are not necessarily still focused on doing the best job possible, or they may have other people handling the work for them who are much less experienced or driven.
When it comes to swimming pools, everyone wants to see examples of work, so be sure to get pictures or check out their gallery page on their website. Also, some contractors may even take you to swimming pools they completed. This gives you an even better example where you can see the outcome that you will get. You might even get a chance to chat with the homeowner and hear what they think.
Design and Process
It is important to get a professional design of your custom pool to make sure it fits your expectations. Look for a swimming pool contractor that uses professional design software and presents all the dimensions and materials in advance to starting. Try to avoid the one that thinks that sketching it on a napkin or piece of graph paper is good enough.
Licensing and Liability Insurance
You must check your swimming pool contractor’s license and make sure they are licensed for swimming pool construction, not general contracting work. Most states require contractors to obtain a license from a state licensing board. This licenses shows that they have the knowledge and experience necessary to construct a high-quality pool.
In California, the state license board states that a general building contractor may also contract for swimming pool work if they also hold the swimming pool specialty classification or if the general building contractor hires a licensed swimming pool specialty contractor to perform the work. You also want to check that it is up-to-date and that there have been no complaints listed with the state licensing board.
Also make sure that all the sub-contractors they use are licensed. Be sure to also check for their liability insurance and ensure that it is also up-to-date so you do not end up paying for someone that could get injured in your backyard.
Ask other customers about their experience and look for customers who are willing to share both the good and the bad so you get a clear picture. After all, a swimming pool contractor can have been around for years but they have developed a reputation for treating customers poorly and not delivering the level of service customers deserve. All the experience in the world doesn’t make up for being treated badly by a swimming pool contractor that you are paying a significant amount of money to!
Always get a legally binding contract that defines all the rights and responsibilities for you and the swimming pool contractor. The contract should cover the size and scope of the work, the timeline of work and payment collection, and the type of materials being used. This will protect both parties and especially ensure you get what you paid for.