Questions to Ask Prospective Pool Builders
March 03, 2017 at 09:03 PM
So you’ve made the decision to put a pool in your backyard. Congratulations! Your next step is to choose the right builder.
How do you decide who to hire? Well first, you’ll want to make sure the builder understands your style and vision, is experienced, and has a solid reputation. To help get you started vetting builders, we’ve provided some important questions to ask prospective companies.
Dan Ramos, president of Distinguished Pools, Inc. in Poway, California, suggests asking about the company’s history. Start with “How long have you been in business and what got you started in the industry?” he recommends. “The longer a company has been around under the same name, the more qualified and experienced they are.”
You’ll also want to inquire about the company’s experience. Ask for photos or even tours of prior builds, experience building the types of features or pools you’re interested in, and a list of references (around 50). A builder who’s willing to offer up a lot of client references usually has a good reputation and experienced past with happy customers.
Similarly, it’s a good idea to find out where the company’s place of business is located, suggests the professionals at Pulliam Pools of Fort Worth, Texas. Knowing that a company has a showroom, and that the owner is also a homeowner in the area lessens the risk that they can leave town and your pool unfinished in the backyard.
Check that the company is in good standing and has insurance. Verify membership in the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals, as well as the Better Business Bureau. Ask to see certifications from both, or call both organizations to confirm membership. Any company that’s filed for bankruptcy, Pulliam Pools advises, may have left a number of unfinished projects with prior clients, then started a new company under a new name.
In addition, Pulliam Pools says, the company should have workman’s compensation and liability insurance in case someone is injured on the job. Ask for the name of the insurance company so you can call and confirm proof of insurance, in addition to receiving a copy of the insurance from the company. If the company doesn’t have insurance, the homeowner (you) can be sued for injury of an employee or subcontractor.
Also important, Ramos adds, is to find out the typical prices for swimming pools that the particular builder specializes in installing. This way, you can determine if the build fits within your budget. Keep in mind, however, that the builder should be looking at your property and space where the pool would go before quoting a price. Every pool is unique, and a fixed price advertised should be questioned.
Other questions to ask, according to Ramos, include:
1. What’s your building process?
This helps establish expectations. You’ll also learn how long the project will take, what can cause delays, what sort of machinery may end up in your yard, and avoid surprises later on.
2. Are you going to subcontract my project or how much will you be doing yourself?
While builders subcontract out parts of projects, it’s good to know who exactly you’re hiring and based on what qualifications.
3. Who is going to oversee the build?
This is your point person and you’ll want to make sure you’ve become acquainted, and that this person has enough experience to manage the project.
4. What happens if I have a problem during the build?
What types of steps does the company take to fix a problem, or if you change your mind on a decision?
One tip is to make a checklist or spreadsheet in which each of your questions are answered by the different builders you are considering so you can compare the answers side by side. Ask other friends with recent pool installations about their experiences and get referrals for builders from them as well.
Adding a swimming pool is an important investment – and it’s key to feel comfortable with you who’ve chosen to built it.
Photo credit: http://www.distinguishedpools.com/adventurous.htm