If you have seriously sat down and considered having an in-ground swimming pool installed you will know there are a lot of decisions to be made. One of the first questions you will ask yourself is – how do I select a good swimming pool builder?
This is a very valid and important question, after all not only are you paying out a lot of money you want to know the builder you choose has the expertise to make sure your pool is perfect. Regardless of where you live and the type of pool you are looking for, this list will point out everything you need to consider when looking for a swimming pool builder.
Business information and experience
- Is the business licenced and insured?
- Is the name on the licence and the business name the same – if not – why not?
- Find out how many years the business has been building swimming pools for
- How many pools as the builder installed
- How many pools did he install in the last year
- Can he provide any references for his work in the past year?
One thing to consider here is – if the builder has installed – for example 20 pools, but he can only provide 8 or 10 references it could be an issue. In general people, happy with a job are pleased to become a reference, if your builder only has half – or less – of his customers on a list – that means 50% or more were NOT happy with the work completed.
Call more than one or two of the builder’s references and ask the following
- What did you enjoy most about the experience?
- What did you enjoy the least?
- Would you use the pool builder again?
- What would you do differently?
- What pool and options did you choose?
- If there were any problems, how did the builder deal with that?
Look at any reviews and ratings
- What is his ratio of good VS bad reviews?
- Has he responded well to any negative reviews?
What products does the builder use?
- Are the products he is using getting a good review in the marketplace?
- Did the references you called give good feedback on the products used by the builder?
- Are any or all of the products he uses getting positive ratings?
- Are any of the products he uses backed by any warranties?
A good builder’s warranty should cover any issues that may arise including plumbing leaks, pool movement, any structural issues – i.e. pool decking etc. be sure to ask –
- How long does he guarantee his work for?
- What does his guarantee/warranty cover?
- What happens if repairs are needed? Who pays to repair damage to your yard, replace the water, replace chemicals etc.
- What is it that the builder does that sets them apart from the rest?
Design and planning
When your builder shows you the plans for the work – does it show –
- The exact location of the pool
- Patio dimensions
- The elevation (height) of the pool in relation to your existing yard
- Location of pump and filter system
- Fence layout
- Retaining walls (if applicable)
- Deck and drainage area (if applicable)
Contract and pricing
If possible check that a price for ALL the work is included in the contract and try to avoid getting into an agreement that any patio, fence work, retaining walls etc. will be priced AFTER the work has begun. This only makes the original quote look less than it will end up costing. Ensure listed on the contract are
- An estimated completion date
- All extras are listed on the contract
Things that really aren’t that important
- The size of the builder’s business – great swimming pool builders come in all sizes
- In house or subcontracting – at the end of the day a good pool builder gets the work done regardless of whether they have their own people or hire contractors
- Websites and marketing – glossy brochures are nice and an updated Facebook page looks good, but it is still no indication of how reliable, trustworthy and professional a builder is.