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Thinking About Adding a Swimming Pool?
Choosing the right swimming pool company and contractor can really mean the difference between an easy construction process and a complete mess. A brand new swimming pool is quite a project and it takes someone with a good deal of experience, knowledge, and skill to make it happen. There are also pricing, licensing and safety issues to consider as well. It is absolutely essential that you choose a high quality and reputable swimming pool company. A poor choice could mean costly mistakes, low-quality craftsmanship, dangerous conditions or an unfinished project.
There are many swimming pool companies that operate in your local region and finding these companies is easy. Determining which specific companies are the good guys can be a little bit more difficult. This is why it is important to do your research before you make your decision. Here are the 17 most important things to look for in a swimming pool company. By following this checklist you can be sure that you hire the right contractor and company for the job. Making the right decision will ultimately save you money, effort, time and stress. And your brand new swimming pool will look great and last for years!
The 17 Point Checklist to Choosing the Best Swimming Pool Company
You will want to look for a swimming pool company who:
Is An Experienced Contractor
An experienced swimming pool contractor can make the difference in your swimming pool project. There is a lot that goes into building a swimming pool, including permits, soil types, construction equipment, planning, materials and supervising the crew. The more experienced your contractor is the more likely that they will do a good job. It is also important that a swimming pool contractor be experienced in building pools in your specific area, as local restrictions and laws may affect the pool’s construction. Look for a swimming pool contractor with at least a few years of experience under their belt. This doesn’t necessarily mean that an inexperienced or new contractor will do a bad job, but in this industry experience counts.
Provides the Proper Permits
There are many specific permits and other legal documents required to install or build a swimming pool. Many of these permits are specific to a local area of residence. A high-quality pool contractor will apply for and obtain all of the necessary permits for you before the work begins. Be wary of any swimming pool contractor who asks you to obtain the required permits. This could mean they are ducking the permit office due to previous violations. Also, a qualified contractor should understand which permits are required for your specific project and how exactly to go about obtaining them. This saves you time and effort.
Fits Into Your Budget
Odds are you have a budget to stick to when it comes to your pool project. A good swimming pool contractor helps keep the project within your budgetary requirements. Pricing between various swimming pool contractors should not be very different. Most contractors will charge about the same rates. A high-quality contractor will help you understand the pricing structure and the costs of materials. They should do their best to ensure that you get the very best materials and service for the cost. Cost should not be the only factor you consider when choosing a swimming pool contractor.
Offers a Complete Contract
This is often overlooked by many people. You will always want to use a swimming pool contractor who offers you a complete contract. A high-quality contractor will ask you to sign a contract before any work begins on the project. This protects both the customer and the contractor and gives you some form of legal recourse if the project isn’t completed properly or on time. A complete contract should include all of the necessary permit information, the materials and costs, the projected start and finish times for the project and some form of guarantee. Never allow any work to begin on your swimming pool project until you have a complete and signed contract first!
All high-quality swimming pool contractors should have references for you to review. References are a great way to check up the reputation of a pool contractor. Be sure to ask for references and check up on them. Ask the references if they were happy with the contractor, if they experienced any specific problems with them and if they would recommend this specific contractor to you. Avoid a swimming pool contractor who is unwilling to give you a list of previous clients for references.
Is Licensed and Insured
Most states require that a business possess a business license. Some states require that a swimming pool contractor carry a specific license for building pools. It is a good idea for you to check up on your state’s specific business and swimming pool contractor licensing requirements and then to double check that your contractor is up to date. You want everything regarding your swimming pool project to be 100% legal. This goes for insurance as well. You want your property and the workers involved to be properly insured.
It is important that whoever you are dealing with, whether they are the owner of the company or the project manager, is easily accessible. You may have questions, problems, concerns or changes that need to be discussed, so it is important that someone from the company is always there to talk. Making sure that you choose a swimming pool contractor who is accessible can make the difference between a successful and stress-free experience and a difficult one.
Cares About Safety
A high-quality swimming pool contractor cares about their safety record. They care about the safety of their workers and of you, the homeowner. This means proper planning and following guidelines and restrictions determined by the state. Very often this type of construction requires using potentially dangerous tools and equipment. Ask your potential pool contractor about their company’s safety procedures and rules. Ask what steps they will take during the project to ensure the safety of everyone involved. Never hire a pool contractor who skimps on safety.
There is a lot of knowledge required when it comes to designing and installing swimming pools. There are lots of different types and styles of the pool, each of which requires specific construction methods. There are tons of industry parts that require knowledge as well. A high-quality swimming pool contractor will be knowledgeable about construction techniques, pool equipment, electrical connections, and codes. They will understand the heating components and energy saving devices. The more knowledgeable your pool contractor is- the better!
There is a great deal of trust involved in hiring a swimming pool contractor. You will be giving these contractors access to your property and a good deal of your money. This means that you must be able to trust your contractor. Never hire a swimming pool contractor who is dishonest or who you feel that you may not be able to trust. A high-quality contractor will give you their honest opinion about designs as well and will say “no” if something you want is a gimmick or is not safe.
Has Education and Certification
The more education and certification a swimming pool contractor have the better job they will probably do your pool project. Keeping up with the latest in construction trends and swimming pool industry standards means that your contractor cares about their services. The best of the best swimming pool contractors will have an APSP Certified Building Professional designation and an APSP Certified Service Professional designation. Good contractors will also regularly attend trade shows and continuing education programs.
Offers an Estimate
A decent swimming pool contractor will offer you a free estimate. Ideally, the contractor should visit the worksite in person and then provide you with a detailed and itemized price estimate. This estimate should include a timetable for completing the work, an estimate of the materials and their costs and a price estimate for the entire project. Be wary of any swimming pool contractor who won’t offer you a free estimate.
Uses Quality Contractors
Most swimming pool contractors will need lots of people to help them complete a project. There are excavators, plumbers, electricians, tile workers and other people needed to complete a pool project. Odds are the contractor will not have all of these skills to do the job himself. You will want to make sure that your swimming pool contractor hires other high-quality contractors and sub-contractors to work on your project. You can determine this information by asking about the workmen. Are they trained, licensed and insured to work on your pool? How does the contractor go about hiring his workers? Avoid a pool contractor who uses low-quality workers.
Offers a Job Site Review
Sometimes it is hard to determine the level of quality a swimming pool contractor can offer without review their work first. This is why a pool contractor may offer you a job site review. This allows you to take a look at a project that that contractor has either finished or is still working on. Taking a look at a review site lets you see how organized the work is and how the project looks. Is the worksite messy, disorganized and of low quality, or is it clean, organized and nice looking? If the contractor did a good job on this project perhaps they will also do a good job on your project.
Has a Website
Having a professional website may not be 100% necessary for a swimming pool contractor, but it does offer a great deal of insight into their company. Look for a swimming pool company with a detailed and professional-looking website. Look for lots of informational and helpful content. Look for easy contact information and guarantees. The more effort a company spends on their website the more they care about how they look to their customers.
Offers Payment Options
You should always be clear about the cost and pricing of your swimming pool project. It also helps to have some payment options to consider. Most swimming pool companies will require a deposit for payment of materials and construction costs. For the rest, you might want some different payment options, such as financing and convenient payment plans. A good swimming pool contractor wants to make it easy for you to afford your new pool.
A swimming pool is a large and expensive proposition. You will want a guarantee in writing before you hand out a single cent. Always choose a swimming pool company who offers a written guarantee of their services, their products and their costs. You will also want to look for your options in case something goes wrong. What will the company do to ensure that you are happy with their service? How long do they guarantee their products and workmanship? What recourse do you have in the event of trouble? A written guarantee is an extremely important part of any swimming pool construction contract! Never take a contractor’s word for a guarantee.