There’s no question you’re ready to have your dream oasis designed and built – but where do you start with such a big project? And even more importantly, how do you go about choosing a pool builder for the job. Building an inground pool is a major investment which takes time and involves having an installation team working at your property. Given all these factors, how can you make the best decision and hire a trustworthy contractor?
One too many times, our highly-skilled team of designers, builders and contractors have been called by a worried homeowner to ‘come help and fix’ a mismanaged pool construction job – or in the worst cases, to rescue an abandoned pool build.
That is why we compiled this list to help protect you and your home from becoming victims of undependable contractors or fly-by-night pool builders? Scam contractors that take your money and never return to the job site – they are out there, BEWARE!
Choosing a Pool Builder
Consider these top 5 tips as trustworthy guidelines to help you when choosing a pool builder
1. Valid and Current Contractor’s License – The first thing you can do to prevent working with a bad contractor is to verify that they have a valid and current contractor’s license in the State of Florida. Additionally, the contractor must hold a valid insurance certificate. A reliable pool builder will be willing to have a certificate sent to you directly from their insurance company so you’re not relying just on an outdated photocopy of expired coverage. It’s worth the peace of mind to verify the essential pool builder/contractor documents: contractor’s license, general liability and Workman’s Compensation insurance.
2. Check Their Credential / Associations – Once you’ve verified the essential documents, it’s time to start checking a few websites for information on the pool builder. Start with the pool builder’s website to see how long they’ve been in business. Check to see if they are a member of the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and also see if professional Pool & Spa industry journals and associations list the business as a resource. For example, American Pools and Spas is rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau and ranked as a Top 50 Pool Builders in the nation by Pool & Spa News. In most cities, you’ll have a local directory and/or review websites that may offer additional insight about the company and quality of work they provide in the community.
Once you feel comfortable that you’ve researched and identified a reliable, trustworthy contractor, go back to their business website. Now check for one key piece of information – does this company specialize in one type of pool over another? By closely looking at the image gallery of completed projects (and hopefully they have one!) you’ll be able to tell if the builder has built/installed pools like the one you’re looking to create in your own backyard.
3. How Many Subcontractors Will Be Used To Build Your Pool – Time to get back in touch with the pool builder directly and ask how many “SUB” contractors are used during the construction and installation phase. The reality is most pool builders use subs. But when choosing a pool builder, ask if the same subcontractors and workers will work on your project from start to finish. These working teams will be on your property day after day, for an extended period of time – you want to know the builder is working with a core team of trustworthy, professional builders and laborers. In the case of American Pools and Spas, we keep the use of subcontractors to an absolute minimum to ensure quality control on every pool build project. Last question to ask about “SUB” contractors, are they covered by the general liability and Workman’s Compensation insurance? A professional pool builder will be more than willing to answer all these questions and more because they want to earn your trust and your business.
4. Check out their Design Center and Show Room – Now that you’ve asked the essential questions and done the research, you can happily turn your attention to checking out the pool builder’s showroom and design center. It’s time to let the fun begin! One of the best reasons to visually ‘shop’ the showroom and designs – to get a feel for what appeals to your senses, what works best for the space you have and to see it all before you make the final buying decision. When you can see, feel and experience the pool selection and design process, you’ll be confident about the choices you’ve made BEFORE you even start the project.
5. 3D Pool Design Software – While the showroom and design center may have provided lots of great ideas, does your pool builder offer a state of the art 3D interactive design tool? Experiment with options in 3D and you’ll save time and money using a computerized accurate model to try out different design ideas before the building in your backyard space begins – how terrific is that? If your pool builder doesn’t offer this innovative tool, you’ll be forced to set appointments to look over complex 2D pool drawings, multiple building plans and maybe even deck layouts. In this day and age, you want the convenience and appreciate the cost-saving accuracy of 3D design when custom designing your new swimming pool.
Rest assured, if you follow these steps when choosing a pool builder, you’ll end up with a reputable and experienced pool contractor overseeing the design, build and installation. You’ll be enjoying your new backyard pool in no time at all and it will be the dream oasis you’ve been wishing for!
Contact us today with your questions about swimming pool design, custom options, the pool building process, financing and more. Please fill out the short Contact Us form to set up your Free Consultation, or call us: 407-847-9322.