Installing a swimming pool on your property is a big decision. If it's done properly, it can increase the value of your home and give you a lifetime of enjoyment. But all swimming pool contractors are not equal, and if you choose the wrong one, your dream pool can quickly turn into a nightmare. Here's how to choose a contractor that will get your swimming pool construction done right.
Finding a quality swimming pool builder can be more difficult than choosing a swimming pool design. So if you know someone who has successfully had a swimming pool installed, ask them for the name and phone number of the contractor who did their work. This is especially important if you want a specialized type of pool; for example, find a contractor who specializes in salt water pools if that's the type of pool you have your heart set on.
Unless your swimming pool is a do-it-yourself job, having a pool installed on your property is going to cost you a pretty penny. Research swimming pool prices before you start your search for a contractor; this will help keep your expectations realistic. However, don't let price be the sole deciding factor. Even if you're looking for a vinyl pool contractor, lower prices don't always signal a good deal. Sometimes you get exactly what you pay for. If a contractor's prices are sharply lower than other contractors, it should signal a red flag.
While a small upfront payment (10 to 20 percent) may be necessary to get the pool contractor started, you should never be asked to pay the entire installation cost before the work is completed. If you do this and the contractor is not legit, you could be left with a half-done mess. Also, never pay in cash. Instead use a check, money order or credit card.
Finally, a handshake won't stand up in court. Whatever agreement exists between you and the chosen contractor should be in writing.
How long has the swimming pool contractor been in business? Does he have an established reputation? Does he have years of experience with swimming pool designs and installation? If not, you might want to look elsewhere. Also, make sure the swimming pool contractor is licensed and insured. Contact your local licensing board and find out if the contractor has any complaints or negative judgments against him.
Also, find out how many subcontractors the chosen swimming pool contractor will use. Sometimes, swimming pool contractors will subcontract portions of their work out because they are not skilled in a certain area. For instance, the pool contractor may perform the excavation and installation of the pool, but he may not have the specialized knowledge needed to install the plumbing, so he'll find someone who does, and subcontract the work out. If you need ancillary services like deck design to go with your new pool, try to seek out a contractor who can provide both services or, at least, give you a referral to a reputable patio installation professional.