The decision to install a pool requires significant investment and commitment. Pool construction alone is a large project that may take weeks or months. If you start on the wrong path, either with resources or labor, it could cost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars to set it right. All this points to the need to pick the right contractor. When choosing a new contractor, it is crucial to perform due diligence, such as assessing their qualifications, budgeting, and preferences for the scenario. The following are a few tips to consider for a stress-free process.
Assess Your Needs and Preferences
The first thing you need to do is to map out the preferred pool design and specific attributes. It’s not all about preference, though, as you should consider the pool type that is predominantly built in your area. They may be above-ground, in-ground, fiberglass, or gunite, which helps you gauge the best fit for your home. Pools should also be aligned with your lifestyle and budget, considering the potential maintenance costs. Deciding on the pool features will guide you in selecting a swimming pool contractor specializing in the preferred pool structure.
Setting a Budget
The preferences for the project have to align with your budget. This is not only for upfront costs but maintenance reasons as well. Discuss the payment structure with the potential contractor early on so there are no nasty surprises, and it should help set the timeline from construction to completion. In line with industry standards, you may be requested to provide a down payment, so this should not be a cause for concern.
If work on the pool takes longer than was discussed because of unavoidable challenges like weather, ask whether additional fees will be incurred. It could be overheads for maintaining things in place or costs of depreciation. Either way, this is essential to avoid being blindsided. Other plumbing, landscaping, material sourcing, and clearing fees should also be factored into the budget.
Researching Potential Swimming Pool Contractors
Gather Referrals and Reviews
Do comprehensive research about the swimming pool contractor for the project. The first option would be friends and family’s recommendations, considering their reviews are reliable. Contractors who have worked with close relatives are also more likely to perform their tasks diligently to maintain their reputation. They may also want to drum up business, so doing an excellent job on your project could advertise their skills to others in the same area or circles.
If no one in your immediate circles has a recommendation, you may want to search for a contractor online. Fortunately, most online businesses are reviewed on platforms describing their quality of service. You can check the various aspects of the contractors, from popularity to budget, and narrow down to a desirable choice.
Check Contractor License
Upon selecting the contractor, the next step would be to investigate their licensure and certification. This ensures due diligence as they should be a part of an accredited organization and have the relevant certificates to perform their job. For example, the Master Pools Guild is a network of 100 elite residential and commercial pool designers. It is an invitation-only group and the only one in the pool industry, showing the contractor is an expert in their field.
All states also legally require that building contractors have current licenses. These regulations are there to protect property owners from dishonest or incompetent contractors. You can check contractor licenses online as well to see if any complaints have been filed against their company or against that individual. Search by zip code to find the companies listed within the area. The contractors themselves ought to have been in business for at least 12 months and not have a high volume of complaints listed against them.
Evaluating Contractor Credentials and Experience
Review Past Projects and Portfolios
Any experienced swimming pool contractor will have a portfolio that customers can verify, a list of past jobs they have completed. Their experience affects the build quality and durability of the pool they build. It also gives an idea of the contractor’s specialization, including tools or supplies used and pool types they construct. You may get an idea of the budget they work with by looking at their portfolio as well.
Inquire About Insurance and Warranties
Being a professional contractor, they ought to be covered in case anything happens to them or the project they are undertaking. That will take care of damages or injury while the work is done. The contractor will be working with heavy equipment on site along with other manpower to complete the task in the set timeline. Ask for a copy of their liability insurance and workers’ compensation coverage, as these are required by law.
Warranty insurance is also essential should things go wrong once planning and paving the pool has been done. Different warranty types include equipment, extended, structural, surface, and workmanship. Reviewing and understanding the contractor’s warranties is essential so you are aware of the coverage or applicable terms. All coverage and warranty documentation should be in writing so you may review them to ensure they are active before committing to any arrangement via downpayment.
Making the Final Decision
The process of choosing a swimming pool contractor needs to be handled carefully and patiently. Preferences should be synchronized with the set budget, which must be discussed with the contractors to ensure that most things are considered. Get detailed quotes from multiple contractors to avoid settling for an unfavorable choice.
Compare not only the costs each indicates but also build quality revealed in their portfolios, included services, and the timelines promised for the job. Consider the online reviews made against the contractor and check both the positive as well as negative ones from an objective point of view.
These factors are incorporated into the background research on each contractor and should help you decide. Go for the option that best satisfies your interests while falling into the pool budget.