Do Your Homework & Decrease Your Chances of Getting Ripped Off
For many homeowners, building a pool fulfills a lifelong dream of spending wonderful moments in the backyard with friends and family, and watching the kids splash around and enjoy themselves. That’s what selecting the right pool contractor to work with is so essential – you’re basically trusting someone with your dream. By performing a little investigation work and doing your due diligence, you can minimize the risk of getting ripped off by your pool contractor.
Find The Type of Pool You Want And Who Builds Them In Your Local Area
Before selecting a pool builder to work with, you first need to decide what type of pool you would like to build. The type of pool you build will be based on key factors such as your area, design preference and budget.
First find out what type of pools contractors in your area are building. Are they predominantly inground, above-ground, shotcrete, fiberglass, or vinyl? Decide what type of pool is best suitable for your area, as well as your lifestyle and budget.
Once you figure out the type of pool you want to build, you can begin to look at different pool designs. Look at the websites of any pool company that builds the type of pool you’ve decided you want to build. Quite often you can get a sense of how qualified a pool builder is just by looking at the material on their website.
Think About Pool Features & Equipment You May Want In Your Pool
Next you’ll want to get a basic understanding of pool equipment and features. It isn’t necessary to become an expert, but you should find out the pros and cons of various pieces of pool equipment. Do you want a DE (diatomaceous earth) filter, cartridge filter, or something else? Will you chlorinate your pool with a simple feeder or maybe a solar generator? Do you want led lighting inside your pool? The list goes on, but you get the point. By having some understanding of what the equipment options are, you will be better prepared to ask the right questions of prospective builders.
Read Pool Contractor Reviews From Past Customers
Now you need to develop a list of potential builders. Start with any personal references from friends and family who have built pools. You can also drive around your area and look for gunite trucks or any other tell tale signs outside a house where a pool build is underway. Don’t be afraid to knock on the door and ask the owner how things are going and how they feel about their builder.
SwimmingPoolRatings.com is An Accurate Review Source
Once you have a list of builders, start to narrow them down. One fantastic resource for reading pool contractor reviews is SwimmingPoolRatings.com which maintains an accurate database of pool contractors around the country and the reviews that get posted about them. You can also check your list against the Better Business Bureau. Find out how long they have been in business. You don’t want to be the guinea pig for a new builder. You want someone who has been around awhile and is likely to be around in the future. The last thing you want to do is find yourself with a big hole in your backyard and a builder who has skipped town – it happens all the time!
Read reviews and find out any complaints a builder has had. You don’t necessarily have rule out a company because they have had a few complaints. Anyone who has been in business for awhile, in any field of construction, is bound to have some complaints. Once you’ve begun to narrow your list down, start scheduling appointments. Each company will have its pros and cons and they will each have their own unique sales pitch. Some of them will make your pool design by hand on a piece of graph paper and others will have elaborate computer software to do the job. Either method is fine. They will also have their own preferences on equipment. Some may rave about ionic purification while another may tell you it’s bunk and that a standard chlorine feeder is all you’ll ever need – others still, will prefer a saltwater chlorine generator. This is where all your research will come in. You’ll already have a working knowledge so you won’t be so easily impressed with a good sales pitch. Remember, just because a builder may prefer a certain method, or brand, does not mean they can’t or won’t build to YOUR specifications. You are the customer!
Make sure your pool contract stipulates everything that you are getting in writing. If a builder tells you he is going to give you something for free or after your final payment, have him write it in your contract. Your salesman may not be with that company next week. You want proof of what was promised during the sale.
Finally, when arranging payment, the builder will layout a payment plan. They’ll want a large percentage before they dig and additional percentages at each stage of construction. If possible, arrange it so that each payment is made AFTER each subsequent stage of construction. If they tell you they need 20% at tile and coping, tell them you will pay 20% when tile and coping is complete. You’ll want to negotiate giving them as small amount as possible before work begins and make sure the final payment (at least 10%) is not made until your pool is ready to swim in. Again, this should all be in your contract. You want to make sure they have strong motivation for keeping you satisfied and completing the job in a timely manner.
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