Since construction of a swimming pool is a large project, you need to make sure that the contractor you choose can do the job, do it correctly and that they are always in contact before, during and after the construction for any questions you many have for them. Here are some tips to find a great contractor.
Ask for Recommendations
Ask anyone you know in the area that has an in ground pool for information on their contractor. This can be very valuable information as they can tell you the good, the bad and the evil about their experience. They may help you to find a great contractor, or they may be able to help you steer clear of one. You can also ask someone who lives near you in your neighborhood for a recommendation.
Check References After Choosing a Contractor to Interview
Ask for references when you first talk to a contractor for a swimming pool. Don’t ask for a specific number of references for you to contact, but let them give you some. Any contractor that is on the up and up will provide you with many references to contact. If they only have two or three for you, they may not be so reputable. Pick several references off the list to contact in no particular order to ask about the contractor’s services. They will list the best ones at the top, so pick and choose which to contact from the list. Here are some items to ask of the references:
- When was the work performed? If they are all older references, the contractor may not perform work all the time.
- What type of pool was installed? A reference that had the same type as you want installed makes a better point of reference.
- Was the work completed according to schedule?
- Did the contractor only ask for payment on completed work? Or did they require money up front before starting?
- Did any surprises occur?
- Were workers courteous and considerate of their needs and the family’s needs while doing the construction work?
Background Checks are Important
Take you investigation of a contractor to the next level by obtaining information from the Better Business Bureau. You can look up the contractor online and see if there have been any complaints filed against them. It will also show if the problem was corrected or a misunderstanding of some sort in the notes on the complaint.
Go with Your Gut Feeling
First impressions of a contractor can be wrong, but look for these red flags that should send a warning to you.
- They offer a low estimate that seems unrealistic
- They pressure you to make a decision quickly
- They push you to get financing through their company
- They ask for payment in cash only
- They ask for a large upfront downpayment
- They generally lack professionalism in their appearance or behavior
Take a drive to visit the contractor’s office and take note of the condition. If the business is organized and neat, they will likely perform services in the same manner. If they have no office, beware of them.
Find out if the pool contractor also has other pool related services and is an all around contractor. Some of the other services that they should perform are landscape and retaining walls, pool fencing, fountains and waterfalls. They may also offer water-testing, repairs on all pool parts including lights, water and filter maintenance and cleaning as well. These items mean that they will still be around after they construct your swimming pool for maintenance and they won’t skip out on you after the fact.
Consider all of these factors to find the best swimming pool contractor for your new and lovely investment.