Tips for Hiring a Pool Contractor
The outside thermometer is reading warmer everyday. You spent the winter months dreaming of a sparkling pool to help tame the summer heat and now you’re ready to get one installed. Where do you begin?
A swimming pool is both a major purchase and a huge life decision so you do not want to take it lightly and make rash decisions. The contractor you choose is arguably the single most important decision you can make during this process. Following these simple steps will help to ensure a smooth process.
1) Decide what type of pool you want: There are three main pool liner materials: fiberglass, vinyl, or concrete. Depending on the type of material you prefer, you need to make sure your contractor has proven success with it. Most pool contractors specialize in one type or another.
2) Other important decisions: There are a few things that need to be decided such as, Chlorinated or salt water? Electric, gas, or solar water heater? Manual or automatic pool cover?
3) Begin the contractor search: The general rule-of-thumb is to get at least three bids on your project. This will not only make it more likely to hire the best contractor for the job, but also get the best price.
4) Meeting with the contractors: Make a list of questions for these meetings to ensure that you get the necessary information. These will get you started:
- How many years have you been in business?
- What is the estimated timeline to complete this project?
- How long has the project foreman been building pools?
- Will you need to take down any fences to get it onto the site?
- What permits are required and will there be any work necessary from my end?
- Can you provide references?
5) Checking their references: Most reputable contractors will be prepared with a list of references. Keep in mind that these are likely to be clients that have had positive experiences. Cross check them with the Better Business Bureau, Angie’s List and Yelp.
6) Getting quotes and making the decision: Once all of the bids are in, review everything carefully. Make sure you have an itemized breakdown of costs to ensure that there are no “hidden costs”. There may be one that stands out among the others but if not, be prepared with follow-up questions to help make the decision.
Putting in a swimming pool is something that you, your family, and your friends will be enjoying for a long time to come. Choosing the right contractor for the job is important so going into the project prepared is a must. Happy swimming!