Installing a swimming pool is a major investment for a homeowner. While you might find the model and design of your pool at the showroom, who is going to install it? The pool retailer might offer references for third-party installers, but don't recommend any of the businesses specifically. So, how do you go about choosing the company that will install the pool? And, how do you know you’ll choose the one that offers the most reasonable price while delivering quality and reliable service? Before even verbally agreeing to have a contractor start work, it is wise to know what kinds of questions should be asked to fully protect the new investment. Read on to learn more about finding the right swimming pool installer.
A good indication that the installer is a professional is that they have an office phone, trucks with the company name on them, and at least a few employees. If the contractor is always the one answering their cell phone and drives an unlabeled van, it is a warning that you may be hiring a fly-by-night company.
Are they a licensed contractor in your state?
This is especially important for people who live near the state line or are looking at hiring a franchised contractor. Their liability insurance will only cover projects completed in the state where they are licensed. If the pool installer works in multiple states, they must carry multiple licenses. Ask for the number and verify that it is current with your state.
Who is doing the work? Will it be subcontracted?
If a salesman comes to work up a quote and they are wearing a company uniform, make sure to ask who will be installing the pool. Busy urban franchises may hire third-party contractors to do the work, which leaves little recourse for the homeowner when something goes wrong. Make sure you know the name of the site supervisor.
Will they pull the permit or leave it to the homeowner?
Whether you are having an above-ground or in-ground pool installed, your community may require a building permit and inspection. It is best for the contractor to pull the permit as they will understand all the questions asked by the city officials. It will save time going back and forth between people.
Can they provide references and samples of completed work?
This is especially important when having an in-ground unit put in. When excavating your yard, it is important that the contractor understand how to work around rocks, pipes, wires, and drainage problems. If your potential pool installer is doing their first job, there is a greater chance things will go terribly wrong. If they refuse to provide references, find somebody else.
Does the contract include water quality and pump testing?
Pool installation requires several different disciplines. There is excavation, pouring cement, liner installation, and the mechanical pumps and lighting. You will also want the water tested and treated so the pool is ready to use when the job is done. If the contractor is subcontracting out certain aspects of the installation, that should be specified on the quote from the beginning. This prevents any misunderstandings later.
What kind of warranty is offered on the job?
If you bought the pool kit from a showroom, there is likely a warranty on the liner and pumps. However, the pool installer should guarantee their work by stating in the contract that the homeowner must sign a job completion agreement once the work has been inspected. For in-ground installations ask about the warranty for the concrete work.
Will they complete a detailed quote before beginning work?
One of the warning signs when looking for a quality pool installer is when they offer a flat-rate price for a specific sized pool without checking your property. The initial quote should only be offered after they visit your home and any additional work is included in the quote. The contract must be detailed and include a projected timeline.