More and more Americans are investing in their health, their family, and their property by installing a backyard pool. Pools get families up and outside more often. It’ll certainly make your home the backyard BBQ go-to.
Pools are also a sizable investment. They cost an average of $35,000, and can sometimes take years to pay off. All the more reason to take extra care in finding reputable pool contractors capable of crafting the oasis of your dreams. Today, we’re going to arm you with five important questions to ask a pool contractor before you hire them, to protect your investment and your family.
Why Should I Trust You To Build My Pool?
Vetting a potential pool contractor is a huge step. Homeowners have to know that their hard-earned money is protected from bad actors and shoddy workmanship. The only way to protect yourself is by fearlessly asking the hard questions.
Experienced installers should be able to take a few pointed questions in stride. Regardless, the answers you receive in return should be especially valuable.
Ask about the company’s size, history, and insurance coverage. Don’t be afraid to request a copy of their certificate insurance, or other documentation to back-up their claims. Just because a company is big, or has been in business for decades, doesn’t necessarily make them worthy of your trust.
Can You Provide Me With A List of References?
Homeowners can explore a contractor’s work history in a variety of ways. Most installers will provide you with a list of references on request. They usually dedicate a section of their website to reviews, testimonials, and photos of past projects. Even if they don’t, there are lots of places online that compile contractor reviews.
You should be able to freely choose from a large list of potential references, so be wary if you notice any hesitation when the subject is brought up. A list of references doesn’t mean much if you aren’t prepared to make phone calls, so be ready to contact and chat with a minimum of five references.
What is Your Workmanship Warranty?
Each individual pool component comes with a manufacturer’s warranty for a minimum of one year. Some equipment makers offer more comprehensive and longer term warranties, which is something you’ll need to sort out with your contractor ahead of time.
Most reputable pool contractors back up their labor with what’s known in the industry as a workmanship warranty. Each installer is different, but you’d do well to avoid contractors who refuse to guarantee their work. Before you hire one to work on your swimming pool, ask about the particulars of their workmanship warranty and compare it against their competitors.
Are You Able To Deliver All of This In Writing?
We’ve touched on it a little bit throughout our discussion, but it bears repeating. Getting every element of your agreement in writing is critical. Written agreements eliminate potential for miscommunication and protect both parties in the event that something unexpected happens.
Make sure your written agreement includes mention of the following elements:
- The all-in cost of the installation.
- An itemized list of materials and equipment.
- A payment schedule.
- A completion timeline.
- Warranty information.
- Insurance documentation.
The more written and signed documentation you have on hand, the better. More than just added peace of mind, written and signed agreements are legal documents designed to protect both parties. Don’t settle for handshake agreements. Insist on a written contract, and take the time to thoroughly read any and all paperwork you’re asked to sign along the way.
When Will the Pool Be Ready?
Project timelines are really important. Homeowners want to minimize the level of construction disruption, and take a lot of comfort in firm deadlines. Don’t be afraid to ask your pool contractor for completion dates and construction phase timelines. Better yet, get all of it in writing.
Getting an estimated completion date is great, but so are periodic updates. It’s alright to follow up with an inquiry about the contractor’s communication strategy too. Do they plan to update you daily, or weekly? It’s important for both parties to establish reasonable communication expectations before anything is finalized.
Don’t be intimidated! Empower yourself to make confident decisions by reading, asking questions, and doing your own research. Pools can be expensive, but they’re also a significant lifestyle upgrade.
Transform your living space into a tropical paradise. Become the most popular person on the block. Invest in a pool and enjoy 24-hour access to one of the healthiest forms of exercise available. But whatever you do, don’t commit to a pool contractor until you get answers.