How to choose a pool builder
Your pool will be an important part of your life and a wonderful investment in your home. So take the time to find just the right pool builder for your lifestyle and your family.
Where to start? Ask friends, neighbors and acquaintances to recommend a pool builder they’ve worked with. Check social media and review sites to identify well-regarded builders. And finally, look at builders’ websites to see examples of their work. Once you’ve identified three or four potential builders, start asking questions!
Experience: How much experience building pools does the potential builder have? Some builders have been in the “pool business” for years (retail or service) but have little construction experience. Some have been “in business” (other businesses) for years, but only recently decided to build pools. Ask if they have owned a pool company under another name or if they have owned a pool company in another city or state.
Education: Does the builder have formal or apprenticeship training? Does he or she regularly update skills and knowledge through continuing education?
Service: Builders that also provide weekly service contracts will often think of your pool as one phase of a long-term relationship. They may be more motivated to provide great customer service during the building phase.
Communication: Is the construction team easily contacted and responsive?
Seek references: Ask for names of both recent and older customers. Call and ask about the client’s overall experience. Were the issues resolved quickly and without hassle? Would the client use this builder again without hesitation? If possible, see the pool in person.
Safety: Is the potential builder knowledgeable about safety features and are those features part of the pool design? Likewise, is the builder familiar with building codes, building standards and best practices? Many jurisdictions have minimal requirements for pool construction, so make sure the builder builds to national standards.
Membership matters: Membership tells a story. Businesses that value long-term relationships are more likely to support organizations that seek to improve the whole industry and protect the pool owner. Their success is built not just on their own reputation, but upon the industry reputation as well.
There are several national professional organizations for pool professionals, as well as local business organizations that exist to help builders improve their professionalism. Those organizations include:
In addition, there are local groups such as the Chamber of Commerce and the Better Business Bureau.
Go with your gut: Once you’ve considered the foregoing factors, how do you feel about working with the builder? Has he or she explained the building process and are you comfortable with it? Have you met the staff that will be in your yard day in and day out?
Finally, here are some “red flags” to watch for as you talk to builders and narrow down the candidates. Avoid those who: