Lets face the facts, not every company could possibly be suited for every customer, and that definitely stands true for swimming pool contractors. With so much conflicting information, so many differences of opinions and a multitude of products. It can just be outright difficult to select a pool contractor. If you are seriously considering an inground swimming pool, then you know finding a reputable swimming pool builder sits at the top of the list.
Over the years we have dealt with thousands of customers, installed hundreds of swimming pools and competed against a multitude of swimming pool companies in both Indiana and Illinois. I have found out that the swimming pool industry is comprised of business dinosaurs. I dont mean to insult anyone or any fellow companies. Swimming pool contractors view business the same way it was viewed in the 80's. With slick sayings like "I'll Sharpen my pencil for you, let me thrown in a colored light if you sign today, I'll crunch the numbers and see if I can make it work. Look, its 2016 no one should be taken, its to easy to go on Google, Bing, Through our experiences both good and bad we have created a list that we feel will help you interview a prospective swimming pool contractor anywhere in the country. Lets dive right in!
Swimming pool contractor ulitmate interview list
Licensing and experience
- Find out if the company is licensed. Yes / No (If they are not, do not do business with them).
- How long has the company been in business? _______ * 43% of contractors fail with in the first 3 years of business (Provided by River Pools And Spas)
Sales appointment / design consultant
- Make sure the sales rep or the design consultant listens to your needs and does not try to fulfill their own. This is your backyard project not theirs.
- The sales rep / design consultant should dedicate their time to teach you about all things swimming pools with a non biased facts.
- Ask the sales rep about their experience in the pool industry.
Customer referrals or previous job site review
Ask the contractor the following questions:
- How many pools have you installed since you have been in business?______________
- How many pools did you install last year and how many of those customers can you refer?___________/_____________
- Can you show me swimming pools that you have completed? ______________
- Can you refer customers to me? Yes / No
What to ask or look for when taken to a previous job site.
If the pool is rectangular, look down the swimming pool walls to make sure they are straight and not bowed or bulging
- Take a look at the concrete deck around the swimming pool. Are the control joints spaced out appropriately and are they straight.
- Look at the pool equipment to make sure the plumbing is installed straight and not crooked or sagging at the pump.
- This is also a good time to interview the former customer as a referral if they are home.
What to ask when interviewing the referral customer.
- What was the best experience through the swimming pool construction process?
- What was the worst experience through the swimming pool construction process?
- How did the swimming pool contractor react when a problem arose?
- What swimming pool accessories did you choose?
Pool equipment and products used by the contractor
- Does the equipment and products used by the pool contractor have competitive warranties?
- Are the products offered in the pool package sized properly for the pool. *pool contractors should always over size the pool filter for easier maintenance and better flow
- Are the pool contractors the certified swimming pool service center for the products they install. * All contractors should be able to service the equipment that they sell.
- If they are not the certified service center ask how they plan on repairing damaged products in the future?
Warranty on workmanship
A workmanship warranty is the sign of a good / confident contractor. It should cover any failures with plumbing, pool movements and concrete sagging at minimum. It is typically the law to warranty workmanship for one year. We feel that any good contractor will offer more than a standard of one year.
- What is your warranty on workmanship and how long is it?
- What specifically does your warranty cover?
- If a warranty issue does arise, who is responsible for water, chemicals, damage to the yard?
- Does the swimming pool contractor have a construction process that is unique in comparison to the competitor?
Certified for the swimming pool industry
- Is the swimming pool builder a certified builder or certified installer for all of the products they sell?
- If so do they have certificates or seals for proof.
Pricing and Contracts
- Make sure to get the price of additional patio, retaining wall, and landscaping written on the contract. This can be a tactic to make the initial price of the pool seem significantly cheaper up front, than what it actually will end up being.
- The estimated start and finish dates are written on the contract.
- All "add-ons" and "throw-Ins" are written on the contract.
Things that do not matter
- The size of the swimming pool company does not matter. There are large companies and small companies in every industry.
- Using sub contractors does not matter as long as the pool builder produces a high quality product.
I hope that this article helps you decide on the potential pool contractors in your area that is right for you and your family.