Expert Pool Builders Presents tips on how to hire a contractor:

Checklist for Hiring a Pool Contractor

  • Talk to a minimum of three contractors about your project. Look for firms that have been in the pool and spa building industry for at least five years.
  • Always check past and prior financial status of potential contractor. Many pool builders are here one day and gone the next.
  • Never allow a builder to rush you into signing a contract, and never sign a contract that you don’t understand. Don’t be embarrassed to take a few days to study a document before you sign it. Ask questions, questions, and more questions.
  • Always make sure that a contractor is insured and licensed. Ask to see insurance certificates for both general liability and workers compensation, and a license in the name of the individual building your pool or spa. Call the insurance companies and your states Contractors Board to confirm validity.
  • Have a prepared pool/spa plan and materials list drawn up and take bids on each.
  • Questions to ask include:
    • Did the builder start and finish on time?
    • Were there any surprises during the job-such as a change in price?
    • Was it easy to get in touch with the contractor while the construction was in progress? Would you hire this contractor again?
  • Ask to see a job being currently installed.
  • Always check credentials and talk to references, especially the firms’ three most recent clients.
  • Does the contractor have a place to view pools and all the equipment that they sell? It is always best to visit the contractor’s place of business before you buy!
  • Remember that the lowest bid is not always the best. Take a critical look at all bids, estimates and offers-and make sure you get them in writing.
  • Contact the firm’s primary material supplier to ask if the contractor pays bills on time and whether the supplier would recommend the firm.
  • Never pay more than fifty percent of the estimate as a down payment. Plan to pay the remaining amount in installments linked to the specific phases of the project.
  • Never pay a contractor in cash. Use cashier’s checks or money orders and get a receipt.Is your pool builder a member of the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals and Better Business Bureau?
  • Never make your final payment until you completely understand how your pool/spa and related equipment operate.
  • Remember, the more time you spend planning your pool/spa project and checking out the credentials of your contractor, the less time you’ll spend complaining later.