The first step in having a seamless experience with building your own swimming pool is choosing a qualified pool contractor. Experienced, dependable pool contractors are out there, but you need to do your research so you can select the best one for your budget, timeline and personal needs.
Review Contractors, Narrow Down Your Search
To begin your search, start off reviewing pool contractors in your local area by doing an online search. Or, ask friends, family and neighbors for recommendations. This will give you the opportunity to view online portfolios, assess the quality of the work and learn the contractor’s reputation.
If you find that there are several qualified contractors in your area – lucky you! – then look closer at the types of designs that they offer. It will be much easier for the contractor to share your vision when they are used to doing a specific line of work that appeals to you.
A final consideration is the qualifications of the contractor. Even though laws vary by state, at a minimum, swimming pool contractors must be licensed and insured. Does the builder have a good standing with the BBB? Have they had any complaints filed against them? If so, how were they handled?
Request an Estimate
Once you have several pool builders narrowed down, request an estimate. Contractors will have different methods for showing you what your pool will look like. Some use high-tech software while others will have a rough sketch drawn out. Either one is okay. The builder may also have their own recommendations in terms of materials and equipment.
It’s also important to ask who will be completing the work. It takes a team to build a pool, so discuss with the contractor if they will be subcontracting the work or handling everything on their own. Do NOT sign anything on the first appointment, no matter how good it sounds. Give yourself time to make the best decision.
Review Estimates, Make a Final Decision
Take your time reviewing estimates, and make sure you’re comparing apples to apples. If the builder tells you that they are going to give you something for free or a discounted price, make sure to get this in writing. Verbal agreements don’t hold up in most cases. Also, keep in mind that most contractors will want a moderate down payment to get the project started. Generally, you will make payments throughout the project, so get the payment schedule in writing.