prospective pool builder build quality pools? This question is
extremely important since Texas has no licensing or other
certification requirements for swimming pool contractors. We
recommend that you choose carefully.
1. How long
has your builder been "building pools" and how many pools has he
or she built?
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 specific questions. Demand specific
answers. Ask the builder if they have ever owned a pool company
under another name or if they have ever owned a pool company in
2. Does your
builder provide service and repairs?
that provide service will (generally speaking) enter into pool
construction with a different attitude than those that don’t.
Service-oriented builders will think of your pool as one phase
of a long-term relationship.
4. Does the
builder have a ready list of references?
have the references, call a random sample and ask about the
client’s overall experience. "What about unexpected problems, or
other issues, that came up during construction?" "Were the
issues resolved quickly and without hassle?" Finally, ask,
"Would you use this builder again without hesitation?"
Prevention: Does your builder have options?
builder comfortable with, and knowledgeable about, safety
options? Does he or she want to incorporate your concern into
the pool planning process, or do they encourage you to postpone
safety decisions until after construction? If you wait, you
might find your safety options precluded by the pool design and
the financing won’t apply.
7. Will the
builder provide a sample written contract for you to take to an
attorney for review?
8. Does your
builder have a good record with the Better Business Bureau?
that you check the local BBB. If the builder has a pending
issue, this alone should not disqualify them. Customers
occasionally mistreat their contractors. This can find its way
into a BBB report. But, if there is an issue, read the report
and ask your builder what happened. The report can yield more
tips on how to deal with pool builders. Be cautious of builders
with a history of complaints, even resolved complaints. Filing a
complaint with the Better Business Bureau is not a simple
process and is often the last straw for a homeowner.
9. Will the
construction supervisor build the same pool you planned?
to believe, it does happen: the pool built is significantly
different than the one designed. To avoid this, after you sign
the contract, ask for a meeting with both the designer and the
construction supervisor. Make sure all three of you are on the
same page. "Get down to the details."
10. Will you
take the lowest bid?
factors equal, it makes sense to take the lowest bid. Rarely,
however, are all factors equal when comparing pool builders.
Don’t allow price be the dominant factor in your decision. It is
rare that the lowest bidder in the area builds a high quality
pool. Many homeowners, having chosen the lowest bid, are later
disappointed. Poor quality materials and inadequate construction
techniques are often the path to the lowest price. The resulting
structural problems are especially difficult and expensive to
away from builders who:
cash payments; demand large up front payments; won’t answer
questions on drowning prevention; won’t provide a contract that
specifies materials and equipment brand names and models; won’t
provide written warranties for pool structure and equipment.
Stay away from any who bad-mouth the competition, their own
customers or others. Stay away from builders who ask you to
obtain the building permit.