Many Pool Contractors have struggled with these tough economic times and although you may think only the good pool builders have survived, this may not be the case. The only way to ensure that the pool builders you interview are the ones to work with is by doing a lot of research and asking a lot of questions about how financially secure they are, how stable is their business, how skilled are they, and how happy are their customers.
To find out if pool contractors are financially secure, you can ask to talk to some of their vendors and suppliers. Solid pool builders will have long relationships with their vendors, through good economic times and bad, and their vendors are very loyal to them. They can also give you insight on the pool builders themselves - their character, ethics and standards.
A good sign that pool builders are stable is that they will have a showroom or physical location that you can visit and check out their products, displays, and workmanship. Unfortunately in some states, the swimming pool builders industry isn’t strictly regulated and you will often find a one or two-man operation, working out of their trucks, trying to make a quick buck.
This “mobility” often makes it easy for these types of pool builders to up and leave town when they run out of money or get into financial or contractual problems; often leaving big empty holes in people’s backyards. If you do interview smaller pool builders, make sure that they have the financial backing and stability of a larger corporations, and are either a franchisee or licensee of that company. These corporations have their reputation and brand to protect and even if something happens locally with any of their pool builders, they will step in and make sure that issues are addressed and that their reputation is protected.
To see if pool builders have the right skill sets to build your custom swimming pool, you need to have them take you on a tour of swimming pools that they have built. Look at the craftsmanship of the tile, plaster, waterfalls, and decking. How complex are the swimming pools? Are they simple “cookie cutter” swimming pools or are they custom pools with special designs and intricate engineering? Talk to the homeowners and ask them about their experience with their pool builders. Would they recommend them to their family and friends? If they were to ever have another swimming pool built, would they use the same pool builders?
Besides talking to pool owners on your tour, ask the pool builders for a complete list of referrals. It is well worth your time to call several of them and talk about how the building process went. You should ask about their interaction with the different crews, office staff, schedulers, as well as the overall quality of construction.
Also ask about their experience with any warranty issues and if the pool builders provided the same communication and customer service after the pool was done, as before. This will tell you what to expect after they have received all their money. Good pool builders depend on referrals to grow their business and they do not get them if their customer service ends when pool construction does.
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Article Added on Thursday, May 24, 2012
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