We decided to help you in the process by providing you a checklist of what you need to ask when choosing inground pool builders.
Fact is, you can use this checklist if your buying fiberglass pools, concrete pools or vinyl inground pools.
POOL BUILDER COMPANY NAME: _______________________
Part 1: Standard Information on the Business and Experience
Make sure the company is licensed and insured (check if the name matches. If not, ask why)
|Number of years the pool builder has been operational*|
|Total Number of pools installed (Company lifetime)|
|Number of pools installed last year|
|How many references can you provide from last years clients?|
* close to half of new contractors fail and close shop in the first 5 years.
Part 2: Reference Check Time
Get them to provide you with as many references as possible. If that number is below half of the number they installed last year, this would be a cause for concern. Most of our clients are happy to be a reference for other shoppers and happy to talk about their pool (if you had a pool before, you know what I'm talking about).
We suggest you speak to at least 3-5 references. Nothing stops you from going for more :)
Would you use the same pool builder if you could start all over again?
What did you like the most about working with X
What did you like the least about working with X
|Describe your swimming pool with accessories, size, shape, ect.|
|If you could change anything, what would it be?|
|When problems and challenges occured, how were they handled?|
Finally, do a quick check online to see how the reviews are for each builder you are considering. A minimum of 2 good reviews against every bad one is a minimum. Also, look at how they handle the back reviews.
Part 3: Products Used By Pool Builder
You have to make sure you are comparing apples with apples. Do ask about the products used in your pool and you can always do more research using the table below.
The products the pool builder uses have good reviews in the marketplace. (Pump, Filter, Salt Water System, Heater, etc)
The customer references you called gave the products used by the builder positive ratings
|The products are backed by competitive warranties||
Part 4: Workmanship Warranty & Installation Practices
Installing an inground swimming pool involves lots of labor. So what kind of re-assurance do you have on the quality of the work being done on your pool? Do ask about workmanship warranty and you can use this grid to get the answers to very important questions.
|What is the duration of the swimming pool builder’s workmanship warranty?|
|What specifically does the pool builder’s workmanship warranty cover?|
|What happens in the event that a repair is needed? (who pays to replace water, chemicals, repair yard, etc)?|
|Does the swimming pool builder have any installation or construction practices that distinguish them from the competition?|
Part 5: Design and Project Planning
Make sure proper project planning includes at a minimum, details about:
Pool Location (including pump and filter)
Access area required to install pool
Fence Layout (if appliable)
Part 6: Swimming Pool Contract and Pricing
Everything discussed oraly is written on contract
Completion Date of the project is listed on the contract
Detailed terms and conditions are included and you have reviewed them.
Want this checklist as a PDF? Download it here
If you have gathered this information with all the pool builders you are comparing, you will be in a very good position to properly compare them. If every shopper starts doing their due diligence to this level, we know it will force swimming pool companies to live up to a higher standard. Clients win.
We love working with highly educated buyers, because we know we can set very clear expectations on both sides. So be sure to print this sheet out and we can help you fill it with us.
(This checklist was inspired by friends at River Pool and Spas in the US)