For those who love to swim, the idea of having a pool in your own back yard is a wonderful one. It’s a bit like fulfilling a personal dream. You can envision spending your summer in the backyard, cooking out and enjoying a few drinks with friends and family while the kids splash and play in the pool. When you decide to make this dream into a reality, it’s important that you follow the appropriate steps in finding the right pool contractor to build your pool, so that your dream doesn’t become a nightmare. You want the pool of your dreams to be built with as little headache as possible, and in order to accomplish that, you need to make sure that you choose the best contractor possible. The best way to start your search is by asking your friends, family and neighbors who have built pools about their experience and if they’d recommend the contractor that they had used or not. Once you have a list of potential contractors started, you’ll want to narrow it down to a final 2 or 3 builders to get quotes from. Here are some things to take into consideration to help make sure that you are selecting the right pool contractors to interview to make your dream come true.
Things to Consider When Selecting a Pool Contractor
- Check out their place of business. When you walk in, do you feel comfortable? Is it a professional atmosphere where the employees are professional and friendly? You’ve heard the saying “you never get a second chance to make a first impression”, right? That goes for your potential pool builder too. First impressions are powerful. You should feel comfortable in their office and see a wide variety of their work proudly displayed around their showroom!
- Ask questions about service and warranty. How do they handle service and warranty calls? Is there staff or a department dedicated solely to service? This is an extremely important question. According to the Better Business Bureau, in 2016, “consumers nationwide filed over 700 complaints with BBB against swimming pool contractors, service, repair, and maintenance companies. Many complaints involved unprofessional behavior, no-show businesses, and work not being done in a timely manner.” Can you believe that? Don’t be stuck in this situation, so ask the question ahead of time!
- Search for the company in the state database. Here in Florida, you’ll go to the DBPR (Department of Business & Professional Regulation) website and search for the company’s name or license number. Within the search results, you’re looking to make sure that the contractor’s license is valid and active and if there are any complaints against the license.
- Make sure the contractor is a member of the Better Business Bureau. In order to become a member of the BBB, a company must demonstrate sound and honest business practices. The BBB will also tell you how many complaints a builder has had and if they have, you’ll be able to see how they responded to the complaints. Granted, anyone who has been in business for some time is bound to have a few complaints, which shouldn’t be a deterrent by itself. It’s the unresolved complaints that should be a red flag. If there is a builder with some complaints that you’re considering, ask them about the complaints. Perhaps the biggest difference between a great pool builder and a poor one is how they deal with their mistakes.
- Proceed to the design process. If all the above checks out, and you feel comfortable that they are a legitimate pool contractor, then it’s time to set an appointment to go through the design process. This process can tell you a lot about a pool builder, as they should have a design consultant that can provide you with a detailed design. Before this appointment, you’ll want to have an idea of what kind of pool you want and perhaps already have looked at some designs. Look at the websites of the pool company that builds the type of pool you want to get an idea of their style and if it meshes with yours. The more you know, the better the design meeting will go.
- Check if the pool contractor builds for home builders in your area. If they do, look further into the home builders they do business with. Are they reputable and financially sound? You should also visit some model pools the pool contractor has built on behalf of the home builders. You can ask the pool builder for a list of model pools they have built for you to visit. This will also give you an opportunity to not only see the company’s work, but it will also give you ideas for your own pool project.
- Meet the owner of the company. Are they active in the business? How accessible are the owners? Can you call them if you have a question or concern? This also goes back to item #1 above where first impressions are so important.
- Ask to see their certificates. They should be able to provide you with Certificates of Insurance for Liability and Worker’s Compensation Insurance. Are the dates current and is there at least $1 million in coverage to protect you from any liability? You want your contractor to be insured not only for their own protection, but also for yours. This includes your home, the surrounding property – like your neighbors’ home and yard – but especially includes YOU!
The process begins with selecting the right company. You may have heard horror stories about pool construction gone awry. It’s important to know that, behind every bad story is a bad swimming pool contractor. And yes, the unexpected can and does happen with a project as large as building a swimming pool, but an experienced professional will handle those scenarios without skipping a beat. If you must increase your budget a bit more to go with a pool contractor you’re more comfortable with, it’s well worth it in the end. Then, after your final selection, the actual building process is a complicated one at best. With careful consideration and planning the experience can be pleasant and the result will bring you years of fun and enjoyment.
Pools by Bradley is Here for YOU
Everyone here at Pools by Bradley lives and breathes our mission of designing and building your ultimate outdoor pool atmosphere. We intend to inspire you to improve the recreational time you spend with your family and friends in your new outdoor environment. BUT – we especially want to protect your investment – plus be energy-efficient and saving you money! Our motto is “take care of the customer and everything else will take care of itself”. When you choose Pools by Bradley to help you build your dream pool, you can rest assured that you’re choosing the very best. As a local family owned and operated company founded in back 1996, we have received numerous design awards and honors. Pools by Bradley is rated as one of the top 50 pool builders in the U.S., plus recognized as the “Best Pool Company” in Orlando by Orlando Magazine several years in a row! We offer custom built pools and spas with additions ranging from water features and lighting effects to rain curtains and water slides…the sky’s the limit! Contact us online or call us today at 407-323-7496 to see how we can help you build the pool of your dreams!