Ask the contractor about the number of undertakings done in the past year. After receiving a definite number in reply, ask for all those references. If the contractor refuses, or gives you a smaller number, don't go ahead with him.
Building a swimming pool is a costly affair indeed, and you wouldn't be blamed if you fall into the trap of those who offer you the lowest quotation for this task. While money plays a vital role in decision making, it should never be the sole deciding factor. In fact, most of the disastrous deals occur because of this reason. You will find many contractors who will provide you with irresistible offers that may seem to save a substantial amount of money now, but will prove to be costly later on, when the construction will start falling apart, and expenses related to repair and maintenance will come into the picture.
To avoid all this chaos, it is better to invest some time in proper research and planning, when it comes to appointing the right professional team to accomplish this crucial task. Based on the nature of work―the shape, size, material, utility, and budget―you would need to dig into the contractor's past work profile to determine if he is efficient enough to be bestowed with such a heavy-duty task.
Essential Factors for Choosing a Swimming Pool Contractor
License and Insurance
It is important for the contractor to hold a valid license and certificate to carry out this task. Visit their registered office and ask them to show you the proof document, both of their license and insurance. The professionals should be certified by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals. You can also check out their Better Business Bureau report to see if there have been complaints regarding their services.
Reputation and Reference
It is natural for us to inquire from trustworthy sources―friends, relatives, neighbors―and go for a contractor who is well-known. There is nothing wrong with this approach, but one needs to explore further. This could be done only through an extensive face-to-face conversation with the shortlisted contractors. Be confident and firm. Ask them about their license, past undertakings, and the kind of clients they have dealt with. If the contractor tries to avoid answering by saying that the information is 'private', refuse to accept the excuse. If they are good at what they do, they should have no problem giving as many references as you need. Hiding information highly signifies an unsatisfied clientele.
Many contractors hire sub-contractors for the work. The Better Business Bureau and the National Pool and Spa Institute suggest to research the reputation and credibility of the sub-contractors as well. It is also important to clarify beforehand, as to which party would take the responsibility in case of any mishaps during the process.
The right contractor wouldn't mind accepting credit cards or checks. If the contractor refuses to accept these modes, consider that to be an alarm bell. Another warning would be if the contractor asks for a substantial amount of down payment beforehand, and leaves only a minimal amount as balance. Refuse to cave in to these offers. Also, ensure that all the payment details are clearly written in the contract.
It is highly recommended to shortlist at least 2 to 3 contractors, and ask them for a free price quotation. Evaluate the most feasible option based on the quality, guarantee, and goodwill of the contractor. As mentioned earlier, price should not be the only factor to consider.
The last and the most important point in the process is to carefully scan through the entire contract before signing it. If the contractor pressurizes you to do so quickly, consider it to be a red flag. Take an ample amount of time to scrutinize all the clauses with regard to the insurance, payments, materials used, sub-contractors involved (if any), estimated time-period, guarantee period, and so on. All these aspects should be mentioned in detail in the contract. Study it carefully, and sign only after clarifying all your doubts.
With these points in mind, finding the right contractor for constructing your dream pool would be comparatively easy. The best way to be sure is to inquire, inspect, and cross-check the contractor through their past work. As they say, work speaks.