Educational Consumer Tips
Better Business Bureau
BBB offers the following advice to avoid getting soaked by a swimming pool contractor. * Start With Trust. Visit www.bbb.org or call your Better Business Bureau to check a company out before doing business with them. Ask for references and check them out. * Shop around. Obtain at least three bids and compare them. (Get multiple quotes at once using Request A Quote!) Make sure the contractor's bid specifies the materials to be used, including quantity, brand, size, color, etc. Keep in mind that the lowest bid is not always the best. Some pool builders offer in-house financing, but shop various lenders to find the best terms. * Find out who will be doing the actual work. Will it be the contractor's employees or subcontractors? If the firm uses sub-contractors for some of their work - such as from a tile company - you will need to research both the tile firm's reputation and the contractor. You also want to determine who will be responsible for problems down the road. Issues such as these should be resolved before construction begins. * Do your homework. Find out if the builder can make any necessary site and soil evaluations of your property. The contractor should also know about existing zone, building and grading requirements. * Get promises in writing. Do not be pressured into signing a contract right away. Take your time and review the contract carefully. If you do not understand the contract, do not sign it. Make sure all warranties for labor and materials are in writing. * When paying for your pool, never pay in cash. Use your credit card, check or money order. And, never pay the full amount up front.