Educational Consumer Tips
Author: Better Business Bureau
Adding a swimming pool to your home is a major decision that involves careful planning and research. Swimming pools can be used for various reasons and even add value to your home. Read these tips before selecting a contractor to build your swimming pool.
Tips for Buying a Swimming Pool:
Determine the Type of Pool. To help you determine what type of pool is best for your home, it’s important to first ask yourself why do you want a pool. Reasons can vary from family recreation to physical therapy to entertaining guests. Determining a reason will help you decide if an above-ground or in-ground pool is right for your home.
Get at Least Three Estimates. Get at least three bids from swimming pool contractors and compare them side-by-side. Be sure each bid includes: the materials being used, the quantity of materials, size of the pool, and the itemized cost. Remember the lowest bid may not always give you the best value for your money. Check out bbb.org for reviews or complaints for swimming pool contractors in your area.
Check the Contractor’s Credentials. The contractor should be able to provide proof of their license, liability insurance, and worker’s compensation insurance. Check with the licensing board to verify the contractor has met all of the licensing requirements for your state. The contractor should have knowledge about zoning, building, and grading requirements for your property. Ask about the other contractors working on the job. Be sure all the subcontractors have obtained the necessary licensing and insurance. Ask if the contractor provides lien waivers. Lien waivers show that subcontractors and suppliers have been paid and will protect you from being liable.
Request References. A reliable swimming pool contractor will able to provide you with a list of references you may contact. Ask the references about their experience with the contractor and if they are completely satisfied with the work that was done. Find out if the contractor was easy to communicate with throughout the process.
Understand the Costs. When hiring a contractor it’s important to avoid paying the full amount upfront. Some pool builders offer financing through their own lender. Be sure to shop around at multiple lenders for the best terms. Be aware that in-ground pools are more expensive than above-ground pools because of the materials and construction that are involved when building them. Buying a pool comes with additional costs including: putting up a fence, installing a filtration system, installing heating equipment, plus increased taxes and utility bills.
Get Everything in Writing. Take your time reviewing the contract. Before signing the contract be sure to understand all parts of the agreement. The contract should provide details about the pool being built, the start and completion date, the total cost, and the payment schedule. A reputable swimming pool contractor will provide a warranty for their labor and materials and make sure it’s included in the contract.
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