Never hire anyone who comes to your door unsolicited, seeking business.
Talk to a minimum of three contractors about your project. Look for firms that have been in the pool and spa or building industry for at least five years.
Never allow a builder to rush you into signing a contract, and never sign a contract that you don’t understand. Don’t be embarrassed to take a few days to study a document before you sign it. And ask questions, questions and more questions.
Always make sure that a contractor is insured and licensed. Ask to see insurance certificates for both general liability and workers compensation, and a license in the name of the individual building your pool or spa. Call the insurance companies and the state’s contractor’s board to confirm validity.
Have a prepared pool/spa plan and a materials list drawn up and take bids on each.
Always check credentials and talk to references, especially the firms’ three most recent clients.
Questions To Ask Include:
Did the builder start and finish on time?
Were there any surprises during the job – such as a change in the price?
Was it easy to get in touch with the contractor while the construction was in progress? Would you hire this contractor again?
Does the contractor have a place to view pools and all the equipment they sell?
Remember that the lowest bid is not always the best. Take a critical look at all bids, estimates and offers – and make sure to get them in writing.
Contact the firm’s primary material supplier to ask if the contractor pays bills on time and whether the supplier would recommend the firm.
Never pay more than ten percent of the estimate as a down payment. Plan to pay the remaining amount in installments linked to specific phases of the project.
Never pay a contractor in cash. Use cashiers checks or money orders and get a receipt.
Is your pool builder a member of the National Spa-N-Pool Institute and Better Business Bureau?
Always check past and prior financial status of a potential contractor. Many pool builders are here one day and gone the next.
Never make your final payment until you completely understand how your pool/spa and related equipment operate.
Remember, the more time you spend planning your pool/spa project and checking out the credentials of your contractor, the less time you will spend complaining later.