Getting a swimming pool installed is such an exciting moment for homeowners. It is also a very big investment, so homeowners shouldn’t jump into it too quickly without doing the proper research. I am going to provide some tips to help you with your research and what to look for. These tips are based on what is needed in the State of Alabama, so this can vary in any other state.
1. Are they licensed to do the work you need?
In order for your contractor to pull the needed permits to build your swimming pool, they have to be licensed in the State of Alabama as a General Contractor. In order to pull a permit in Mobile County for instance, a copy of their current general contractor’s license has to be presented before the permit can be issued. If a permit is not obtained, and an inspector discovers this, the job could be placed on hold until the proper permitting is put into place. Feel free to ask your contractor for a copy of their General Contractors license.
2. Is the company you contacted actually doing the work?
There are quite a few swimming pool companies that subcontract their work out to other swimming pool builders. This means that the person that you are meeting with may not actually be the person building your pool. Here are some questions you may want to ask: “Who will be building my swimming pool” or “Is the business owner on the site during the entire project”. If they are using a subcontractor, I would require information on that subcontractor.
3. Are they insured?
One of the requirements for a General Contractor to get their General Contractor’s License with the State of Alabama is liability insurance. You want to make sure that your contractor has liability insurance. If something happens on the job, you want to make sure they are covered. Without insurance, the property owner could become liable. This can cause the homeowner to come out of pocket if their homeowner’s insurance policy is insufficient to cover bills associated with an injured contractor or property damage that happens on your property.
4. Can they provide references?
There is no better advertising than word of mouth! Ask the contractor to provide references. If they are doing a good job in their business and adequate work, they should have customers willing to give references for them. Also look for reviews on the internet. Since reviews can be placed out there by anyone, I wouldn’t depend on just that when making a decision. References that you can talk to or meet in person are much better. If they are using subcontractors, ask for references on the subcontractors as well.
5. What is their appearance like?
This is more of a personal opinion for me, but I would like to think that if someone is going to be meeting with you at your home for an estimate, they should present themselves in a professional manner. I do understand that they are in the construction industry, and a lot of contractors can be a little rough around the edges. But how they present themselves, and how they conduct themselves should say a lot about their business.
I hope after reading this, you feel more comfortable knowing what to look for when selecting a reputable swimming pool builder. There are so many people that will do anything to make a quick buck and no one has time for that. Any reputable builder should be happy to provide you with information that you request and answer any questions that you may have. If they get hostile or refuse any of the above, RUN!! Your investment is too precious to fall victim to lousy contractors.