Choosing The Right Pool Contractor
With the Texas summer breaking national records for high temps and heat waves, it’s understandable if you’re fantasizing about having your own pool in your backyard. Taking a dip is a great way to cool off, and an even better way to entertain guests. But it can also be a time-consuming and costly investment. So, how do you go about tackling this project? And how do you find a contractor to get the job done right?
Before you begin your search for the right pool builder, you first have to figure out what type of pool you want and determine your budget. Then, you must follow the three crucial steps below to avoid costly mistakes when hiring and working with a contractor.
Decide What Type Of Pool You Want
Every major endeavor starts with a plan, and the only way you’re going to be able to plan properly is to figure out what you want the outcome to be. So, before you even start pulling names of potential contractors, be sure you know exactly what you want.
Materials can affect the price, and not all contractors may be experienced in the exact type of pool you would like to add to your home. Be sure to have a budget, not only for the pool but for any landscaping or fencing you want to place around it.
Set Your Budget
Once you have a better idea of what kind of pool will be best for you, it’s time to assess your budget. The average cost of installing a recreational in-ground pool is between $50,000 – $100,000.
The factors determining the price of the pool are it’s size, features, materials, and deck selections. If you have a tight budget, consider making a “want / need” list. This will help the contractor you select determine what is an absolute must in your pool, and what variations might be needed to stick within your budget.
Narrow Down A List Of Top Contractors
Now that you know your budget and what type of pool you want, it’s time to select the right contractor to make it a reality. The first step is to create a list of the top contractors you’re considering working with. That starts by knowing where to look and what to ask.
See a great pool in your neighborhood? Or did one of your friends or family members just add a pool to their own yard? Ask them who their contractor was and what their experience was like working with them.
Personal referrals are always a reliable place to start. You can also solicit recommendations on Facebook or your other social media networks.
READ ONLINE REVIEWS
Read through all of the reviews, both positive and negative, to discover the general opinion of a contractor you’re considering. Be on the lookout for any negative feedback a contractor receives. You’ll also want to see if the contractor has ever been sued and how it was resolved.
Choose The Right Builder By Asking The Right Questions
Once you have a number of contractors who seem like a good fit, you’ll want to screen them even further to find the best fit. Remember, in this situation, you’re an employer and the contractor is interviewing for a job from you.
You’ll also want to inquire about certain details that will help you narrow down your list to include only the best options.
Do they take on projects of your size?
The most important question to ask a potential contractor is whether or not they even take on projects of your size. If they don’t, they might be able to refer you to other contractors who fit more within your range.
You might also want to consider other aspects of their work, such as how many other projects they’re overseeing at a given time, how long they’ve worked with the subcontractors they’re using, and who their previous clients have been.
Does your pool builder have insurance?
You’ll also want to ask contractors about their insurance details to protect yourself from a potential legal battle. Ask for proof that they have liability insurance. If they aren’t insured, your home insurance may not cover any unforeseen injuries or other accidents– this could land you in a legal battle that you won’t want to be in.
Can your builder obtain proper permits?
If you live in an area that requires certain permits before any construction work can begin, you’ll want to make sure that your contractor agrees to obtain them. You can be fined if he or she fails to do so.
Does your pool builder offer a warranty?
While it’s important to get the right warranties for your pool, it’s equally as important to work with a contractor that offers a workmanship warranty. Without one, you’ll be finincially responsible for any mistakes that pop up down the road.
Finalize The Deal
After you’ve selected the contractor you want to work with, you’ll have to put some systems into place to get things moving in the right direction.
Agree on the contract. It’s important to have everything you and the contractor agree to in writing. Review the contract carefully before signing. Make sure both of you sign the contract to avoid any future disputes about the original agreements.
Having a contract in place will protect both parties if unexpected obstacles or expenses come up in the construction process or the contractor is not delivering work according to plan.
Set A Payment Schedule
Part of the contract will stipulate at what point in the project certain payments are due. Paying for construction in installments is a great way for homeowners to be protected if a contractor is not delivering according to plan or failing to come through on other promises.
And most importantly, you want to make sure you don’t give the final payment to the contractor if the project is not completely finished. This will help ensure the contractor comes back to make sure everything is working in order to get final payment.