For most property owners, pool installations or renovations are an impossible project without a professional builder. Providing the critical knowledge and expertise for development, maintenance, and safety procedures, a pool contractor is a necessary tradesman for your backyard project, offering specialist equipment, and know-how to create a tranquil and secure environment for the whole family. Before you hire your contractor to build your dream pool, here are 4 Things To Ask Your Pool Builder.
Choosing A Contractor
Hiring a contractor is often the first hurdle for turning your dream pool into a reality. It can be a costly mistake to let your money slip into the hands of the wrong builder. With over five decades of experience serving the North Texas community as a premier swimming pool builder and contractor, we pride ourselves on our industry-leading knowledge and the exacting standards we set for our staff. Find our pool builder checklist below to help guide you in selecting the best company for your next project, through these 4 Things To Ask Your Pool Builder.
1. Aim for experience
We’ve all been apprentices and newbies at some point in the field, but choosing a start-up or independent contractor without the experience to back up their promises can be a costly decision for a customer.
Request a portfolio
A well-documented portfolio of work will not only reflect the quality of their services but also back up the skills and knowledge required to carry out the task at hand. Measure the provider’s years of service based on the references, examples of previous projects, and the most recent occasion the company changed hands. Consider their ability to carry out specific installations and renovations against evidence of work. For example, 10 years of experience in installing filter systems may not necessarily translate to repairing pool heaters.
View our residential and commercial portfolio
Utilize your builder’s references:
A skilled and confident pool builder will be happy to share references of previous clients and examples of work upon request. Utilize this resource during the vetting process to ensure you receive the high standard of work expected. See what our loyal customers have to say.
2. Determine the timeframe for your project
Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to hear stories of nightmare projects with delays and complications during the installation or repair of a pool. This can be frustrating for anyone!
To avoid turning your backyard into a long-term building site, it is crucial to agree to the project’s start and end date before signing any contract or making a payment. Communication is key to forming a successful working agreement, so commit early on timelines and how often you receive updates on progress and communications on delays and obstacles your contractor may face. Unforeseeable circumstances or mistakes can come to any project, even from the most experienced builders in the trade. A professional will stand out from the competition by keeping you in the loop every step of the way, offering efficient solutions to any arising issues.
3. Ensure the contractor has a legal right to work in Texas
The state of Texas requires tradespeople to hold several insurance policies and licenses to ensure the protection of the workers and their customers both for safety and financial purposes.
Required licenses for pool contractors
Businesses providing services in electrical installations or repairs are required to hold a Residential Appliance Installer’s License. This is a legal requirement for anyone working on electrical equipment, such as installing pumps, lights, timers, heaters, and electronic controls.
Confirm the businesses’ insurance policies
After checking their licenses, it’s time to confirm if the business is insured to carry out the work. Any reputable builder will offer protection to the services they provide. Insurance for pool contractors can cover many different areas and issues that can arise during a project, from standard liability cover to additional pollution insurance.
Insurance protects you
It is important to remember that once work has started on a renovation or maintenance task, the builder is responsible for the project until completion. This includes times when the construction area is not staffed with the company’s employees. Building sites can pose numerous risks to homeowners and neighboring areas. Exposure to chemicals, injury due to unmarked hazards, and property damage are all common issues that can lead to hefty lawsuits. Choosing an insured pool builder will reduce the risk of costly accidents.
Determine who applies for the building permit
Similar to electrical licenses, it is a legal requirement to apply for a pool permit for developments reaching over 24 inches in depth and beyond 150sq feet. The responsibility of permit applications can fall on either the pool builder or the customer. Discussing the application process before commencing work can reduce the risk of delays and complications later down the line. This permit is also required for the remodeling of existing pools.
The importance of accreditations
Industry associations equip workers with a range of support and training to maintain a high standard of knowledge and work practices in the field. Although membership is not a legal requirement for builders, there are several benefits to choosing a contractor who is part of one.
Gold Medal Pool Industry Associations:
At Gold Medal Pools, we are proud members of The Certified Pool & Spa Operator® (CPO®) a world-leading education and certification program dedicated to the safety of swimming pools. Our CPO-certified status provides customers with the confidence that we are trained in the essential skills, techniques, and knowledge required for proper pool operations.
4. Agree on features and services
When you have finalized the initial contractor vetting process, you may want to move forward and get things started. However, before you hand over payment, confirm these final and important details of your exciting new backyard pool project.
Confirm warranties on your new pool
A warranty is the safety net every customer wants with installation or repair work but is not always a guarantee in the industry. There can be large gaps between warranty policies and their coverage, so ensure you are aware of what is included in the service.
Request a copy of the proposed warranty policy before committing, allowing time to scan the paperwork to review items included and lengths of coverage. It is also important to note the differences between the warranty of materials and the work provided. Equipment such as pumps or heaters may be covered by the manufacturer, whereas a contractor may cover the structural installation of the system.
What building materials will be used for your installation or renovation?
A reliable builder will source equally reliable equipment and be happy to share information of their suppliers to curious customers, as well as discuss alternative providers if possible.
Many customers shy away from questioning the background of a supplier, deeming the pool builder will have the knowledge and expertise to appoint the best in the field. Asking for these details can help to guarantee the longevity and quality of the work provided, as well as ensure you are getting the best price for the service.
Cheaper products are more likely to be cost-effective in the short term but add up when faced with regular use and weathering. Mark-ups are part of the business and a practical way for contractors to cover costs of sourcing parts; however, some may apply unrealistic prices for quick financial gain. Customers should aim for quality materials that strike a balance between longevity and cost efficiency and always cross-reference prices that appear unusually high.
Always review additional pool extras
It’s easy to assume that everything is included in a backyard pool development, but this can be an unpleasant surprise for customers when things are left missing from a completed job.
Avoid feeling disappointed by vague sales agreements by reviewing the features and equipment that will be provided with the work. Here are some common and crucial items to add to your checklist:
Talk about your manpower
Depending on who you decide to work with, you may require additional manpower subcontracted to provide support on the agreed service. Although this service is usually provided by the initial contractor, vetting extra workforces can be just as crucial to your pool development as hiring your original builder, ensuring the quality of work and knowledge is shared across the site.
Will there be a supervisor on-site?
Discuss supervisory measures and the responsibility of dedicated site managers before welcoming any newly hired builders onto your property. It is important for you to feel comfortable and happy with the employees you are letting onto your property, so make sure to voice your desires for supervision early into the project so your contractor can provide the manpower required. Site supervisors can also help to manage the progress of the project, quality of service, and that working hours are all being adhered to as per the contractual agreement.
Choose Gold Medal Pools
We’re committed to providing our clients with the highest quality pool designs and repair services in Texas.
If you’d like to work with a contractor who acknowledges, understands, and shares your vision, our team can walk you through each step of the process. We share our knowledge of the industry and take the time to listen to all our customer’s concerns, ideas, and dreams for their pool or backyard design. Find out more about our dedicated services in the Dallas Fort Worth area. Get in touch today, we hope that these 4 Things To Ask Your Pool Builder, will help you in your journey to build your perfect pool!