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Selecting A Pool Builder

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Tips for choosing a swimming pool builder that’s right for you.

A swimming pool is a big investment so it’s important to do your homework when choosing a builder.

  1. Gather the names of 10 builders working in your area.
    • Talk to friends, neighbors and family members.
    • Look for advertisements in the media.
    • Keep your eyes open for builders’ signs in your neighborhood.
    • Do an internet search.
  2. Make some phone calls.
    • Call the National Spa and Pool Institute. Ask them for their members in good standing in your area and if the builders on your list are members.
    • Call the Better Business Bureau. Be sure to call the BBB in the builder’s actual city or county of operation. A suburban builder may not show up in metropolitan bureaus.
    • Reduce your list to five.
  3. Call the five remaining pool builders and ask the following:
    • How long have you been in business? (three years or more are recommended).
    • What organizations do you belong to?
    • Are potential clients welcome to stop by your office without an appointment?
    • Will they provide a $1,000,000 certificate of insurance?
    • Will they provide lien wavers from subcontractors?
    • Do they meet or exceed NSPI/ANSI standards?
    • Do they have a good rating with Dunn & Bradstreet?
    • Reduce your list to three builders.

Do Some Legwork

  1. Visit the builder’s office. Stop in unannounced.
    Make sure you’re dealing with a real company with a real office.

    • Check out the awards, certifications and photos of pools they are proud of.
    • Ask for names and phone numbers of recent customers.
    • Did you like the office? Were they courteous and professional? Are they organized?
  2. Make some more calls.
    • Call the customers you obtained at the builder’s office.
    • Ask them if they are happy with the work being done. Has the company followed through, resolved issues and stayed on schedule?

Meet the Builders

  1. Schedule an appointment with the builder at your home.
    • Share your vision for the pool and backyard. Try to anticipate how you will use the backyard now and in the future.
    • Show them the site for the pool.
    • Have them prepare a design for you.
  2. Get a written bid.
    • Make sure it is specific. Include everything.
    • Get brand names for products and equipment.
  3. Determine your comfort level.
    • Which builder listened to you and designed what you wanted?
    • With which builder did you feel most comfortable?

Make Some Final Decisions

  1. From all the information you’ve gathered, make some decisions
    on your new pool.

    • Determine exactly what size, shape and style of pool you want.
    • Decide on the features and equipment your pool will have.
  2. Schedule an appointment with the builder at your home.
    • What type of surface?
    • What type of equipment?
    • Include brand names.
  3. Take the list back to the builders and ask for a revised and final
    bid.

    • Get all proposals and assurances in writing.
    • Ask the builder for a completion date. Remember, it’s not when they can start that’s important… it’s when they can finish. Normal completion time is 30 working days or six weeks.

Good Luck and make sure you listen to the Backyard Bay Radio show! We’ll be talking weekly about swimming pools and spas and how your neighbors are enjoying theirs.

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