There is a lot to consider when you are starting the interview process, yes you should be interviewing your pool building contractor. When meeting with the prospective contractor you should have a list of questions ready for them to answer, here are some great questions:
- Do they have verifiable reviews, such as Google or Houzz. It is best to see reviews that have actual pictures of projects from actual homeowners. Unfortunately there are companies that will ask friends and colleagues to write reviews. How do they address favorable and unfavorable reviews, you can learn a lot about a company in the way they respond to reviews.
- Are they a Licensed General Contractor? You can very easily lookup the name of the company to ensure that you are working with a Licensed Contractor. If they are not a Licensed General Contractor, they may ask you to pull the permit or they use someone else's License. If they are not licensed you are taking a huge gamble. In the State of North Carolina any project $30,000.00 and over you are required to have a Licensed General Contractor, unless you are taking on this liability. There may even be a chance that they will not pull the permit, which also means that you the homeowner are liable.
- How many years have they been in business? Who is the principle owner/s of this business? How many actual years have they been building Swimming Pools in their current business?
- Make sure that they have Liability Insurance and Workman's Comp insurance. You should ask for an up to date copy of insurance, you can also insist on being named on the Liability Insurance. If they are not properly insured then the liability of all parties, including their employees and subcontractors are your responsibility.
- Ask for a list of previous customers that you can call and visit their pools. Make sure that you get a list of at least 10 previous customers.
- How many different types of pools do they build and why? There are some companies that just build one type of pool, such as Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass , or Concrete/Gunite. If they only build one type of pool, their sales pitch is usually very one sided.
- Will they Service what they install? Many pool companies, just want to build pools. It is always best to make sure that the company that is building your pool is an Authorized Repair Facility of the products that they install.
- How much actual Education do they and their employees have? Unfortunately there are very few standards that are enforced or even known about in this Industry. Building a Swimming Pool is not something that should be taken lightly, the following is a list of critical and dangerous items if your pool is not properly built- Suction Entrapment and Hair Entanglement, Water Chemistry, Proper Depths, Proper Step heights and sizes, Structural requirements, Soils requirements.
- Will your project require Soils and Structural Engineering? If there is a problem will a soils engineer be called in? Many times in this area, soils engineering is required for Concrete Structures. If your structure is not properly built due to the soils, it will fail. Many pool contractors have clauses if their contracts that release them of liabilities due to soils conditions.
- Do they have a timeline for your project? If the timeline is rather short, be careful. There are quite a few builders that will rush through a project taking shortcuts and not allowing for the soils to settle before finishing the project. These missteps will take several years to reveal themselves, costing you thousands of dollars in the future.
We hope that you will find this information helpful!