Finding a reputable pool contractor can be daunting. More often than not, issues will arise; from unlicensed contractors to lack of experience. Luckily, solutions to pool contractor problems can be addressed by doing a little research before “making the plunge.”
The one vital key to preventing future mishaps with your pool contractor is research. Regardless of what you may hear from family or friends, it is imperative that proper research is conducted prior to purchasing a pool. Even if this contractor is reputable, no harm can come from proper researching of that company.
The problem therein lies in what should you be looking for when researching?
To avoid a terrible contractor experience, verify that the company in mind possesses a valid and current license. This is important as it provides insight on whether or not this contractor is capable or willing to complete your pool. Often times, homeowners neglect verifying the license status of their contractor. Through this neglecting, you can potentially find yourself in the mercy of a con artist or apocryphal contractor. As such, make absolutely sure you verify the contractor’s license before coming to any conclusion.
Verify Contractor’s Insurance
Every contractor hired, be it for pool or some other type, should be insured. There exists two common types of insurance: liability and workers’ compensation. Liability insurance protects you from damages to your property caused by the contractor. This insurance will cover any expenses required to repair such damages caused by the contractor. Workers’ compensation prevents the contractor from filing a lawsuit against you in the event of contractor injury. This insurance provides payment to injured workers for lost wages and medical bills, regardless of who is at fault.
Ensure that the contractor’s insurance license has been sent directly from the insurance company, and do not rely on old photocopies, as these may not reflect current coverage.
Verify Contractor’s Bond
Bonding will protect you in the possible scenario the contractor fails to complete a job, does not pay for permits, or fails to meet other financial obligations, such as paying for supplies or subcontractors or covering damage that workers cause to your property. By confirming the contractor’s bond, you can further reduce the risk of hiring a faulty contractor. Be sure to ask your contractor for their bond number. If the work is unsatisfactory or incomplete, you can contact the surety company directly for compensation.
It should be noted, however, that requirements regarding bonding vary depending on the state and municipality where you live. Therefore, it is important to do your research before you hire a contractor.
Pool contractors typically provide photos of their works before and after completion. While the gesture is nice, you must not rely on this information. Before signing the contract, find reviews from previous clients. Ask the contractor if he or she will allow you to contact the specific homeowners on which the contractor has worked for. Contact them personally and ask for their input. Past work is a reflection of future work. So, the better review these past clients give, the better the chance that this contractor is reliable.
Consider Additional Costs
Always consider any additional materials you may want to add to your pool. These additions can include lights, further decorations, and maybe an increase in size. Plan your budget ahead of time with these in mind. Research the potential costs of these additions to ensure proper pricing.
Get Everything in Writing
Make absolutely certain that, once you decide on a contractor, everything regarding the construction of the pool is documented and in your possession. Confirm that estimates are easy to understand and include all labor and materials, a production schedule with project start date, and a copy of all warranties. Once you have your hands on these files, protect them. Losing these copies would be incredibly detrimental to the construction of your pool.
In order to avoid catastrophes such as unfinished pool holes and extreme fees, research is absolutely necessary. A majority of pool contractor problems can be avoided by doing the proper research. With these criteria, you, too, can find a good and reputable company to work with.