How to properly deal with a swimming pool contractor?

Sound advice when it comes to Swimming Pool Contractors!

-Get Organized-

We’ve recommended keeping a file in other areas of your backyard projects this is no time to throw that good advice aside.

-Educate Yourself-

Call around and talk to as many companies as possible before deciding on a swimming pool contractor.

-Write down your questions-

Before you pick up the phone be prepared with all your questions in front of you.

-Keep a Check List-

Write the company name, contact name, number, date, results of questions asked and follow up at the top of a sheet of paper. Have it in front of you with your questions sheet as you talk to each company.

-Make Lots of Notes-

Jot down notes as to how professionally you were treated and the over-all feeling of each conversation. Were they helpful and forthcoming with good ideas, or did they sound preachy or like they were giving you a sales pitch?

Were they specific in answering your questions about time frame and price.

Did they give you any references? I wouldn’t necessarily take a lot of stock in these, what company is going to give out their bad references, but do they have any? Ask for at least three. You’ll want to know if they operate on a fly-by-night basis or if they really know what they’re doing.

How to properly deal with a swimming pool contractor?

By asking them more questions you’ll begin to get a feel for how professional they actually are. Even more telling, is how completely they answer each question. If you get a good firm answer each time, you should come away from the conversation with a satisfied feeling.

All the information you write down now will help you think more clearly during follow up calls.

-Talk to Others-

Business associates, friends, neighbors and relatives can be a great resource when it comes to giving references to help you find the right swimming pool contractor.

Check with the Better Business Bureau for references, as well as your local chamber of Commerce. Look to your local government. They know who the building permits are going to, and who gets complaints.

They can often give good references for reputable swimming pool contractors. Sometimes they even publish a guide to find all types of companies people are looking for and will rate them according to professionalism, prompt service, value and experience, etc.

-Bigger Doesn’t Always Mean Better-

National volume builders have a system in place that they herd their customers through, making sure they get paid before the work gets done. Don’t let that be you. Make sure you know the schedule of payments they expect and that it is satisfactory with you before you start.

-Get Bids-

You’ve gotten several references by now so have the best swimming pool contractors come out and give bids. Most likely you will have some extremely low and high bids. I’d consider throwing these out and deciding from the remaining middle bids.

Low ballers will usually discover something they forgot to charge you for later on anyway. The one with the highest price is probably very busy and has begun charging more for his work, which doesn’t guarantee better quality.

Your best bet is going to be somewhere in the middle. You might also consider building in the off-season as many swimming pool contractors are slower thus reducing the price.

-Get it in Writing-

Consider requesting a completion clause in your contract stating that if the pool is not completed by a certain date, that the contractor will deduct a specified amount for each day past the completion date that was agreed upon in the written contract.

Competition in your area might be stiff enough that it gives you the leverage necessary to encourage them to agree to these terms.

Make sure your contract states, however your payments are scheduled, that your last payment not be made until the work is complete and you are satisfied.

-Be Cheerful but Firm-

Bad vibes between you and your swimming pool contractor will only make everyone miserable. It’s just good business to keep your tone cheery and non insulting, even if you’re saying things they don’t want to hear. A little diplomacy can go a long way.

-Check up Constantly-

Take videos and pictures of the progress. If a problem gets overlooked it can turn into a real big issue.

If it’s address immediately, then something can usually be done about it right away. Don’t give them the upper hand in an argument by not knowing what is going on in your yard.

If something is positively unacceptable make sure it gets addressed directly. Keep the lines of communication open. It is in this area that you can ensure your own satisfaction.