7 Questions to Ask Before You Hire Someone to Install a Pool

by Sandy Hess
repairing and service of the pool. grouting tiles in the pool. Workers hand wiping away excess adhesive or grout from the tiles in a swimming pool using a sponge

Nothing goes better with hot summer days than your very own swimming pool. Installing a swimming pool at your home is a significant investment, so you don’t want to choose just anyone. Instead, take the time to check out several swimming pool contractors before you decide which company is right for you.

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When comparing swimming pool builders, there are a few questions you should always ask.

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What Questions Should You Ask Swimming Pool Contractors Before Hiring?

The most important step in building a pool is choosing the right contractor. Below is a list of seven questions to ask swimming pool companies before hiring.

1. What Type of Experience Do They Have?

The contractor’s level of experience is crucial. Don’t hesitate to ask any swimming pool contractor you’re considering how long they’ve been in business. You also want to ask if they have experience with the specific pool design you want. If the contractor has been in business for a while, you should be able to find multiple reviews online that can shed light on their reputation. For instance, several negative reviews could be a red flag.

2. Are They Licensed and Insured?

Before hiring any contractor, you must ensure they're properly licensed and insured. Don’t just ask the contractor if they have the proper license and general liability insurance; ask to see copies of these documents before hiring them. This step is crucial, and any professional contractor will have no problem providing you with this information. 

3. Do They Offer Warranties for Their Services?

Not all swimming pool contractors offer warranties for their products and services. However, paying more to work with a contractor that stands behind their services could be a benefit. If the contractor does offer a warranty, be sure you fully understand what’s included and what’s not.

4. Can They Offer Pool Style Recommendations?

You may have a vision for what you want your swimming pool to look like, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best option for your property. Always ask the contractor if they have any recommendations about the pool’s construction, such as its location, size and design. The right contractor can develop a pool design that’s perfect for your family and your home.

5. Can They Provide a Detailed Estimate?

It can be difficult to compare contractors without a detailed estimate. This estimate should include all the costs involved in building a pool from start to finish. Be leery of any contractor not willing to provide you with a detailed estimate in writing.

6. Can They Provide References?

Any professional contractor should be able to provide you with several references from past clients — preferably a client who received similar services. Keep in mind that the contractor will likely give the names of their best clients, but it never hurts to ask some questions about the contractor’s services and capabilities. 

7. Who’s Responsible for Getting Permits?

If local regulations require you to obtain building permits before the installation process begins, be sure to ask who’s responsible for obtaining these permits: you or the contractor. Failure to obtain the right permits can lead to hefty fines, which will only add to the pool's overall costs.

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Get Everything in Writing

Before you agree to work with any contractor, know precisely what services and products are included in the costs. In fact, you should have a signed contract that details this information before the building process begins. Be sure the builder lists everything you discussed about the pool’s construction, including the design, costs, project timeline and location. This document will be important if you have any disputes with the contractor during the installation phase.

Installing a swimming pool at your home can be fun and exciting. However, it’s critical that you work with the right contractor. Be sure to evaluate several pool companies by asking the right questions.

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