Finding a good swimming pool contractor can be a daunting experience and somewhat intimidating if you don't know what you're doing. The most important thing you can do is to take the time to research and qualify your contractor to ease your stress and ensure that the job will be successful. It is important to understand the steps necessary to find and hire the right contractor for any home improvement project.
1) Start asking friends, neighbors and Facebook for referrals. This will give you firsthand experience about the contractor's quality of work. Referrals are a great source of information.
2) With the list of swimming pool contractors you have obtained, start researching each one. The most important tip on deciding on a good swimming pool contractor is to look for a contractor that is well established in the Austin, TX area, has been in business for many years and has a lot of experience in the project you are planning. Also the biggest ad in the phone book is not necessarily the best choice to make.
3) Research your swimming pool contractors by calling the local Better Business Bureau, Chamber of Commerce, and Building Department to find out if any complaints have been filed. Be wary of companies that are new and inexperienced as they will usually cause you problems in the end.
4) Check review sites like Facebook, Google Plus and Yelp for any reviews the swimming pool contractor may have.
5) Now you have all the information you need to be an informed consumer. The next step is to call the swimming pool contractor. This will give you a first impression. Did the contractor return your call promptly? Was the contractor pleasant and courteous? Did he take the time to explain everything to your satisfaction? Did the contractor set up an appointment within a reasonable time? Most importantly did the contractor seem interested?
6) During the initial phone conversation ask a few questions such as, Do you have the required insurance, license and bonding? How long have you been in business? What is your specialty and how soon can you start?
7) Meet with the swimming pool contractor and provide him with a clear and detailed description of your swimming pool project. You can never provide enough information. Make sure the contractor knows exactly what you want and expect, never assume anything. Pay attention to his body language and voice tone. Remember, you must feel comfortable working with this person.
8) Require a detailed estimate. Get a complete description of all materials. The estimate should include a start date and a reasonable finish date. If you request any changes during the project, make sure you get an updated document in writing that shows exactly what changes have to be done and the extra cost.
9) Get a copy of the swimming pool contractor's certificate of insurance, name of the insurance company and phone number. Contact the insurance company and verify his insurance. Get at least three references and call them. Ask them if they were satisfied and if the job was completed in a timely manner.
10) Compare all the estimates and make sure each one contains the same information. If they don't then they are not similar. Choosing the lowest bid is usually not a good idea, remember, you get what you pay for. Finally, you have (3) days to cancel most contracts if you have any doubts.