10 Tips for Choosing the Right Pool Builder

Congratulations! You made an excellent decision to install a swimming pool on your property. Besides becoming the centerpiece of your backyard, a pool can be a great place to cool off, spend time with your friends, and enjoy a quiet evening with loved ones.

The key to reaping the numerous benefits of a brand-new swimming pool is choosing the right pool builder. Well-installed pools have a higher life expectancy, add more value to your home, and require minimal maintenance. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of installing a pool, as well as what to consider when choosing the right builder for your swimming pool project.

Related: How Much Does It Cost to Maintain a Pool

Key Benefits of Installing a Swimming Pool in Your Backyard

If you collaborate with a top-notch pool builder, you have an opportunity to enjoy the numerous benefits of having a swimming pool, including:

  • Better microclimate – when you have a pool on your property, the air temperature in your yard can go down by several degrees, creating a cooler microclimate for you and your household members.
  • Increased home value – Installing a pool can have a significant return on investment (ROI). In fact, a swimming pool can increase the value of your home by as much as 8%
  • Health benefits –swimming and exercising in a pool can improve your health significantly. It can have a positive impact on your cardiovascular system, build muscle strength, reduce stress, and even improve your mood.
  • Entertainment – once you build a pool, you no longer have to worry about coming up with fun activities for your guests. At any party, the pool takes center stage.
  • Quality time – a pool allows you to spend quality time with your family without smartphones or TVs.

When you invest in high-quality swimming pool installation, you don’t just reap all the above benefits, you can have peace of mind about the pool’s integrity and longevity. Since a swimming pool can be a significant investment, you want to be sure that it provides a high ROI and will hold its value year after year.

Related: What to Look for in a Pool Builder

1. Ask Around

The first step to finding a reliable pool builder is asking for recommendations from people you trust. If your friends, family members, or coworkers recently installed a pool, they can share their experience.

Find out why they recommend a certain company and what they didn’t like about it. Keep in mind that a pool builder that may have satisfied your friends isn’t necessarily a top choice for you. That’s why before calling the company, you need to do a small investigation of your own. Armed with extensive information about a particular contractor, you can compare them to other candidates. 

2. Do Your Own Research

Today’s businesses are used to the vast number of ways customers can learn about them, and they’re prepared. So take advantage of this and learn all you can about the company you choose for your project.

Ask Google

Google is a great place to learn a lot about pool builders. When you google “pool builders near me” or “pool builders + location,” you will see a list of companies that Google and its mighty algorithms believe are a great match for your needs.

Each company on the list will come with important information about its services, business hours, and reviews. Google reviews are highly informative. They can help you develop an opinion about the contractor.

Browse comprehensive directories like Yelp or Angi (formerly Angie’s list) for a wide variety of builders coupled with ratings and reviews. Choose five or ten top builders and visit their websites. Take the time to study the “about us” section to figure out how long a company has been in business. Then you can browse portfolios and narrow your choice down to two or three candidates.

Check Out the Company Website

In the 21st century, a website is any company’s calling card. It’s a great resource for potential and existing clients. Reliable and experienced pool contractors know about the importance of a high-quality website with valuable information. A website can tell you a lot about a pool builder. If it’s easy to navigate, locate information, and read about the builder, this candidate has excellent potential to become a great choice for your project.

If the website is loading slowly, missing important data, or doesn’t have any fresh content, beware. These days, dedicated builders know how important it is to maintain their websites in order to ensure full client satisfaction and effective communication about what they offer.

Browse Social Media

Another great place to learn more about pool builders is their social media profiles. Many respectable pool builders have Facebook and Instagram accounts where they share projects and important information about pool building and maintenance.

Social media accounts are a great way to learn more about the contractor and see what clients say about it. You can also find valuable recommendations about what type of pool may be the best for your property.

Pay attention to the latest social media posts. If the company hasn’t posted anything in a while (more than a month), consider looking at other candidates.

3.  Find Out About Experience 

An inexperienced pool builder might still do a good job. However, they may be unable to extensively problem solve when things come up, make unfortunate mistakes, or fail to meet deadlines. 

A pool builder who has worked on a variety of projects and in a variety of situations doesn’t just do an excellent job. They can provide valuable recommendations during the process. For example, they can evaluate your space and recommend a specific design, materials, or accessories that you may not have considered.

Award-winning pool builders often have their achievements listed on their websites.  Browse it to gain more information about the pool builder experience. 

4. Check Credentials

Once you narrow your choice down to a couple of candidates, you can start checking their credentials. Remember, not all pool builders are created equal. Some won’t have sufficient experience or the right training to handle your pool-building project.

A basic requirement of any pool builder is a swimming pool contractor license. Licensure requirements can vary from state to state. For example, in California, to build a pool, a contractor needs to obtain a C-53 license.

Additionally, check if the pool contractor has liability insurance. Building a pool may seem like a relatively safe job. In reality, accidents happen. If a worker gets hurt on your property, their liability insurance should cover the incident. If there isn’t any insurance, you may end up paying for damages.

There isn’t anything wrong with asking a swimming pool contractor to show their license or liability insurance. A reliable builder will do so immediately upon request.

5. Review Available Services

Not all pool builders offer the same set of services. For example, some specialize in building concrete inground pools while others focus on steel above-ground pools. Some builders also offer maintenance services while others work on installation only.

Leading swimming pool builders in the U.S. offer a comprehensive set of services from pool design to landscaping.

While the number of services is important, you may also consider the variety. For example, it can be easy to find a pool builder who offers a traditional set of services.

However, unique services, such as custom design and pool landscaping can be a rarity. If you want to create something truly special, check out if the candidate provides additional service options. 

If you don’t want to work with several separate companies for installation, maintenance, remodeling, and upgrading, you may want to opt for a builder who offers everything.

6. Consider the Cost

The costs of building a pool can depend on various factors, including:

  • Type (inground or above-ground)
  • Design (traditional or custom)
  • Materials
  • Size
  • Features
  • Water type (chlorine or saltwater)

Top-notch pool builders are likely to offer you a variety of options to suit your budget. Keep in mind that you don’t need to spend a fortune on a pool, but you should consider the elements you really want in such a long-term investment and decide what takes priority. 

If you want a highly customized pool with a huge variety of features for the ultimate backyard oasis, a highly qualified pool builder can make that happen. If you want a more traditional installation, that same builder can efficiently do that project as well, with additional knowledge that may help you maximize your priorities. 

Related: How Much Does It Cost to Build a Pool

7. Look for Red Flags

When choosing a pool builder, look for important warning signs:

  • Large down payments (generally anything over 10%).
  • Pushy behavior (asking to sign a contract immediately).
  • Lack of experience (a company should be in the market for at least 5 years).
  • No references (if the company doesn’t offer references, its past clients are unhappy).

If any of these red flags pop up, do additional research or consider moving on to another candidate.

8. Talk to the Builder

Once you narrow down your choice to a couple of candidates, pick up the phone and speak to the builders. Even the most recommended contractors with top reviews may not be the best choice for you simply because you don’t “click.” Communication is an integral part of a successful builder-client relationship. If you don’t like the way the conversation goes, consider opting for another candidate.

In short, listen to what your gut tells you. If you have done your research and feel confident about the builder, you’re ready to make the choice and get to designing your vision.

9.  Look for Transparency 

Transparency is an integral part of the pool-building process. Unless you have extensive experience building pools, it’s hard to understand how it works. Some pool builders use this lack of knowledge to impose extra fees, delay the project, use cheaper materials, and more.

A reliable pool builder is fully transparent about all stages of the design, installation, maintenance, and other processes. If you can’t find the description of the process on their website, make sure to ask about it during the interview. 

10. Take Your Time

Finding the right pool builder is imperative to ensure the success of your swimming pool project. That’s why rushing into hiring one isn’t a good idea. Take your time on the above steps — do the research, ask around, read reviews, and browse websites.

The time you spend searching for a reliable builder is a significant investment in the quality, longevity, and efficiency of your pool.   

Build Your Dream Pool with the Nation’s Leading Pool Builder

California Pools is a reliable and nationally-recognized pool builder that offers an impressive variety of swimming pool building, remodeling, and landscaping services. If you are planning to build the pool of your dreams, leave it in the hands of top professionals. For more information about building a swimming pool, find your location and see what we can do to make your backyard dream a reality.

Good times guaranteed.
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