Essential Questions for Swimming Pool Contractors
Pool builders are like most any other contractors. So, in a way, the questions you ask the pool building person are somewhat universal.
Picking a company that has comprehensive liability, even though it’s not the law, should be a top consideration.
1.The 16 Questions
Most of these are self-evident. The ones that are not, we’ll detail later in this article:1. Have the owners of the business, its partners or you ever gone out of business or filed for bankruptcy?
2. Where is the physical location of your business? Do you have a showroom? (Obviously, ignore this one if you’re standing in their showroom)
3. How many pools have you built in the area?
4. Can I have at least 3-references of people for which you’ve built a pool?
5. The builders have advertised a fixed price on television, a billboard, etc. Ask them, “How do I know your price isn’t a ‘Bait and Switch’ scheme?”
6. Are you currently a member of the Better Business Bureau?
7. Businesses occasionally change hands. How long have the current owners been performing work under their present name?
8. Will you supply me with contact information for at least 3 suppliers that you’ve used for the last couple of years?
9. Are you willing to show me copies of lien waivers from your sub-contractors and assorted vendors to demonstrate they’ve been paid for the work they’ve done with you?
10. When I submit my checks, am I writing them out to a personal or business account?
11. Trust is important in any contracting job. Why should I trust you to build my pool?
12. If I were to check out your business online at the Dun & Bradstreet website, what would the report tell me about your payment history?
13. Do you have workers compensation and general liability insurance for everyone working on the job? If they are sub-contractors, will you provide copies of their liability insurance and workers comp?
14. Can you give me the contact information of your insurance company so I can get a copy of your certificate of insurance?
15. Will all work involved in building my pool be included in my contract?
16. Can I get an itemized breakdown of all parts, materials, labor costs and services?
2.A Few Questions More
In some areas of the country, contractors don’t have to have insurance. Picking a company that has comprehensive liability, even though it’s not the law, should be a top consideration. Not settling there, ask if the owner has Workers Comp for their employees.
This is for your protection. Some contractors sub-contract. That keeps the top man from having to cover that which flows downstream. Considering that’s the case in this example, you want to see all insurance papers from every sub-contractor that the contractor will use. If they don’t have workers comp, you could legally be forced to pay for any injuries that happen on the job.
Here are some final questions you might also pose after the top 16 have been answered to your satisfaction (and before you sign any contract):
• How will things be handled if you need rock fill or extra soil?
• If you hit water, how will this be dealt with?
• Is patio work included if that needs to be done to complete the project?
• When you’re digging and you hit rock, how will it be handled?
• Looking at the itemized cost that you provided, I don’t see any line-items that address all sub-contractors. How are we going to be dealing with the professionals that perform stuff like plumbing, gas and electricity?
Armed with these questions, you’re ready to make the call. If you notice the owner of the pool installation shop is unable or unwilling to answer any of the top 16, move on. This is a big job and a massive undertaking needs to be as near to perfect as you can make it.