Choosing The Right Pool Contractor

by Pool Builders on 08-29-2010 in Articles

Do you have a pool? If you do, you'll probably need to hire a pool contractor at some point. Maybe he or she will need to do some repairs, or simply offer regular pool maintenance. The options are many.

But if you're hiring a contractor, you'll have to do more than turn to the yellow pages or an internet search. Finding the right pool service professional is no simple task.

Before you begin, you'll need to take stock of your needs. Is it a repair you need? A rip in your pool liner or cover? A crack in the concrete itself? A leak?

Or is it regular pool maintenance you need? Someone to maintain your filter, your pump and your main drain? Are you looking for a maintenance pro you can have a long-term relationship with? When you've answered these questions, you'll have a better idea of what you need when you begin your search.

First, check your local Better Business Bureau. That's a group of consumer advocates who give dissatisfied customers a central location to register complaints about businesses. Whenever someone registers a complaint, the Better Business Bureau checks out the business in question and posts a score based on the business's behavior. A contractor with a low BBB score is one you should cross off your list.

You can use other online review tools as well. Sites like Angie's List -- which is a members-only site -- and Ripoff Report are designed to provide homeowners with a great review resource. Other sites like Citysearch and Yelp tend to focus more on restaurants and leisure spots, but sometimes you'll find contractors on there too.

Next, get references from the contractors on your list. If a contractor doesn't have references, cross him off your list. Good contractors will always ask satisfied customers to provide letters of reference, or contact information that potential new customers can use to These will give you detailed information about the contractors on your list.

It's also important to get proof of insurance from your contractor. Any contractor -- not just your pool guy -- who works on your property should be covered by liability insurance. That way, if he's injured on the job or damages your home, he's covered (and you're not on the hook for expensive repairs or hospital bills).

If a contractor asks you for a large deposit before beginning the job, say goodbye. A small deposit -- about ten percent of the projected cost -- is reasonable. But any more than that, and you're asking for trouble.

And finally, don't let any contractor bully you or pressure you into making an immediate decision. Even if you have a pressing need repair for concern, it's more important to take the time to make the right decision.

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