5. How many pools have you built and can you give me references?
A reputable pool builder who has been in business over ten years should have hundreds of pools under their belt and be able to offer you as many references as you desire. It’s also a good idea to ask your builder to take you to view a couple of his previous client’s pools. This gives you a chance to see his finished product.
6. Will my checks be made payable to a business account or to a personal account?
When you write out a check to a company that is incorporated (“Inc.” or “LLC”) vs. your builder’s personal name only, the bank is required to deposit the check in the pool builder’s company checking account. This greatly reduces the likelihood that the builder is going to run off with your money.
7. Do you have workmen’s compensation and general liability insurance?
A “subcontractor” is someone who is hired by the pool builder to do work on your pool, but is not an employee of the pool builder. He could be a plumber, electrician or gunite shooter. Anything that happens to one of these laborers on your property could turn into a personal liability to you if your pool builder does not have liability insurance.
8. What insurance company should I call to get a copy of your certificate of insurance?
Watch their reaction when you ask this question. If they start to squirm, start looking for another builder. Likewise, if they say, “I’ll get you a copy,” find another builder. Anyone can easily alter the dates of an expired policy. A professional pool builder won’t hesitate to give you the name and phone number of his insurance company.
9. How many projects have you done that would qualify you to build my pool?
This is another good question to fret out the inexperienced, inept or blatantly dishonest pool builders. Today’s pools are substantially more sophisticated than they were 15 years ago. New features such as vanishing edge, grottos, waterfalls, lighting and countless others, take experience in architecture and engineering know how. They can become disappointing disasters if built by someone with insufficient experience. A reputable, experienced pool builder should have over a hundred pools (preferably hundreds) with varying degrees of shapes, sizes and features.
10. Is all the necessary work for the pool included in my contract?
It’s easy for a pool builder to leave certain items out of the contract to show you a lower price. However, those items may cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars later on when you realize they are a necessary. Many a homeowner has chosen a builder because of a lower price, and wound up paying more than if they had bought the contract that had everything included up front.
11. Why should I trust you to build my pool?
If your pool builder survived the first 10 questions, congratulations! You have likely found a good solid pool builder to handle your project. There’s still one more issue - how do you feel about them personally? There’s no right or wrong answer, but asking yourself this question is a great way to get a sense of the personal integrity of the person your going to be working closely with over the next few months. You’ll want it to be someone you feel good about and you can trust.
If these questions cannot be answered to your satisfaction, we urge you to continue to interviewing builders until you find one that can!