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BBB Tips: How to hire a pool contractor

With the swimming season in full swing and temperatures rising, many homeowners are considering adding a backyard pool to their summer projects. However, choosing the right contractor is crucial to ensure your investment is both worthwhile and trouble-free. Start by assessing your needs and determining the type of pool that fits your budget and space. Seek recommendations from friends and family who have had experiences with pool contractors, and utilize resources like BBB.org to research companies. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) provides Business Profiles that include ratings, customer reviews, and any complaints filed against the contractors.

Checking the longevity of a business can provide insights into its reliability. A company with several years in the industry and a strong track record is often more dependable than a newer business. It’s also important to obtain at least three estimates for the same project scope, including the size of the pool and an itemized list of construction materials. This helps ensure you get a fair price and understand the various options available. Additionally, make sure your contractor is licensed and insured, and don’t hesitate to contact the appropriate licensing board if you have any questions.

Understanding who will be performing the actual work on your pool is another critical step. Clarify whether the contractor’s employees or subcontractors will be handling the job, and ask about site and soil evaluations to determine if your property requires grading or landscaping work. Inquire about warranties and whether the contractor offers maintenance and repair services after the pool is completed. This ensures you know what support is available once the pool is in use.

Avoid paying the full amount upfront; instead, make a reasonable deposit and only make the final payment once the work is completed to your satisfaction. Using a credit card for payments can offer additional protection, allowing you to dispute charges if necessary. It’s essential to get all job details in writing, including any verbal promises made by the contractor. Carefully review the contract before signing and request a lien waiver upon completion to confirm that all suppliers and subcontractors have been paid.

An illustrative case highlights the importance of these precautions. In 2022, a consumer from O'Fallon, Mo., signed a contract and paid over $19,000 for a new pool. The company became difficult to contact, frequently changed the project scope, and failed to provide necessary documentation. Ultimately, the pool was never constructed, and the consumer did not receive a refund. Following these BBB tips can help you avoid similar pitfalls and ensure a smooth process from start to finish. For more information and resources, visit BBB.org.

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