If your home is your castle, your outdoor space is your oasis - your private respite from life's stresses. No backyard oasis is truly complete without a swimming pool! If you're finally ready to take the plunge and install this life-enhancing outdoor amenity, you're probably anxious to dive right in to your project so you can enjoy your pool sooner rather than later. Don't do it!
Before you hire a pool builder, ask the prospective company the following 5 questions.
Listen carefully to their answers. Don't proceed until you find a company whose answers put your mind completely at ease. While most people agree that money spent on a pool is money well spent, they also know that a pool is a significant investment. Do your homework and choose your pool partner carefully to ensure your pool-building experience is a pleasant one.
1. Which pool design do you think makes the most sense for us?
Before you take the plunge and hire a pool builder, think about why you want a pool in the first place. Do you want to be able to swim laps? Do you envision yourself entertaining and hosting pool parties? Do you want a tranquil place to cool off, lounge and sunbathe?
Make sure your pool company point person understands WHY you're building a pool so he can suggest the ideal pool size and shape, and even the best material (fiberglass, concrete, vinyl liner) for what you have in mind.
2. Can you explain the various pool pump options?
Many homeowners assume one pool pump is just as good as the next.
Don't skimp on this vital piece of pool equipment - it's the "heart of the pool" and is responsible for clearing out debris, keeping chemicals mixed and ensuring that your pool's water is crystal clear rather than a murky mixture.
A pool pump's performance ranges with it's horsepower and features (which can have a direct impact on how much it costs to keep your pool running). Ask your pool builder to recommend a high-quality variable speed pump.
3. How long will it take from the time you start my pool until I can swim in it?
While you should consider a pool-building schedule as more of an estimated completion timetable rather than a firm deadline, make sure you find out what to reasonably expect.
If you're having a new pool built with the goal of hosting a July 4 pool party, for example, make absolutely certain your builder knows you have a firm deadline by which your pool needs to be up and running, and that he builds extra padding time into the schedule to account for any contingencies such as inclement weather. Even if you don't need to have your pool completed by a specific date, knowing the general timeframe up front allows you to mentally prepare yourself and avoid any unpleasant surprises.
4. What type of pool warranty is provided in the cost of the pool?
Even a pool constructed by the most diligent, reputable pool builder is not immune to problems down the road. If you are purchasing a fiberglass or vinyl-lined pool, ask how long the pool shell is warrantied. Additionally, ask about the warranty period for your pool's equipment (pump, filter, cleaner, automated controls, lights, etc.) The standard warranty period for equipment is usually one year. Last but not least, make sure you understand the pool builder's workmanship warranty. This protects you in the event the builder overlooked a step during installation or if your pool develops a leak.
Often, workmanship problems aren't discovered until well after a pool has been built. Ideally, choose a pool builder company that offers an extended workmanship warranty (longer than one year). Reputable builders should have the confidence to stand behind their work.
Renaissance Pools is the exclusive Las Vegas installer of Viking Fiberglass Pools, which come with a 100% limited lifetime warranty and a 20-year surface and lifetime structural warranties.
5. Does your pool company have worker's compensation and general liability insurance coverage?
As is the case with home builders, pool builders usually use subcontractors to perform much of the labor associated with the project. Subcontractors don't work directly for the pool company but are hired on a contract basis to perform a specific task, such as setting up the electrical components, excavating land for your pool, pouring concrete, etc. If a subcontractor is injured while on your property and your pool company does not have worker's compensation and general liability coverage, you could be held liable for all medical expenses associated with the subcontractor's injuries - and you could even be sued.
Note: Renaissance Pools are installed by trained employees of Renaissance Pools, so you don't have to worry!
Make certain the pool company you work with has adequate insurance coverage -- and don't just take their word for it! If the pool company representative assures you the company is fully insured, ask for the name of the insurance company you can call to receive their certificate of insurance. Always contact the insurance company directly to verify a pool builder's insurance policy is up to date. An unscrupulous company could easily forge a certificate of insurance or alter the dates of an expired policy. If a company refuses (or keeps "forgetting") to provide the contact information for its insurance company provider, consider that a huge red flag.
As with any big-ticket purchase, do your homework before committing to your pool builder. Asking prospective builders the aforementioned questions should help you decide if you've found "the one," or if you should keep looking.