If 2020 is the year for you to turn your backyard into your own personal paradise with an inground pool, you’ve probably already started doing your homework. What type of inground pool is best for you? What size pool should you get? How do you set a budget? We’ve discussed these questions and more in recent weeks. Today’s discussion assumes that you know at least the basics of what you want, and now you’re ready to investigate which local inground pool contractor will be the best fit for you project.
Where to start?
Get Recommendations for Inground Pool Contractors
The first thing we suggest is that you ask friends, family, and coworkers for recommendations for inground pool contractors. People who have had an inground pool put in recently can tell you the good, the bad, and the ugly about the pool contractors they interviewed and ultimately chose to install their inground pool.
Ask them questions about why they chose who they did and if there is anyone you should avoid. If you haven’t seen their pool, ask politely if you can check it out. Seeing an installation in real life is better than seeing pictures in a brochure.
Research Inground Pool Contractors
Once you have a few names of inground pool contractors, start some online research. Google their name and see what comes up. Read the online reviews, and check their rating with the Better Business Bureau, if they have one. Keep in mind that the majority of people who take the time to complete a review are either completely satisfied or disgruntled customers. Check to see if the pool contractor responded to reviews of both types, and how they handled the situation.
Review their company website. Does it answer some of your questions? Check out the FAQs page or the blog page as well as the general website pages. If their website is totally out of date and hard to navigate, it could be a sign that they’re not focused on bringing in new customers.
Use their contact form to request a free quote, or call if you’re more comfortable with that.
Interview Inground Pool Contractors
No one gives a quote for an inground pool over the phone. Reputable pool contractors will schedule an appointment to visit your property while you are there. They will take measurements, perhaps take a soil sample, and ask you a whole lot of questions about what you want in an inground pool.
This is your chance to ask a bunch of questions as well. You may wish to refer to our blog on Questions to Ask a Pool Builder. You may have found the answer to some of these questions on their company website. Focus your interview time on getting answers to the other questions, and ask any questions specific to your inground pool desires.
Pay attention to how you interact with the inground pool contractors you interview. Do they seem friendly and knowledgeable? Do they answer your questions in a way that is easy to understand?
Take notes after each interview (or during) so that you can compare the pool contractors at the same time that you compare their quotes.
Choose Who to Work With
Now that you have received several quotes (we recommend at least 3), you can compare bids, and compare pool contractors. If the bids are fairly close together, it may come down to who you liked best. If the bids are far apart, try to figure out why. Did the low bidder leave something out? Did the high bidder overestimate or get something wrong? Compare the line items on the bids to be sure all pool contractors quoted for the same things. Once you’ve cross-checked everything, follow up with a pool contractor if you have a question about their bid, where their answer could sway you to choose them. If you don’t have any questions, choose who to work with, and call them or email them to get the ball rolling.
And congratulations! You’re about to become the happy owner of an inground pool!