If you want to know how to choose a pool builder, you probably already know that you want a pool. You may even have an idea of the design or features that you’d like. Maybe you want a fancy infinity pool or are tight on space and need a plunge pool. No matter what type of pool you want, the most important part of the process is choosing the right good pool builder.
Why Asking How To Choose A Pool Builder Is So Difficult
Even in areas of the country where pools are less common, googling “pool builder near me” will likely yield over 25 results. You might be wondering how to choose a pool builder when you have 25 different options. You need to follow the process described in this article to narrow down the list to a handful. In northern states, there’s probably only 2-3 builders that you should ultimately consider. In southern states, that number can be bigger, so knowing how to choose a pool builder is a bit more complicated.
How To Choose A Pool Builder 101 – Read Online Reviews
First, do the easy part. Read the Google reviews and settle on 2 or 3 good candidates that you think might be a good fit. There are two things you should look for when reading online reviews for how to choose a pool builder. First, you obviously want a pool builder with great reviews, 4 or 5 stars only. Next, and this is the less obvious statistic, is how many reviews the pool builder has in total.
Oftentimes a 4.5 star pool builder with 100+ reviews will be better than a 5 star one with 10 reviews. As a former marketer in the pool industry, we’ve seen how easy it is for a new pool builder to create a few fake 5 star reviews and then start getting leads.
Next Up – Check The References
After looking at online reviews, then call your shortlist of pool builders and ask for a list of references. They will tell you to speak to a salesperson. They may even force a salesperson on you. If so, the first thing you ask the salesperson before they take the time to meet you is for the list of references. These contacts will undoubtedly be positive reviews for the company, otherwise they wouldn’t give them out. But you can still learn a thing or two from these references which we’ll get into a bit later.
The first test of any pool contractor is if they can give you a list of previous customers who are happy with their product. If they give you a handful that’s fine, but if they give you a list longer than you’d care to read through that’s even better. A pool builder that is able to navigate the complicated world of pool construction and keep their customers happy is less common than you’d think.
Understand The Challenges Of Being A Pool Builder
Pool construction is custom every single time. Even a vinyl or fiberglass pool is custom in a way, but gunite pools are truly one of a kind. Every backyard has its challenges. Similarly, every installation has to take those into consideration along with everything else including personnel issues, subcontractor coordination, supply chain challenges, the weather and more.
Not every pool builder can keep up on the customer service required from unforeseen events. For example, what if it rains for a month in the summer and every pool under construction is delayed? Everyone’s pool that is under construction gets antsy when the first sunny day comes and the contractor doesn’t show up. It’s a stressful job (we’ve been there) and it requires a great deal of patience and communication to weather the storm, pun intended.
What To Ask A Pool Builder’s References
These are real customer service challenges that rise when building a pool. When speaking to the references, here’s a list of essential questions to inquire about. If you hear the same answer over and over from multiple references, you can expect a similar level of care.
- Ask them about the delays in construction and how they were handled.
- Ask them how the price of the project changed throughout construction.
- Check if there unexpected change orders, and if so, when?
- Ask about how their pool service company is performing if its through the same builder.
- How long did their pool take to build?
- Would they do anything differently if they were to do it all over again?
- How have their warranty issues been dealt with?
Finale – Design Time
After reading online reviews and speaking with references, you should have a better idea of whether or not you can trust what you hear from the pool companies. Now, it’s time for design. If you have an idea of what you want already, that’s great. If you don’t, you may consider hiring a landscape architect to design your whole backyard. They can take over the design of the pool itself as a part of the landscape design. This is especially helpful if you want/need to do other projects such as leveling your backyard and adding a pergola.
If you hire a pool company directly, here’s a few things to keep in mind. A pool contractor builds pools and patios, the majority of them do not have anything to do with plants, irrigation, trees or any other piece of your backyard. Oftentimes a pool builder will leave sleeving in place for future irrigation systems, but they will not do the work of a landscape architect.
This is important to be aware of as once your pool company salesperson gets started on the design and starts showing you renderings, you’ll see that they incorporate a lot of beautiful landscaping around the pool. This is done use the industry standard software Pool Studio, but it does not mean the landscaping comes with the pool.
Bottom Line On How To Choose A Pool Builder
In this article we reviewed 3 ways to narrow down your options on how to choose a pool builder. You should read online reviews, call each pool builder’s references and consider working with a landscape architect to hire the right pool builder for your backyard.
Keep in mind, there isn’t always a single pool builder that will be right for you. You might get down to 2 or 3 pool builders and all of them will do a nice job. This is especially common in competitive regions of the country for pools. In California, Texas and Arizona, you will have plenty of credible pool builders to select from. In northern states, where pools are more scarce, you might only have 1 or 2 pool builders that will build a great pool.
If you get down to a few potential pool building candidates and just can’t pull the trigger, consider some other factors to help you decide. You can choose based on the price of the quote they provide or how many years they’ve been in business. You might even want to consider which pool builders also have renovation and service divisions of their company. This will be helpful if/when a warranty issue or maintenance visit is needed.