Building a swimming pool represents a significant investment of time and money. Before making that investment, you’ll want to make sure that you’ve hired a trustworthy pool contractor. If you notice that your pool contractor’s behavior is sending up a few red flags, it’s probably time to hire someone else.
Signs of a Bad Contractor
A few signs of a less than trustworthy pool builder seem pretty obvious. However, a few may be harder to spot at first glance. Don’t mistake these red flags for just personality differences–you’ll ultimately be the one paying for any mistakes or problems. Here’s what to look out for:
- Claims too good to be true
- Making themselves look fantastic and others look subpar
- High-pressure sales
1) Claims Too Good to be True
A pool contractor may tell you they can finish your pool in just 2 weeks. Alternatively, they may offer you a ridiculously low estimate that may seem like a fantastic deal. Both cases are massive red flags that something is going on. Make sure your contractor gives you a realistic time frame: a pool typically takes 8-12 weeks to complete, with 6 weeks being considered a rush job. Additionally, research the average prices for pools in your area. If the price seems too good to be true, the contractor is either lying or hoping to upsell additional expensive features to you further down the line.
2) Making Themselves Look Fantastic and Others Look Subpar
This isn’t to say pool contractors shouldn’t promote themselves. Good marketing is a critical part of any business strategy. However, their self-promotion should focus on what they can do for you and how well they can perform, not how terrible the competition is by comparison. This could indicate that they really don’t have much to offer you. Additionally, do you really want to deal with someone who has that low a view of others in their field?
Pro Tip: Does a contractor’s material focus on their own accomplishments and how well they can help you build a pool? If it demonizes their competition instead, you’re dealing with an unprofessional contractor.
3) High-Pressure Sales
The pool contractor is working for you, building a pool in your backyard for you to use. If they’re dictating to you what features you absolutely must or must not include (beyond the typical promotional offerings a salesman will have), they’re overstepping their boundaries. This can go hand in hand with the claim of a low price from earlier–demanding salesmen could make your estimate skyrocket by adding a bunch of features that cost unreasonable amounts of money. Find a contractor who will listen to your input and build the pool you want, instead of the pool they want to sell you.
Find a Good Contractor
Don’t let a scam artist ruin your pool project! Find a pool builder you can trust to be honest every step of the way, incorporate your input as much as possible, and do exactly what they’re capable of. Let our expert designers help you start creating your dream pool today!
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Buying a home is the biggest financial investment most people will make in their entire lives. For many homeowners, the next-biggest investment is any additional home renovations or additions they may choose to make. Considering the largely permanent nature of these renovations, such as a swimming pool, it goes without saying that most people want to get it right the first time.
Designing Your Dream Pool
Your swimming pool and customized backyard will be part of your house for the foreseeable future. Do you know exactly what you want? Are you sure you’re ready to start building? Make sure you aren’t making these 3 common mistakes before you get started:
- Forgetting to plan your backyard usage
- Hiring a specialized contractor
- Neglecting your long-term plan
1) Forgetting to Plan Your Backyard Usage
Most homeowners who go all-out with a swimming pool and other backyard features have plans to entertain large groups of people in the future. Naturally, you’ll want to have enough room to accommodate everyone. But you also need to consider the occasions you’ll be observing and who you’ll be inviting over. Work-related dinners probably don’t need to involve a hot tub, for instance, while a casual birthday party might revolve around the swimming pool. As you design your renovated backyard, make sure it meets your needs.
2) Hiring a Specialized Contractor
Companies that exclusively build swimming pools likely won’t help you create the rest of your backyard. After all, they only really know how to design and build a pool. You can avoid this problem by hiring someone who specializes not just in swimming pools, but in designing new backyard experiences. These contractors will look at the big picture and help you construct your pool so that it complements your other backyard features, whether they’re currently in place or just planned.
Pro Tip: Find a contractor that will help you create an entire outdoor living environment, not just build a new pool.
3) Neglecting Your Long-Term Plan
What will your backyard look like once it’s done? Will you stick with a pool or add an outdoor kitchen or more custom features? Your answer could influence your pool design, and an expert contractor will realize this and help you plan accordingly. For instance, an outdoor kitchen will require underground gas, water, and electrical connections that could interfere with your pool if you don’t plan ahead. Let an expert help you develop your long-term plan and construct your pool accordingly.
Building Your Ideal Backyard
These all-too-common pool design mistakes could get in the way of creating the perfect backyard experience for yourself and your friends. Don’t let that happen! With a knowledgeable building company to help you and an excellent plan for your long-term backyard usage, you’re sure to be able to create a fantastic experience.
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A swimming pool is a perfect addition to anyone’s backyard during the hot summer months. However, homeowners should remember that a swimming pool is still an open body of water. Even if you’re confident your family and friends know better than to get hurt while swimming, accidents may still happen. That’s why it’s so important to select and install good swimming pool safety features long before anything goes wrong.
Swimming Pool Safety Features
While not every item of pool safety equipment is legally required for homeowners, it’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to a swimming pool. Before you or anyone else start using your pool, make sure these features are installed and working properly:
- Pool fences
- Anti-entrapment equipment
1) Pool Fences
In Texas, swimming pool owners are required to install a 4-foot fence around an inground pool to prevent people from falling in. The law leaves room for particular appearances and styles, so long as a fence is constructed. This feature is especially critical for families with small children. Read more about your legal responsibilities and pool fence requirements here.
There are two primary types of safety covers for swimming pools: conventional tarp-like covers and a pool net. Both are about equally effective at preventing people from accidentally falling in, though they both have other pros and cons of their own. For instance, a pool net lets you enjoy the natural atmosphere of an open body of water at all times but doesn’t catch leaves that may fall into your pool. As long as you choose a reliable safety cover, the aesthetics are entirely your choice.
3) Anti-Entrapment Equipment
A pool or spa drain creates a powerful suction that even adults have trouble escaping. Imagine what could happen to a child! Because of the danger these drains can present, many pool owners are highly encouraged or required to use anti-entrapment equipment, which is simply pool parts that cover drains and facilitate a quick emergency shutdown if necessary. This is perhaps one of the most crucial pieces of pool safety equipment you could possibly buy. Learn more about this equipment’s legal history and your exact responsibilities here.
Pro Tip: The same requirements and recommendations for pool drain covers apply to public pools too. If you notice a public pool has uncovered drains, the risk isn’t worth it–find a safer place to swim.
Finally, one excellent way to secure your swimming pool is to make sure that no one gets in without your permission. Install alarms on pool covers, gates in pool fences, and any other access points so you know immediately if someone tries to sneak in. While it may not save someone from drowning, it can prevent the situation from ever escalating to that point in the first place.
Protecting Yourself and Others
You can never predict a swimming pool accident or emergency. If you or a friend make a mistake near the pool, you’ll be immensely grateful you made sure your swimming pool’s safety features were installed correctly and ready to protect you.
Join the conversation to learn more about keeping yourself and your friends safe around swimming pools.