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Swimming Pool Contractor Checklist

Here is a checklist of things you should do to make sure that you have covered all your bases and you don't get ripped off.

1. You want to make sure that the contractor you are dealing with is not a fly by night operation. Be sure to check if all the contractors you are considering have business addresses and telephone numbers?

2. Check to see if each company is listed in the current telephone directory. This will tell you if the company has been in business for at least one year.

3. If you request several bids, make sure they are based on the same specifications like equipment and building materials.

4. Make sure that the quality, brand, grade, weight, color and size of materials to be used are stated in the contract. You'll want some uniformity in the price quotes you get from the contractors.

5. Make sure that you are dealing with only one contact person. Having to deal with several people will hinder communication and may even delay the completion of your swimming pool.

6. A contract should also include an appropriate date to start installation or construction; a completion date with appropriate understandings regarding delays; written understandings as to the consumer's responsibility regarding additional costs such as hitting solid rock or water, the moving of utility lines, etc.; the size, shape and equipment; total costs, including scheduled payments with the last payment, often the biggest, determined by completion of the pool and your satisfaction.

7. There should also we well defined agreements for post-completion pool care. This includes guarantees and warranties.

8. If it is in your means an attorney review the contract if you plan on spending a great deal of money. This is especially important with in-ground concrete pools that cost a lot of money and have very specific building specs.

9. Be sure to get all of the receipts for any money paid to the builder or contractor. If full payment is made in cash only, or a combination of cash or credit, be sure to obtain written verification of payment from the contractor with a list of the labor and material charges covered by that payment. Verbal agreements may not hold up in court if there is any discrepancy.

10. Make sure that the guarantee or warranty is fully disclosed. Find out if the entire job is under warranty or only certain materials and is labor included in this guarantee? Who will honor the guarantee — the dealer or the manufacturer? Remember a guarantee is only as good as the firm offering it. There may be problems of different parts have different warranties with different companies.

112. Does the company provide liability and worker's compensation insurance to protect you in the event of an accident on the job? Installing pools can be very strenuous work, so always insist on a statement of coverage from the contractor's insurance agent.

12. See that all work conforms to local building codes and regulations. If a permit is required, be sure that you comply with all specifications. See that all construction conforms to building and contract requirements. You can get much of this information by going to your local city hall, or zoning commissioner.

13. Do not sign the completion certificate before the work is finished in accordance with the terms of the contract. Be certain that the contract contains all topics discussed and promises made.

14. Ask the contractor for a list of customer references. Contact the references to learn what their experiences were before, during and after work was completed. If possible, visit references and visually inspect the completed job.

15. Call the Better Business Bureau to find out information on any contracting company at (713) 868-9500. The BBB also offers a free list of member companies that are pool contractors.

Hammer Got more questions about pool contractors? Visit our Pools forum and ask questions of other DIYers!