Checklist – Pool companies

Use this checklist when you are deciding which pool companies to get quotes from:

  • Make sure the pool company you’re dealing with is not a fly-by-night operation. Be sure to check if they have extensive pool build histories. For instance request a detailed referral list and some jobs you can view.
  • If you get several quotes (3 is a good number), make sure they are based on the same specifications like equipment and building materials. Compile a spreadsheet and see who represents the best value for money.
  • Make sure the quality, brand, grade, weight, colour 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.
  • Make sure that you’re 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.
  • Walk away if the sales person puts any pressure on you to purchase the pool without extensive consideration of the deal and package on offer. If they quote the pool on the spot, ask yourself … how much consideration have they put into your pool project?
  • 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.
  • There should also be well defined agreements for post-completion pool care. This includes guarantees and warranties.
  • 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 labour and material charges covered by that payment. Verbal agreements may not hold up in court if there is any discrepancy.
  • 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 labour included in this guarantee? Who will honour the guarantee — the dealer or the manufacturer? Remember a guarantee is only as good as the firm offering it. There may be problems if different parts have different warranties with different companies.
  • 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.
  • See that all work conforms to local building codes and regulations. If a permit is required, be sure that you comply with all specifications. Ensure that all construction conforms to building and contract requirements. You can get much of this information by going to the Victorian Building Commission.

You can never be too careful, even when getting a pool built. Try to follow this checklist as closely as possible to save your wallet and cover your back.