Having an inground pool in your backyard can be relaxing and fun for the entire family, especially when the temperatures sizzle like they have this season. However, pools come with their own maintenance issues. If you’re a new homeowner, be aware that some pool contractors are less than honest, especially when dealing with inexperienced pool owners. The local CBS news station in Philadelphia recently reported a case of a New Jersey man conned an area homeowner out of a $575 deposit she’d given him to have her pool liner changed. Like other types of contractors, not everyone who comes knocking on your door looking for your business is honest and dependable.
There are several ways to all but assure yourself that a pool contractor—or any contractor—is legitimate.
- 1. Did he knock on your door? According to Consumer Reports, homeowners should be wary of the contractor who knocks on your door looking for business. Most successful, well-established contractors get most of their work from referrals. They don’t have to knock on doors.
- 2. Does he have a physical address? A contractor with an established business in the community is more likely to be reliable than someone who is only in town for the summer pool season.
- 3. Does she ask for a large deposit? Established pool firms generally require only a small deposit (to show that you’re serious), with the balance due when the job is completed. A contractor who says she needs money up front for supplies is someone who doesn’t have established lines of credit with pool suppliers and distributors.
- 4. Can he provide local references? A good contractor should be proud of his work and be able to provide you with references. If he can’t, be suspicious. In addition, ask your friends and co-workers who have pools to recommend a contractor. Getting a recommendation from someone you know and trust is the best way to find a reputable contractor.
- 5. Is she licensed, bonded, insured? While hiring a licensed contractor doesn’t absolutely ensure that you’ll be happy with the job, it does say that the person you’re hiring cares enough about her profession to go through the steps and training necessary to get a license.