*until you check your pool contractor’s credentials.
After fantasizing for years, you’re ready to take the plunge. But should you really build a pool in your backyard?
“No!” says Todd Edwards, director of sales and marketing at Genco Pools & Spas. “At least not ’til you’ve done your due diligence. If you jump into a pool project with an unqualified contractor, that dream backyard might turn into a nightmare.”
Pool sales increased a whopping 161% year over year last season, according to market research firm NPD Group, and the wave is expected to continue through 2021 as people spend more time staying — and playing — at home.
“There’s a lot of pent-up demand for residential pools,” Edwards says. “Business is booming, and some established companies are turning away or delaying potential clients.”
The pool industry, therefore, is seeing a steady stream of brand-new people eager to build pools, lured into the business by the promising supply and demand. But Edwards says that’s not necessarily good for consumers.
“The marketplace is being flooded with novice pool contractors who have no credentials, no insurance and no grasp of city and state building codes,” he explains. “They don’t have the experience to manage a complex project.”
A residential pool is a big investment, so it’s important to partner with a properly licensed professional who’s built a solid reputation for designing, building and delivering pools on time — and on budget.
“Beware the guy who promises a price that sounds too good to be true, or a ridiculously fast turnaround,” Edwards says. “Check referrals and read reviews; you want to see a high volume of reviews, not just one or two. Don’t sign anything without confirming a company’s bona fides and reading all the fine print.”
And always shop around. “I encourage all my potential clients to get quotes from my legitimate competition, the other companies that have been building pools for a decade or more,” he adds.
Edwards suggests asking questions — lots of questions — including the following:
- Background – How long have you been in business? Has your company operated under any previous names?
- Insurance – What type and level of insurance do you carry, and is it up to date?
- Credentials – Do you have a current state contractor’s license?
- Total cost – What is the full price of this pool, as designed, including permits?
- Timeframe – How long will it take to design, and what’s the timeline from first dig to first swim?
- Contract – Can I get everything in writing, including a design plan, pricing and warranty?
- Warranty – Speaking of warranties, what’s covered and for how long?
- Subcontractors – Will you subcontract any portion of this project, and, if so, what are your subs’ credentials? Will a mechanic’s lien be placed on my house?
- References – Can you provide referrals from three past clients and take me on a tour of projects similar to the one I want?
Genco Pools & Spas has long been helping Upstate homeowners turn their dreams of a backyard pool into reality. With breadth and depth of experience more than three decades deep, the locally owned company designs, builds and services residential and commercial pools, spas, fountains and more.
“We are busy, but we are open for new business,” Edwards says. “If you’re wondering if now’s the time to build a pool, we can help you get to yes.”