HOW TO CHOOSE A SWIMMING POOL CONTRACTOR IN WISCONSIN
By: Nicholas Jablonski
In Wisconsin, swimming pool contractors are not required to hold a contractor’s license specific to the construction of inground pools. This leaves many consumers faced with the decision on who to choose and at what price point. Building an inground pool is a major investment and requires you to allow strangers on your property and into your home. This can be very intimidating for some people, so we recommend you do your homework before making your final selection. The internet will provide a wealth of information on the background of business owners and their staff.
On several occasions, we have been called by worried homeowners to come help “fix” a mismanaged pool construction job or in the worst case, rescue an abandoned pool build. These scam contractors are out there. Beware any pool builder offering pool packages at unbelievable prices. There are a few contractors in Wisconsin that have operated under numerous company names and have hurt many families along the way. If it sounds to good to be true, then it most likely is. For example, Premier Pools of Wisconsin builds swimming pools in Southeastern Wisconsin and offers pool packages beginning in the mid to high forties.
Below are some tips to help you through the selection process
- Make sure the business has a valid certificate of insurance and use WCCA to see if the company or business owner has any civil lawsuits or cases involving the IRS. http://wcca.wicourts.gov/index.xsl A reliable pool builder will be willing to have a certificate sent to you from their insurance company so you are not relying on their word. They will also be willing to disclose and discuss any civil or criminal information you may discover.
- Check their credentials! Get on your desktop, tablet, or phone and begin browsing the internet. Start with the builders website. Does it look professional and offer copious amounts of content? A simple landing page website or one that has outdated information can speak to the drive and professionalism of a business owner. Today more than ever, consumers go to the internet to research a company and it is important that a good impression is left on anyone visiting their site. Check to see if they are a member of the BBB. The BBB website will verify accreditation, offer a rating on a scale of A+ to F, provide a customer complaint and review summary, and note any government actions taken on the business.
- Ask for references! Experience is key, but references will always reassure you on the quality of the project completed by the builder and the character of the people involved. Don’t be fooled by someone claiming to have built several hundred pools over their career but are unable to provide references for projects completed in the past few years. Just because someone has built several pools doesn’t necessarily mean they have delivered what was promised or implied at the time of the sale. A quality pool installer will want to build a relationship with their customer and provide them years of exceptional service after the project is completed.
- Who will be building your pool? Are the employees of the company you hired actually professionals? Ask if the staff is actually employed by the company or if they are subcontracted. While it is normal for many reputable pool companies to subcontract others to excavate the hole, pour the concrete, and install the fence it should leave you unsettled if the people actually building the swimming pool structure are not experienced employees or partners of the company you are hiring. You will want to know that the builder is working with a team of trustworthy, professional builders and laborers. In the case of Premier Pools LLC in Wisconsin, they keep subcontractors to a minimum to ensure quality control on every pool build project.
- Is your pool contractor keeping up with the latest trends and technology? If so, do they have the capability of producing these products and the infrastructure to support them? Like many others today, the swimming pool industry has been inundated with wonderful new products that not only make pool ownership easier, but much more efficient. Variable speed pumps have been on the market for several years, but more recently have become mainstream. They provide significant energy savings compared to the standard, single, or two speed pumps. A pool contractor including a variable speed pump on every pool build is a notch above the rest……...if they are able to program the pump to harness the full capabilities! If your pool contractor is not offering variable speed pumps, automatic pool covers, automation systems, and 3D design then chances are they are behind the times and I say BUYER BEWARE! Now anybody can offer these products, so ask them what kind of experience they have with them and if they attend annual training seminars. It will be very important down the road when technical assistance is required.
Hopefully this article has provided you with some tools beyond what most would perceive as common sense. A reputable and experienced pool builder will complete your project on time, on budget, and will deliver a product that will be enjoyed for years to come!