10 Common Sense Tips For Buying A Pool That Many Consumers Ignore
by Kevin Woodhurst August 30, 2012 11:00 AM
Shopping like you are buying a car.
Swimming pools are custom construction projects and are built by many individual trades and pool contractors with different standards. All pools are not built the same, unlike an automobile, which is manufactured in a factory under controlled conditions. With a swimming pool, much of what you do not see will impact the cost of pool ownership in the long run.
Not asking enough questions.
Do not assume every builder is going to give you an education, is capable of giving you one or wants to give you one for that matter. Ask many questions. The more you know and understand, the better buyer you will ultimately be. This helps you and your pool contractor. Do your homework. Your resources are endless, so use them.
Paralysis by analysis.
This is when someone gets 10-15 or more estimates for swimming pool construction and then cannot make a decision because they have become so confused. Do your due diligence and get 3 or 4 estimates from reputable swimming pool companies. Then make your decision and go with it.
Not checking out the experience level, history, or background of a contractor.
What makes them qualified to build swimming pools? Consider the saying, ‘If you think the cost of a professional is expensive, wait until you hire an amateur.’ Look for companies that have been doing this a while, you do not want to be their learning curve.
Shopping based on price.
Usually if a deal seems too good to be true, it is! If you shop for price alone you are destined to be disappointed. Bottom line: you usually get what you pay for.
Shopping over the phone for a pool.
It is impossible and a waste of time. Visit the swimming pool builder or have them come to your home to provide you with an estimate. Visiting a contractor’s place of business will tell you a lot about the type of business it is. If they don’t have a place of business, don’t panic. Just go check out some of their work and talk to references. You will surely be disappointed with e-mail proposals, as well.
Assuming swimming pools cost less to build in the wintertime.
We have seen steel prices go up, concrete shortages, gas increases and insurance premium hikes. Pools don’t get cheaper as time goes on; swimming pools will never be less expensive than they are today.
Not reading contracts.
Make sure you understand what you are getting into. Make sure everything is in writing. It is very difficult to cancel a contract with many contractors after the obligatory three-day rescission period. The contract should protect you AND the contractor.
Focusing on the aesthetics and not the mechanicals of the project.
Hydraulic design, flow rates, pipe size, pump and filter types, chemical management systems, and many other factors will make a difference in the ability of your swimming pool to stay clean and sanitized. Additionally, choosing the most appropriate equipment and pipe sizes can decrease or eliminate aggravation later.
Not thinking about safety.
Swimming pools can be a great place to recreate, exercise, and just enjoy the outdoors. They can also be dangerous. Make sure you know what your city requires for barriers and fencing. More importantly, make sure you protect the ones you care for, and protect the ones that cannot protect themselves.