Choosing a swimming pool builder is a big deal. Over the long run, you’re going to be spending tens of thousands of dollars on construction and maintenance. Furthermore, your backyard or the insides of your house is going to be torn apart for 3 to 6 weeks. You need to make sure the person you hire is truly competent and has your best interests at heart.

So how do you choose a swimming pool builder?

Where to Find Builders to Interview

You should talk to at least 5 pool builders before making your pick. You can find pool builders in the Yellow Pages, as well as on the internet. Just Google “pool builder” plus your city.

If you have friends who’ve had pools built, you can also ask them for references.

Do They Do Service?

As a rule of thumb, you should only work with builders who also repair pools. If you work with a builder who doesn’t do servicing, they’re more likely to do a shoddy job. If they do service as well, however, they’ll likely view you as a long-term customer rather than a one-time customer.

Check Their Work History

How many pools has this contractor built? How many years have they been building pools? How much experience do they have with the specific kind of pool you’re looking to build?

Ask for references. Call up some of their past clients to see if they’re satisfied with the pools they got. Be sure to also ask about whether any unexpected problems arose.

The Money

Naturally, you’re going to want to get the best bang for your buck. Try to get at least three solid price quotes before deciding on the contractor.

Don’t just go with the lowest price. Sometimes a high-quality contractor is worth paying a little more for.

Remember to look at payment terms in addition to the price itself. How much upfront do you need to pay? Do you pay immediately upon completion of the pool, or can you pay overtime?

Associations, Memberships & the BBB

Check to see which swimming pool associations they’re a part of.

Do they have a Certified Service Professional (CSP) certification? What about an Association of Pool and Spa Professionals (APSP) certification? Ask them about their education. Where did they learn to build pools?

Ask a lot of questions. Don’t feel rushed to make your decision and don’t make a choice until you’ve met a contractor that you feel completely safe with. At the end of the day, you have to weigh all the various factors and make a decision based on the contractor that you trust the most.