You research contractors, architects, designers, and custom pool builders when you build a home. You interview them, ask probing questions, check references, ensure they’re correctly affiliated, and find out about warranties and insurance. After all, it’s the place where you and your family are going to live.
You might want it to be your forever home, and it’s not something you leave to chance. So why not do it with your swimming pool installation? Go out of your way to find the best custom pool builders. Your pool’s quality and your family’s safety depend on it.
How to Choose the Right Luxury Custom Pool Builder for You
The first thing to do when you need to find a custom pool builder is to hop on Google and look for contractors in your area. Take a thorough look at their websites, including their About Us page and the specific services they provide. There will almost certainly be a gallery where you can see their past projects.
Take a good look because this will give you an idea of their preferred style. If you want a classic-looking pool and the gallery is full of contemporary swimming pools, you can safely cross them off the list.
Use your impression of the company through its website and make a list of pool builders you’d like to meet. Then go back to Google and do a search for each company individually. Look for reviews and mentions.
If Google casts a shadow on any on your list, cross them off. Now you’re ready to contact the construction companies and arrange for an appointment or consultation. You may find that response times, and the responses themselves allow you to narrow your list some more.
Prepare for each appointment with standard and non-standard questions—these are factors to help you choose the best custom pool builders in Orange County. What you ask each one is up to you. Below are six very important questions you need to ask all of them.
1. What are Your Qualifications?
A college degree isn’t necessarily a pre-requisite, but they must have some type of diploma or certificate from a reputable educational institution. You may also ask them about where they acquired their knowledge, and don’t feel like you’re being pushy or rude.
Pool construction is a complicated business, you don’t want someone who did a two-week online course digging up your backyard. If the designer is a bit iffy or defensive, thank them for their time and go on to the next swimming pool contractor on your list.
2. Are You Fully Licensed?
Builders have to meet certain minimum requirements to obtain a license, so the mere fact that they have a license indicates at least fundamental knowledge and basic skills. You can find out if they are licensed to work heavy machinery or operate earth-moving vehicles.
You also want to know if they are qualified to carry out specialized work. For example, if they’re certified plumbers, you don’t have to outsource that particular phase of the project. If not, then you should start creating a list of promising professional plumbers.
If they’re not licensed or are evasive when answering the question, thank them for their time and go on to the next pool company on your list.
3. Are You Affiliated with Industry Associations?
In the same way that a license indicates a minimum skill level, membership in a professional association indicates quality. Associations require members to meet certain criteria to retain their affiliation.
Often, contractors are required to complete continuing education courses so their skills are current and they are always up to date with trends, techniques, and technological advancements. Associations also require members to adhere to a code of ethics.
Luxury pool builders in Orange County can belong to more than one association, but you need to find out if they have got a good reputation. A good association pool contractors should belong to is the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals (ASPS).
Not being a member of an association isn’t the end of the world, but it’s a good idea to find out why they’ve chosen to forego affiliation. If the reason sounds dodgy, cross them off the list and move on.
4. How Long Have You Been in Business?
To be clear, longevity doesn’t translate into quality. There are plenty of pool installers that have been around for decades who you wouldn’t trust with a nail gun, and there are plenty of newbies who have only been around for a year or so who you would trust with your firstborn. This is one of the reasons person-to-person meetings are so important is that you can judge them yourself.
If it looks like they’ve kept up to date with developments over their many years in the industry, you can keep them in the running. If they look like they haven’t moved forward since 1990, cross them off the list and go on to the next swimming pool builder.
5. Are You Insured?
This is a biggie because swimming pool builders must be fully insured for all eventualities. If they’re not, and something goes wrong, you’ll struggle to get a penny out of them. Find out if they work with subcontractors and if they are insured.
The importance of insurance cannot be over-emphasized. Worst case scenario, if there is an accident on site and a worker ends up in hospital with serious injuries, you could be held liable for the whole thing. If they can’t prove they have insurance, walk away.
6. Do You Guarantee Your Workmanship?
By law, contractors must have a warranty of workmanship for one year, but some problems, particularly structural problems, only become evident after 12 months. You need to find out exactly what is covered by the warranty and for how long. Ideally, you want someone whose warranty is at least 18 months.
Successful Custom Pool Design in Orange County Requires Happy Customers
One of the best ways to gauge if a pool designer is right for you is to ask for and check references. Ideally, you want recent references and reviews. If you only get ones that go back years, it could indicate the builder has already peaked and is on a gradual decline.
You should also take a look at ratings at the Better Business Bureau (BBB). All-in-all, you’re looking for transparency and a solid work ethic from pool builders. If you don’t get them, move on to the next one on the list.
To ensure that you get the best custom pool design in Orange County, contact us at 714-235-3294 at Calimingo Pools today!