Spring time has arrived and you are now thinking about buying a swimming pool. Whether you are thinking about purchasing a new In the Ground Pool or Above the Ground your budget will guide you as to what materials and sizes you will be able to purchase. In addition to the dollars you will be spending there are other considerations below to think of before walking into a show room or at least have these questions in mind when talking with a salesman.
1. Call your local building department and gather what codes you must follow as to how many feet from property line, well, septic and what type of barrier you will need for your swimming pool so you know the outlay of cost and what size swimming pool you can buy. Keep in mind you may need to pay for building, electrical and other permits which add to your bottom line. Ask the installer if you or he will pull the permits needed?
2. What materials is the pool composed of? For Above Grounds; these may be steel, resin or extruded aluminum walls with vinyl liners. In Ground Pools can be gunite, steel wall/vinyl liner, concrete, fiberglass and polymer. With In Grounds the price can vary greatly depending on what material is used and keeping up the appearance can be costly on some of these materials so down the road expenses should be explored.
3. Once you have nailed down the type and size of the pool the selection of accessories such as the filter system, pump, lights, and heaters etc need to be considered. Some items such as a heater can be added any time but others need to be considered when building your pool.
4. When buying an Above Ground you usually go to a show room or pool store and they will give you your options including many package deals. I will caution that many big name stores will offer filter and pump packages at very cheap prices which is fine but many of your smaller dealers will not be able to get you parts for these when things go wrong, which leaves you with dead, dirty water until you can find the part somewhere. I try to tell my customers to at least buy a name brand product where you know you can get parts from several suppliers.
5. In Ground sales are somewhat different as a good contractor wants to see where they are going to be putting the pool and will go out and give a free estimate and show you what the process involves and give you a written estimate with the total costs of the project. Always ask to see the contractors’ license. Also ask how many years of experience they have, is excavation included in price, time frame, what brands of equipment are used and sizes so you can compare apples to apples when getting quotes. Lastly ask for references and follow up with them. Price should be just one piece of your selection process.
6. When choosing an installer ask if they have a presence in the community such as a store front where you can purchase supplies, have your water tested and can call to ask questions. Do they have a service department to service your pool? If you have the opportunity to go into the store prior to purchasing observe whether the staff is knowledgeable and friendly, whether the store is well stocked sometimes the opposite of these can indicate issues.
7. After selecting which contractor to go with to install your pool you will be asked to sign a contract, again if you have not asked for proof of licensing now is the time. Make sure you go through the contract line by line what is expected of the contractor and of you so no one is mistaken later. When asked to give a deposit, give a written check made payable to the company installing the pool and the amount should not be the full amount unless the job is complete. Most contractors will ask for payments based on percentages based on a time schedule of completed tasks. Most states will have a clause required on the contract that gives you the right to cancel with in a certain number of days of signing the contract, so make sure you are aware and read the contract within this time period and are aware of your rights.
8. Upon the contractors completion of the job go through the job site and over the operation of the pool including how to vacuum and maintain your water with the contractor before making your final payment. If there is something the contractor needs to come back and fix put this in writing.
9. If you are happy with a job well done take a moment and share your experience with others via the contractor’s web site or other local find sites. Positive reviews are the best form of flattery and advertising.
10. Put your suits on and jump in. Your backyard investment will be enjoyed by the family for years to come. Keep safety in mind and you will enjoy the swimming season and family fun!!
Have a great holiday folks, more to
follow. I 'm hoping for a hot! hot! hot!
season!!! Don't forget to book your openings!