New Pools | 03/31/20

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Make the Right Choice for Building Your Pool

Building a pool in Arizona is a big investment. You have a dream, but you also have a budget. Reputable, experienced pool builders like Shasta understand the hopes and concerns potential pool owners have about the process, from demonstrable quality to extra features to equipment choices. They’ll be more than willing to spend as much time talking to you as you need, making sure you feel comfortable with your options, process and pricing.

To make it easier for you to know what to ask, we’ve put together this list of seven questions to ask your Phoenix pool builder before you sign anything or put down a single dollar.

1. Are you licensed and insured?

Sadly, there are a number of “pool builders” out there who haven’t gone through the proper licensing and insurance process. Sure, they’ll probably offer you a much cheaper price to build your pool, but you’ll get sloppy work in return—if they don’t just take your money and run. And, it’s a common practice that these types of “builders” won’t include many of the life-enhancing systems or features available in new technology as a way to make their price look better.

The other thing to be very cautious about when researching an uninsured, unlicensed builder or “do it yourself” pool contractor is that warranties don’t mean much of anything. Sadly, when something goes wrong, there is little-to-no recourse, and getting third-party support from organizations like the Register of Contractors (ROC) is next to impossible if the pool company is a DIY or non-licensed contractor. And without insurance, you could be held liable of a worker is injured while at your home.

A licensed and insured pool builder in Arizona is held to a higher standard, with more accountability. Your pool builder should have no problem producing their license number and insurance information. If they hesitate, it’s a red flag.

2. Can you provide me with customer references?

Yes, this is a common thing you can ask for! Good pool builders should have no problem providing you with a list of past customers to contact. If they don’t have any, or they only provide one or two names, you might want to cross them off your list. Shasta Pools has been building pools in Arizona since 1966, so we have quite a few!

3. Do they demonstrate the equipment to you so you can be sure your pool will function exactly how you expect?

How your pool builder answers this can tell you a lot about their approach. If they simply rattle off a a long list of how things work and what you will need to to do to maintain it, there’s probably a reason they don’t want to physically show you the equipment—namely, that they’re using cheap equipment and they don’t want you calling them on it.

But the best pool builders in Phoenix will happily spend time showing you the equipment and how it works, and explaining why they chose one type over another.

Shasta Sand & Stone

4. What is your construction and installation process like? What can I expect?

Experienced pool builders have done installations so often that their process is dialed in and easy to explain (for instance, you can read about Shasta’s 9-step construction process). If there are a lot of pauses, uncertainty and non-specific information in their answer, run!

5. What’s included in your project estimate?

This one can be tricky because homeowners often don’t know what should be included in the plan estimate. So, we want to make sure you know going in. Here are line items they should be including:

  • exact pool location
  • exact equipment being recommended so you can do research; no generic terms like “infloor”, “pop-ups”, “filter”, or “pump”
  • location of pool equipment
  • the elevation (or height) of the pool in relation to your existing yard
  • patio dimensions
  • access lane for construction and any demo needed to install the pool
  • fence layout if applicable
  • retaining walls if applicable
  • deck and yard drainage and what that might mean for monsoon season
  • at pool completion, what services are offered to ensure easy start up and pool balancing

6. What warranties are offered as part of my contract?

The manufacturer of your pool equipment usually has their own product- or material-only warranties, but licensed Arizona pool builders offer their own warranties on the workmanship itself.

At the absolute minimum, they should offer a two-year workmanship warranty as this is required by the ROC. But the better builders give you a lot more labor coverage. For example, Shasta offers an industry-leading 5-Year Base Labor Warranty, with a renewal option that allows you to continue the same great coverage.

Many companies in the industry will generically tell you about their “lifetime” warranty coverage but the important thing to know is how long and strong the labor coverage is.  In many cases, the largest part of cost on a repair or replacement item on your pool is the labor charge, not the material itself.

7. How will I be kept informed during the entire process?

Along with understanding a builder’s construction and installation process, it’s helpful to know what the communication process is like from start to finish. Ask about the frequency of check-ins, milestones and other necessary communications, along with who you can expect to hear from AND who you can contact when needed.

Choosing the right pool builder to build your Arizona pool is not something you should do quickly. But by doing your research and asking the right questions along the way, you will be on your way to getting the pool of your dreams.

You may also like: How to Choose a Pool Builder Checklist