Who can I trust to build my pool

In the most recent copy of Pool and Spa News there was an article about an installer up in Michigan who has received a bad review by the BBB.  This has sparked a concern from other builders in the area.  At this point you might be wondering why these other builders have a problem with this one guy getting a bad review.  That is what the topic of this post is going to be about.  Granted this installer does above ground but the same applies to in ground builders as well.

You may or may not know that building an in ground swimming pool represents a pretty significant investment.  With that kind of investment consumers want to make sure that they are getting the best quality possible.  This makes absolute sense, when you are spending a lot of money on something you want to make sure that it is the best that it can be.  Aside from the product itself I think that for most people this concept also relates to the builder as well.  If someone is spending a lot of money on a pool they will likely want the person building it to be reliable.  In my opinion the best way to make sure that you are getting the best quality of build out of your pool builder you have to do the research ahead of time.  Below are some things to look for in a pool builder.
1) Make sure they have a store front – I know that some people might think that this is irrelevant but the fact is that if the builder has a store that they work out of they are likely paying rent to use the location or they own the property and or building they are working out of.  This means that they are more likely to be responsible and reliable.  No offense to anyone but a company called Jed’s Swimmin Pools and is ran out of the back of a pick up truck may not be the company you want to trust to take your hard earned money and in return give you an elegant, well build in ground pool.
2) Look for reviews online – If they have been installing swimming pools for a decent amount of time then someone along the way has written a review and posted it to the internet somewhere.  You’d be amazed at what you can find on the internet.  I honestly can’t remember the last time I searched for something and not had any results.  It may take some digging but with some persistence you will find what you are looking for.
3) Have you heard of them? – Typically there will be at least one builder near you that is bigger than the rest.  What makes them bigger than the rest is that they do more in sales.  Now either they sell cheap pools or they do quality work.  More than likely if they have been around for a while it is because they do quality work.  Remember if they sell cheap pools than someone would likely have something bad to say about them and you will be able to find it on the internet.
4) Are they well established? – I know that in my area there is one builder that stands out from the rest and that is because they have been in business since the 70’s.  A builder that has been building in ground pools for that long is likely to be a decent builder, otherwise they wouldn’t be in business.
5) Ask around – There are many people you can talk to about pool builders.  For the most part pool builders sub out some of the work to other companies.  It may be a trucking company to come and pick up loads of dirt, it might be a concrete company, or concrete workers, or an electrician.  These are all people you can talk to about their building quality.  However the best source is someone who already has one of their pools.
These are just a few ways that you can protect your investment from questionable builders.  Now, back to the installer in the article.  It seems that this installer has had several complaints by customers recently.  One of which involves someone who paid him and the job was never finished.  Only the excavation was complete but the pool was never built.  The customer has since requested a refund and is still waiting on it.  Since then this customer has had to purchase a pool elsewhere and have another company come out to install it.
It is things like that which give pool builders a bad rep.  Let me assure you that not every pool builder out there is this way.  This is the concern of the other pool builders in that area.  They see this one guy not coming through on what he promised to do and in turn that fear that people will begin to associate that one guy with the rest of the pool building world.  They feel that consumers will see them all in the same light.
This is so far from the truth.  I am a former builder myself.  I worked for a larger pool company for almost ten years and I found that the owner of the company was very true to his word.  However, you must understand that if a builder gives you specific dates of when they will start and when they will finish, it will be dependent on the weather, and you can’t hold the builder responsible because it rains.  Aside from that a good builder will make sure to keep you in the loop as far as what is going on and what the next step is.