Building a new swimming pool or maintaining an existing pool can be a healthy investment for any homeowner. As with any type of contractor, it is important to do your due diligence and find out as much as you can about the company before you sign contracts or pay for any work to be completed. It is always recommended to make sure the company is reputable and check its online reviews. In certain cases, you may even want to ask for references. Below are some of the horrors you want to avoid that bad pool company will never tell you before you hire them.
“Our Staff is Inexperienced!”
In New Jersey, the swimming pool season is seasonal, so swimming pool companies often hire seasonal help. Oftentimes, this leads to inexperienced, new employees. To make matters worse, knowing the employees are seasonal, oftentimes the pool companies do not want to spend the time or money to invest in proper training and education. More reputable companies will have full-time service technicians who either return season after season, or work year round. These companies will see the importance of continued education, certifications, and continual training for their team.
Hire a reputable pool company with good reviews!
“We Have Hidden Costs”
In-depth Explanation: Transparency is key when dealing with a professional pool company. Trustworthy ones provide detailed pricing and contracts with no hidden fees. Other pool companies, on the other hand, often keep hidden costs under wraps, often written in legal jargon inside the contract fine print, until it’s time to settle the bill. These unexpected expenses can range from dirt removal to extra chemicals and additional labor costs, leaving you with an inflated invoice that you didn’t anticipate.
“Our Equipment is Subpar”
In-depth Explanation: High-quality, efficient equipment is crucial for a well-functioning pool and lower maintenance. Some pool companies will use outdated equipment that requires more homeowner intervention because they come at a lower cost. While this lower cost up front may seem appealing, the extra work and expense to use this equipment may not be worth it. Older equipment may also not employ the same energy efficient technology, leading to higher utility costs throughout the season. Be sure to discuss with your pool company why they install the equipment they install and what the maintenance requirements will be.
“We Balance Every Pool the Same”
In-depth Explanation: Maintaining proper water quality is vital for the health of your pool and the well-being of swimmers. It is also critical to preserving the quality of the pool surface itself. Fiberglass, vinyl liner, and gunite swimming pools all require slightly different water balance. If your pool company does not thoroughly understand these differences, it can leave you with scaling, etching, and overall damaged surfaces.
“We Don’t Carry Enough Insurance” or “We Aren’t Licensed”
In-depth Explanation: It’s crucial to choose a pool company with solid insurance coverage. A bad pool company may not carry proper insurance or not enough insurance, leaving you at risk of liability in the unfortunate event of an accident, damage, or injuries during pool installation, maintenance or repair services. Lack of insurance could put financial burdens on you and cause unnecessary headaches. New swimming pool installers are required to carry a Home Improvement Contractors License as well as the proper insurances. While not legally required, it is also good to hire a company that has invested the time and money in industry certifications, such as the Certified Pool Builder and Certified Service Technician.
“We don’t vet our employees “
Beyond professionalism, vetting ensures that the employees hired are trustworthy, which is vital in a service-oriented industry like pool maintenance. Customers are allowing your team access to their property, and they need to feel confident that your staff can be trusted. Anything to do with a pool repair or pool service will require access to your home. Don’t assume employees are vetted. Ask!
“We Ignore Regulations”
In-depth Explanation: Pool safety regulations vary by region and state, and compliance is crucial. A bad pool company may not inform you if they ignore local pool safety regulations. Furthermore, they may not even know! Many who operated businesses for a long period of time can get complacent and choose not to stay up to date with regulations and safety trainings. Like any industry, the swimming pool industry is constantly changing and it is important to choose a business that keeps up with the times. PHTA, the Pool and Hot Tub Alliance is the world’s oldest and largest alliance of swimming pool professionals. They set the standards for building and maintaining safe swimming environments. Be sure to ask your pool company if they are involved and if so, how.
Our Repairs are Shoddy!
In-depth Explanation: When your pool requires repairs, you need to trust that the work is done correctly to avoid recurring issues. A bad pool company may not disclose if they’ve performed shoddy or subpar repairs or perhaps have used knock off parts. Inadequate repair work can lead to repeated pool issues, costing you time and money. Using OEM, or original parts that align with the manufacturer of your equipment, are critical to maintaining the warranty of your equipment. Reputable pool companies ensure repairs are completed to a high standard, using authentic parts, allowing you to enjoy your pool more and worry less.
It’s essential to recognize these red flags associated with bad pool companies to make informed choices when it comes to pool maintenance and care. Choosing a reputable pool company will help you enjoy a clean, safe, and well-maintained pool for years to come.