If you are seriously considering a new, or significant remodel to your, swimming pool and exterior living area, you’ve probably discovered that there are a lot of decisions to make. At the top of this list stands one preeminent question: How do I select the best swimming pool contractor for my project?

This question is so important because the expertise and integrity of your pool builder will play a huge role in determining the final outcome of your project and your satisfaction.

The checklist worksheet of questions below is based on our experience of working hundreds of pool, outdoor living area and landscaping customers throughout Orange County California over the last 20+ years. We advise our prospective clients to complete a worksheet for each pool builder they are considering, before making a final choice.

The perfect pool and landscape for you and your family begins with the right pool and landscape contractor.

Swimming Pool Builder Selection Checklist Worksheet

Contractor Name: _________________________________________________

Business Information and Experience

The company is licensed and insured  – Yes  No – License # ______________

Note: ask if the name on the license is the same as the company name. If not, find out why.

The company has workmen’s comp insurance and General Liability insurance – Yes  No

Years in business building pools: __________

Customer References

How many pools have you built since you entered the business? __________
How many were designed and built last year? _________
Of those installations, how many references can you provide? ________

Call at least 10 references

When Calling References Be Sure To Ask The Following:

  • If you could do it over, would you use the pool builder again?
  • What did you enjoy about the experience?
  • What was least enjoyable?
  • What pool, options, and accessories did you choose?
  • What would you do differently?
  • How did the pool builder handle challenges and problems when they arose?

Reviews and Ratings

Overall the swimming pool builder has at least a 5:1 (4+ stars) good review to bad review ratio from a reputable review site. – Yes  No

They responded reasonably to negative reviews when possible. – Yes  No

Products Used By Pool Builder

Do the products the pool builder uses have good reviews in the marketplace. – Yes  No

The customer references you called gave the products used by the builder positive ratings. – Yes  No

The products are backed by competitive warranties. – Yes  No

Installation Practices

Does the swimming pool builder have any installation or construction practices that distinguish them from the competition?  Yes  No

Are these practices relevant? Yes   No

List the relevant practices which you perceive as beneficial to your project and peace of mind.

Design and Project Planning

Make sure the Swimming Pool Builder would give you a complete construction plan before the project begins showing the following:

  • exact pool location
  • location of pump and filter system
  • the elevation (or height) of the pool in relation to your existing yard
  • decking layout
  • access lane for construction
  • fence layout if applicable
  • retaining walls if applicable
  • deck and yard drainage if applicable

Pricing and Contract

Whenever possible, you should always ask for a complete itemized proposal showing a complete cost breakdown for all items on your project. This should include s.f. and l.f dimensions of such items as pool or decking as well as allowances for hardscape material such as pool tile. Did you receive a detailed proposal and contract?  – Yes  No

Note: try to avoid going into an agreement with the understanding that patio, retaining wall, fence work, etc., will be priced separately after the project has began. This is a tactic some pool contractors use to make the initial price of the project seem lower than what it will actually be.

Estimated completion date is listed on the contract. – Yes  No