Year after year, dozens of honest-looking pool builders go out of business, leaving homeowners with unfinished holes in the ground.
At Atlantis Pools, we want you to know as much as you can about buying a pool before you sign any contracts. We want you to be delighted with your pool and your pool-buying experience - no matter from whom you end up buying. That's why we offer you this helpful guide - to give you the information you need to separate the competent and trustworthy pool builders from all the rest, and then make the best decision possible.
So Before You Sign Any Contracts...
We suggest interviewing prospective builders in person. You should ask them a series of questions to determine their business' stability, their technical competence, their credibility, and their commitment to customer satisfaction. Ultimately, you'll have to decide for yourself whether you can trust the builder you're speaking with. But these 15 questions should give you some great insight into the person and company with whom you're about to do business.
We wish you many years of enjoyment in your new swimming pool.
Ask how long your potential builder has been in business? Not how many years of experience they have. If they have been in business less than 5 years you should keep looking. Often newer companies claim years experience. Don't let this confuse you. Over half of new pool companies don't make it to their fifth anniversary. If you really want to be safe, they should be in business at least 10 years.
#2 - Ask them, have they ever declared bankruptcy or left pools unfinished? Many companies just change their name and start over without claiming bankruptcy. Some don't even change their name and just keep selling and building pools.
What does their website look like? Is it lacking basic information, such as how many years they have been in business? Many of the newer companies will say they have experience, but fail to say how much and from where they got it.
#4 - Ask them how many pools like yours they have built. Pool technology is constantly changing. So it is important that they are up to date with latest technology in construction. This is especially important if you are building a technically challenging pool.
#5 - Do they handle all electrical connections to and from the equipment? If so, it will be a line item on their estimate. If not, you will have to hire an electrician, and then pay extra to have it done.
#6 - Are they a member of the APSP (Association of Pool & Spa Professionals) the largest pool oversight association in the industry? This Association writes all the specifications to ensure you end up with a safe and functional swimming pool. If they are not a member you should find out why.
#7 - Are they an accredited members of the Tulsa BBB. If not, why? They should be. Atlantis has been an Accredited Member since 2000.
#8 - Are the checks for the pool written to a personal account or a business account? They should always be to the company.
#9 - Do they have a permanent address with an office, showroom and warehouse? People that don't are called one pole builders, they have a pickup with a pole sticking out the back. It is easy for pool builders without ties to the community to vanish.
#10 - Do they have any employees? If not how are they going to build your pool? Subcontractors? Who is responsible for oversight of your project? Do they have workers compensation on all employees?
#11 - Do they have a service department? If not who will take care of any warranty items? You may end up having to pay for items that should have a warranty.
#12 - Get a copy of their general liability insurance and workers compensation documentation. These should be mailed to you directly from the insurance company. If they don't have insurance and someone gets hurt on your property you could be liable for any injuries or property damage.
#13 - What is the warranty of the pool, equipment, tile etc. and who will take care of any problems that arise? As always a warranty is only as good as the company offering it. If you get a so-called great deal on a pool and the company goes out of business, your great deal won't look so good if something goes wrong with your pool. Also, does the pool company have a staff of pool professionals to do repair and service work? We employ four people just in our service department!
#14 - Ask if they have ever changed the name of their company. This is a sure sign they have unfinished projects. No company that is established under a known name would suddenly change it. The whole purpose of building quality projects is to get your name out there so the public will recognize who you are. We have had the same name for 36 years!
#15 - Ask yourself this. Can I trust this company to build my pool and take care of future issues? You should, because you will need to work closely with them for the next 6-8 weeks. Also if you need future warranty work will they be around to do it?
Atlantis Pools & Spas Inc. will educate consumers about swimming pools, have the most highly trained personnel, build the absolute best swimming pools with the latest in technological features, and be aware that completing jobs on time is of importance to all for a mutually beneficial experience.