Year after year, dozens of honest-looking pool builders go out of business, leaving homeowners with unfinished holes in the ground. We want to help you understand why this happens. This is why we created the "15 questions to ask your Pool Builder". If you ask these questions and get honest answers it may save you a lot of heartache as well as money.
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 at their place of business. 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 and the best of luck building your backyard dream!
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 of 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. Atlantis Pools is in their 39th year in business. This shows a very long term stability in our company. We will be here in the future when you need us for any warranty work that may come up.
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.
Atlantis Pools has finished every pool we started. We even finished pools left unfinished by other pool companies! Most pool business that fail to finish a project have taken more money than the work they have performed. This leaves you having to pay extra to finish your pool. Often it can be 30, 40 or 50% more just to get the pool finished. So this is a very important question.
What does their website look like? Is it lacking basic information, such as how many years they have been in business? Does it even say who owns the company? Many of the newer companies will say they have experience, but fail to say how much and from where they got it.
Atlantis Pools has one of the most informative web-sites about pools not only in Tulsa but worldwide. You can find out everything about us on our website.
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.
Atlantis Pools has built some of the most technologically challenging pools in Oklahoma! We have been sought after for help on other builders complex projects. There are no pools so difficult we can't build them. Just look at our Portfolio and you can see for yourself.
Do they handle all electrical connections to and from the equipment as well as gas to your heater? If they do it will be a line item on their estimate. If not, you will have to hire an electrician and plumber and pay extra to have those connections made.
Atlantis Pools always includes electrical runs and connections to their equipment as well as the gas run with connections to the heater.
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.
Atlantis Pools is a long time member.
Are they an accredited members of the Tulsa BBB. If not, why? They should be.
Atlantis has been an Accredited Member since 2000.
Are the checks for the pool written to a personal account or a business account? They should always be to the company.
Atlantis Pools always request checks be made out to Atlantis Pools! If they want the checks made out in their name this is a huge red flag.
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.
Atlantis Pools has had their same office since 2001. We have over 9000 sq. ft. of Office, warehouse and fenced in yard space. We have the tools, trucks, equipment and people we need to successfully finish your project!
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?
Atlantis Pools has over 20 employees, many have been here for over 15-20 years! Our employees have experience in all phases of pool construction. We even do landscaping, sprinklers and sod with our in-house employees.
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.
Atlantis Pools services everything we do! We do warranty work almost every week!
Do they have liability and workers compensation insurance? Always ask for a copy of their general liability insurance and workers compensation documentation. These should be mailed to you directly from the insurance company.
Atlantis Pools employees and equipment are fully insured. This can be a huge problem with the potential of you loosing possibly $100's of thousands of dollars. If a worker gets seriously injured in your backyard and they do not have workers compensation insurance. You can be held liable. You must get these certificate up front before they enter your yard to start work. This goes for the liability insurance as well. If their negligence destroys one of your neighbors property and they are not covered by liability insurance, you may have to pay for that damage as well.
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?
Atlantis Pools has a lifetime warranty on all the pools it constructs. With a full 3 year parts and labor warranty on their equipment packages. Unfortunately if you choose a builder that goes out of business even after they finish your pool. You will still be without a warranty. We are not afraid to say we have had many issues over the years that we had to step up an fix. We have re-plastered pools that didn't turn out as well as expected, torn out decks and re-poured them, re-tiled pools and many other issues. It just a fact of being in business for almost 40 years! Not everything always goes as planned and if you need something warrantied you will want a company that will be here for you when you need them.
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.
Atlantis Pools has had the same name for 39 years! Just as recent as 2019 a couple of local pool companies changed their names. They failed to finish pools and just stopped working on them. They changed their company name and started building pools again. They have both since went out of business again this time hopefully for good.
It is very hard to explain these companies behavior in this type of forum. But here is how it effects not only the buyer that is left with an unfinished pool but also the honest builders. As these unscrupulous builders sell these projects and then leave them unfinished, it takes good projects away from good builders. This effects the good builders bottom line as well as the poor homeowner needing their pool finished. So be careful in your selection of a builder. This is one of the most important decisions you will ever make.
Ask yourself this. Can I trust this company to build my pool and take care of future issues?
If the answer is yes. Then you have found your pool builder. If not then keep looking until you do. Remember you will need to work closely with you pool builder for the next 6-12 weeks or more. Also if you need future warranty work will they be around to do it?
Thank You for taking the time to look at these "15 Questions". We hope it helps you in your quest for an honest, quality pool builder.
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.