Ultimate Checklist for Hiring a Pool Contractor 

Embarking on the journey of hiring a pool contractor can be daunting, but with this pool contractor checklist you’re in safe hands. This guide will provide the necessary information and resources to ensure a successful pool contracting experience.

We’ll start by helping you determine your specific pool needs, from identifying the type of pool that suits your lifestyle to deciding on special features for your dream swimming area. Budget planning is another critical aspect we’ll delve into, ensuring no hidden costs catch you off guard during construction.

The article also provides an effective strategy for shortlisting potential contractors based on certain criteria and online reviews. We then guide you through preparing questions before meeting prospective contractors and evaluating their communication skills during interviews.

Finally, we cover how to request detailed estimates from each builder and compare them side-by-side before finalizing contracts and beginning the construction process. Stay tuned as we unravel these steps one by one!

Here at GreatBuildz, a free service that connects homeowners in Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura Counties with reliable pool and backyard contractors, we speak to homeowners every day about their backyard and pool projects. Read on to learn about hiring a pool contractor in Los Angeles.

Determining Your Pool’s Needs

pool checklist complete

So, you’ve decided to take the plunge and invest in a swimming pool. Great choice.

Before we jump into bringing in a builder, let’s ensure that we understand precisely the type of paradise you’re envisioning.

Identifying the type of pool suitable for your needs

The first step is figuring out which pool suits your lifestyle best.

Above-ground or inground? Is it an infinity edge or a classic rectangle?

Deciding on special features for your dream pool

Now it’s time to add those special touches that turn a pool into a personal paradise.

A waterfall cascading over natural stone?

An integrated hot tub for post-work relaxation?

A swim-up bar for epic summer parties?

Do you want a pool heater to keep your pool warm over winter? 

Special features like fire pits and waterfalls?

Consider if you want it for exercise or just pure relaxation and make sure you budget all extras into the project. Check out sites like Outdoor Direct for outdoor and backyard items you need for your backyard pool planning.

Remember: customization is key. Make sure every detail aligns with your vision.

Budget Planning: How much will this slice of heaven cost?

Let’s dive deeper into the financial aspect of building your dream pool.

Budget Planning

pool checklist calculator

When it comes to building your dream pool, money matters. Setting up a budget estimate is the first step toward making a splash.

Consider construction materials, labor costs, permits, and legal requirements. Don’t forget about hidden expenses too.

The type of soil on your property can dig into your budget – rocky or clay soils might require more work than sandy ones.

If access to your backyard is limited, you might need extra equipment like cranes, which means more money.

Don’t dive in without budgeting for mandatory pool fencing – it’s the law.

Planning a realistic budget gives you control over your swimming space without drowning in debt. Remember, every dollar spent wisely now saves future headaches.


Shortlisting Potential Pool Contractors

Your dream pool is taking shape in your mind. You’ve nailed down the type, purpose, and special features you want it to have. Budgeting for the project is a critical part of making your dream pool come to life.

Now comes an equally important step: finding potential contractors who can dive into action and turn your vision into reality.

Criteria for Selecting Prospective Contractors

The first thing that should guide your selection process is reputation. The Better Business Bureau, a trusted resource, provides ratings based on customer reviews and complaints. Look for contractors who make a big splash with positive feedback from previous clients and high BBB scores.

Besides reputation, consider their experience level too. An experienced contractor has likely swum through similar projects before and will be better equipped to handle any challenges that may arise during the construction of your pool. Certified Building Professionals (CBP), offered by the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP), are especially worth considering due to their rigorous training program that includes technical skills and ethical practices.

Checking Online Reviews And Ratings

Apart from official certifications, don’t forget to take a dip into online review platforms like Yelp. Past customers often leave detailed reviews here explaining what they liked or didn’t like about working with certain contractors. These insights could prove invaluable when making final decisions.

We’ve covered quite some ground already, but there’s still more work ahead. Up next? Preparing yourself for initial meetings where we’ll dive deeper into each prospective contractor’s capabilities.

Initial Meeting With Prospective Contractors

pool checklist paperwork

Having done your research, the next step is to meet with prospective pool builders in person.

This is a crucial step in hiring a pool contractor.

Preparing a List of Questions Before the Meeting

The key here? Preparation.

Create an extensive list of questions to evaluate their expertise and work process.

What kind of pools do you specialize in?

How long does it typically take for a project like mine?

Evaluating Communication Skills During the Interview

In addition to technical know-how, assess how they communicate.

Prompt responses?

Clear explanations?

Remember: This isn’t just about finding someone who can build your dream pool. It’s also about choosing someone with whom you feel comfortable communicating throughout the entire process.

Request Detailed Estimates From Each Contractor

You’ve shortlisted your potential pool contractors. Now what? Dive into the financial deep end.

It’s time to get those comprehensive quotes flowing.

Asking for Detailed Estimates

The first step is to request detailed estimates from each contractor on your list.

Make sure they break down all the costs involved, from labor to materials.

Don’t forget to ask about expenses like excavation work, electrical installations, and any necessary landscaping.

Comparing Proposals Side by Side

Now it’s time to compare the received proposals.

Cost should not be the only deciding factor; quality, material types (concrete vs. fiberglass), design complexity, and the estimated construction timeline must also be taken into account. Quality matters too.

Consider factors like material types (concrete vs. fiberglass), design complexity, and the estimated construction timeline.

Keep an eye out for any discrepancies that raise red flags. If one estimate is significantly lower than the others, it might be a sign of cutting corners.

And there you have it. Armed with a thorough understanding of the finances involved, you can move towards finalizing the contract and beginning the actual construction phase.

Finalize Contract and Begin Construction Process

pool checklist

You’ve located the ideal contractor for your task. What’s next?

The importance of having a written agreement

A contract isn’t just paperwork; it’s peace of mind. It’s like a legally binding love letter.

LegalZoom recommends getting everything in writing before any work begins.

This includes details like the scope of work, expected completion date, and payment terms, among other things.

Your pool contractor is not only building your dream pool but also ensuring that all local regulations are followed to avoid future issues with authorities or neighbors.

Once you’re happy with every detail on paper – sign away. Now sit back as the construction process unfolds, turning your backyard into a personal oasis.


Why not let GreatBuildz match you with great pool and outdoor contractors? We work with a network of qualified, pre-vetted contractors experienced in Los Angeles.


Simply reach out, let us know what your needs are, and we’ll connect you with the perfect contractor for your project who you know you’ll be able to rely on.


For more information, contact us today at (818.317.3567) or visit our website.

Hi, we're Paul and Jon - Co-Founders of GreatBuildz. We believe everyone deserves to find a great contractor, have a stress-free renovation, and enjoy their beautiful new space. There are so many contractors out there and it's often hard to tell the good from the bad... until it's too late. We started our company to help simplify your contractor search and help you have a stress-free renovation experience. We're always available to help, no matter where you are in the process. Click here to learn more about our story.

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