(NC) A backyard pool or hot tub can be the crowning touch that will elevate your backyard to a five-star vacation destination without worrying about travel hassles or accommodations. The decision to add a pool or hot tub to your lifestyle will affect you and your family long after the installation is complete. Choose the right dealer by investing some time before you invest your money.
Sourcing your contractor
Try to narrow your list to three contractors you wish to interview by talking to neighbours, friends and family members that have pools in your area. Check their reputations, experience and status with organizations such as the Pool & Hot Tub Council of Canada. Their directory includes the industry's top contractors and builders and is available at www.poolcouncil.ca
Quality contractors will want to spend time and listen to your ideas to understand your family's needs better. Do not expect to get a proper quotation on the phone. The best contractors promote the quality of their services rather than low rates and fast turnaround
During the interviews, discuss planning and design concepts, but also be sure that any potential contractor establishes business stability, credibility and experience to meet your standards. Get at least three references. Good contractors will inform you of local bylaws, regulations and engineering issues that may impact your project. They should also provide confirmation of liability insurance and Workers Compensation coverage to protect you against unforeseen events.
After the interviews
Your estimate should be clearly written and easy to understand. A good proposal will state all warranties, payment terms, approximate start and completion dates and responsibilities for work and materials both provided and not provided. Large jobs can be very complex and a thorough estimate takes time, so do not be surprised if the contractor needs a few days.
Make sure the details of work to be performed and materials used are of similar quality when comparing estimates. Remember - the lowest price is not always the best deal.
Making the decision
Finally, choose the contractor with whom you are most comfortable. Reputation or price alone will never replace the importance of good communication before, during and after your project is completed.
Additional information on choosing the best contractor for your pool or hot tub installation is available online at www.poolcouncil.ca or by calling (800) 879-7066.
Gil Strachan is a professional home inspector, representing Electrospec Home Inspection Services in east-central Ontario since 1994.