Florida is a tough place to have any construction done let alone swimming pools. I want to give the perspective buyers out there a few tips.I have seen pool builders drop like flies over the years. If the deal is too good to be true it's not.If you have to ask yourself ,"If he don't finish the pool I will hire an attorney",You should not be considering them. You could pay twice for work. You are responsible to make sure everyone is paid in Florida law.
1)Put up a large sign stating "anyone entering my property must sign in. If you don't sign in you will be trespassing and prosecuted accordingly " Under the sign you will have a contractor box with a sign in sheet. this is important because employees,sub contractors, sub sub contractor , and material suppliers have lien rights. You will need to know who is on your job site.The sign in sheet will have a place for name ,company working for, and phone number.
2)99% of all pool builders have sub contractors. Don't let them tell you they don't.
3) Most contracts have progressive draws in them. Here is where most people make big mistakes.You have the sales man define what the draw is for and get lien release for contractors, material suppliers , and employees before handing over the check. Don't let them get ahead of you. You know who is on your property from the sign in sheet.
4)Make sure you have a Workers Comp policy , Liability ,Policy from the excavator contractor for underground work, and pool popping insurance in your hands sent to you from their insurance company before they start. New pool shells can pop up.I have seen the excavation contractor hit water mains for the city of palm beach that the city didn't know were there. The homeowner had to pay for repairs because there was no insurance for excavation.The pool builder was operating under an owner builder permit and the owner didn't know.
5) If its not written down you are not getting it.
6)Read the back of the contract. You are liable for everything there.
7)If the builders asks you to do an owner builder permit or has you sign a permit that does not have their name and licence on it then hire someone else or fire them right away.
8)Ask for four references. Two from the last two pools he installed one month old and two from his material suppliers.If he says he pays only cash and has no credit. Theres your sign.
I will add more later I am out of time. Hope this helps someone.