Help Inquiry: How to Build a Pick a Builder & What to Watch for During Construction

TKpool7683

Bronze Supporter
Jul 18, 2019
29
Cleveland, OH
After years of wanting and waiting, my wife and I are finally in position to start or pool build project. Of course, we have to get to this point during COVID when pool builders are probably as busy as they have ever been and not hurting for work! I am just in the infancy stages here so had two questions I wanted to throw out to see if you could help me get the project started. Obviously, once I get into it I will set up a construction/build thread. I have read the Picking a Pool Builder article in Pool School.

1) Does anyone have a "20 questions to ask a pool builder" during the bid/quote process? I've owned and maintained a pool before, but never built one.
2) Once I decide on a builder, what are the keys to look for during the design and build stages?

I'd love to try to save money going the DIY route, but I am pretty limited in my construction experience so am afraid I'd end up spending so much time and money finding/paying subcontractors that it may not be worth it in the end.

My plans are to build a vinyl liner inground pool (either roughly 20x40 rectangle or something like 18x40x28 L-Shaped). We are hoping to do the build in 2021. Thanks in advance for any and all assistance!
 

kevinskii

Gold Supporter
Aug 6, 2019
171
Los Angeles, CA
Pool Size
1
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Hello! All great questions. Having recently finished the process myself, I would say, first, don’t try to do it yourself. I know lots of folks on here have done it on their own successfully, but having seen what is involved and the myriad of small things that will go wrong that a DIYer may not notice, I’m glad we opted to hire someone.

As for choosing your contractor, I think the two things that matter most are price and reputation. Try to get referrals from people whose pools you have seen, and ideally are at least a couple of years old so any workmanship problems may start to become apparent. Try to get at least 3 apples-to-apples bids, and maybe also wait until winter when prices should be lower.

Finally, don’t judge builders based on their knowledge of water chemistry. I know a couple builders who do fantastic work, but who will suggest equipment that is contrary to what you read on this site (using UV instead of SWG, for example.)
 

TKpool7683

Bronze Supporter
Jul 18, 2019
29
Cleveland, OH
Hello! All great questions. Having recently finished the process myself, I would say, first, don’t try to do it yourself. I know lots of folks on here have done it on their own successfully, but having seen what is involved and the myriad of small things that will go wrong that a DIYer may not notice, I’m glad we opted to hire someone.

As for choosing your contractor, I think the two things that matter most are price and reputation. Try to get referrals from people whose pools you have seen, and ideally are at least a couple of years old so any workmanship problems may start to become apparent. Try to get at least 3 apples-to-apples bids, and maybe also wait until winter when prices should be lower.

Finally, don’t judge builders based on their knowledge of water chemistry. I know a couple builders who do fantastic work, but who will suggest equipment that is contrary to what you read on this site (using UV instead of SWG, for example.)

I appreciate the input on the DIY.

Thanks for all the extra input on the contractors as well. Just curious on the winter-time bids. I was under the impression (at least in Ohio anyhow) that waiting until winter to plan/schedule, would mean waiting an entire year for the build (ie. not until 2022) because our build season is so much shorter than warm weather climates. Any validity to that you think, or just always better to talk to a contractor at a slower time of the year?
 

kevinskii

Gold Supporter
Aug 6, 2019
171
Los Angeles, CA
Pool Size
1
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Oh. Right. Ohio. Sorry, disregard what I said about waiting until winter. I sometimes forget what the word “winter” means.
 
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