Licensed or Not? Interviewing (NC) Pool Builders Now


Jul 17, 2019
Wilmington, NC

Creating my first post to TFP. I’ve been reading and researching many posts for a while and haven’t come across anything regarding licensing. What has your experience been with a PB who is licensed and one who is not? Good, bad?

We are currently in the stage of interviewing and I’m finding a 20% difference in pricing with those who are licensed. We are looking to build an 18x36 vinyl mountain lake shape. Any input will be appreciated!



TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
Tucson, AZ
Licensed, bonded and insured is an absolute must. If you go with an unlicensed builder you have zero recourse if the project goes south. They can walk away with whatever money you give them upfront and you’ll never see them again or recoup your loss. There are A LOT of shady people in the pool building trades and every season sees stories of homeowners left with unfinished holes in the backyards.

Don’t be one of those statistics. As one of our construction experts here likes to say -

Quality is not cheap and cheap is not quality...


Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
If you go with an unlicensed contractor check references even more carefully. An unlicensed one is less likely to stay around and finish the job if he runs into trouble. [/QUOTE said:
Or they fold the XYZ company and become ABC company the next day. With no recourse for the buyer.
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Silver Supporter
Jun 19, 2014
Roseville / CA
with no license you are liable if they get "injured" on your property.
they can walk and you cant go after their bond because its non-existent
I built my own house and used unlicensed trades in a couple areas, I also built my own pool and would not use unlicensed trades, with a house it doesn't matter much if your finish carpenter isn't licensed and walks or messes up but name one area in building a pool where you can get away with sub-par? my gunite delaminated, had a bubble in my plaster, things do happen and you wont have any idea of how to fix it?
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