Swimming Pool Construction Details to Consider
- Make sure everything is in writing. This includes materials, schedule, and cleanup. Changes, details and payment schedules should be written in detail. Don't sign anything until you completely understand the terms.
- A plan and scale drawing of the shape, size, and dimensions must be included as part of your swimming pool contract.
For a more complete list and further details regarding swimming pool and other home improvement contracts, please refer to the Hire a Contractor section.
- What You Should Know Before You Hire a Contractor
- Before You Dive into Swimming Pool Construction
- Terms of Agreement, A Consumer's Guide to Home Improvement Contracts
- Keep a job file of all papers, pictures, lien notices and warranties relating to your project.
- The required Checklist for Homeowners - Swimming Pools (Please note that the down payment is not correct on our checklist. The down payment for a swimming pool contract is 10 percent or $1,000, whichever is less.)
- Understanding Mechanics Liens and how to protect yourself with the proper paperwork.
- Pay no more than 10 percent or $1,000 down, whichever is less.
- Don't pay in cash.
- Don't let payments get ahead of the work (see the ALERT below).
- Don't make final payment until completion of the final plastering phase of construction, and until the installation or construction of equipment, decking, or fencing required by the contract also has been completed.
ALERT The illegal practice of "front-loading" is a major source of complaints against swimming pool contractors. Front-loading occurs when contractors take illegally excessive down payments or take payments for work not completed. A common example with swimming pool construction is taking payment for gunite work (a sprayed concrete mixture) before the job is completed. When you let your payments get ahead of the work, you are put in a precarious position. The swimming pool contractor may ask for 50 percent of the total cost, perform only 15 percent of the work, then abandon the job, leaving you with a big hole in the ground and no funds to pay another contractor to finish the work. Don't let this happen to you—don't let your payments get ahead of the work.
The final payment may be made at the completion of the final plastering phase of construction, provided that any installation or construction of equipment, decking, or fencing required by the contract also is completed.