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The Key to Choosing a Pool Contractor Without Getting Ripped Off

By: Marcus Sheridan on February 1st, 2012

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The Key to Choosing a Pool Contractor Without Getting Ripped Off

Finding A Pool Contractor

With the readership of this blog consisting of folks all over North America, Australia, and other parts of the world, each and every year we get emails from folks from what seems like every corner of the globe expressing dissatisfaction with their pool installation and contractor. 

Whether it's a concrete pool, a fiberglass pool, or even an above ground pool—homeowners only have one chance to pick the right pool contractor to entrust their backyard.

But sadly, we often times still choose poorly.

Although we've written many articles in the past about how to properly choose your swimming pool contractor, I wanted to give everyone today one simple technique/piece of advice that will surely make a huge difference if followed by pool shoppers.

And what is this piece of advice?

Well, to make a long story short, it all comes down to references.

Now before you say, "Yes, Marcus, I already knew to ask for references from our contractor," understand that there is more to it than just asking for references. In fact, here is the proper approach:

How to Properly Ask Your Pool Contractor for References of Previous Work

Let's assume you have a pool contractor in your home who is giving you a quote on your pool project. Instead of asking him for his reference list, ask this simple question first:

How many pools did you install last year?

Simple question, right? But here is the thing—every pool guy will quickly tell you the answer to this question. Heck, many will even round up in an effort to be perceived as larger.

Now, once the contractor has told you how many pools they did last year, your next question will be the tell-tale:

May I see your reference list from last year then?

Let's assume the contractor said he installed 20 pools in 2011.

If this is the case, and you only get, say, 10 references, then this essentially means one thing—a 50% satisfaction rate.

How do you feel about those odds?

As I've discussed this simple contractor qualification technique over the years, I'm always amazed at how many consumers have told me, "Marcus, the contractor tells me that he's not allowed to give out the names due to privacy."

Again, this is a lie.

In over 10 years of building swimming pools, our company has never had a customer tell us their name couldn't be on our reference list, with the exception of 3 people, and that's because they were celebrities.

Think about that for a second. Over 1000 names and not a single person has told us 'NO'.

The reason for this is simple.

So for those of you that willing be picking your swimming pool contractor in the coming months  and read this, please make the decision to do what I've suggested here.

And if a contractor refuses to give you the references you request, just walk away. Surely there is someone in your area that is willing to be honest and transparent with their business.

By taking this step, you just may save major stress, headache, and money.

So be smart, my friends, and follow this advice.

Trust me, it works.

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Editor's note: This blog article was updated on May 21, 2018.