Remaining on time and within budget when building a pool requires open communication throughout the project. A constant and free flow of information must be established at the first meeting between the customer and pool dealer, and it must continue until the pool is fully installed. This is the only way to avoid unanticipated expenses and delays. If you’re considering having a pool installed this year, here are four questions to ask your pool dealer that will help establish a line of communication.
Can I have a written, itemized estimate?
One of the first questions everyone has about a swimming pool is how much it will cost to build. Although the least expensive pool is not necessarily the best, price is always a significant factor and should be discussed from the outset.
Your pool dealer will only be able to supply an estimate after they’ve discussed the project with you. Before agreeing to move ahead with the installation, however, you should insist on receiving a written, itemized estimate.
Being itemized, this estimate will break down every expense associated with installation. You’ll be able to see how the dealer arrived at the final price, and any changes that arise during installation can be concretely discussed using the estimate as a starting point.
The estimate should also be written, so both you and the pool dealer can have a record of what was agreed upon.
Will I need any additional equipment?
Your estimate for building the pool might not include some equipment, such as a cover or a perimeter fence. Although these items would increase the upfront cost of installation, they may reduce the ongoing expenses of owning a pool. For instance:
- An automatic safety cover retains heat, minimizes evaporation and reduces how many chemicals you need to use.
- A perimeter fence may, depending on your specific policy, reduce your commercial or homeowner’s insurance premiums.
- A variable-speed pump is more efficient than a single-speed pump and could save electricity.
Your pool dealer should be able to help you determine how quickly any of these will pay for itself from the savings that it provides, and they might have other suggestions, as well.
Will permits be needed?
Your pool dealer ought to be familiar with the permit requirements in your specific neighborhood. They should be able to both explain which permits you’ll need before building a pool and walk you through the process of obtaining them. If you live in one of Houston’s historic areas or near the Gulf, then you may need special permits to build a pool, but your dealer will also be able to help with these.
Can we create a timeline for installation?
Although there may be unavoidable delays caused by weather or while obtaining the necessary permits, a timeline can help minimize these delays and keep everything moving forward. It serves as an estimate, but it’s focused on the duration of the project instead of its finances. A timeline will give you a date to expect the project done by, provide checkpoints along the way and help hold people accountable for deadlines. It is the easiest way to avoid dragging a project out indefinitely.
When drafting a timeline, set dates with your dealer for:
- filing for and obtaining permits
- finalizing the design
- starting and finishing the installation
- making payments
Be sure to ask these simple questions early in your talks with a pool dealer, as they set the foundation for clear communication throughout the installation process. An experienced dealer will have no issue providing specific answers to these questions, and they may even have some questions of their own.