Can You Find a “Perfect” Pool Builder?

Choosing a Pool Builder can be a daunting task

If you are thinking about building a pool, you are going to have lots of questions but the most important decision you will need to make is who to hire to build your pool. Is the perfect pool builder in my area?

There are likely many pool builders nearby, so how do you compare them?
How do you decide?
We have all heard stories of projects gone bad. So how do you know who you can trust?

Selecting a pool builder does not have to be that daunting or stressful if you take the time to make an informed hiring decision. No one can say what a “perfect” pool builder is. What you can hope to say is that you took into consideration the most important factors when selecting your pool builder and chose one who met your personal requirements. Below are some tips to help you through the selection process:

Tips for selecting a pool builder (it’s not just about price)

Tip 1: Search for builders in your area.

There are many online sites and services that will help you identify pool builders in your area and from there, you can check out their websites, reviews, and other publicly available information to assess their experience, qualifications and past customer experiences.
It is always helpful to ask people you know. Do you have a friend or neighbor who built a pool and can give you a recommendation?

Tip 2: Narrow down your choice to at least 3 pool builders to interview.

For your protection, you want to check their qualifications and only work with licensed and insured builders and ones that comply with local regulations, specifically related to permits.
If you check out their websites, you might see information on their experience and photos of their work.

  • License information is public and should be easily found online for each State. In Florida, for example, you can verify that a builder is a Certified Pool/Spa Contractor at www.myfloridalicense.com. This tells you that this Company/Representative has had extensive training and testing. This certification cannot be awarded to an entire company but speaks volumes about the certified individual’s qualifications.

Reading reviews online can be helpful too. Read both good reviews and bad ones. Not all customers write reviews. So be cautious relying on them too heavily. One strategy is to ask your builder about any negative reviews you read to get their side of the story.

Tip 3: Interview your prospective builders.

This is your chance to meet the person in charge, ask them questions about what you care about and get a sense of how they will be to work with. Be sure to clearly explain your needs and expectations. For example, you cannot be on site before 9:00 AM, or the work area needs to be cleared when work stops, etc.).
Below are some common questions to ask:

  • How long do you expect the permit process to take? The builder you choose will likely have to apply for a permit and comply with all requirements. This process can take time and be very thorough and will often play a big part in the time it takes to build the pool. It may include a review of property surveys, site plans, design drawings, etc. Also, inspections of the work to ensure compliance to code. Asking this question will give you a sense of how familiar they are with the process and what’s required for your project.
  •  I saw mostly good reviews online, but can you explain…(give example of bad review). They should know the customer and situation and be able to give you an acceptable answer. You want to know that they tried to set things right and make the customer happy.
    * Regarding online reviews, it is also helpful to ask the builder how many pools they have built in the last year. The number of bad reviews should be proportional to the number of pools. For example, 4-5 bad reviews one year for a builder who built 200 pools is acceptable. However, if they have 4-5 bad reviews and only built 20 pools, that is a big red flag.
  • What type of pool do you recommend for my space and budget? An experienced builder should be able to assess your needs and make recommendations such as gas or electric heating or concrete vs fibreglass pools. There are many choices when it comes to pools and you’ll want your builder to help you make informed decisions. There will be many factors that affect the overall cost of your pool so talk to them about these thoroughly to avoid unwanted surprises later.
  • Get your estimate and all agreed upon conditions in writing. Costs can add up quickly! You will want costs to be itemized and know the expectations for payment. It is common for builders to expect payments at certain milestones (such as excavation, gunite, etc.). Ask about timelines and get all promises in writing! Builders should have no issue backing up their claims and proving their trustworthiness to you in this way. A reputable pool builder will also likely have an abundance of reading material for you and be happy to answer any questions you have. Do not sign anything unless you feel your questions have been answered fully to your satisfaction.

Tip 4: Inquire about Financing/Set your budget. Tell your builder your budget

  • Know your budget. Setting a budget can be difficult. If you plan to pay cash, you might be clear on what your budget will be for the pool. However, if you are thinking that you might want to finance all or part of your project costs, then you might set a monthly payment budget.
  • Pool Financing: There are loans designed specifically for swimming pools and other major home improvements. These loans have reasonable rates and tend to have payment terms longer than your typical personal loan (up to 20 years in some instances). A more expensive pool may only equate to a few dollars more per month. This is another area where you could do some research before meeting with your builder. It will help if you know what financing you can get before settling on a budget for the pool. There are loan payment calculators online so you can estimate what your monthly payment would be on different size loan amounts and rates.

NOTE: Viking Capital offers a free loan consultation. All you have to do is apply online at www.poolloan.net (it won’t hurt your credit). Your loan consultant will be able to tell you your options based on your personal needs and qualifications and help you figure out your project budget based on the monthly payment you are comfortable with. This service is free and there is no obligation to accept the loan.

The Bottom Line

All things being equal in terms of the project, when choosing a builder, you want to find one who makes you feel comfortable, and has the experience and proper credentials. If they are reputable, they should have no issue conveying their professionalism to you. Do your research so you can make an informed and confident decision. Feel free to walk away if you are not completely certain of your choice.

Other Helpful Information

For financing: www.poolloan.net
For lists of builders in your area and reviews:

  • Google
  • Home Advisor
  • Angie’s List
  • Yellow Pages
  • LinkedIn
  • NextDoor
  • Houzz
  • Better Business Bureau


At Viking Capital, we try to provide accurate information on loans, credit scores and pool care, but it may not apply directly to your individual situation. We are not financial advisors and we recommend you consult with a financial professional before making any serious financial decisions. The content on poolloan.net is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as professional financial advice. Should you need such advice, consult a licensed financial or tax advisor.

Why Choose Viking:

Share This Post:

Download our "Top Pool Trends" eBook

Other Useful Info:

Pool Renovations – What You Need To Know

You undoubtedly want to get the most out of your property, and there are few better ways to do so than renovations. But there are some areas of renovation, like pools, that aren’t exactly straightforward. However, when you learn about what goes into the process you can get the most out of it. The renovation

Read More »
A swimming pool in the backyard of a house surrounded by palm trees.

Vinyl Liner Pools

Vinyl inground pools are one of the most popular swimming pool types. But their popularity doesn’t always go hand in hand with familiarity. There’s a lot to learn about vinyl before deciding on whether or not it’s the right option for you. And you’ll soon discover every important point about it. So when the time

Read More »

Concrete Pools – A Run Down

You might think that you already know exactly what a concrete pool is. After all, the name does a good job of describing it. And a concrete pool is, in fact, a pool made from concrete. But there are a few more points to consider when you’re weighing the options for a pool of your

Read More »

What’s the Deal With a Shipping Container Pool?

There are some tried and true favorites in the world of pool design. But that doesn’t mean people aren’t trying and discovering some amazing new ideas. In fact, it’s almost certain that some of them might be in the running to become the pool of your dreams. Shipping container pools in particular have been rising

Read More »

Pool Surface Types

What are the different types of surfaces for a pool? The entirety of a pool that you’d see if it wasn’t filled with water constitutes a pool surface. This primarily refers to the walls and floors of a pool. You might imagine that there’s a huge amount of variety to these surfaces. But while there’s

Read More »

Solid vs Mesh Pool Cover – Which Should You Choose?

New pool owners are generally quick to discover that pool covers aren’t quite as simple as they might have thought. Most people know that pool covers are an important part of owning a pool. But what’s less well known is just how many types there are and how much of a difference they make in

Read More »

How Much Would You Like To Borrow?

Payment Calculator

FREE Loan Consultations and payment details for all applicants!

Example 1

Loan amount $40,000
Rate 5.49%
Term 15 Years
Monthly payment $327/mo.

Example 2

Loan amount $50,000
Rate 7.99%
Term 20 Years
Monthly payment $418/mo.

Loan Terms

* Loan terms and availability vary based on borrower qualifications and are subject to change without notice. Monthly payment amounts are for demonstrative purposes only and are not guaranteed to match final payment amounts for all borrowers. Your Viking Capital Loan Representative will go over all your loan options and their respective terms and payment amounts.

We are proud to offer these great loan options to our Military Families

*Eligibility requirements:

The applicant or co-applicant (or Family Member*) is active duty, military retiree, reservist, or veteran.  Branch of service: Air Force, Coast Guard, Army, Navy, Marine Corps or reserves for these branches. 

Family members must be “lineal” (spouse or direct-line ancestors and descendants. Includes family by adoption and marriage).