Have you considered installing a concrete or fibreglass pool? Make sure you ask these 10 questions before you do.
Installing a swimming pool is both a big decision and a big investment.
There’s quite a bit to consider with both concrete and fibreglass swimming pools, and at the end of the day you’re going to have to place a lot of trust in whichever company you choose.
It’s worth mentioning that not every company will have quality service and longevity as their top priority.
To ensure you make the right decision you will need to know the important questions to ask any potential pool builder.
You don’t want to spend tens of thousands of dollars and ultimately be disappointed with the finished product.
You need to know that whoever you are considering dealing with has a good track-record, as well as one that only works with the best and most qualified tradespeople.
Because of this, we’ve put together a list of 10 questions you should always ask before installing a concrete or fibreglass pool.
1. Are you a member of the Swimming Pool and Spa Association?
The Swimming Pool and Spa Association, or SPASA, is the peak industry body for concrete and fibreglass swimming pools and spas in Australia.
SPASA members are required to meet certain standards in a number of areas, including workmanship and ethical business behaviour in the best interests of consumers.
This is actually super important.
SPASA members are bound by the Association’s Code of Ethics, as well as having a demonstrated history of successful ethical trading.
SPASA are mostly concerned about your rights as a consumer – if you genuinely believe you’ve been ripped off, they’ll listen.
If you want peace of mind during your pool building process, ask yourself this question: “Is the person I’m dealing with a SPASA member? If not, why not?”
Australian Outdoor Living is not only a proud member of SPASA, but was even awarded the SPASA 2018 National Award of Excellence in the ‘Best Pool and Spa Combination’ category.
2. Do you employ qualified and reliable tradespeople to build your pools?
While most, if not all, companies will technically employ qualified tradespeople, many of them simply go with the most inexpensive option.
It’s common for companies to seek quotes from a number of different subcontractors, and then simply choose the cheapest option.
This method often results in a severe lack of communication and shoddy workmanship, meaning the customer is the one who loses out.
Australian Outdoor Living conducts research into every subcontractor they hire, ensuring the highest possible quality of work.
They also use qualified engineers, meaning your pool is in safe hands.
3. How long has the company been building pools?
Getting an idea of how long the company has been in business is always a good plan.
The general rule of thumb is that the longer they’ve been in business, the more experience they will have and therefore the better their customer service.
Obviously this rule isn’t always true, but it’s still nice to know you’re dealing with experienced professionals.
4. What type of equipment do you use and what are the warranties and guarantees?
It’s often a good idea to check out what kind of equipment the builders use and what kind of warranties and guarantees they offer on that equipment.
Always compare different companies – if one can confidently give you a rundown of their equipment and what to do if something breaks down, they’re usually a better choice.
On top of that, make sure they’re offering good guarantees on that equipment.
Do your research – check out what guarantees other companies are offering and make sure you get the best guarantee possible.
5. What kinds of after-sales service do you offer?
Make sure you get a decent picture of the kind of after-sales service the company offers.
The last thing you want is to go through the expensive and time-consuming process of building a pool, only to have the company completely ignore you when problems arise.
Communication is the key to this one.
If they can’t communicate to you the kind of service they’re willing to give you after the pool is built, they’re probably not worth your time and money.
A good way to get a decent picture of this is to Google them.
Customers will often leave negative reviews about a company if they feel they have been spurned after the initial construction process.
Likewise, they’ll hopefully leave a good review if they’re satisfied with the after-sales service they receive.
6. Do you have a dedicated site supervisor?
Having a dedicated site supervisor means someone is in charge and held accountable for making sure the build goes to plan.
They’ll keep track of everything so you don’t have to, and they’ll make sure you’re kept up to date with everything that’s going on.
This is an important question, as not all companies use site supervisors.
Without someone in this role, the build is likely to be disorganised and the communication will probably be quite poor.
A swimming pool is a large investment, so it’s only fair that you know exactly where your money is going.
7. Is your initial quote subject to variation?
It’s commonplace in the industry for companies to low-ball in their initial quote, only to quietly add extra costs later.
Australian Outdoor Living prides itself on sales integrity, so we won’t add extra costs after our initial quote.
Our initial quote will often be higher than that of our competitors, but there’s a chance that they’ll forcibly vary their quote.
For example, they might quote you $4,000 for the tiling, knowing full well that they can’t do it that cheaply.
They then come back after they’ve finished the job and demand an extra $2,500.
Australian Outdoor Living avoids tactics like these, which is why we’re a step above the rest.
8. Are you a specialist pool builder?
It’s important to find out whether you’re dealing with a builder, or a specific pool-builder.
A lot of people will tell you they’re capable of building concrete and fibreglass swimming pools, but they don’t actually have the knowledge or skills required to build one.
It’s a much better idea to deal with a company that actually specialises in pools.
This is where checking if they’re a SPASA member is actually a pretty handy trick.
The same applies for the opposite scenario.
We won’t send our pool builders out to build you a house, so why would a company that builds houses tell you they can build you a pool?
9. Are you privately-owned or are you part of a franchise?
This one is pretty self-explanatory.
A privately-owned business will have the ability to provide you with a much more personalised service.
When a franchise expands, it often sacrifices quality in favour of quantity.
A franchise company will probably try and do as many pools as possible, and will be more concerned with making money rather than providing a great service.
On the other hand, a privately-owned company is far more likely to operate with the best interests of the customer in mind.
10. Check out the company’s online reviews.
Okay, so this isn’t actually something you need to ask your builder.
Regardless, it’s always a good idea to have a look at what other people have to say about dealing with the company.
The two main websites that deal with online reviews are Product Review and Google Review.
Users can rate a company out of five stars, as well as leave a detailed review of their personal experiences.
Two things to be on the lookout for are the company’s average star rating and whether or not they respond to both positive and negative reviews.
A true indication of whether or not you can trust a company lies within their online reviews.
There you have it – 10 questions you should always ask your pool builder.
Any quality pool builders will be able to confidently answer every question on this list.
Remember, you’re spending your hard-earned money – make sure you hold them accountable.
Australian Outdoor Living is passionate about helping people love their life outdoors. We offer a range of products, including:
- Outdoor blinds
- Artificial grass
- Roller shutters
- Concrete and fibreglass swimming pools
- Timber decking
- Pergolas, verandah and patios
Have you been thinking about renovating your home? Fill out the free measure and quote form at the top of this article and a member of our dedicated sales team will be in touch.