As a first step, I recommend asking friends and family if they might know of someone who offers the kind of services your looking for. The critical question would be: were they happy with their services?

Another approach would be to search out services via the Internet .

Once you have your list of prospective contractors, investigate their online reputation on consumer report sites such as Yelp, Angie’s List or the BBB.

If the consumer has good things to say, its generally because the contractor performed way beyond their expectations.

We also recommend you visit your state licensing boards web site to look up your prospective contractors. On the California State Contractors Board website they have a “Check License” page where you can input the contractors business name or license number and find out important information.

Is their contractors license active ?

How long they have been in business?

Have their been Complaints against them?

Who are the principles?

Do they have workers compensation and liability insurances in place?

Red flag warning: if the contractor claims exemption from these insurances because they have no employees. It is in your best interest to request that their subcontractors provide you with the proper insurances otherwise any accidents on your property will become your burden.

Now that you have your list of prospective I suggest getting 3 bids. Beware of the contractor whose prices are significantly lower than the rest. All legitimate contractors basically share the same cost to provide their services.  If a contractor is extremely inexpensive, it will be a good indicator that they are cutting corners somewhere. Typically this can be due to unscrupulous business practices such as skirting payroll taxes, not paying workers compensation or liability insurances. The concerns of having uninsured workers in your back yard exposes you to liability. A contractor soliciting for cash is very likely in this category.

Another source of wide price variations from one proposal to another is the matter of comparing “apples to apples”. Consider whether each contractor is offering the same or similar products and services. A little due diligence on your part will ensure you know what you are paying for.

The bottom line is you need to use your acquired knowledge and your instincts to choose a contractor that you feel comfortable with.  Someone you feel you can trust and can communicate comfortably with.

In my 32 years of business it seems the single most important recipe for keeping a happy customer is an open line of communication.  I always make myself accessible via cell phone, text or email to address and answer any questions or concerns along the way.

Kirk Chapman,  President

Poolscape  Unlimited  Inc