Everybody loves a beautifully designed luxury swimming pool, especially during the warmer months. For Texas homeowners who want to lounge around in the back patio, throw a huge backyard barbeque party and enjoy a refreshing swim in a new, luxurious swimming pool this summer, now is the time to start searching for professional pool builders in Houston to build your Southern oasis. But how does one choose the right pool design and construction company for the job?
There are many factors to consider when hiring luxury pool builders. Some homeowners are lucky to have friends or family members with pools who have worked with a good custom swimming pool company in the past and who can provide references, but not everyone has those connections. For those who must blindly pick a swimming pool designer from the Internet or the phone book, here are some basic questions to ask when comparing pool and contractors.
1. Do the Builders Have Photos of Real Projects and a Showroom?
The first thing to look at when comparing custom swimming pool design companies in Houston is their portfolio of construction projects completed for past customers. Brand new pool construction companies will not have anything to show, so they might resort to using stock photos of swimming pools and custom luxury spas on their websites. When researching luxury pools and construction firms, be sure to ask if the photos of pools on their websites are from actual clients they have served.
Some companies will also have a showroom where potential customers can come in to see many products firsthand, such as custom hot tubs, pool cleaning and maintenance equipment, pool covers or deck construction materials. It is one thing to look at photos of pools and materials in a catalog or online, but it is another thing entirely to see them in person to judge their actual size, durability and colors.
2. How Many Years of Experience Does the Pool Builder Have?
Any reputable custom pool design company will have designers and builders with several years of experience working in the swimming pool installation business or in related industries such as landscaping design, carpentry, agriculture and home construction. Houston homeowners should not hesitate to ask for specific details about the owner’s or manager’s professional construction experience. Designing and building a custom spa or luxury swimming pool is a massive project requiring a lot of knowledge, skills, experience and resources. Never hire a builder with no experience. This is not a project for amateurs.
It is also a good idea to work with builders who are committed to continuing their education and keeping up with the latest trends in outdoor living, pool and spa design, modern landscaping and luxury outdoor deck construction. New building methods and materials are constantly being developed, and the best luxury pool design team will keep its finger on the pulse of the industry.
3. Do They Have Positive Customer Reviews and References?
Experienced custom builders in the Houston area will also be able to provide new clients with references from happy customers that they have worked with in the past. Any reputable company with years of experience and a solid track record should have no problem with this.
Positive customer reviews are also a good sign. There are many outlets where customer reviews can be found, such as Facebook, Google, Yelp and Angie’s List. Be sure to check multiple review platforms. The more reviews a business has online, the easier it is to accurately judge their relationship with past customers. Many successful companies will also have testimonials from past customers on their website, so be sure to look for those as well.
One last place to check the reputation of custom swimming pool builders—and this one is very important—is the Better Business Bureau (BBB). This organization has strict standards by which they rate various businesses throughout North America—from Los Angeles, California to Houston, Texas to Miami, Florida—giving them a letter grade of A through F, just like in school. If the luxury pools company in question has a D or an F rating, it would be wise to skip them and move on to the next swimming pool company. On the other hand, one with an A rating would be an excellent choice.
4. Are the Pool Builders and Contractors All Licensed and Insured?
The last thing anyone wants is to hire a pool design company for a big swimming pool construction project like this, only to have it cut corners and do the work in a sloppy manner. But even with quality contractors who are careful to do the job properly, problems can arise. One simple accident could potentially result in thousands of dollars in damages to property or personal injuries that are outside the budget of the project.
Who will pay for that? And how will they be able to pay?
The building company should accept full responsibility for situations like these, of course. That is why it is important that any builder or contractor working on a pool project be fully licensed and insured. In some communities, the Home Owners’ Association (HOA) will first require approval from its architectural committee before allowing installation of swimming pools and spas, and it will not approve any luxury pool builders who are not licensed and insured.
5. Do They Belong to any Professional Industry Organizations?
Another question to ask when looking into potential pool and spa builders in Houston is whether or not they belong to any industry associations and professional organizations. These might include the local Houston chamber of commerce and swimming pool building associations as well, such as the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP). These groups have strict standards for quality and reputation that businesses must maintain in order to maintain active memberships.
Another related question to ask is whether the company in question has won any awards for their swimming pools and spa designs. The best luxury pool builders in the area will often have received some type of recognition and acknowledgment for their artistry, innovation and craftsmanship.
6. Will Everything Be Accounted for in the Contract and Invoice?
Lastly, it is important that the entire project be covered thoroughly in the paperwork. The initial estimate on a large project such as this will likely need to be amended from time to time as the work progresses. It is important that all design changes are discussed and approved by the homeowner as they come up. Nobody wants to be shocked when they receive the final bill.
Speaking of which, it is important to go over all details of the contract and final bill point by point with the swimming pool builder that is chosen to put in the swimming pool. This will ensure that the project is completed to the customer’s satisfaction and that no charges are added by the pool builders by mistake.
Creating a custom luxury swimming pool and jacuzzi with surrounding landscaping, decking and gazebo is a monumental task, and choosing the right Houston construction company to head the project is a process that needs to be taken seriously. There are many variables that can affect the outcome, so following these six tips and thoroughly questioning potential construction contractors is a necessity.
If you are ready to begin your quest for the perfect Houston swimming pool construction company to build your luxurious backyard waterscape, contact TLC Outdoor Living today. We have been serving the greater Houston area for over a decade. We have an A+ rating by the BBB. We have received multiple industry awards our artistic vision and pool designs, and we are eager to create the luxury pool and spa of your dreams. Call or email us today to schedule a consultation or just stop by our Katy, TX, spa and pool luxury design showroom at your convenience.