How to protect yourself from unethical contractors

It won’t happen to me is our belief. I hear this all the time from homeowners just like you. Just last year a local homeowner in Vaughan purchased a fiberglass pool from a “pool contractor”. After paying them $43,000 they dug a hole, and the contractor took the money and vanished, leaving the homeowner with a massive hole in their yard and $43k of debt.

Sound familiar?

Unfortunately, it is. Unethical contractors not only harm innocent homeowners, they do considerable damage to the swimming pool industry. Unfortunately, many homeowners don’t do their homework when they decide to install a pool and end up becoming another victim and the industry gets another black eye.

But there are steps that homeowners can take to protect themselves and their investment. Before choosing a pool contractor, homeowners should always do the following:

• Get all references

• Look at Homestars & Google Reviews (with a fine comb of course)

• Understand the payment schedule beforehand

• Look beyond the cheapest price

Get All References

Never accept only a few references from a pool contractor. Ask them how many pools they installed last year, then ask for the reference list for that year. This will demonstrate how many satisfied customers they have. If they installed fifty pools last year but only provide twenty-five references, there could be a 50% chance that you won’t be happy with the company. Is that a chance you’re willing to take?

Review Homestars & Google Reviews

Homestars Review Page

Google Review Page

Understand the Payment Schedule Upfront

Pool construction payment schedules differ from company to company so it’s important to understand and be comfortable with the payment schedule upfront. Problems usually arise when homeowners aren’t made aware of the payment schedule, then are unprepared for a large payment request. This can place homeowners in an awkward and sometimes even contentious position, as well as at greater risk of being scammed.

Look Beyond the Cheapest Price

The adage “buyer beware” certainly holds true in this industry as con artists are generally the cheapest quote. When a customer looks past the lowest price and focuses on the quality and reputation of the company, it’s highly like the project will be successful.

Do your homework and follow the above steps to ensure your pool installation goes smoothly so you can enjoy your pool for years to come.

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