When you make the decision to purchase your own backyard swimming pool, selecting the right pool company to build your pool can be one of the most complicated parts of the process. Yet it is essential to choose a company which can fulfil your wishes if you want to end up with a pool which will continue to make you happy for many years.
Here we break down the process for you, with tips on selecting pool builders, and information about some of New Zealand’s leading pool companies, to help you make the right choice.
Are they a reputable company?
Before you appoint a pool builder, it is extremely important to do some checks into their background. A reputable company will have a physical business address, landline telephone number and website. It is highly risky employing a pool builder who can only be contacted by mobile phone, as this could leave you with no way of contacting them if they disappear halfway through the job or something goes wrong with your pool once it is built.
Your pool builder should also be registered and licensed, and have the appropriate insurance, so you should ask to see evidence of these things. In addition, it helps if they are members of SPASA, the Swimming Pool and Spa Association of New Zealand, as this demonstrates their commitment to high standards and also ensures their work will be covered by a warranty, so you will be protected in the unlikely event of anything going wrong.
How experienced are they? A good pool builder will have been in business for a number of years, and will have built hundreds or even thousands of pools. Generally speaking, the more experienced they are, the higher their standards will be.
Do they specialise in building the type of pool you want?
Not all pools are the same. For example, the installation processes involved in building an inground concrete pool are different from those for a fibreglass pool. Most reputable companies will have extensive experience in building a wide variety of different pools, but it is important to check before you hire them.
Look at examples of their previous work on their websites, and if possible, try to see some examples in real life, too. If they operate extensively in your neighbourhood, you should be able to find a pool that they have previously completed, so you can see for yourself whether or not it is up to the standard you expect.
How do their prices compare with other pool companies?
Before you start looking for pool builders, you should do some detailed research and gain a realistic idea of what you can expect to spend on your pool project. Following this, it is advisable to get a number of quotes from different pool companies, so you can establish which one offers the best value for money. Please be aware that this will not always be the company offering the cheapest price – if something seems too good to be true, it usually is. You need to find out exactly what services and standards you can expect for your money.
For example, do they offer a complete service or do they use subcontractors? Standards of work and communication are usually higher if they do everything themselves, including plumbing and electrics, or use highly reputable subcontractors who they work with on a regular basis. If they intend to use subcontractors, ask how often they have worked with them before, and do some research into the subcontractors’ backgrounds yourself to check they can meet your standards.
It is also essential that the pool builder is prepared to provide you with a detailed quote and a written contract. The quote should not be subject to change, so you don’t face any nasty financial surprises further down the line. And no work should be allowed to commence before you and the builder have both signed a written contract which includes the price, as this protects you by law in the event of any dispute.
Will they take care of all the legal requirements?
The vast majority of pools require a planning permit. Most reputable builders will be prepared to secure this on your behalf, as they should be experienced at dealing with the local council. No work can commence on your pool until the necessary permissions have been obtained.
The best pool builder for you should also have a thorough understanding of health and safety laws surrounding backyard swimming pools, including fencing requirements. Your pool must comply with Kiwi Standard 1926, so it is advisable to do some research into this and check that your pool builders intend to make sure your pool is compliant.
What do their previous customers say?
It is ideal if a pool company is recommended to you by someone you know. Word-of-mouth recommendations from family, friends and work colleagues are extremely valuable, as these people will be honest with you, and they will not recommend a company they are not happy with.
You can also research the company’s reputation online. Previous customers are comfortable being honest when reviewing a company on Google and other sites, due to the anonymous nature of posting online. If the vast majority of customers seem to be happy with the service, you can generally trust what they say.
Online testimonials are useful too, particularly video testimonials. If you can see and hear someone speaking about the company, you can read their body language to see how genuine they are being.
How good is their communication?
The job of your pool builder is to create a pool which suits your needs and preferences, fitting in with your overall vision for your property. Because of this, it is important that they communicate clearly with you from the very beginning of your pool project. You need to have an extensive consultation with them at the start, to make sure they are capable of fulfilling your vision and creating a pool which will meet all your usage requirements.
They should also be willing to keep you fully informed at every stage of the pool installation process, so you can keep track of its progress until the pool is handed over to you.
Are they friendly and polite in all their dealings with you? Will they clear up after themselves before they leave once the job is finished? Remember, your pool builders could be spending a considerable amount of time on your property, so it is important that you feel comfortable with them and trust them not to cause too much disruption to your daily life.
Reputable pool builders in Australia
There are a huge number of pool builders in New Zealand, as more and more homeowners are now choosing to own backyard pools, so this can be a competitive market. However, there are a number of long-established, highly respected pool builders whose names you may already know, and whose work is guaranteed to be of a high standard. These include:
Melbourne-based Laguna Pools have over 30 years’ experience in the pool building industry. They specialise in highly innovative concrete pools, working in collaboration with architects, designers and builders to create bespoke pool solutions. Laguna Pools will take care of the entire process, from initial planning through to building, tiling and heating, to the final handover.
Premier Pools has been a leading builder of concrete pools in Sydney since 1983. They take care of all aspects of design and construction, with a variety of consultants on hand including engineers, landscape architects and town planners to ensure the process runs smoothly from start to finish. Premier Pools also offers ongoing support on all aspects of pool ownership, including a free First Aid course.
Covering Sydney and Wollongong, Riviera Pools offer design, construction and pool renovation services, for inground concrete pools, as well as specialising in water features and spas. In business for almost 40 years, they stay up-to-date with all the latest industry developments and technological advances, offering maintenance services as well as all aspects of planning, design and construction.
AquaWorld Pools and Spas
AquaWorld Pools and Spas, based in Victoria, was established in 1997, and specialises in concrete swimming pools and spas. In addition to pool design and construction, AquaWorld Pools and Spas provides a wide range of related services, including pool maintenance, repairs and landscaping. Each customer receives a bespoke service tailored to meet their needs.
Do Little Pools require pool builders?
One of the main advantages of Little Pools is that they are above ground, complete pool solutions, so they require very little installation. They simply need a level concrete pad to rest on and a connection to an electrical supply, so they do not need to be installed by a professional pool builder. However, it is essential that all electrics are connected by a licensed professional electrician, for your safety and to ensure your pool is compliant with the law.