Sunset Pools and Spas

5 Questions to Ask Your Pool Contractor Before Putting in an Inground Swimming Pool

Deciding to hire a contractor to install an inground pool on your property is a huge financial decision. The installation of inground pools costs thousands of dollars at the outset, to say nothing of what it may cost should homeowners hire pool contractors that are unable to stand behind their shoddy work. As is the case in many industries, not all contractors are trustworthy, but here at Sunset Pools & Spas we have a few questions you can ask to make sure that the one you hire is.

Ask the following questions when interviewing any pool contractor being considered for doing the work on your property, as these inquiries could keep you from hiring someone that will not do a professional job. Even worse, you could hire someone that ends up going out of business and therefore won’t be accountable for the work that they do.

#1 Can you give me a list of references?

This obviously is where most contractor interviews start, but there is a right way to approach whatever answer you are given. Rather than receiving just two or three references provided by the contractor, see if they’ll give you list of 40 or 50 references so that you can pick and choose which ones you call. Any contractor that has been in business long enough will have kept a list this long, and the trustworthy ones won’t care which ones you call because all of them will have nice things to say.

#2 Are you a member of the APSP and the BBB?

The answer to this question obviously should be “yes,” as both the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals and the Better Business Bureau both exist to hold pool contractors to high ethical business standards. If a pool builder is not a member of both organizations, you are better off turning your attention to one that is.

#3 Can I see your Dun & Bradstreet Report?

The Dun & Bradstreet report is effectively a check on a business’ credit. If there’s a lack of history on this report, it means the contractor is relatively new, which might not be as desirable as a more experienced contractor. A bad payment history would mean you probably should steer clear of that contractor completely.

#4 What insurance company should I call to get a copy of your certificate of insurance?

It is one thing to ask if a contractor has workers’ compensation and general liability insurance, but another entirely for you to ask how you can obtain that information first-hand from an insurance provider. Trustworthy contractors will give you the name of the insurance provider and think nothing else of it, while those with something to hide will promise a later delivery of that information or pull something official-looking out of the folder. Get that information from the horse’s mouth.

#5 Why should I trust you to build this pool?

Here at Sunset Pools & Spas, we always have prided ourselves on being among the most trustworthy pool contractors around, and our ability to satisfactorily answer these types of questions helps prove that. We have been in business long enough and have safely and professionally completed enough projects that our trustworthiness should not be in question. When looking at any contractor, though, make sure to ask the right questions to end up with a contractor you can trust.

 

Our Favorite Blogs for Swimming Pool Owners

As we approaching swimming pool season, those people that own swimming pools and spas can’t help but look forward to warm weather and floating around in their personal backyard bodies of water. Here at Sunset Pools & Spas, we’re looking forward to the onset of the season, as well, as are a number of our favorite swimming pool bloggers.

If you would like to take a peek at what some of these bloggers have to offer, check out any of the links below to starting diving into the latest in pool ownership and accessories:

Pool Center

One of the oldest and longest-running pool blogs currently available, the PoolCenter.com Pool blog is rife with articles focusing on maintenance and pool improvements, many of which include do-it-yourself detailed instructions to help walk you through a number of different possible troubleshooting issues.

Hot Tub Works

While this blog focuses more specifically on spas and hot tubs, the quality of content is no less stellar than the more comprehensive blogs on this list. Hot Tub Works features articles on almost every single moving part in your spa, which means a wealth of information in terms of maintenance and accessories.

In The Swim Blog

In the Swim is, first and foremost, an online retailer for discount pool supplies, but they also run a blog that focuses on a lot of issues that pool owners may bump into. This time of year, for example, a lot of the posts focus on some of the common problems that occur during the winter months, including tips on how to make the necessary repairs. Things get a lot more fun and diverse once the weather clears up, though!

Leslie’s Pool-a-Pedia Blog

Almost everybody in the pool business has heard of Leslie’s, the largest pool supply chain store in the world. Moving as much inventory as they do, they know a lot about pools in general, and the Pool-a-Pedia blog proves that. Anything you need to know about pools probably is somewhere in this vast resource for pool owners.

Hayward Poolside Blog

As a popular manufacturer for pool parts and accessories, Hayward has put together a blog that weaves those products with interesting articles that work outside the norm for many of these other blogs. They go into detail spelling out ways that pool owners can save money, for example, as well as how they can innovate with their pools and get advice from industry professionals.

Pool Products Blog

This one is a blog all about the stuff you can purchase for your pool, with honest reviews and breakdowns of each product. It’s a fun one to read and is updated more regularly than almost any other pool blog on the internet. It’s definitely worth checking out as we close in on pool season.

While all of these are great sources of information for above-ground and inground swimming pools and spas, the good people at Sunset Pools & Spas are excellent resources, too. If you have any questions about pools or spas as the weather warms up, just give us a call or stop by any time and we’ll be happy to help you however we can. In the meantime, enjoy these great blogs as we continue to wait for the weather to heat up!

What Does Snow Do to Your Swimming Pool?

In the dead of winter, it is not uncommon to have ice and snow absolutely barrage your pool. While it’s easy to assume everything will be fine because you weatherproofed everything the way you were supposed to back in the fall, the reality is that ice and snow can have seriously negative impacts on your pool in a number of different ways. Here at Sunset Pools & Spas, we want to help ensure that your pool will open this summer without any major problems or pool damage, but doing so means being made aware of what those problems may be.

It Can Change the Chemistry of the Pool

The most common problem from melting snow is that the acidity of the precipitation can negatively affect your pool water’s chemistry balance. Because of air pollution, natural precipitation is more acidic than ever, which can affect everything from the water’s pH balance to its alkalinity. Calcium hardness, total dissolved solids, and even the amount of dirt and debris that makes its way into your pool water all can be altered negatively because of standing snow.

Those Changes Can Corrode Your Pool’s Plaster and Metal

For those that know little about Pool Chemistry 101, a change in the chemical balance of any pool, be it aboveground or in-ground, can be terribly detrimental to your pool. Lower pH balances and alkalinity can make the water corrosive, which could mean that these frustrating chemicals could eat away at the plaster or metal parts of your pool. That is the type of damage that can grow very expensive, which is why it’s so important to check your chemical balances even in the winter, especially when a big batch of snow has recently melted into your pool water.

Ice Can Damage Pools in Multiple Ways

The weight of that melting snow can be a problem as well, especially for aboveground pools. Of even bigger concern is when that snow starts to melt, raising the water level and possibly causing it to make contact with your pool cover. When this happens, broken ice can acquire sharp edges and slice through your cover or even the lining of the pool itself, requiring massive swimming pool maintenance. Here at Sunset Pools & Spas, we sell little pillows to help keep the cover separate from the water, but there may come a time when you have to drain your pool a bit to offset the excess water.

Pool Cover Pumps Can Help

There are some tools that can help keep the water level reasonable, though, including pool cover pumps, which work to keep that excess water from weighing down your tarp or finding its way into the pool. It’s a minor investment, but one that could save your pool cover during an especially harsh winter.

If you would like any other winterization tips, give us a call or stop by here at Sunset Pools & Spas any time. Winter weather isn’t good for your pool in general, but knowing how ice and snow can affect your pool is one huge step toward making sure it isn’t damaged this season.