In these challenging economic times, it is more important than ever to heed the warning “buyer beware”. The key to a successful Las Vegas swimming pool project is an informed and prepared consumer. Take your time and do your homework and the result will be a great new space for the family to enjoy that increases the value of your largest investment.

Protect yourself by considering only licensed contractors to do the work. The Nevada State Contractors Board is a regulatory agency that ensures all licensed contractors have met experience and examination requirements, maintain bonds and workers compensation insurance and have established their financial responsibility. Verify the contractor is in good standing with no disciplinary actions against them, are licensed in the proper classifications and within the monetary project limit for the specific work you want completed.

Obtain at least three quotes in writing and do not automatically accept the lowest bid. Make sure you are comparing “apples to apples” when it comes to the quality of equipment, materials and workmanship and the caliber of the contractor. There is a risk in hiring a new company since it is more likely to fail. Be wary of “special deals” and any quote that is way below average should arouse suspicion. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!!

A visit to the business office and showroom (if they have one) can reveal a lot about a company. To find a contractor you feel comfortable working with, ask questions: Who will I have contact with during the construction process? How many subcontractors are used? Who are they? Is the excavation equipment owned or rented? How long have they been in business in Las Vegas? How the contractor responds will determine future rapport or miscommunication between the two of you. Be sure to get references and contact previous customers. If at all possible, go out and personally see the work performed. Check with the Better Business Bureau to see if past complaints have been filed against the company.

Insist on a written contract that specifies exactly what you are getting for your money. The contract should include (among other things) a description of the scope of the work to be done, the materials to be used, the total cost, payment schedule and start and completion dates. Make sure that everything that is important to the project is clearly defined and that you completely understand the terms of the agreement. Take a copy of the contract with you to review and compare to other bids. Be cautious of anyone who is unwilling to relinquish a copy of the written contract before you sign it.

The construction of a well designed swimming pool is a complex process. The ability to organize and manage people and events is one of the most important elements of a good contractor. Without careful planning, you may end up with a pool that is unfinished, structurally unsound or not at all what you wanted.