9102 Sweetbrush Dr, Houston, TX 77064
Working Time: 24 Hour Service - 7 Days a Week
24 Sep 2023  /  by Aqua Blue Custom Pools   /   0 Comments

15 Essential Questions to Ask When Buying a Pool

At Aqua Blue Pools, we prioritize your satisfaction when purchasing a pool. Before committing to any contracts, you must have all the necessary knowledge. How To Choose the Right Pool Houston Builder: Located in Cypress, Tomball, Katy, Magnolia, The Heights. (832) 912-7665. We aim to provide you with this comprehensive guide to help you distinguish dependable and skilled pool builders from the rest, enabling you to make the most informed choice.

Before signing any contracts

Before signing any contracts, it is essential to interview prospective builders either in person, over the phone, or via email. You can assess their business stability, technical expertise, credibility, and dedication to customer satisfaction through a series of questions. Ultimately, you must determine if you can trust the builder you are engaging with. These 15 questions will provide valuable insights into the individual and company you are considering for your project.

Where is your business located? Do you have a physical store?

This industry is notorious for the "one-poler," a pickup truck operation that can quickly disappear with your money. Avoid this risk by choosing a pool builder who owns a home and has strong community ties. Additionally, look for a builder with a showroom or long-term lease, demonstrating their commitment to the business and providing an opportunity to assess their products and operations before signing a contract. This type of builder is also more likely to have the financial resources to address any pool issues that may arise.

How long have you and your company been operating under the CURRENT NAME and OWNERSHIP?

Pool builders with a history of bankruptcy and unfinished projects are a common problem in the industry. They often start new businesses to escape their bad reputation, sometimes even operating in the exact location. This puts homeowners at risk because the warranty disappears when a pool builder goes out of business. To protect your home and financial investment, avoiding pool builders who have been in business for less than three years is best. For added security, choose pool builders with at least ten years of experience. Companies that have been successful for a decade are more likely to be stable and trustworthy.

"Have you or any of your partners, owners, or officers ever declared bankruptcy or ceased operations?"

Is it possible to hide an unfinished pool without repercussions? The answer is a definite “No.” The internet has made it nearly impossible to keep secrets. Those who have attempted to hide an unfinished pool will have to confess either and provide a sob story to justify their actions, or they will avoid the topic altogether. It’s important to note that assigning blame is irrelevant when you’re left with an incomplete pool and no warranty.

Please provide me with the contact information of three suppliers you have had a business relationship with for two or more years.

This is a valuable resource, as suppliers deceived by a pool builder will gladly share their experiences. Furthermore, if the pool builder fails to settle the suppliers' invoices, the homeowner may be burdened with the payment again. (Refer to Question 13: "Vendor Liens".)

"How many references will you provide?"

You should have the option to select from a comprehensive list of at least 50 names, ideally a hundred or more. A shorter list may indicate limited pool building experience or difficulties meeting customer expectations. To better understand the builder's work, it is essential to speak with a minimum of five randomly chosen individuals from the reference list. Additionally, arranging a meeting at one of the completed homes allows you to inspect the final result and directly communicate with the homeowner who collaborated with the builder.
custom features by aqua blue custom pools

"Are you a BBB member?"

The BBB requires ethical practices from all members. Joining is affordable, so honest pool builders should be members. If a pool builder isn't a BBB member, it's a clear warning to find another option.

"Will my checks be written to a business or personal account?"

Differentiating between bank accounts can be challenging when the company and principal names are the same. For instance, if the pool builder is named Johnny Smith, and the check is made out to "Johnny Smith," he could cash it at the bank without paying taxes. Being caught by the IRS could lead to your liability.
When writing a check to an incorporated company or one with the principal's name as only part of the company name (e.g., "Johnny Smith Pool Construction Co."), the bank will deposit it into the pool builder's checking account. This significantly decreases the chances of the builder absconding with your funds.

"Can I review your Dun & Bradstreet report?"

Dun & Bradstreet maintains credit ratings for businesses. A favorable credit history with timely payments is reassuring, while a limited history suggests a short time in operation. Conversely, an adverse payment history indicates potential troubles ahead. A reputable pool builder should readily provide their Dun & Bradstreet report.

"Do you have subcontractor insurance, including workmen's compensation and general liability coverage?"

A pool builder hires a subcontractor to work on your pool but is not an employee. This could be a plumber, laborer, electrician, or gunite shooter. Any accidents or injuries involving these workers on your property could lead to liabilities.
Workers’ Compensation insurance helps cover the subcontractor's lost wages, protecting you from paying out of pocket. A General Liability policy protects against lawsuits and other liabilities related to these workers. Choosing an inexperienced pool builder who lacks these policies puts you at risk. Opting for a professional pool builder ensures they have both types of coverage, safeguarding you from potential liabilities.

"Which insurance company do I need to contact for a copy of your insurance certificate?"

Observe their response when you pose this query. If they seem uncomfortable or uneasy, searching for a different builder may be wise. Similarly, if they respond with "I'll provide you with a copy" or show you a document from their bag, it is recommended to seek another builder. It is easy for anyone to modify the dates on an expired policy, which is why the insurance certificate should be obtained directly from the insurance company. A reputable pool builder will readily provide you with the contact information for their insurance company.

"How many projects have you completed to qualify you for building my pool?"

To verify their expertise and the quality of their work. Additionally, consider asking for recommendations from friends, family, or neighbors who have recently had a pool built. Gathering as much information as possible will help you make an informed decision and ensure your pool is built by a skilled and experienced professional.

"Does my pool contract cover all necessary work?"

In any location, pool builders may encounter rocky terrain while digging. They have different ways of dealing with this situation. Some may request additional payment to compensate for unforeseen challenges, while others offer a rock clause or insurance policy to safeguard against unexpected expenses. Another option is a rock allowance, where extra costs are incurred if heavy equipment is required for digging beyond the budget. There is no right or wrong approach, but clarity in the contract is critical. Understanding and being comfortable with the agreement regarding rock, water, electrical work, etc., is essential.

If the pool company lists a price for a swimming pool in a newspaper, billboard, radio, etc., or provides a price over the phone, ask, "How can I trust your price isn't a 'Bait & Switch?'"

To ensure a pool company's false advertisement is not tricking you, ask about the possibility of a "Bait & Switch" when they quote you a price for a swimming pool via various channels. Remember, numerous factors influence the actual cost of a collection. A reputable pool builder will always conduct a yard survey and create a tailored design for your yard before providing a quote. Avoid any pool builder that resorts to the unethical practice of luring you in at a low price only to change it later.

"Do you provide lien waivers from vendors and subcontractors to confirm payment?"

This is crucial! A homeowner's worst nightmare when purchasing a pool is paying a large portion of the cost, only for the builder to disappear after completing only a fraction of the work. Unfortunately, these dishonest individuals tend to leave their subcontractors unpaid, resulting in them seeking payment from the homeowner.
A lien waiver proves that suppliers and subcontractors have been paid, ensuring they have no claim against your property. Once your pool is finished, it is essential to have lien waivers from all vendors and subcontractors to avoid any double payments. A reliable pool builder will readily provide lien waivers for all materials and work used on your pool – without hesitation.

"Why trust us with your pool build?"

If your pool builder has passed the first 14 questions, congrats! You may have found a reliable pool builder. However, one more crucial factor to consider – is your feelings toward them. This question has no correct answer, but it’s a great way to gauge their integrity. You’ll be working closely with this person for months, so it’s vital that you feel comfortable and trust them.

Standard Pool Construction Specifics

  1. Steel: 8″ on center 3/8″ steel rebar throughout (extra steel for deeper pools)
  2. 12×12″ box beam with 4 – 1/2″ rebar reinforcement
  3. Gunite: 12″ continuous bond beam with 6-9″ walls and floors
  4. Gunite cures for 18 days before the plaster


  1. 100ft of underground wiring per National Electrical Code on every job, City or County

Equipment Specifics:

  1. Pentair 420 sq. ft. Clean & Clear Plus Cartridge Filter
  2. Cyclone Centrifugal Pre Filter
  3. Pentair Intelliflow Variable Speed Energy Efficient Pump
  4. Pentair Pool Cleaner
  5. 1 LED Pool Light or 2 Glow Bright Lights
  6. Pentair Remote System with Smart Phone Control
  7. Pool maintenance equipment included: Test kit, pole, brush, net, vacuum hose, vacuum head, thermometer
  8. 4+ in. poured gunite equipment slab with steel rebar
  9. Rainbow 320 inline chlorinator


  1. Standard Coping: Travertine / Flagstone / Brick
  2. 6″ standard waterline tile selection included
  3. 3 entrance steps (Step width Dimensions: 1st 18″, 2nd 18″, 3rd 14″)
  4. Double coat of white marble plaster with silicone additive

Pool School & Maintenance:

  1. Training on pool equipment and chemical maintenance by certified Pentair Rep
  2. 1 month of maintenance provided for proper startup.
We hope this list of questions helps you choose the best pool builder. Use them to determine trustworthy builders and avoid unpleasant experiences. Building a pool should be a joyful time for you and your family. At Aqua Blue Pools, we want you to love your pool, no matter where you get it from. Please don’t hesitate to reach out for any pool design or construction inquiries. We wish you many years of healthy and enjoyable pool fun.
About Us

Aqua Blue Custom Pools is an inground swimming pool contractor located in Houston, TX. We specialize in creating custom pools and outdoor living spaces that are shaped around our customer's lifestyles.