Twenty-two really good questions…

  • #1 •What licensing does your Builder possess, C-53 Swimming Pool Builder or are they a B-1General Contractor that subs everything out?

    In order to be compliant with California State Contracting Laws, the work being done must follow the mandated contracting classification guidelines and regulations set-forth by the Contractor’s State Licensing Board.

    This means that each “trade” must meet the criterion for becoming licensed (verifiable proof of experience and passing the exam).

    Additionally, when licensed by the CSLB each trade can only participate in constructing the portions of the work scope that are specific to their qualifications.

    A swimming pool contractor C-53 can represent all trades being required in that of building a swimming pool but, that classification does not cover buildings and structures. Additionally, a C-53 classification can be held by those involved in only a specific singular trade (tile, plastering, gunite) and although licensed by the CSLB they may not have experience in the performance of a complete swimming pool.

  • #2 • Is your Builder non-licensed or working as a
    free lance Consultant / Designer?
  • There are risks associated with hiring unlicensed / uninsured workers to perform on the construction of a project. Be sure that your Homeowners Insurance policy provides you adequate protection against legal pursuits from all performers involved in providing services for hire, should they fail to have insurance coverage.

  • #3 • What accredited education has been completed that provides evidence of Factory Trained Knowledge, Industry Certifications and other licensing?

  • #4 How long has your Builder been building swimming pools (not homes and commercial buildings)?

The length of time that a contractor has actually been performing as the business being represented to you, can be verified. The beginning numbers of a license also corresponds with the date of licensing issuance.

As an example our CSL # 626207 was issued in 1991 which was re-issued as a Responsible Managing Officer (RMO) / Woman Business Enterprise (WBE) from my original license issued in 1978.

License numbers that are higher (63—-, 64—-, etc..have been issued more recently and would reflect a corresponding association for having been in a legally recognized contracting business, under the same name, for less time.

Additionally, in some cases contractors have went out of business only to re-open a new businesses. This practice can mitigate pending liability for previous negligent performances and under a new name, it can alleviate the stigma of exposing an unfavorable profile.

Our suggestion is to follow the history of the individual listed as a business owner or officer. In doing so, you can discover whether they are who they say they are…or someone other than whom you would do business with, if you knew their history!

Workmen Compensation Insurance is needed for Owner / Builders as well as any performing contracting businesses. The CSLB provides an exemption for single individual contracting performers although, it would be wise to check with your insurance company before hiring any CSLB exempted individual to be sure that you are not at risk if they become injured.

  • #7 • Does your Builder supply insurance information on all subs?

  • #8 • Does your Builder supply “Mechanic’s Lien” release with each payment for all performers?

  • #9 • What’s included and what can become an extra?

  • #10 • Is a company representative (a company Owner / Employee) on your project working?

  • #11 • Who provides supervision over the work and at what frequency are these visits on-site?

  • #12 • Are you talking with a company Owner or a Sales Representative?

  • #15 • Are the obligations for payments connected directly to the thresholds of a “passed” accomplishment for each City / County inspection?

  • #16 • How much will it cost to run your filter pump per month?

  • #17 • What will be the flow rate to filter the pool in 6-hours (2010 Title 24 Regulations).

  • #20 • Who performs warranty service (Factory Warranty Station / Independent Service Tech)

  • #21 • What is actually covered…(seals & bearings exemptions) or “bumper to bumper”.