A swimming pool adds great value to your home. If you’re looking to sell, a pool can be a major appeal to potential buyers— if it’s in top shape. If you’re looking to hire a seasoned professional to replace your pool liner, you should brush up on what you should know and ask, so you don’t get taken in by fraudsters. Take the recent case in New Jersey, where a a con artist swindled a homeowner out of nearly $600 after she gave it to him as a “deposit” for work that he never did. The man is still on the run, according to CBS Philly.
But it’s not just scams you should worry about when it comes to pool products and liners. Finding a seasoned professional with the tools and know-how to get the job done can be a frustrating experience in of itself. And when you finally find a trusted professional, it’s important to look out for the upsell and many other tactics used to bump up the price of a simple pool liner installation.
Why Hire a Professional?
Although you can install your own pool liner, it’s a time-consuming task that requires precision and careful measurement. The amount of prep work needed alone turns off many DIYers. Most pool liner products have to be custom-installed to fit a variety of indoor and outdoor pools.
Simply put, a seasoned, trusted pro will get the job done right the first time. Plus, you’ll have someone to turn to if anything goes wrong. Estimates usually include the cost of the pool liner itself and the cost of installation. While the pool liner ranges from around $400 to $1500, the labor costs can easily double that price.
What to Look Out For
Some unscrupulous companies will use temporary workers or subcontractors with little to no experience with pool liners. Be wary of paying contractors upfront, as some may suddenly abandon the project at the halfway point with no explanation. A recent news story from east Texas detailed how one homeowner was scammed out of $800 when a contractor failed to finish a pool liner installation.
Most pool liners come with a vinyl thickness of 20mil. Geddes Pools notes that some installers will try to upsell you with a thicker 27mil liner—however, the extra thickness doesn’t make much of a difference in the long run. The warranties are also usually the same for both.
Don’t worry about choosing a professional based solely on scheduling. It’s better to deal with scheduling issues than to deal with a professional that prefers speed to quality. Also, make sure the professional you’re dealing with has a brick-and-mortar business location. As mentioned at the beginning, our scam artist had nothing but a name and a reference to go by.
Last but not least, take a close look at the warranty that comes with your pool liner. According to Aqua Pools, a pro-rated warranty covers the total value of the pool liner for a short time, only to reduce that coverage as the product ages. Over time, you’ll end up bearing a greater portion of the repair bill. The lifespan of the average pool liner is 10-15 years, although it’s common to find warranties that last for 20 years.