posted on June 08, 2012 07:44
Is your builder licensed and can he/she pull a permit for a residential swimming pool?
Is your pool builder licensed in South Carolina? How do you know? who do you ask? What does it mean if you do not use a licensed builder?
It is important to hire a licensed builder. A licensed builder is your first indicator that the builder is trying to hold him or herself to a higher standard. You would not go to a Doctor that did not have any education, so why build a pool that will hold as much as 50 tons of water with someone that has not had any training?
How do you know if your builder is licensed, go to the LLR Labor and Licensing web site for South Carolina, www.llr.state.sc.us. Go to the Licensee Look up in the top right hand corner. You can search by name of the owner or by the name of the business.
As of June 8, 2012, the LLR does not supply a test or license for a residential builder of swimming pools, renovation of pools/spa or fountains. However, your builder should have some type of license in Specialty contracting such as concrete, masonry, electrical, plumbing, residential builders, commercial swimming pool builder. Why is this important? You have to pass a test to show that you have an understanding of the code and how to install, erect or otherwise build something, anything.
However, even if you find that the builder does have a license, the license does not make them “good” or competent at what they do. The LLR only comes to the site, if there is a problem. Most clients are embarrassed or can ill afford to sue a builder if the job is not done correctly. So the best next step is three references.
I know, I know, this is a pain in the neck. You are going to invest in an item that you cannot remove from your yard. IT WILL BE THERE PERMANANTLY! So take the time. A lot of builders will tell you that they have been in business for 30 years. The truth is “Billy” has been in the business for 10 years cleaning pools and “Bob” has been in business for 20 years of the course of his 60 years of life. So if you add these up, Billy Bob’s pool company has been in business for 30 years.
A Great way to confirm this information is to ask of a 30 year old reference. A true builder of 30 years should have more than one of these references to offer and will most likely jump at the chance. Go look at the 30 year old pool, how well has it stood the test of time. Does the client still use the builder’s services? All of these are great indicators of a great builder.
The scary part is a builder without any license has nothing to lose if you sue them. The State does not have any recourse against the builder on your behalf. You have little avenues to protect yourself.