Swimming pool contractors

Beware When Hiring Unlicensed Pool Contractors

It’s no secret that homeowners are looking to upgrade their outdoor space. Since the start of COVID restrictions in 2020, the construction industry has seen an increase in inquiries for everything outdoors, from entertainment areas to swimming pools. The surge in demand and disruption in the supply chain has led to higher prices for products and services as well as project delays.

Consumers looking to circumvent delays, shortages and rising prices have opted to “owner-build” or hire unlicensed contractors to carry out their projects.

As a long-time Las Vegas entrepreneur and member of the Pool and Hot Tub Alliance, I caution consumers to be patient and vigilant when contracting for anything pool-related.

Unlike other contractor divisions, swimming pools have specific guidelines as judged by the Nevada State Contractors Board. Individuals and companies involved in “all stages” of the pool process Homework have (or work for) a business with a valid Nevada State Contractor’s License, this includes pool design. A list of approved contractors is available on the NSCB website, nvcontractorsboard.com.

People are often misled by the fact that homebuilder pool will result in significant cost savings and faster turnaround time, but that is a misnomer. The reality is that the “owner builds” a swimming pool, or any other construction project is regulated by the Nevada State Contractors Board. The NSCB link, nscb.nv.gov/owner-builder.html, provides detailed information on owner-builder projects as well as links to the required “Owner-Builder Exemption Affidavit” form.

There are requirements that must be met to legally build your own pool, but most homeowners are unaware of them. Evading these procedures can result in fines, lawsuits and a host of legal issues.

The first requirement to build a pool by the owner is to submit an Affidavit of Owner-Builder Exemption with the Nevada State Contractors Board. The exemption affidavit must be filed, approved and signed before submitting it for a building permit.

As for the idea that an owner-builder can get cheaper services and products, the truth is that licensed contractors purchase equipment and contract with sub-contractors at a wholesale rate, while owners will pay a retail price, which will minimize their anticipated savings.

Additionally, construction companies and contractors depend on each other for the success of their business. With that in mind, and with the limited sub-base here in Las Vegas’ booming construction demand, contractors work closely with companies that bring them year-round business and plan the work with them. on a more accommodating basis. Subcontractors are not only dealing with limited supplies, they are also understaffed and understaffed, which limits their ability to plan work. Any of these subs could be booked for months.

The construction industry very regularly experiences price increases for services and products. And the list of delayed items keeps growing. Authorized pool companies work directly with major pool equipment and product companies, if they cannot obtain an item it is very likely that the consumer will have a harder time trying to obtain it on their own .

Unfortunately, what we also experience are landlords hiring people on the side, with money to work on their projects. This activity violates a host of state laws and puts homeowners, their neighbors and workers at risk. These illegal workers do not have the skills or the resources to do their jobs properly. They also lack the ability to legally purchase equipment or supplies. Therefore, there has been a spate of pool equipment thefts, it is likely that homeowners have property stolen from their yard without their knowledge.

Aside from all the legal and liability issues of hiring unlicensed workers, homeowners will face long-term difficulties when they have warranty issues. Manufacturers state that their equipment must be installed by a licensed/certified contractor in the specific field (electrician or plumber) to be covered by warranties.

I have often been called by owners who started a pool in the builder-owner format but found their projects in dire straits. Out of courtesy, I would review their project and give them advice on how to move forward, some, however, needed to be torn down and started over.

When you add up the complexities of the project, the personal time involved, the inherent risks and liabilities, and the minimized savings, owners need to reconsider whether hiring unlicensed workers or owner-building their project is the right decision. .

Joseph M Vassallo, CBP, PHTA Fellow, is the founder and president of Paragon Pools in Las Vegas. He is a long-time member of the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (formerly the APSP). He has served on the national board of directors in various positions over the years and contributed to the third and fourth editions of the association’s Builders Manual. He sits on the National Builders Council and the National Education Committee. Nevada Licensed Pool Contractor #A-10 52206 $1,300,000 limit.