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How to Find The Best Pool Builder Near You

So, you want a pool. Perhaps the last resort you stayed in had a nice pool your kids spent too much time in. Maybe you’re eager to become everyone’s favorite house on the block during hot, summer Richmond afternoons. Either way, the only way to make this dream a reality is to find a swimming pool builder. But not just any swimming pool builder.

At Water and Earth, we work with a trusted circle of talented swimming pool builders in Richmond, VA. Not everyone has this luxury, which means to create a final product you love, you need to find a builder you can trust. Here are our best tips for finding a swimming pool builder in Richmond, VA.

Finding a Swimming Pool Builder

Friends and Family

Typically there are two ways that you, the client, are going to have the best luck finding a swimming pool builder you can trust. Most homeowners start this process by reaching out to friends or family that have recently had a pool installed. From here, you can find out who they worked with, and the good, bad, and the ugly of the experience. If you have an account on Nextdoor, or you are in a community Facebook group, your neighbors are probably happy to share the pros and cons of who they chose. Asking real people who can give you actionable feedback will help greatly.

Ask a Pro

Aside from family, friends and neighbors, another great resource is your trusted general contractor. Everyone knows a general contractor. It doesn’t matter what their specialty trade is. If they don’t do pools themselves, they probably know another contractor who does. This is a great, often untold way of finding a reputable swimming pool builders already in your area. Talking with a general contractor who has worked closely with builders will help you learn who was great to work with and who was challenging. Let this serve as an indication as to how they’ll work with you.

Online Research

The other, more obvious, way most pool owners find their swimming pool builder is by doing some internet research. Searching online is great because it gives you the opportunity to see reviews from past clients and portfolios of completed pools. It can also provide a gauge on what sets them apart from their competitors. Water and Earth has a list of greater swimming pool builders in the Richmond, VA area on the blog.

Besides us, some great places to find reviews and see portfolios for pool builders include:

Yelp is an extremely powerful database that contains reviews and photos of businesses. Not only does it contain hundreds of reviews, but it is generally trustworthy. This is because it is one of the only review platforms where manipulating reviews is incredibly difficult. Yelp has a thorough algorithm that is able to detect fake reviews and not show them on the page or count them towards the total score for each contractor.

Yelp is also a good way to gauge the professionalism of a contractor by how they respond to both their negative and positive reviews. Condescending and inconsiderate? The poor review is probably accurate and this shows the builder cares very little about their reputation. Thoughtful and understanding? It’s likely this kind of business is going to be compassionate to your concerns and do what they can to make the process a positive experience. Finally, on Yelp, if you find a review you would like more info on, you can reach out to those past clients through the app. Here, you can ask them more questions about their experience.

Houzz is like Yelp in that you are able to review home service professionals. However, their review platform is more easily compromised. They do not have an internal system to filter out the fake reviews and are open to being manipulated. While Houzz reviews do help you get an idea of how many happy clients a swimming pool builder has, the site is much more popular for displaying the portfolios of builders that use the site. Most pool builders will have reviewable portfolios on Houzz featuring quality photos.

What To Consider Before Hiring a Swimming Pool Builder


There are plenty of young businesses out there that have beautiful Instagram photos, stellar reviews, and portfolios to match. Still, years of experience trumps every one of these. The pool builder that has been creating pools for 50 years has been in every situation. Not only that, but they’ve helped their clients get out of much tougher situations than the younger, less seasoned providers. When considering different builders for your project, the group that has seen more action is ready to arrive at every project with actionable solutions. Pools are big and expensive. If they aren’t built correctly, they will continue to be expensive for a very long time.

Type of Pool

Before you proceed with a swimming pool builder, ask yourself what style of pool you would like installed. Are you looking to have a gunite (concrete), fiberglass, or vinyl model? Each of these carries different opportunities, costs and construction timelines. It’s rare that one swimming pool builder specializes in all three. Not to mention, the most affordable option isn’t always the best. Knowing what you want before you hire someone will make sure you’re connecting with the best person for the job


If you’re looking for the cheapest swimming pool builder to install the lowest cost swimming pool, two things are bound to be true. The first truth is that you’ll probably find them. The second is that you’ll wish you didn’t. Pool installation costs are high. When you employ the lowest cost provider from a list of three, it’s likely they are just out for some quick cash. The problem here is that cash will be gone long before any serious pool problems present themselves. It’s important to understand pricing differs depending on where you live. The same pool built here somewhere in the midwest may cost less than a pool built here in Richmond, VA.


Swimming pools are structural entities that require expertise by a licensed and insured individual. This individual must have licensed engineers to design the pool to meet code. When installing a swimming pool on your property it’s critical those that are building it are licensed to do so. They should also have insurance to back them up if an accident happens, because they do happen. While pools are beautiful and provide entertainment for a good part of the year, they can also take life away in the blink of an eye. If your swimming pool builder isn’t on the radar of the governing bodies that control the local industry, there’s too many opportunities for a catastrophe to occur.


Yes I know, it’s March and you want to be in the water, in your backyard by July. Pool builders are aware of this as well. As a result, they’ll do their best to get you in their schedule just as soon as they can and hopefully be transparent about timelines. Still, it’s not always a great idea to go with the builder that is available the soonest. It’s a fair assumption that the two busiest builders are busy for a reason. If a company is booked out and there are people ahead of you in line, there’s likely a good reason they are willing to wait. If you’re looking for the best end product possible, patience is a virtue.

Find the Right Swimming Pool Builder for Your Project

Hiring a local, reputable swimming pool builder that is going to provide excellent service, be transparent about the process, and help you get the swimming pool of your dreams may be challenging. But it shouldn’t be impossible. If you do your research and don’t rush the process, it’s entirely realistic that you can find the perfect match.

If you're looking to transform your backyard space including, yes, a pool, Water and Earth Landscape Design can help. From incredible custom design to excellent contractor connections, we can make your dream outdoor space a reality.

Need more advice? Check out the blog. Looking for your own pool design inspo? Follow us on Instagram.

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