Installing an in-ground swimming pool in your backyard is a major investment, with an average cost of $44,435. So, you’ll want to make sure you have a pool warranty to protect your investment. A leak, faulty filter, or a broken pipe can be expensive to fix.
There are several types of warranties for swimming pools. Getting the right one is essential to making sure you don’t end up with just an expensive hole in your backyard that you can’t afford to fix.
Both had issues with the plumbing, but only one was under warranty at the time. I spent thousands to fix the other one.”
Daniel Johnson, a 39-year-old accountant from Gilbert, Arizona, understands the importance of having a good pool warranty. “I’ve had two separate pools,” says Johnson. “Both had issues with the plumbing, but only one was under warranty at the time. I spent thousands to fix the other one.”
If you don’t want to find yourself in the same situation as Daniel, keep reading.
3 types of swimming pool warranties
When going through the process of purchasing a swimming pool, there are three main warranties you’ll want to know about: pool warranty, equipment warranty, and workmanship warranty.
The terms of the warranty that covers the pool itself depend on the material the pool is made of.
For example, if it’s a fiberglass pool shell, there’s a structural warranty that usually lasts 25 years and another warranty that covers the gel coat surface of the pool. This pool warranty can range from seven to 15 years.
If you have a pool with a vinyl liner, the warranty usually only covers the seams where the installer has fused together the sections of the liner. Coverage usually lasts a few years, after which you’re on your own if there’s a leak.
Lastly, if you’re installing a concrete pool, there’s no manufacturer warranty on the pool because there’s no manufacturer. Rather, the builder is the one who pours the concrete. As such, you’ll be covered by the builder’s workmanship warranty.
Although it doesn’t look like it, there are a lot of moving parts involved in keeping your swimming pool going. Some components include:
- Salt chlorinator
- Automated control system
The typical pool warranty covers these parts for just one year. However, depending on the builder you use, they may have an agreement with the companies that provide the parts to get you a three-year warranty.
Pool builders do this for a living, but it is possible that something gets overlooked or the installation crew makes a mistake. Even if there’s a manufacturer’s warranty on the pool itself, builders usually offer a warranty on the installation job.
This pool warranty typically covers plumbing leaks, leaks in the pool fittings, and structural settlement. One big problem with this warranty is that these issues often don’t come to light until at least a year after the installation.
So, if the builder you’re working with only offers a one-year warranty, you may be stuck footing the bill for the repairs.
How to make sure your pool has the proper coverage
The builder Johnson worked with on his first pool offered only a six-month workmanship warranty, which he later found out was below the industry standard. So, when the plumbing started leaking after 10 months, Johnson had no recourse.
“I was furious, but what could I do?” says Johnson. “I wish I had done more research.”
And that’s exactly what he did the second time around. Johnson compared multiple builders and asked not only for an estimate to compare costs, but also asked each builder about their warranties.
“I ended up spending more to install the pool to get a builder with a two-year workmanship pool warranty,” says Johnson. “It was around $1,000 more, but it was well worth the peace of mind.”
And sure enough, Johnson ended up using that warranty when the same plumbing issue cropped up. “The builder was more than happy to honor the warranty, and I didn’t have to shell out another penny.”
As Johnson suggests, it’s just as important to consider what happens after the pool is installed as it is before. Compare vetted pool builders using HomeAdvisor Pro and get as much information about their warranties as possible. Ask for the terms of the policy and what’s included and explicitly excluded.
And remember, it may be worth spending a little more on the pool if it means you’re getting a stellar pool warranty.
Another way to protect your pool investment
While you’re getting to know pool builders, don’t forget to also consider how you’re going to finance the pool. Because of the cost, most people don’t have enough cash on hand to cover the full amount.
For many people, the best option is a personal loan. The process is usually quick and you don’t have to put up your pool or anything else as collateral. To get the best interest rate, compare the best personal loan companies.
Some may even allow you to get pre-qualified. This process doesn’t require a hard inquiry on your credit report and can give you an idea of the interest rate you’d get if you applied. Use SuperMoney’s personal loan tool to get pre-qualified.
As you go through this process, you can ensure that you’ll get the lowest interest rate possible for your situation. While warranties aren’t guaranteed to provide value, paying less interest over the life of the loan can.
Ben Luthi is a personal finance writer and a credit cards expert who loves helping consumers and business owners make better financial decisions. His work has been featured in Time, MarketWatch, Yahoo! Finance, U.S. News & World Report, CNBC, Success Magazine, USA Today, The Huffington Post and many more.