Are you finding your pool building contract confusing? Here, we run through a handy checklist put together by SPASA to make your life easier
Pool building contracts can be confusing. The Swimming Pool and Spa Association of Australia (SPASA) produces extensive building contracts for its members, ensuring peace of mind for both parties. These contracts comply with local state legislation and are consumer-friendly agreements that are presented in a clear and concise manner, easy for all parties to read and follow. Only SPASA pool builder members can issue you with SPASA’s own contract, but the organisation has provided an important advice checklist for homeowners to consider before signing any pool building contract:
- A customer checklist must be included in the contract. It should be read and completed before signing the contract.
- A datum or fixed reference point must be nominated and the height of the pool to that datum point must be clearly shown.
- Access for all necessary building works and machinery must form part of the contract price and therefore not be deemed as an extra at a later time.
- All applicable state and Federal taxes must be included.
- Full details of the type and size of filtration to be supplied, including any accessories (light, heater, chlorinator etc) should be provided.
- If cost of tipping is quoted, it must be included in the contract price.
- If the walkway and coping is included in the contract price, the width must be nominated.
- Information regarding statutory warranty must be included in the pool building contract.
- Make sure the penalty costs (liquidated damages) for late completion are realistic so your pool gets finished on time.
- Many states have a cooling-off period after a contract is signed. Be sure to check what the cooling-off rate is in your state before signing.
- Never sign a contract without first having your site inspected by a qualified pool builder.
- Solar heating. Are you getting enough “collector” to adequately heat your pool? A rule of thumb is that a collector area of 80 per cent to 100 per cent of the surface area of the pool is required. Insist that the amount of collector is mentioned in the contract.
- Suitable filtration, sanitation and heating equipment to do the job must be included. Make sure you check the suitability of this equipment before you sign or you may find you are charged more for a larger size. If the wrong size equipment is used, it may not perform adequately.
- The cost of all “prime cost” items and site costs must be clearly shown on the contract before you sign. “Price on application” is not acceptable for such items as rock excavation, tip fee, special equipment etc.
- The cost of overburden excavation and all above-ground formwork and structural requirements necessary to construct the pool in the nominated position must be included, considering the height of the pool relative to its surroundings.
- The costs of plans and specifications and local government application fees (except for deposits and other charges) must be included.
- The maximum deposit you are required to pay on signing a contract varies in each state. Make sure you check what the maximum is in your state before paying any deposit.
- The pool location on the property and the position of the filtration equipment must be clearly shown on a diagram, and the contract price must allow for the supply and installation in these positions and for the supply and installation of all necessary pipe work.
- The type and size of equipment appropriate for the excavation, including transporting to site, considering the access and working space, must be included.
- To prevent lengthy delays in obtaining approval from council, insist that your sales consultant submit plans to council within a reasonable time.
To find out more about SPASA pool builders, visit spasa.com.au