•Call the state Department of Business and Professional Regulation at 850-487-1395, Option 3, to verify a pool contractor's license and check any record of disciplinary action. Or look online at myfloridalicense.com.
•Get the names and numbers of the contractor's most recent customers and call them. Also get names of those with older pools to check on how the workmanship has held up.
•Get written estimates from at least three contractors.
•Beware of unusually low prices and outlandish promises, such as building a concrete pool within three weeks.
•Check the county courthouse for lawsuits.
SOURCE: Sentinel archives