Commercial pools an spas in Florida are unique in that it requires special licensing to build or modify a commercial pool, and the Florida Building Code has rules for all the different types of commercial pools.
Finding the right pool contractor for your project can be very difficult. There are many different types of pool contractors in Florida. For example, the pool service company that cleans your pool may not be licensed to make certain repairs to a commercial pool without the proper license.
As a commercial pool owner or property or hotel manager, it is incumbent upon you to check your pool contractors’ licensing to make sure they are providing work they are qualified to perform. The rules are very clear and if improper work from an unqualified and unlicensed contract should result in an injury, or worse, on your property, ignorance of the laws will not be an adequate legal defense. Your entire property and all the property owners may be at personal safety and financial risk if you make a poor hiring decision of a pool contractor. Hiring an unlicensed contractor is against the law in Florida.
Besides requiring a copy of the pool contractor’s license and insurance (general liability and worker’s compensation, at a minimum), request and check several references. Check the contractor’s website. Visit their operation. Check social media or websites such as Angie’s List or Yelp.
And, always check the following organizations online access to verify the company’s licensing, business entity, and complaint history: Florida Division of Corporations www.sunbiz.org , and Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation www.myfloridalicense.com.HIRING A PROFESSIONAL POOL ENGINEER
UPSA member-engineers specialize in aquatic engineering for commercial pools and spas in Florida.
Whether you are considering building a new commercial pool or spa, or modifying an existing pool or spa, you will be required to have sealed engineered plans produced. Like doctors and lawyers that have specialized training and practices geared toward specific disciplines, not all professional engineers specialize in aquatic engineering. Besides thorough knowledge of the rules for new commercial pools specific to Florida, aquatic engineers must be trained in fluid hydraulics, disinfection methods and systems, structural, safety, and even architectural design.
A prospective pool owner may hire the pool contractor who will be building the pool and the pool contractor will hire the aquatic engineer as part of his contract with the pool owner. The advantage of this is that the pool contractor and aquatic engineer speak the same ‘pool lingo’ and can usually communicate more effectively than a pool owner regarding the pool equipment and other details.
Otherwise, the pool owner may hire the aquatic engineer directly to produce the sealed plans. The advantage of hiring the aquatic engineer directly is that 1) you will save the markup that the pool contractor may charge for the engineer’s service, and 2) the engineer will provide you the plans directly, and you can use these plans then to solicit more comparable apples-to-apples bidding from competing pool contractors.