Do You Tip Pool Installers – and How Much?

Written by Jim Belt in How Much To Tip

Tipping can be a pretty awkward experience especially if it’s your first time dealing with swimming pool professionals. Should you even tip your swimming pool installers and if so, how much? To find out, I combed through several forums and came up with the following findings.

Tipping swimming pool installers is not a common practice. Should you decide to tip your pool installers, a tip of $10-$30 per person for a 1-3 hour job or $50 per person for a full day’s work should be appropriate.

In general, tipping remains one of the most popular ways of expressing gratitude for a job well done.

That being said, there are several crucial factors you need to consider before tipping pool installers. In this comprehensive guide, we explore how much you should tip pool installers when you should tip them, what they think about tips and more. Read on to discover everything you need to know about tipping pool installers.

Tipping Customs

Tippping is customary $ 10 - $ 30

In this article:

  1. Should You Tip Swimming Pool Installers and How Much?
  2. When Should You Consider Tipping Pool Installers?
  3. How Can You Tip Pool Installers Without Using Cash?
  4. What Do Swimming Pool Installers Think of Tips Themselves?
  5. Wrapping Up

Should You Tip Swimming Pool Installers and How Much?

The issue of tipping tradespeople has always divided opinion. On one hand, your pool installers are getting paid for their work. But at the same time, tipping is a widely accepted courtesy that expresses one’s gratitude for high-quality work or excellent services received.

According to Angie’s list survey of 5000 home service professionals across the US, only 7% routinely receive tips. However, this statistic jumps to 28% when they delivered more than the expected scope of work. So how much should you tip if at all? That’s the big question.

How Much Should You Tip Your Pool Installers?

When it comes to tipping, there’s usually no “one-size-fits-all” answer. To some, it’s a frivolous waste of hard-earned money while to others, tipping is simply a common courtesy. Even if you believe tipping is a necessary show of appreciation for outstanding service, you still have to handle the prickly issue of how much to pay.

Of course, this isn’t a problem in restaurants where etiquette dictates that tips should range anywhere from 10-20% of the bill. With swimming pool installation, however, no such industry standard exists. Luckily, you don’t have to navigate these uncharted territories completely blind.

Here’s a brief summary of how most people tip swimming pool installers:

  • On average, most people that tip swimming pool installers pay $20 per person.
  • If the crew is large (4 installers or more), the rate typically drops down to $10 per person.
  • If a job takes considerably longer than expected, a tip of up to $50 per person isn’t out of the question.

When Should You Consider Tipping Pool Installers?

Let’s take a look at some of the scenarios where tipping is appropriate.

  • Your swimming pool installers have gone above and beyond to deliver their best possible work on time.
  • Your pool installers conduct themselves in a courteous manner.
  • The installers are employees of a large installation company.
  • You plan to work with them in the future.They clean up the job site once they’re done.

They Go the Extra Mile

This is arguably the chief factor when deciding whether or not to tip your pool installers. Before you can even consider tipping them, they first have to go the extra mile to produce the best possible results. A tip is only justifiable when the work is done feels worth more than what you are actually obligated to pay. That’s only possible if your pool installers show clear enthusiasm for their work.

They Are Great Time Managers

A professional pool installer has to be keen on deadlines and complete tasks within the agreed-upon periods. To qualify for a tip, an installer must be punctual and always show up to work on time. Once they’ve arrived at the job site, they need to focus on the main task at hand. It’s not uncommon to come across sketchy installers that employ all kinds of strategies to pass the time and drive up the bill.

To avoid this, you should always keep an eye out for the signs of an unreliable installer. These include spending hours going back and forth on the phone, taking far too much time searching for tools, taking all day to finish a 3-hour job, taking 2-hour lunches, and so on.

Professional pool installers must also be able to accurately forecast how long the project will take. In case of an unforeseeable setback, they should respond immediately to minimize the delay. How well they handle the situation should play a crucial role in determining their tip.

They Are Friendly and Polite

It’s always a joy to work with people that are naturally friendly and courteous. For example, it may be considered polite behavior for an installer to first ask before using your bathroom or lighting a cigarette in your backyard. A tip can serve as a great way of rewarding any traits or actions you deem appropriate.

You Plan to Work with Them In the Future

Giving out generous tips is an effective means of motivating your pool installers to deliver high-quality work and meet deadlines consistently. This is particularly important if you wish to work with them on future projects as tipping is a great way to build rapport.

They are Employed by a Large Company

People generally tip if the installers are employees of a large pool installation company. Although they get paid by the hour, they generally don’t earn as much as their counterparts that work for smaller businesses.

They Clean the Job Site

Your swimming pool installers are bound to make a huge mess over the entire duration of the project. Unfortunately, most installers don’t bother with tidying up once they’re “done.” Tip-worthy pool installers on the other hand know perfectly well that clean-up is a vital part of the job. As such, they will go above and beyond to ensure they leave the site better than it was initially.

How Can You Tip Pool Installers Without Using Cash?

Contrary to what most people might think, you don’t have to tip using cash every single time. If you’re a little strapped for cash or find yourself with a really large crew, there are other ways of showing your appreciation.

Here’s how you can tip swimming pool installers without giving them any extra money:

Write Them Stellar Reviews

If you can’t afford a cash tip, this is the second-best gift you can offer your pool professionals. These days, there are numerous websites that offer platforms for customers to voice comments on the quality of the services they received. You can head to Yelp, Trustpilot, Angie’s List, Facebook, and so on and leave positive reviews. Don’t forget to mention the names of the installers.

This will have two significant effects:

  1. Your review will help the installation company secure more clients without having to increase their spending on advertising.
  2. You’ll help other customers make the right call when trying to identify a reliable pool installation company.

Recommend Them to Friends and Colleagues

While we live in an increasingly technological age, word of mouth is still a trusted source of information for most people. If you have a close friend or colleague who wants to install a pool, chances are they’ll take your recommendation very seriously. Not only will you be helping out a close friend, but you’ll also be helping your installers win more business. In the long run, putting in a few good words could be much more valuable than a couple of extra bucks.

Rehire the Same Installers

For most hardworking tradespeople, recurring business is one of the sweetest rewards of their labor. Hiring the same crew on your subsequent projects is a clear sign that you genuinely trust and appreciate their work. This will in turn motivate them to produce even better results going forward.

What Do Swimming Pool Installers Think of Tips Themselves?

While no two installers are exactly the same, here’s what I managed to gather from several industry discussion boards and job reviews:

Generally, pool installers don’t expect to be tipped for their services. On average, they get tipped approximately 2-3 times each month. However, that doesn’t mean a tip won’t be appreciated. This is especially true for technicians who work for large swimming pool installation companies.

That’s because they don’t make as much as installers working for smaller businesses even if they already have plenty of experience. Locally-owned installation companies offer better pay. On the other hand, most large companies pay by the hour meaning years of dedication and experience don’t get rewarded proportionally.

Swimming pool installers also appreciate other forms of tips apart from cash. It’s always a good idea to keep your crew hydrated and ensure they have a bathroom they can easily access. Fixing them a good lunch every now and then will also go a long way.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, you don’t have to tip your swimming pool installers and most of them don’t expect you to anyway. However, that doesn’t mean they won’t appreciate a generous tip especially if they’ve gone above and beyond to exceed your expectations. Anything between $10-20 should be enough. Even if you can’t afford a cash tip every time, there are other ways you can show your gratitude.


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