A contractor is accused of abandoning at least half a dozen pool construction projects.

One project now looks more like a swamp. “This is supposed to be my pool,” Gilroy Colin Crisanti said.

Another is left to collect rainwater. “I’m really, really angry. Very disappointed. Very,” Gilroy resident Dale Santos said.

The two families alone paid the contractor a combined $200,000.

Here’s what you need to know in general before hiring a contractor. “The law says that when it comes to down payments that they can pay no more, be required to pay no more than 10 percent or $1,000 of the contract price, whichever’s less,” Contractors State License Board spokesperson Rick Lopes said.

If a contractor asks you to pay more than that in advance, don’t do it. “It is not legal for a contractor to come to a consumer and say you need to pay for these materials before those materials are delivered or the services are rendered,” Lopes said.