This certainly has been a crazy summer with all the
northerners escaping their high tax, high crime, COVID lockdown, bad weather
states to move here. This has caused a building boom like I have never seen
Between COVID causing so many disruptions in manufacturing
and transportation, along with the prices of everything changing almost daily, has brought many challenges to pool builders, service, repair, and
Pool builders are under the gun, especially if building for
general contractors who don’t care that you can’t get materials to finish a
job. All it takes is one item you can’t obtain and they can’t C.O. the
project, be it commercial or residential. When dealing directly with a Board of
Directors, at least in our case, they have been pretty understanding.
Another problem is the cost of materials changing; you really
can’t have a quote that can be valid for more than 30 days and you’re still
subject to sudden increases.
The service, repair, remodel side of the industry has many of
the same problems with a little different twist.
Most commercial service accounts are condominiums that have
budgets that start at the first of the fiscal year, so you really can’t change
them in the middle of the year if you want to keep the account. We have just
absorbed the expenses and our increases are being sent out now for the 2022
When we talk about repairs, parts have gone up dramatically,
but you can charge for them at the going rate at the time. The real problem is
getting the parts needed when a pool is inoperable; our company has been pretty
creative and lucky not having any pools closed for an extended period of time.
Remodeling is another area where we have had to absorb cost
increases. As previously stated, condo boards operate on budgets; most of the
renovation projects we have done this year were priced out and accepted anywhere
from October to March. The real price increases started just after that; I
don’t believe any of us saw that coming. The other problem, here again, is
supply, mostly in tile and finish colors. I have gone back to condo Boards to
get them to make changes to their original choices, and some pools took twice
as long to finish due to this.
We are heading into 2022 soon so let’s hope for a much
better, less frustrating year ahead!