The Marketplace Today

By Rob Sanger, Galaxy Pools / rksanger@yahoo.com

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 before.

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 remodelers alike.

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 year.

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!