Fancy a backyard pool? You’ll have to wait at least a year, some retailers say

Those looking to jump into the “staycation” trend with the purchase of a swimming pool will need to be patient.

Some pool companies in central Pennsylvania say they are struggling to keep up with demand due to supply chain issues and labor shortages.

“Right now we’re booking for 2023,” said Robert Goodall, business partner for Goodall Pools & Spas in central Pennsylvania. “We’re about a year away.”

Mainly fueled by the pandemic, interest in swimming pools, whether inground or above ground, has increased dramatically over the past two years as families stay closer to home as an alternative to vacationing.

Pool sales in the first year of the pandemic in 2020 rose 24%, according to the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance, an industry trade group.

Goodall said leads for pools and spas had exploded, nearly tripling. The trend, he added, was sparked by people wanting to stay home and invest in their homes and backyards because they couldn’t move around.

Bill Hoffer, co-owner of Valley Pools, Inc. with locations in Palmyra/Campbelltown and Mechanicsburg, pointed out that homeowners also feel financially secure to pursue real estate projects based on positive returns on their investments, availability of good loans market and low interest rates.

On average, installing a new inground pool costs between $35,000 and $100,000, according to Pool Magazine.

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“You just have to realize it’s going to be a planning process, a longer process,” Hoffer said. “I think most dealers are in the same boat as us. We don’t have the capacity to see everyone at the same time.

Issues such as difficulties in purchasing the materials used to build pools combined with labor shortages prevent companies from installing pools at the rate they want. Goodall said fiberglass pools were in short supply due to last year’s freeze in Texas, which affected resin supplies. He added that they had 15 pools which they were unable to install last year due to shortages.

“It was definitely a lot tougher last year,” Goodall said. “It’s been a bit better this year, but now we’re having trouble getting pumps and filters because demand across the country is so up.”

Tom Casey, vice president of sales for Doylestown-based Anthony & Sylvan Pools, said he encountered supply issues and labor constraints last year. However, his company’s relationships with major national contractors and partners helped him overcome the challenges.

“We don’t experience the same kind of delays. This does not mean that there were no arrears the previous year. There were, and our business grew tremendously during that time,” Casey said.

Anthony & Sylvan is a national company and works in hundreds of jurisdictions, Casey said, pointing out that some of the delays were associated with municipal inspections and building approvals taking longer to complete due to labor shortages. .

Hoffer pointed out that they don’t have the manpower to immediately guide interested owners through the process, so they maintain a waiting list and get back to people. For the most part, he said people are understanding as they have encountered delays with other services and products.

“Some are surprised. A lot of people have called and heard the same thing from other people,” he said. “Many industries have the same thing if you want to order furniture or things like that It’s not like the good old days where you order it and it’s in your living room.

Hoffer added that there are some items they are still struggling to get while some items such as hot tubs are still on hold from manufacturers.

Goodall said customers understand the current situation and his company is trying to create appropriate expectations for owners.

“We can’t control that the supplies aren’t there, but we’re trying to do our best,” he said.

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