Pools are seeing a surge right now because of the ongoing pandemic. Landscape companies specializing in swimming pools are booked a year or more in advance; according to some measures, orders for parts grew by 200% and inquiries grew by 500% in the first year; businesses are doubling or tripling their staff to keep up with demand. And with the warming spring months of 2022 just around the corner, the next big swell in sales is on the way. If you’re one of the many thinking about adding a pool to your property, here are the factors you want to consider while making your decision.
Pools are pandemic-friendly. Being outdoors, pools create a space where people can be together and still easily social distance. One factoid that may very well be helping to drive pool sales at the moment is that COVID-19 is not waterborne, meaning that pools are not a major vector of disease spread. This is doubly the case given that pools are usually cleaned with sanitizing agents like chlorine, which is effective at targeting coronaviruses.
Swimming is good for your body. Let’s face it: the Quarantine 15 is a real thing, and it’s mostly because the pandemic makes us sedentary. Luckily, there are few forms of exercise that give you as thorough of a full-body workout as swimming will. Aside from the obvious, that it burns fat and tones muscle, swimming is excellent cardio and can have the long-term effect of lowering your blood pressure and controlling your blood sugar. It’s also an excellent option for people with arthritis or other forms of acute or chronic pain, given how buoyancy can mitigate the problems that gravity poses for exercising while disabled.
Swimming is good for your mind. All that exercise releases endorphins. These wonderful hormones soothe pain and stimulate happiness and stress-relief. But swimming in particular is a special physical activity when it comes to your mental health: it replaces noise with the soothing muffle of water and forces you to breathe to a specific rhythm, resulting in a combination of exercise and mindfulness meditation, which is a proven tool to help manage common mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety.
Pools fill your time. One of the biggest challenges during a surge is keeping yourself and your family from going stir-crazy. In addition to just plain swimming, pools can serve as a space for a wide variety of games and activities for groups large and small. With enough creativity, you could conceivably never run out of new things to do in your pool!
You might get some of that investment back. There are a number of caveats to this that are worth noting, but there are cases where installing the right pool on the right property in the right way can increase your home value by up to 7%. The key element to getting the most monetary return on your swimming pool is making sure it’s attractive to look at in the whole aesthetic of your yard—maybe call it “backdoor appeal”—and that you live in the kind of location where pools are bound to get the most use, such as in Florida or Arizona.
Demand is extremely high right now, and that means the market presents some unusual challenges for the interested buyer. There may be a few obstacles that lie between you and the dream oasis right now, so it’s best to be prepared for them.
Waiting lists are long. Like, really long. It could take weeks just to get a consultation, and then a year or more before you break ground. If you’re hoping to get a pool as soon as possible, you need to get the ball rolling quickly, and then be patient as your vendor gets through all their other orders. It’s a “hurry up and wait” situation for most interested buyers right now.
Prices are high. Economics 101: demand goes up, supply stays the same or goes down, therefore prices go up. You might need to brace yourself for some sticker shock once you start your inquiries. Does that mean you should wait for the industry to stabilize? Well… not necessarily. With inflation playing a role in current prices, there’s no telling if they’ll ever fully come down to what they were a couple years ago, and since pool installation is time-consuming, the waiting lists and high prices are likely to outlast the highest peak in demand.
There may be supply shortages. Materials like PVC or fiberglass that are used in the construction of pools have seen shortages in the last couple of years as a result of the lagging international supply chain in combination with at-home natural disasters impacting American-made production, such as the winter storm in Texas. Not only could this cause further delays, but then even after you’ve built your pool, you might face additional challenges maintaining it; in summer of 2021, there was a national chlorine shortage that caused its share of headaches among pool owners.
Watch out for scams. Where there’s high demand for a product, there are swindlers looking to take advantage. As you shop around for a vendor, it might be tempting to go with the one that promises low prices and short waiting lists, but remember: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Vet your vendors carefully before moving forward with your pool plan. As a general rule, it’s probably better to wait longer and pay more to have your pool installed by a business with a long and reliable track record in your community than get it done quickly by an untested up-and-comer.
But don’t let these things dissuade you.
Peaks in demand, inflation, and supply shortages are all temporary problems, whereas a pool is a long-term investment. Any major home remodeling project is going to come with a few complications, and a pool is no different, but once the project is complete, you get to reap all the benefits of pool ownership for years to come.
And if you do decide to get a pool, you’re going to need to keep it clean of debris. Skimdevil is an autonomous solar-powered filter bot that collects leaves, bugs, and all manner of floating particulate matter from your pool, leaving your aquatic paradise as pristine as you deserve. Contact us to get yours today!