Some Vermont consumers may find it more difficult to have pools installed in their homes this summer, as the demand for pools has often exceeded the supply of labor to install them.
“It was crazy,” pool installer Rick Schreiner told NECN & NBC10 Boston on Wednesday at a job site in Colchester. “One after the other !”
Following other trends in pandemic-era property upgrades, such as furniture, appliances and even winter home hockey rinks, pool retailers said this summer has been particularly strong for them.
“We’re inundated with customers, every day – and prospects,” said Tod Bessery, owner of Leisure World Pools and Spas, a South Burlington store.
Bessery said he believes one of the factors behind the increased interest was that, in a tight real estate market, many customers were looking to upgrade and customize their existing homes rather than move.
Anna Battoe of Essex, Vermont has a heated in-ground pool installed at her home.
“We’ve always traveled for our vacations and look forward to spending more time at home,” Battoe said of her family.
Battoe, who moved from Texas to Vermont during the pandemic, said she wanted her garden to feel like an escape from her home office. More importantly, she says, she has three young children to think about.
“Being able to do something fun with them and wear them out without having to pack everyone in the car is a huge bonus,” Battoe told NECN & NBC10 Boston.
However, the renewed interest in swimming pools seems to have created new waiting lists.
Some companies set aside two years for high-end custom designs, depending on the Vermont Seven Days news source.
The Vermont Retail and Grocers Association, which has swimming pool stores among its members, told NECN & NBC10 Boston that consumer pool models are much easier to find. However, VRGA President Erin Sigrist pointed out that even with more basic pool projects, many municipal zoning offices are busy authorizing applications for all sorts of yard improvement projects – such as terraces and patios – which could cause delays.
Here are some tips for keeping your pool cleanest during the summer when it’s in frequent use.
A major challenge in all industries these days remains labor, Sigrist added, which impacts the speed at which certain installations go through.
“We could all use more laborers – that’s definitely been a problem,” Bessery acknowledged. “So the works are going a little slower than I would like.”
Bessery pointed out that most people understand that jobs take longer because they’ve experienced delays across the economy during the pandemic. Additionally, consumers tend to take a long-term view with joint purchasing, Leisure World said.
Rick Schreiner’s busy schedule reflects the pressure of supply and demand on swimming pools.
“Everyone seems to be really patient,” Schreiner said of his clients, adding that he’s happy to help them make the most of summer. “Instead of sitting at home, they can now sit by the pool.”
If you are considering installing a swimming pool, do your research before hiring a contractor. To learn more about what to look for, click here.
There are ways to protect yourself if you decide to take the plunge and put in a pool.