Although much of Arizona is beginning to ease from the COVID-19 restrictions that have been in place for the past year, pool builders are still reeling from a hefty shortage of both supplies and workers.
Across the globe, pool builders have experienced a myriad of challenges, as detailed by Pool Magazine. As demands for new pools have skyrocketed, a growing shortage of necessary building materials and workers has grown as well. Because of each of these issues, pool prices are continuing to increase, also recently detailed in a different Pool Magazine article.
Since summer temperatures are already here, our team at Shasta knows how much you’re looking forward to taking a dip in your new pool, and we understand how frustrating it can be to wait longer than you had anticipated. Our customers are our top priority, and we strive to continually provide exceptional pools for every customer, even in these uncertain times.
In parts of the country, construction timelines have gone up to 3 months or more, compared to previous time frames of 6 to 8 weeks. Many pool building companies have extensive backlogs of customers just waiting to get on a list for construction. The pool industry has grown by 24% since last year, according to the Pool and Hot Tub Alliance.
As COVID-19 has caused a serious strain on the manufacturing industry, Industrial Specialties Mfg. (ISM) predicts these problems are far from over, with a severe plastics shortage continuing to grow. The demand for plastic is booming, especially for products such as food packaging, personal protective equipment (PPE) and automobile components.
The Arizona Registrar of Contractors is fully aware of these problems, and is urging contractors to stay vigilant in their communication with homeowners. AZ ROC is also encouraging homeowners to try and resolve any issues with the contractor before filing a complaint with them, as such complaints will not cause these shortages to decrease.
In June, our General Sales Manager, Skip Ast III, appeared on Arizona Daily Mix to discuss how Shasta is navigating these challenges, and how we’re working with Arizona families to understand the best solutions.
“The pandemic put a halt on much of the production and materials that we need to serve families, and a lot of that information didn’t get to us until a lot later in the season than we hoped,” he said.
This disruption in consumer buying behavior is trickling down and affecting pool builders by impacting their supply inventory, including products such as pool ladders and steps. Some pool builders have seen the cost of necessary parts and components double or even triple in cost.
Other essential pool building materials, such as valves, tile, concrete and heaters, have also seen rising costs. At Shasta, we need to purchase these products regularly in order to build our pools, and have felt the impact of these higher prices and shortages.
When winter storm Uri hit parts of the United States in February, chemical and plastic processing plants were forced to close, crippling production of many necessary pool building components. Specifically in Texas, the storm caused a halt in the production of 75% of polyethylene, 62% of polypropylene, and 57% of PVC in the United States, according to the Wall Street Journal. Polyethylene is the most commonly used plastic in the world, and 85% of the United States’s supply is produced in Texas.
Due to these challenges, most pool markets throughout the country are predicting a 15 to 25% increase in new in-ground swimming pool costs compared to last year.
For those with completed pools, the price of chlorine tablets is also skyrocketing. Though there is some conflicting information on the severity of the chlorine tablet shortage, customers throughout the country are seeing price increases and limits on the number of tablets able to be purchased.
Even with rising prices, pool owners still need to properly maintain their pools. By not maintaining proper chemical levels in a pool, this can lead to numerous health hazards, and create eventual higher costs.
In February, we detailed one of the unique challenges we have faced – a shortage of qualified skilled tradesmen. We pride ourselves on the craftsmanship of our pools and are working to grow our team while still maintaining a high quality of expertise.
Unfortunately, each of these situations has caused many Arizona families a great deal of frustration. At Shasta, we never want our customers to feel this way, and are working diligently every day to provide new pools for families to love for years to come.
As we continue to navigate through these challenging times, we appreciate your patience and understanding. We can’t wait for you to dive in!