In recent months, countless homeowners hoping to install a backyard swimming pool have received disappointing news from pool contractors: the average wait times before construction can begin are shockingly long, sometimes spanning more than a year. While there are several different reasons why pool installers are so busy right now, the main factors driving the delays are surging demand in the wake of the pandemic and supply chain issues causing product shortages.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, people worldwide have been spending an unprecedented amount of time at home. As vacations were canceled and public pools and beaches were closed last year, homeowners began seeking ways to transform their backyards into their personal oases—and for many, this has meant installing a swimming pool. The skyrocketing demand for backyard pools quickly created a backlog for pool suppliers, contractors, and others in the industry. And even as life slowly begins returning to normal, the newfound appreciation for “staycations,” as well as the safety and privacy of one’s own home, has remained strong—meaning that delays caused by high demand are expected to continue for the foreseeable future.
Strains on supply chains
Other powerful contributors to the ongoing pool construction delays are issues with supply chains—both related and unrelated to the pandemic. Most recently, the damage caused by Winter Storm Uri, which hit Texas in February 2021, significantly exacerbated a global plastics shortage. Texas is a leading exporter of plastics, and the deep freeze resulting from the storm caused plastics manufacturers to temporarily halt production.
Even before the disastrous impacts of Uri, the pool industry, along with countless other industries, were grappling with supply chain problems stemming from the pandemic. For example, closures of ports and manufacturing facilities created significant delays from which supply chains have not yet recovered. For plastic products in particular, the delays were amplified by the heightened demand for PPE and food packaging.
In addition to product shortages, many pool companies and other employers believe that the generous unemployment benefits and stimulus measures found in COVID relief packages have made workers less inclined to return to the workforce, resulting in labor shortages at a time when consumer demand is at an all-time high.
While numerous factors are currently causing delays in the pool construction process, now is still a great time to start gathering ideas and planning for the backyard pool of your dreams. At Aqua Pool & Patio, our team is available to answer any questions you might have and guide you through the process of designing your new pool. Contact us today to schedule a consultation!