Just like home builders, pool builders are feeling the results of rising costs. More people are moving to the suburbs, and many want to invest in a backyard oasis. The past few years have seen a surge in demand for materials and labor alongside manufacturing issues, shipping delays, and inflation, resulting in higher costs for pool builders trying to fulfill consumer demand. Below, we explain the contributing factors to rising costs and how software can help you save money to help offset the rising cost of building a swimming pool.
What’s Behind the Rising Cost of Building a Swimming Pool?
For several months, millions of people spent the vast majority of their time at home. Many are now working from home permanently. That’s led to many people realizing how important it is to create more uplifting, relaxing, and fun spaces in the home. A pool provides the perfect space for entertaining, especially now that family and friends can safely visit. It’s also a great way to get exercise and stay in shape now that we’re able to return to our favorite restaurants and a great way to relax for those who have gone back to work in person and need a way to unwind at the end of a long day.
The heightened demand for pools has been great for pool builders, service companies, and retailers. But some consumers have been stuck at the back of a long line, waiting over a year for their pools to be finished.
Supply & Equipment Shortages
Pool materials like PVC plastic, concrete, fiberglass, and more are imported. The pandemic had a sizable effect on supply chains and the ability to import products quickly — shipping has been paused or significantly delayed. As a result, construction materials went up 31.3% from 2020 to 2022. A backlog of cargo ships in our ports continues to create delays in the arrival of supplies and equipment.
Products consumers need to maintain their pools have also been in short supply, thanks to the elements. For example, a fire in Louisiana shut down a chemical plant that manufactures trichlor chlorine, leading pool servicers and owners alike to investigate alternatives. A severe winter storm in Texas also damaged hundreds of pools, creating a sharp rise in demand for new pool items to replace those destroyed by the storm.
Inflation has significantly impacted pool and spa businesses over the past year, but the effects have been difficult to measure. National Pool Partners, a pool service company based in Orlando, has created a tool to help small pool and spa businesses assess the impact of inflation. Their Inflation Impact Calculator is free to the industry, and all information you input remains confidential.
How Software Can Help Offset the Rising Cost of Building a Swimming Pool
There are no quick and easy answers to deal with the factors behind the rising cost of building a swimming pool, but you can look for ways to streamline your pool building business to save money where you can. Here are a few ways software can help you save money and lift profits:
Custom Kit Builder and Estimator
A custom kit builder and estimator helps you accurately quote and estimate job costs. RB swimming pool construction project management software allows you to enter customized template questions specific to your business to keep everyone on the same page regarding job specifications. You can also estimate the cost of each job using the Kit Builder as a worksheet to calculate its selling price, adding Inventory, Labor, and Subcontractor Expenses to your calculations.
Accurately calculating the actual cost of each job so you can compare it to your estimate is essential for accurate budgeting and forecasting to support cash flow. RB’s swimming pool construction project management software lets you enter your expenses and subcontractors as you use them and send the invoices to QuickBooks® accounts payable.
You can also view the estimated costs remaining, forecast completion, cost variances and the following as you move through a job:
- Cost at completion
- Gross margin
- Margin percent
- Percentage complete
- Earned revenue
- Cost to date
- Margin recognized
- Total deposits and amount billed
- Total amount received for the job to date
- Current accounts receivable balance
- Remaining balance to be billed
- Over/under amount for the job
Job Progress Management
Measuring job progress closely is essential for understanding common causes of job slowdowns so you can increase efficiency and decrease the amount of time spent per job, so you can do as many jobs as possible per quarter to maximize your income. RB’s project management software offers several job progress management features:
- Customize the program for the physical steps of the specific types of construction and renovation jobs that your company performs.
- Use the project management tools to manage job progress with respect to your employees, subcontractors and third party services, such as electrical inspectors.
- Work hand in hand with the scheduler to schedule appointments and daily job activities quickly and easily.
- Track permit numbers and other important notes and information necessary for the job.
- Set dependencies to ensure that stages of the job are never scheduled out of sequence.
- Instantly print reports of all jobs that have an open or completed status.
The right swimming pool construction project management software will improve efficiency so your team can focus on generating revenue, driving customer loyalty through great experiences, and keeping projects moving at a rapid pace to maximize income. Schedule a demo today to see how improved efficiency can help your pool construction business handle the rising cost of building a swimming pool.