State of the Industry: Builder (Part II)

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Miss Part I of our Builder State of the Industry report? Click here to read it.
This year’s State of the Industry Builder’s survey represents a departure from previous years queries. With the expanding and growing creative nature of the construction market in mind, we focused many of our questions on the aspects and features of the work that are the most important to builders, along with opportunities for respondents to comment on key issues impacting their business.


It’s clear from our survey results that optimism for continued market improvement is on the rise with 75 percent of respondents saying they see increased business in 2013, compared to only 2.5 percent seeing things getting worse going forward.


“If interest is a good indicator, the phone is ringing off the hook — and that was in January.”

“The economy and housing in general seems to be improving, which should only serve to boost consumer confidence. Financing is also becoming a little looser, which should help us considerably.”

“We are hoping that with the ADA compliance rules, our renovations will triple this year alone.”

“I’m hoping the government doesn’t screw anything up and the people feel safe in spending their money on the backyard. It took almost four years to get back to this point.”


When asked about the types of construction builders are doing, we received a diverse response indicating that many firms are involved in a range of project types. Renovation led the way with 82.5 percent of respondents indicating that reworking existing pools and spas was part of their focus. That was followed by 57 percent saying that they build new gunite pools and spas. Vinyl- liner construction checked in with a strong 41 percent, fountains/waterfeatures at 40 percent and aboveground pools at 30 percent.

graph showing types of construction pool builders made in 2012


Safety has long been a challenging issue for the pool and spa industry with many industry leaders expressing differing views on how to best approach the subject with clients and the public at large.

Our survey indicates that builders take the issue head on with a staggering 97.5 percent indicating that they talk about safety with their clients.

“We provide APSP safety brochures and ‘pool watcher’ badges to every pool school customer.”

“Safety is our biggest selling point coming into 2013. Our early-buy orders include more water safety products than ever before.”

“With every pool we build, we include free ISR lessons. We pay for a set of initial lessons (up to six weeks) for two children living in any household where we build a new pool. We have a whole page dedicated to water safety on our website as well.”

Do you build fountains or include fountain features in your projects?

pie chart showing whether pool builders include fountains or fountain features in their projects

In the past year, what pool feature, product or service surprised or impressed you with its popularity with customers?

word chart showing pool builders' popular products or services

Why I Like This Job

"The smile and satisfaction on the customer’s face once the project is finished. There are not many things more gratifying than being able to design a custom project that the homeowner had in his mind, then implementing it and hearing them say, 'This is exactly what I wanted.'"


“Enjoying the varied nature of the work.”“Helping families achieve their dreams.”“Exceeding my customers expectations.”“Working with people that share my desire to create something unique and not just the typical standard swimming pool.”“Bringing someone’s vision to life and expanding on it to be something more than they even thought of. I enjoy seeing a quality product at the end and knowing that I was involved in creating it.”


“Chasing money owed.”“Frustrated by government-controlled permitting.”“Dealing with inexperienced inspectors or waiting for understaffed inspectors to show before I can progress forward to the next stage — with a major rain storm approaching quick.”“Worrying about the weather.”“Talking to people who have champagne tastes and a beer budget.”

Do your projects include automated control systems?

pie chart showing whether pool builders' projects included automated control systems

Does your company service the projects you build?

pie chart showing whether pool builders' companies service the projects they build

What are your most effective methods of advertising/promotion?

pie chart showing what the most effective advertising/promotions are for pool builders

Have comments on this story? Email [email protected]

Miss Part I of our Builder State of the Industry report? Click here to read it.

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