Renovations continue to be central to our industry, and manufacturers are providing more accessories to decorate in and around the pool.
That means more profit opportunities for you. Here’s how to integrate some of today’s most popular accessories and how they can boost your bottom line.
Slides today are being incorporated into waterfeatures and grottos that give a pool that resort-style look that many consumers demand. Luckily, there are a wide variety of sizes and types of slides that can be integrated into rock waterfeature or customized into backyard landscapes.
Today’s slides not only are becoming much easier to install, but also much faster, allowing for more profit within our short renovation season.
Whether the homeowner has minimal square footage around the pool or wants the slide to extend from an elevated deck area, there are options to fit any space and budget. Once the slide position and length are determined, be sure to explain the various options around the slide, including modular staircase kits that visually complement a slide and waterfeature.
For those interested in a fast profit center, standalone slides are popular among renovators. They can be installed in less than five hours at a price of around $3,500. Pool renovators can profit of upwards of $1,400.
Tanning ledges, tables and stools
These days, it’s hard to find a pool without a shallow tanning ledge for sitting or lounging. Maximizing the utility of a tanning ledge makes consumers happy and increases the profits on any pool renovation.
The latest craze is to have tables installed within pools. Manufacturers offer tables that can be easily installed into existing umbrella anchors.
Stools also are excellent at providing a true resort-like feel. Many professionals incorporate stools with swim-up bars.
From a design perspective, consider placing a grouping of stools rather than a single one so they appear more visually anchored and make the pool more social. Renovators like placing stools near outdoor kitchens so swimmers can be served food on the edge of the pool.
These features can be installed in a matter of minutes or hours. For example, adding a table to an existing sunshelf would take less than 30 minutes and can fetch upwards of 20 percent in profit.
Waterfeatures and grottos
Pool professionals find that they are installing more and more artificial rock waterfalls, especially for empty-nesters looking to enhance their backyard relaxation.
Waterfeature kits really pack a visual punch: They look authentic because they are cast from real stone. And they can be installed in as few as two hours and can earn the renovator up to $1,000 in profit.
Professionals should be aware of the various prefabricated and pre-plumbed waterfalls options, as well as kits for grottos and caves, in order to provide clients with the right fit for their goals and budgets.
Built-in basketball and volleyball games make for a great profit center.
Manufacturers have simplified installation — setting in the anchors is easy. The benefit is that the in-deck games look so much more attractive than typical plastic versions sold at big-box stores.
Show consumers that there are high-end options available, such as basketball hoops that go directly into the deck. Installers spend about one hour installing a unit that sells for about $900 to $1,000, yielding a profit of around $350.
It is easy to replace an old diving board without having to rip up the deck. This simple accessory can really jazz up the look of the pool, as some models boast a small waterfall off the end of the board and colored lighting for a nice nighttime effect.
It’s a product that gives a lot of punch for not a lot of money. In less than two man-hours you can make a minimum of $500 profit.
If your customer doesn’t have the budget or space, or wants a simpler, more modern update to their pool, there are plenty of options to suggest.
Start with rail goods.
The new designer rails are the fastest way to give a pool a facelift. Pool professionals today are even carrying them in their service vehicles and offering them to clients when they open pools.
Manufacturers today offer everything from designer rails to ladders and hand-rails that can be powder-coated in colors to match the overall backyard design. If you see that your client has rusted rails, consider powder-coated or salt-safe rails.
It’s a quick sale and update for the pool. Replacing rails takes less than an hour each with a profit of up to $200 per rail.
Similarly, ladders might take one hour to replace with profits up to $300 to $400 per ladder.
Varden is the western regional sales manager for Inter-Fab in Tucson, Ariz. She holds a master’s in landscape architecture from the University of Arizona.