Steve Pham

One glance at this year’s Top 50 Builders program is enough to see that the pool and spa industry continues to be a juggernaut.

The proof is in the pudding: In 2023, these 50 companies alone raked in a total of $1.8 billion in revenue, building 9,447 new pools and employing 4,536 people.

Last year, I mentioned the deep concerns our builders had over the nation’s weakening economy and how that might negatively impact their companies in 2023. For the most part, those fears did not materialize — in a survey, 62% of our 50 pool builders reported higher revenues in 2023 than the year before, with 66% reporting increased profits.

Unsurprisingly, the demand for renovations notably increased — nearly 62% of our Top 50 Builders reported taking on more renovation projects in 2023 than in 2022. Revenue from these jobs are correspondingly up by almost 54%. It’s safe to say that continued growth in this segment is expected for the rest of the year and well into the next.

However, and as most have expected, leads in 2024 are down in comparison to this time in 2023 — more than 70% of our pool builders indicated they’ve experienced a decrease in leads, although they are running at full capacity with more than 64% expected to work on their backlogs for more than three months. More survey results can be found on the following pages.

Other interesting points emerged in the series of graphs called “Five Year Trends.” These charts follow certain data points — revenue, average project costs, volume and staffing — from 21 companies that have consistently appeared on the last five Top 50 Builders lists. What we clearly see is that the pandemic-driven bubble has indeed burst in an uncanny way: The builders in this sample had nearly the identical number of excavations in 2023 as they did in 2019 — 5,316 in 2023 to 5,315 in 2019. It’ll be interesting to see how things compare next year as we move farther away from the COVID bubble.

All of these fascinating data points would not be possible without certain key people. I’d expecially like to thank Deputy Editor Rebecca Robledo, who spent countless hours ruining her eyesight as she pored over the Top 50 data. This program wouldn’t be as detailed as it is without her keen mind and tireless efforts.

A big thank you to Pentair for sponsoring this year’s program.

And finally, thank you to all the companies who applied. I know our submission process is a rigorous one, and we take the judging process seriously in respect for your investment of time and effort into the program. That said, congratulations to everyone who made this year’s Top 50 Builders list!