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What service pros are charging for labor

In the pool and spa service sector, seasonal chores have long been an important source of revenue, with much of the work taking place before or after the swim season is in session. In the springtime, it’s all about readying pools for the season. It’s time to take off the cover, open up the plumbing, and transform the water from green to clean, a process that can take many days. It’s a time to inspect the equipment, ensuring the heater, the pump, and the filter are all in good working condition. 

New accounts often emerge late winter and early spring, when homeowners decide to put in a pool, and need help with the complicated chemical demands of new pool start-ups. Spring is the time when pool owners ask their service professionals to give their pools a facelift. 

Sometimes, it’s an acid wash to return the pools surface to a like-new appearance. Sometimes, it’s a few coats of paint to hide stains and blemishes. Sometimes, it’s a new liner to replace a bleached out, faded or leaking one. Many of these seasonal chores are regional in nature. For example, where weather remains mild on a year-round basis, a complete winter shutdown isn’t necessary or desired. But in areas where hard frost and a true winter can be expected, for many service technicians, the fall season can be just as busy as the spring.

So as service technicians help their customers gear up or shut down for the swim season, specific extra-charge chores continue to be essential profit centers for service firms nationwide. As part of the 2016 survey, we asked readers whether they provide the service and what they charge for five important seasonal tasks: winterizing, spring opening, acid washing, painting, and new pool start-ups.

Responses came from coast to coast, representing roughly 1,330 service professionals who regularly care for greater than 50,000 pools on their regular service route. To get a sense of the industry’s pulse, the data has been tabulated on a regional basis, and begins on Page 7.

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