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Landscape Views Issue 24

This is a column by landscapers, for landscapers. In it, you’ll find knowledge, views and insights from professionals just like you, who are currently working in the industry

Q. Has there been an increase in the number of clients requesting pools? 

Compass Pools

Interviewee: Stuart Liang, Owner

Location: Tauranga

Staff: 4

As an importer of fibreglass pools, we’ve seen sales decline the past 12 months. That appears to be the case across the industry, which is reflective of high-interest rates and uncertainty in the economy as a whole. Now that there’s a new government on board, people are feeling more relaxed with their spending and we’re seeing the market bounce back. 

We saw a big spending increase during Covid, as everyone wanted to upgrade their back yards. I think some brought their spending forward at that time, as there was a little extra money floating around but, when inflation rose, people cut back. 

This year, we’re seeing shapes and sizes remain fairly standard across the board. However, people do seem to want bespoke additions to their pools, such as swim-outs, paddling pools, waders and vanishing edges, which are all achievable with a Compass Pool.

Interestingly, we find demand is pretty evenly spread throughout the North and South Island. One thing we do get asked all the time is to have the pool ‘ready by Christmas’. When a client says that, I always tell them that you need to have a plan locked in by April at the latest! 

Deccan stone

Interviewee: Paul Rice, Owner

Location: Christchurch

Staff: 3

As a landscaper with a stone supply business that supplies a lot of pool coping, I’m in a great position to answer this! I’m not necessarily seeing an increase in demand for pools, but I am seeing an increase in demand for natural stone pool copings.

I’m not anticipating any slowing up of the pool industry. There’ll always be people who want to put a pool in, and the pool companies are working six to eight months ahead of schedule, which gives us plenty of time when we’re asked to do a bespoke coping – which we always enjoy doing. 

In my experience, there are not a lot of landscapers who will install pools now, as the pool companies tend to keep that in-house and will rarely subcontract that work. I’ll often get my work via word of mouth, whether that’s through landscapers or pool companies.

One of our biggest sellers, and our main point of difference, is drop-face copings, because of the increased popularity of fibreglass pools. Drop-face copings cover any indiscretions in the pool shelf line and remove a construction joint. Our custom internal and external corners are also popular, as they remove the need for mitres.  

Novus Space

Interviewee: Chris Thelin, Owner

Location: South Island 

Staff: 1

Pool enquiries haven’t been at the levels we saw after Covid, although they have definitely picked up over the past three months thanks to the warm weather.

Our main territory is Canterbury. We've had a number of days where the temperature has been over 30C, which has driven good levels of enquiry. If we have stock locally, we can often have the pool in the ground and running within three months.

We market and install Australasia’s No.1 brand of swimming pool, AquaTechnics. We have a core group of preferred subcontractors, who are well versed in the industry. Works including electrical, excavation, cartage and landscaping are all taken care of with NOVAspace. I will be involved in each job from start to finish.

A trend I really like is darker pools, which can polarise opinions but, when clients see them in-situ, they more often than not are blown away.

60% of our work comes from new builds, where we can be booked 18 months in advance. Having local stock on hand gives us the ability to realise a clients' dreams in a matter of months!


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