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Backyard makeovers: COVID-19 keeping pool builders very busy

Academy said they’re seeing much higher sales on pools, trampolines and swings this year over last year.

HOUSTON — Between stay-home orders and state shutdowns, Houston homeowners have taken this time to get well acquainted with their homes, and many are finding they need to upgrade, especially their backyards. 

Right now, it’s just a hole in the Barkers' backyard, but in just a few weeks, that hole will be their haven.

“It’s actually more affordable than what I was expecting," homeowner Kyle Barker said.

Kyle Barker said they’ve wanted a new pool for some time, even before COVID-19, so they did their research.

“I had a few colleagues at work give me a couple references. We even went over to Pearland and talked to some people. I think we had probably 4 or 5 quotes until we found the right one," Barker said.

Pool builders say they can’t keep up with the demand. Everyone wants a pool.

“It’s just so busy right now. There’s just so many people buying pools," said Steve Maddox with Maddox Custom Pools and Landscaping.

Maddox said his business is up 50 percent.

“I'm thinking it’s because of the pandemic and people are thinking they’re going to be home for the next year or two," Maddox said.

Maddox estimates the average cost of a gunite concrete pool in Houston would be about $40,000, but that’s just the pool alone. Be aware that prices can go much higher than that.

“Make sure all of the information is given up front," Maddox said.

Home Advisor says expect to spend up to $1,800 a year on maintenance.

“We know a pool is not really something you do because it’s smart financially, but because of how your family is going to enjoy it," Barker said.

It’s the months of extreme makeover for so many backyards. Academy said they’re seeing much higher sales on pools, trampolines and swings this year over last year, and some items are selling as soon they’re restocked.

But if an in-ground pool is out of your budget, then head online.

Above-ground pools may be hard to find in stores, but Amazon and Walmart both offer pools starting at $15, and they ship for free.

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