Florida Swims Foundation Announces “Swim For Life” License Plate
The Florida Swims Foundation (Foundation) has unveiled its new “Swim for Life” license plate that is now available for pre-order through the Florida Swims Foundation website in conjunction with the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles.
The Foundation, which operates under the umbrella of the Florida Swimming Pool Association (FSPA), collaborated with graphic designers at Converge Public Strategies to create the license plate art.
Sales of the plate will benefit the Foundation’s mission to fund swimming lessons for children throughout the state of Florida.
“We are thrilled to share this new opportunity with the public as a way to invest in the Foundation’s mission of providing education around water to under resourced children. Swim lessons are life changing and every child should have access to them,” says Elizabeth McMurray, FSPA executive director.
“The partnership between the Florida Swims Foundation, FSPA, and various state regulation agencies is stronger than ever after our collaboration on this important project,” says Dallas Thiesen, FSPA senior director of Government Affairs. “We look forward to continuing our work together as we move into the implementation phase with license plate pre-sales.”
The “Swim for Life” license plate is currently accepting pre-orders. Pre-Order yours today and show your support for life-saving swim lessons!
Pre-Order License PlatePre-Order License Plate
7 Tips to Prepare Your Pool For a Hurricane
1. Do Not Empty
Drainage is almost always in the design of the pool. Water in the pool provides weight to keep the pool in the ground. An empty pool can float or pop out of the ground due to pressure from excessive ground water caused by heavy rains.
2. Turn Off Power
Circuit breakers at the main electrical panel should be turned off. Pump motors, lighting, chlorinators, and heaters should not operate in the storm.
3. Protect Electric Pool Equipment
Wrap the pump motor, time clock, light transformers and electric heaters with waterproof plastic. Tie securely in place to prevent sand and water from entering. If flooding is expected, disconnect these devices and store them in a dry place.
4. Remove Loose Items
Chairs, tables, toys, pool tools or other loose items can become dangerous projectiles in high winds. It’s best to store them inside away from storm. Avoid throwing furniture into pool, unless it is a last resort. If so, gently place objects in pool to avoid damage and staining.
5. Add Extra Chlorine to the Pool
To prevent contamination from debris and excessive storm water, add a Leslie’s granular shock, preferably Power Powder Plus or Chlor Brite.
6. Do Not Cover Pool
Storms can cause falling branches and other debris that can damage pool covers. It’s easier to remove debris from the pool than it is to replace a cover.
7. Protect Screen Enclosure if You Have One
Providing a vent for wind to flow through can help prevent damage. Possibly remove screen panels on opposite sides of the enclosure.
COVID-19 and Building Materials Shortages
Remember the crazy toilet tissue shortage of 2020? If you visited your local grocery store in search of that vital entity, you likely found yourself staring at empty shelves, wondering how far you were going to have to drive to get what you needed.
While you may now be able to find all the items on your shopping list, the construction industry is still experiencing building materials shortages. As homeowners decide to spend their cash on their homes rather than vacations, the demand for building materials has skyrocketed.
Simultaneously, the building industry is experiencing challenges such as effect on trucking, and new safety protocols that have slowed production. In fact, some states halted construction work at the start of COVID-19, which in turn meant some manufacturers had to shut down, creating a backlog.
The pool industry is not immune to these challenges. The demand for swimming pools is at an all-time high as Americans spend more time at home than ever before. The increased demand for swimming pools combined with building materials shortages has created a backlog and many homeowners find that they are waiting for their swimming pool far longer than anticipated.
Your swimming pool requires quite a few elements that are currently in short supply. These include:PVC, Pumps and Filters, Skimmers, Fiberglass, Concrete (for pool construction, pavers, and decking), Wood (for decking), Chlorine, and more.
These building materials shortages not only cause delays in pool building projects, but the supply vs. demand issue has also created unexpected price increases, as pool builders compete for what supplies are available.
At Holland Pools, we understand how frustrating it can be to wait for your new pool to be built. While we do not expect these obstacles to disappear overnight, we are doing all we can to ensure that your dream pool will become a reality.
As the number one pool builder in Central Florida, we have industry-wide recognition and buying power that exceeds our competition. We appreciate your patience as we put forth our best efforts to obtain the necessary materials to build you the quality pool you deserve!
Pandemic has Orlando buyers on the hunt for houses with pools and offices
By Alex Soderstrom – Staff Writer, Orlando Business Journal
Oct 27, 2020, 11:09am EDT
There are homes across Central Florida with backyards that resemble the aftermath of a bomb detonation, Ben Evans told Orlando Business Journal.
Those yards are where American Pools & Spas Inc. is installing swimming pools. The Orlando-based company is working to fulfill an explosion in demand as homeowners spend more time inside during the pandemic.
“People have to be patient,” said Evans, president and owner of American Pools & Spas. “It’ll look nice when it’s done.”
The pandemic has changed what many Central Florida residents look for in both current homes and new homes. Pools, home offices and more space are among the top demands, according to a recent survey by the Orlando Regional Realtor Association.
Local Realtors have anecdotally seen changes in buyer demands since the pandemic began, but the Realtor association’s survey shows 27% of local buyers are now looking for specific home features due to the pandemic. Outdoor living is the top characteristic, with more square feet, a home office and a pool also making the list.
This demand for at-home amenities is likely a reason American Pools & Spas is so busy, Evans said. The company’s revenue this year from retail sales is up between 30%-40% compared to last year, when the company recorded more than $31 million in revenue. It’s not just American Pools & Spas that’s busy; essentially all local pool companies are dealing with rising demand, Evans said. “If they’re not busy, there’s something wrong.”
Likewise, retail sales at Longwood-based Holland Pools and Spas LLC are up "several hundred percent" this year, Director of Operations Marshall Weiner told OBJ. The company has 175 pools under construction, with roughly 200 more pools ready to start construction, in the permitting process or about to enter the permitting process.
“It’s close to overwhelming," Weiner said.
Of course, swimming pools aren’t a cheap or quick investment. The cost of a base-level in-ground pool can start between $45,000-$50,000, and they can take between six and seven months to install due to longer wait times on approvals from some local municipalities, Evans added.
Holland Pools and Spas has experienced a similar increase in the time between a contract signing and finishing an installation, Weiner said. Material shortages and a lack of needed talent compound the longer permitting times. A pool is a great option for homeowners who want to vacation at home, but they have to understand it'll take months to install, Weiner said.
It's a banner year for pool applications in the city of Orlando. There have been 356 residential pool building permits processed by the city so far this year, more than any year going back to 1991, according to city permitting data. In less than 10 months, 2020 has surpassed 2019's 308 processed permits.
Orlando show home is designed with the multigeneration family in mind
To the casual observer, the first indication that there’s something different about the “reNEWable Living Home” on exhibition here are the colors on the outside.
The house is designed in the traditional “Florida Mediterranean” style that’s found throughout the state, but the tile roof is charcoal, not orange, and the facade is not entirely stucco; it incorporates stonework that is a medley of light and darker shades of gray.
Inside this 5,188-square-foot house, designed by BSB Design in Des Moines, Iowa, and built by Meritage Homes, an Arizona-based national firm that is active in the Florida market, traditional styling gives way to a spare modernism. And here, too, the colors are unusual, and the overall ambience is one of calming, quiet grace. That’s not usually the case with a house displayed for the International Builders Show, where multiple corporate sponsors (22, in this case) are showcasing their wares and vying for the attention of several thousand home builders.
The large, L-shaped living/dining/kitchen area is finished in muted tones of light, warm grays and white. The large furniture pieces in the sitting area are upholstered in light-colored cotton and linen, which reflect even more light into these spaces and further enhances their calming, healthy feel, said Aundrea Brown of Intermark Design in Orlando, who designed the interiors.
Holland Pools #1 Pool Builder In Orlando
Orlando, The City's Magazine annual Best of Orlando issue highlights the winners of the 2016 reader's poll for favorites in Food & Drink, Home & Shopping, People & Media, Fun & Leisure, Health & Beauty, and Kids & Pets.
Holland Pools and Spas was voted the #1 and Best Pool Builder in Orlando!
The Power of 3D Pool and Spa Design
By: Brett D. Holland
Due to the constant advancement in technology, pool builders now have design tools made available to them that they did not once have in the past. Although there are a few designers that still design on graph paper, the majority of the industry is now taking full advantage of the 3D software tools available today. With 3D replicated products from pool industry vendors, landscape options, and the ability to fully customize the pool/spa, deck, house stages, designers now have the opportunity to present a presentation to the client like never before! Being that 65% of all people are visual learners this approach is extremely powerful. We now can “visually” show the client just how tremendous their outdoor living environment can truly be from a click of a button.
Over the years, a few friends/co-workers have been a little hesitant to take the plunge into this new idea of design. Either due to the fact that they weren’t too tech-savvy or were just complacent in the way they have been designing for years. However over time I was finally able to persuade them into dedicating a few hours a week to get familiar with the work flow of 3D design. The software I use is Pool Studio by Structure Studios (www.structurestudios.com) which has a great tutorial library to assist with this transition. The way the work flow works is in “stages”. There are house, pool, spa, fences/walls, terrain, steps/benches, planter, and custom shape stages. Each stage has their own parameters where you can fully customize your project. This gives the designer and endless amount of options to where the only limitation is their imagination. Over the course of about 2 months giving several hours/per week my co-workers started to finally become comfortable with designing in 3D. I remember one colleague telling me “I wish I had started using this program years ago. It would have been a totally different experience for my customers”.
Besides the sales benefits, another major benefit of having your project digitized is the ability to seamlessly convert it into a detailed construction plan. If you have an engineer do your drawings you have the ability to send them an AutoCAD file (.dxf) of your project which allows them to import it into their software program. If the plan is done in house, templates are available within Pool Studio for you to use or customize to meet your specific needs. By creating your own templates as you go, the work-flow begins to get faster while you are in the construction stage. This comes in general as you utilize the program more frequently, to where eventually you feel comfortable designing in front of the customer rather than at home.
So whether you are already using 3D software or if you just haven’t got the courage to make the plunge yet, have faith in yourself, continue to invest time and expand your knowledge. Take advantage of this powerful tool and leave it up to your imagination to do the rest!
Scope of Work
By: Brett D. Holland and Tony Caruso
Spring has arrived and the demand for swimming pools has been steadily increasing, especially over the last several years. Financial institutions seem to be loosening up giving homeowners an opportunity to get financed where in the previous years it almost seemed impossible. Homebuilders are finally unloading their inventory homes which has allowed them to create new starts (w/pools). With this new demand comes new opportunity. Every month new and old pool contractors are surfacing to cash in on the "Florida Dream". Two common questions that come up between contractors and their customers are: What are the pool builder's responsibilites? and What are the customer's responsibilities?
It is common for an "agreement" to include a contract, drawing and a list of options. Unfortunately the contract at times consist no more than the customer's information, the construction lien law and a payment schedule. This potentially leads to obstacles during construction, due to the "gray area" of who is responsible for doing what.
A "scope of work" should be either implemented into the contract portion of the agreement, or it should be done on a project specific basis as its own document. This should include any site specifics but not limited to: tree/stump removal, fence removal/install, irrigation, sod, landscaping, concrete removal, hauling/delivering fill, de-watering, access letter if required, etc. Supply of labor and materials should also be clearly spelled out, as sometimes either the home builder or the homeowner opts to perform and/or contract certain aspects of the project themselves or by other contractors they hire. In construction water and power is a must, and the answer to, who is supplying them can also be implemented into the "scope of work", especially for home builder projects. If overlooked the potential cost of a water truck and/or generators could sneak up quickly, not to mention the liability of leaving a generator on an unsecured job site overnight.
By having "full disclosure", you minimize the chance of misinterpretation with your customers. This will hopefully pave the way for a positive building experience for your client, which will ultimately lead to a referral and more business for your company!