If the recent warm weather has you thinking of installing a pool this year, you may want to think again.

The pandemic has created a surge in new pool owners, unlike anything that's ever been seen before. A shortage of pumps, filters, chemicals, liners and actual pools isn't helping either. Even those who planned ahead and purchased their pool last year may still be out of luck, as pool installers are now stretched to the limit.

I count myself among the swarms of people who have decided to install a backyard pool. Three years ago we started planning what type of pool we wanted. But just as we were ready to pull the trigger last summer, our plans were put on hold thanks to the pandemic.

Any hope of getting a pool was dashed as manufacturers shut down, installations were halted and every pool in stock suddenly disappeared. Even those who were lucky enough to already own pools struggled to find replacement parts and chemicals to keep them up and running.

As production ramped up over the winter we decided to plan early, purchasing our pool at the end of last year. We were told that manufacturers were finally catching up with demand and were given a tentative delivery date for early March. As you might have already guessed, that didn't quite happen.

Insiders say the unprecedented storm in Texas has caused even more issues with obtaining a pool. Demand for replacement parts for pools damaged from the deep freeze, coupled with the shut down of a huge plastics plant, has once again caused a local pool shortage.

A check of the company's website where we purchased the pool shows our model, as well as most others, unavailable in all sizes. After staying on top of our order with weekly phone calls to the manufacturer, the pool model we ordered was finally tracked down in another region and shipped to the warehouse, but it's still missing a liner. Thankfully, we've been assured that a liner is en route and our pool should be delivered in a couple of weeks. Now we just need to get it installed.

Luckily, the Hudson Valley has several dependable, family-run pool installers who say they are up to the challenge. Rennhack & Rennhack has been installing pools throughout the Mid Hudson area for over 25 years and say that they've never seen anything like this before. An endless stream of messages continues to pour in from people looking to book an installation for the summer. Keeping up with a barrage of customers has proven to be a challenge, but one that the business says they're up to.

Just last week our yard was prepped for install and if all goes according to plan, we'll be swimming by Memorial Day. Unfortunately, if you're just starting your pool shopping now you will probably have to do what we did last year; invest in a nice sprinkler.

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