if you know anything about inground pools, the water in the pool keeps the walls of the pool stable. If you drain the pool, it will cause the pool to cave in over time which could cost you a lot in backcharges or insurance claims. As far as boarding, they don't really do them anymore, we now install safety covers, which is still far less than it should be. The hud allowable is about 1/2 of what any pool company would charge and it requires 2 visits due to measuring and ordering. It could take more time than its worth unless the pool already has anchors
The pools are usually drained to 4' at the deep end. We used to get $350 for that and $150 to treat them. Here in Florida the water table is too high to drain coimpletely anyway. An inground pool would be an above ground pool in week if it was completely drained. Still, i agree that a pool company would charge more. We still get the 2.05 per sf to install covers. Here in florida most standard pools are 12x24 14x28 or 16x32. Occasionally they are bigger or odd shaped and those we board. I do not order special covers. I was stuck with one one time, never again. That being said, if i had a choice to install a $425 cover that i can order, have shipped to my office, throw in the back of my truck and intall in an hour, vs going to lowes or home depot, buy and loading $650 - $700 worth of material, delivering to the site, unloading and building a cage all for the same money in the end. i'll pick the cover.
Now, when i was working for safeguard and they implemented the safety cover mandate, they wanted to reimburse for the cover and pay $200 before 25% discount. LOL. The way it worked was you uploaded the receipt and they give you the cover cost flat and the $150 (after discount) I founded OPI Material Holdings very soon after that. I bought form MFS for $xxx and sold it for $xxx to myself. Thats the receipt that got uploaded. I made $350 per cover min clear after that. Not a killing, but certainly more desireable then $150. Smarter then the nats, Gotta be smarter and faster then the nats.