HUD is charging back for pool "boarding" right now to the service companies if the County/City ordinance's does not state the pool has to be boarded. HUD will pay up to $400 allowable for tarping and there is no profit in that when the tarp is costing $250 ++ for the winter pool covers that are to be used. I did get 2 overallowables this week for covers but still not a decent profit.
FYI I hope you have approvals on the pool covers for a REO property or paperwork from the County/City that states you have to board the pools. I personally have never ever seen where you board but you must use a minimum 8mil cover to satisfy City ordinances.
For us, boarding a pool or hot tub is always bid. I refuse to batf them. Further you need to be explicit in what your "cage" will be in your estimate. For example, "2x6s at 16" OC, followed by 6x6 mesh wire, followed by 6 mil or tarp quality plastic tucked under the edges.
For some of our clients, they require a custom pool cover that costs upto $600 for the cover. So we are tripling it to take into account, carrying costs, installation, cost of cover. Luckily we don't get many of these.
I used to take one for the team so we could continue our volume but I'm not in that mood anymore.
Finally, a good cheat sheet of local ordinances, dump fees and such is mandatory for our office when writing estimates. For example, we have a dump that charges us $5 per gallon of paint. Without our little line about dump fees (name, address, phone), we justify charging $15 per gallon.
I'm not sure about other states, but in Colorado, if Denver passes an ordinance, it's adopted statewide and the other cities just refer to Denver's list. Therefore, we don't research every muni, just Denver. We have something on windows, unsecure sheds and openings, pool covers, debris, grass, trees, bushes.
Finally, we call code enforcement when we see something that is a blight to the community or just plain wrong. This doesnt mean we automatically get the job, but it does mean it gets fixed right away.
This call to code enforcement is a check box on our company work orders.