Is It Cheaper To Buy A Pool In The Winter?

winter time in backyard with snow on ground

Maybe you’re working through your pool and backyard design.  You’re getting close to having everything figured out and you’re struggling with the bottom line.  Do you really want to spend that much on a backyard pool?  Is there any way to make this less expensive?  If you buy a pool in the off season will it cost less?  Which brings up the question, is it cheaper to buy a pool in the winter?

Is It Cheaper To Buy A Pool In The Winter?

The answer to this question, like virtually every other pool-related one we answer is, it depends. Pool pricing depends on many different factors. Historically, to generalize, pools are cheaper in the Fall or early Winter. This is because pool material costs get increased prior to each Spring season. However, pool prices have been skyrocketing recently due to inflation and huge amounts of demand.

However, there’s also one other question that’s always in the back of a pool builder’s mind is. Do we have enough pools contracted to keep our employees busy this spring?’ This can be a huge stressor for a pool company. Especially a pool builder which uses all in house crews.  They need to keep their guys working to prevent layoffs.

Why Is It Cheaper To Buy A Pool In The Winter?

Pool prices depend on the economy more than seasonality. If the economy is bad, these are the times where the winter stress can make a pool builder drop their prices to get contracts for the spring.  If the economy is good, and there’s no stress about having contracts for spring, then pricing will not go down. In fact, it actually may go up as material costs invariably increase from year to year.  

is it cheaper to buy a pool in the winter explained in southern backyard with trees, a fence and a nice pool spa combo

Pool Material Prices Increase In Spring

Materials pricing always goes up in early spring for pool builders.  This is when the manufacturers of the pool equipment submit their annual increases.  Between 2020-2022 however, these manufacturers would sometimes submit price increases at other times of the year as well. This led to often having 4 or more price increases in a calendar year.  This has changed the way pool builders look at pool pricing, and has forced many builders to revisit their calculation of pool pricing from an annual basis to a month by month basis.  

Pro Tip: Now Is Always Cheaper Than Later

Not only is pool equipment going up year after year, but the other raw materials used in pool construction have been going up steadily also. In 2021 alone, PVC prices went up 38% and steel went up 48%. When you factor these major cost increases arriving month after month, you think about the question ‘is it cheaper to buy a pool in the winter’ differently. It becomes less important as ‘is it cheaper to buy a pool now opposed to a month from now?’

How Pool Builders Manage Pricing

Most pool builders work on a fixed price model where they sell the pool for a fixed price with a few variable costs to push the unknowns back onto the homeowner (like excavation conditions, bedrock, expensive soils, etc.). The fixed price model can benefit the homeowner who signs a contract ahead of the price increases, as the pool builder is forced to absorb the difference

Some builders use a cost plus method of construction, which adds a percentage to the costs of the pool throughout construction.  This makes certain of the builder’s margins but leaves the risk of overruns on the homeowner.  There are some instances where cost plus is the right method, but much of the time a fixed price is the better deal in today’s marketplace with the cost of goods increasing rapidly.  

Is It Cheaper To Buy A Pool In The Winter Summary

Can all this change?  Of course it can.  If the market place starts to contract and the pool builders get desperate, we may again see a time when buying a pool in the winter can save you some money.  For the time being however, the best time to buy a pool was yesterday, and today is the next best option.