Having an inground pool built for your backyard is a major investment. With pool prices at an all-time high, homeowners often ask, will pool prices go down? Sadly the answer is no, pool prices will most likely not go down. In this article we will explain what determines pool prices and why these factors won’t go down.
This article was written by Scott Pancake, a pool designer and salesmen of over 20 years. Scott now operates as a landscape designer and therefore, has no monetary interest in advising homeowners on pool prices. Pancake has decades of experience during which there were major recessions and periods of economic growth to rely upon. Enjoy this insight and leave a comment if you have follow up questions.
Will Pool Prices Go Down?
In a 20+ year career as a pool designer, I have never seen prices go down. Even after the financial collapse of 2008, pool prices were not slashed. There may have been a few incentives offered, but nothing more than a 2-5% discount at best. It didn’t take long after for prices to continue heading skyward due to the cost of materials, including fuel, steel, and cement.
What Determines A Pools Price?
Pool prices are based on 5 main cost categories. From our 20+ years of experience as pool builders, we’ve looked under the hood of each of these. The 5 categories are cost of raw materials, cost of labor, regulation costs, overhead, and profits.
The raw materials in a pool consist of the concrete, steel reinforcement, pvc pipe, pool equipment, etc. These costs are variable and very infrequently do they ever go down. They form the basis for the pool price.
Cost Of Labor
The cost of labor likewise never seems to go down. As the cost of living goes up, labor costs must go up alongside them or else you’re not going to get those employees to continue working for you or your subcontractors.
Regulation costs would consist of fuel permits, building permits, and other town or business related items. These costs NEVER go down and only go up year after year. Thankfully they’re not a huge part of the pool price, but enough to merit mentioning.
Overhead costs are one of the places pool builders can try and streamline their process when the going gets tough in the market. However, you can’t run a pool company without project managers, design staff, accounting, or purchasing. These aspects of business either get done by employees or it’s all on the shoulders of the company owner which isn’t sustainable for very long or else it’ll stifle growth. Because of this, overhead usually maintains its percentage whether times are good or times are tough.
Finally, there’s the profit. This is the place that could take a hit when times are tough and the company needs to keep employees working. This is where those 2-5% discounts bite into during the worst of times. Running an unprofitable company however is not sustainable so don’t expect any price drops of substance in the near future.
Will Pool Prices Go Down In A Recession?
Most homeowners assume that pool prices won’t go down without a cause. However, most people assume pool prices, like the stock markets or other luxury items, would plummet in a recession. Instead, the effect can be the opposite due to the 5 main cost categories we explain in this article. While you may have a little more negotiating power with a salesperson, you won’t be able to cut down the price very much at all.
Bottom Line On Will Pool Prices Go Down?
In the end, as you can see the pieces of what makes up a pool price aren’t all that flexible. Yes you may be able to score a discount, but most often that’s only going to happen when the company has holes in their construction schedule. At the time of writing this that doesn’t appear to be anytime soon for most builders and given the constant rise of raw materials the pool prices continue to go up.