There are lots of different ways to reduce the price of an inground swimming pool. You can choose a smaller size, purchase more cost-effective materials, do a part of the work with your own hands or come to an agreement with the pool contractor.
Or can you?
The issue raised at the beginning of this article is a controversial one, and unluckily, it doesn’t have a single answer. Actually, you can just try to negotiate a cost reduction for your pool project. Whether the pool contractor is ready to cooperate is another matter, and it is based on several factors.
In which cases you can negotiate
Various pool companies have various approaches to the process of bidding. Nevertheless, it can be stated that a contractor will only agree to negotiate if they really need this project and can still get a fair return at a reduced cost. Below are a few points you should be aware of before making a decision on the negotiation of a pool price.
The reputation of the constructor. Well-known pool constructors usually have all the business they can deal with; thus, they are very unlikely to accept an unprofitable offer. Moreover, famous builders care about their reputations, and may not be ready to reduce the quality of their services to lower the cost. As a rule, you can gain insight into the constructor’s reputation by doing a little research and verifying their recommendations.
Bidding strategy. Irrespective of the reputation, a pool constructor may offer a high price, thinking that the end price will be lower after the negotiation. This is the option that usually concerns potential pool owners the most since nobody wants to be the loser who agrees to a purposely enhanced price.
Local market. If the demand for swimming pools in your region is high, it will be hard for you to find a builder who will agree to cut the price. Other market forces are the price of work and materials, which determines how much a constructor can decrease the price while still gaining on your pool project.
Time frame. This is virtually the same aspect as above, with the duration included. By and large, you may have more luck bargaining in the period when demand is low.
Well, where can you find all this information? One option is to ask other pool owners in your region about their experience. But there’s an easier way to prevent paying extra for an inground pool.
Three bids rule
Another great alternative is to get several bids on your pool project.
While three bids are an empirical rule, the BBB and others advise at least three. The more bids you get, the higher the likelihood of persuading the chosen builder to decrease the price. The reason is that constructors who might abstain from negotiating in a vacuum are usually more susceptible to a counterproposal that’s introduced as a “price match.”
The main task is to get a fair comparison between the offers. It means that asking every pool constructor for a detailed bid on the same pool design. Bids tend to vary in lots of details, but if you can justify a lower cost based on a parallel comparison, you’ll have a greater chance of success.
Surely, it’s always possible that the chosen constructor returns with the lowest bid. In this case, you shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth. Accept the proposal, and just be grateful for it.
The disadvantages of negotiating
While it is possible to save significantly by negotiating over the cost of a pool, it also entails risks. First of all, you could overestimate your capacity and insult the pool constructor that you really want to employ. That could make you forget about your pride and accepting the original bid or opting for your second choice.
It may be even worse for you if your low-price offer is accepted. A constructor may attempt to reduce expenses by selecting poor-quality materials or employing doubtful subcontractors. Otherwise, they could delay the process by making your project a lower priority on their schedule. In contrast to the more common case where you’re discussing the price of a new vehicle, you can’t be sure you’ll get the end product of the same quality when you bargain aggressively over the cost of your future pool.
In general, it is obvious that the best approach is to be sincere with the pool enterprises negotiating for your project. Tell them that you’re waiting for their best deal and that you’re going to compare it to the offers of the other pool constructors in your region. If the builder’s proposition seems too expensive, feel free to ask for a smaller price – but be sure you have a plan B in case they refuse.