Removing And Demolishing Your Pool

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When undertaking pool removal, you normally have to drain the pool, drill holes at the bottom, demolish the top part and fill it using the rubble and extra dirt soil. But removal of an above ground pool is less problematic and only requires you to drain the pool, tear it down and carry it away. Generally, demolishing an inground pool costs $6,500 while an above ground pool costs $2,200.

There are many benefits that may accrue from removing your pool, namely:

  • It is cost and time effective because you will not have to maintain your pool.
  • When you are selling your house, you will get more potential buyers and simplify the entire selling process.
  • You will be spared from the potential risks and liabilities that accompany pool ownership.
  • You will have extra space in your yard for other activities, for example landscaping
  • if you have kids, pool removal averts the potential dangers that come with owning a pool

What Are The Various Inground Pool Removal Methods?

1. Pool Fill-in (partial removal) Method

This is the most popular method of demolishing a pool. It entails draining the pool, boring holes at the bottom and tearing down the pool’s uppermost layer (18 to 36 inches), depositing the rubble at the bed of the pool, adding topsoil and dirt and compressing the soil. This process can be done without the supervision of an engineering technician unless this is required by the local authorities in your area.


  • This method of removing an inground pool is generally the cheapest and quickest to complete (usually two to five days).


  • Because it can have an effect on the value of your house, you will have to disclose it to potential buyers of your property.
  • If it is not done correctly, it can cause swelling, sinkage and poor seepage.
  • Most cities regard the area that was formerly occupied by a pool to be unsuitable for building and therefore no dwellings or extensions are allowed there. But the area can still be used for landscaping, sheds, trees, concrete and so on.
2. Partial Removal and Pool Fill-in Supervised by Engineer Technician

This method of partial pool removal also entails pool draining, boring holes at the bed of the pool, demolishing the topmost pool section (18 to 36 inches), putting rubble at the bottom before filling and compacting. But unlike the previous method, the filling process is overseen by an engineering technician.Remember this method is normally used if the authorities make it mandatory. But it is highly recommended in case you are not confident about the skills of your contractor.


  • This method is cost effective and quick and it has the added advantage of the property owner having peace of mind since the area has been compacted in the right manner.


  • Potential buyers will have to be told about the process and this might have a detrimental effect on your property’s value.
  • If it is carried out incorrectly,there is an added risk of swelling, sinkage and poor seepage.
  • Most cities view an area that was formerly covered by a pool to be unsuitable for homes and any additions. Nevertheless the area can still be used for landscaping, sheds, concrete, trees and so on. 

3. Complete Pool Removal Without Using an Engineer

This entails draining the pool and then removing all the materials for example liner, fiberglass, rebar, concrete and so on. After carrying them away, the pool area is filled up and compaction is then done. All these activities are done without being supervised by an engineer.


  • Even though you must reveal the pool removal to potential buyers, it will not have any significant effect on the value of your home.
  • Because no concrete is left buried at the location of the removed pool, there is almost no seepage or sinkage.


  • Nearly all cities deem the section covered by the old pool to be unsuitable for construction. But the area may still be used for landscaping, tree-growing, sheds and concrete.
  • This method is costlier than partial removal.
4. Complete Pool Removal Under The Direction of an Engineer

This method involves draining the pool, removing all materials (for example fiberglass, liner, re-bar, gunite/concrete and so on) and carrying them away. Next, the space formerly covered by the pool is filled up and compacted under the direction of an engineer. The engineer then carries out a density testing procedure before presenting a final review certifying that the area is suitable for building


  • This method is the best when it comes to sustaining the value of your home. To builders and real estate professionals, the pool has never existed.


  • This is the costliest option

What Methods Are Used For Removing Above Ground Pools?

There are a various kinds of above ground pools, but the removal process is essentially the same for all of them. They are also much easier to remove than inground pools. Normally, it is advisable to hire a contractor with a good reputation to manage the removal of your pool.

But if you prefer to do it yourself, here is how to do it:

1)Draining the Pool: The easiest method of doing this is using a pump, and normally there is a sewer point inside a hundred feet of the pool

2)Tearing it Down: This process depends on the type of pool in your property.But it usually entails unscrewing the bolts and tearing down the walls with a sledgehammer.

3)Carrying it Away: Get a junk removal company or rent a dumpster to remove the resultant debris but ensure that you recycle if you can. This will minimize costs and assist to eliminate debris from the landfill

4)Conducting Site Repair: When the pool has been removed, a strip of dead grass (or sometimes stone or sand) will be left on the spot previously occupied by the pool. If there are plans for a new pool to replace the old one, then it can be left as it is. But if you prefer to cover the area with grass, ask if your contractor can help to repair the grass at a reasonable cost.

Frequently Asked Questions About Pool Demolition and Removal

What is the cost of removing a pool?

This depends on a number of factors such as:

  • The type of your pool (inground or above ground)
  • Pool size
  • How accessible the pool is
  • Method used in pool removal
  • The contractor you select

Inground pools

On average, demolishing an inground pool costs between $3,500 and $7,000 for an average-sized pool that is somewhat easy to access. But watch out because costs can soar far beyond $10,000 for a big pool with a big deck that is hard to access. The standard cost of full demolition methods can rise to between $7,000 and $15,000.

Above ground pools

The cost of removing an above ground pool differs significantly, but it is normally costs less than inground pool removal.

Do I require a permit before I demolish my pool?

While this depends on the local authorities in your area, you need a permit in the majority of cases. The costs may range from zero to a few hundred dollars depending on local municipality requirements. Also note that most local authorities have regulations stating how pools should be removed. Some authorities might have zoning codes or ordinances that require property owners to completely remove pools, not just fill them in.Where the authorities have permitted partial pool removal and demotion, there might be specified rules on the method to be used when filling in the pool.

Can my underground services, for instance septic tank, and landscaping be damaged by the heavy equipment used during pool removal?

Depending on how much heavy equipment is used during pool removal,various structures in your property such as driveways, sewer connections, landscaping, septic tanks and so on can get damaged. That is why it is critical to work with a knowledgeable pool removal contractor. The contractor will carefully think about the best way to access the pool and the type and size of equipment that is best suited to your particular yard and swimming pool.

How many quotes should I get for my pool removal project?

Inground pool removal projects are expensive and so it is advisable to get a couple of estimates and several opinions on the best method of carrying out the pool demolition project.

You should get a written quote that includes details such as:

  • Schedule of payment.
  • Start and completion dates for the project.
  • The person charged with getting and paying for the required pool removal permits.

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