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Swimming Pool Removal

17 years ago

I have posted to the Pools and Spas forum regarding this question and, understandably I suppose, have not received any response. I thought maybe someone here might be able to help me.

We have an inground pool in our backyard that we are frankly sick of dealing with. We'd like to get rid of it. My question to anyone who might have an answer is: How do we begin to get rid of it? Who would we call? I've done searches on the web and found companies in New York, New Jersey, and Canada, but nothing near me (in Fredericksburg, Virginia). Does anybody have a clue how I could start? ANY help or suggestions would be appreciated.

FYI, the pool was there when we moved in. We did not have it built.

Comments (46)

  • Saypoint zone 6 CT
    17 years ago

    I had the pleasure of getting rid of one of these a few years back. It was about 30 years old and the sides were starting to cave, and we didn't want to spend the money to have it rebuilt. The kids loved it, as did every one of their cousins and friends, every day, all summer. Me, I got to clean it. :o)

    Anyway, we called an excavator. He came in with his big machines, pulled out the fence, knocked the paving into the hole, and brought about 40 yards, if I recall, of fill dirt and about 8 inches of topsoil. Oh, yeah, and a bill for $4k.

  • CynthiaCVA
    Original Author
    17 years ago

    Thanks to both of you for your replies. laag, the pool has a vinyl liner.

  • plantfiend
    17 years ago

    Maybe different areas have different regulations, but my neighbour got hers filled in for free by advertising "Free fill wanted". Lots of building sites are looking for a place to dump rocks and gravel when they excavate. Then she just brought in topsoil to cover.

  • Rachel_Lexington
    17 years ago

    I have a faint memory of a Southern Living article from several years ago that showcased the before/after of pool removal/rehab. As I recall, they kept the concrete deck as a patio area, had holes poked in the liner for drainage, filled it with whatever and put in topsoil and sod for a pretty little lawn. The entire yard was mostly shrubs and flower beds, so this grass was a focal point. I don't know how far back the Southern Living archives go, but you might check them out.


  • Bamateacha
    17 years ago

    Or...something like the link below shows. My BIL just had his pool turned into the most beautiful pond you have ever seen complete with waterfall and bridge crossing over. Absolutely gorgeous. I don't have pictures of his, but this might give you an idea.

    Here is a link that might be useful: pool to pond

  • lazy_gardens
    17 years ago

    The usual method here, for the reinforced concrete inground pools, is to punch some big holes in the bottom, then slice the sides down a couple of feet anf fill it with gravel and topsoil. The chunks of side are dumped into the bottom.

    Another technique is to leave the pool, drained and clean, and build a deck over it. You have to make sure it's covered to prevent rainwater accumulating.

  • CynthiaCVA
    Original Author
    17 years ago

    Thanks to everybody for their help. Phil, I ran into your site, quite by accident. What a Godsend! It's so great to see that it really can happen. We're getting excavators to come out and give us estimates over the next couple weeks. We are SO READY to do this. Thank you so much for your obviously hard work on your site. It really is fantastic.

  • pdog
    17 years ago

    I just inquired on the cost of filling in our 18'x36' IG pool. The contractor told me the concrete around the entire pool (4' wide sidewalk) could not be dumped into the empty pool by code.

    The price to fill our 33k gallon pool, anywhere from $3k-$4k. A new liner would be $2k, while still having the frustration of maintaining the pool. That pool to pond conversion is great, and has really gotten the wheels in my head turning (may not be a good thing) :)

  • flowers2007
    15 years ago

    I ran across this website looking for swimmimg pool removal. Everyone's insight has been great! My husband and I recently purchased this home in Upper Marlboro, MD and this eyesore of a swimming pool came with it. Seems as though the previous owners totally neglected this pool and now we would like to have it filled in. Cynthia - by any chance if you find a company please let me know b/c Fredericksburg, Virginia is not that far from us. Thanks and I will keep you all posted once we find a company to do the job. The hunt is on!!!!

  • chrismich250
    15 years ago

    First thing check with our building codes as to their requirements. Hate to have you fill it in and then dig it out to meet code. In Farmington MI, DH help his mom organize it--had 1) redwood fence removal 2) concrete deck removal 3) side broken to, I think 4', and then ALL of that concrete/gunite removed to the dump 4) holes in the bottom of the pool 5) added soil and compacted each level to avoid sinkage later 6) top soil and grasses seeded later 7) removal of inside tanks (?) and pumping equipment. I think they just called a few home contractors, who had heavy equipment--demolition is so much easier than building. How about calling a pool building company-they may do it or have leads for you. If you want to convert it to a pond, also check you codes, read about someone doing that, and later the city told them it was not allowed.

  • faithnkids
    15 years ago

    All these comments are great. I have a question - What do people do to remove the pump/filter equipment? I have a filter system that's only a few years old. One person said they sold theirs on ebay - but how on earth does that work, does the person buying it come pick it up? Have people been able to sell this kind of thing through their local pool supply companies?

  • ginny12
    15 years ago

    Pool-removal must be a trend. My next-door neighbors did it a couple of years ago, as have several other friends/neighbors. My neighbors had a vinyl-liner type pool and had an ordinary contractor remove everything. I think if you leave a big hole in the ground, even "filled" with concrete and rocks, you are looking at a lot of problems down the road, including subsidence.

    Pools and their maintenance are a real headache; worth it, I assume, in warm climates but a pain in many parts of the country. It can be hard to sell a house with a pool here.

  • chrismich250
    15 years ago

    as far as ebay selling big things. My son just bought 2 big computer things--so instead of the $75 shipping fee, he paid the guy a $10 service fee, and they met at the local McDonalds--that way no one knew where the other lived. Son paid cash and they were all set.
    We sold a 6' long metal snow blade for a tractor and a 1/4 yard steel back bucket--they were local pick up only at our home-two adult were home. We needed to use the engine hoist to lift these things into the back of the buyers truck-they paid cash. A friend bought a car off ebay-also local-he went to see the truck at the seller home, before he bid on it.

  • jazzygardener
    15 years ago

    We're in the process of removing an inground pool ourselves. We took box cutters to cut out the vinyl liner,then used a cutting torch to get rid of the metal liner and finally a jack hammer to get rid of the cement. We had quite a pile of debris in our yard. However, I've gotten free dirt from pool companies to fill in the pool and have reused the broken concrete in my gardens as raised beds. I gave away the filter, heater and pool accesories on recycling website in our area.So nothing has gone to waste. It's a lot of work but will be worth it when it's done.

  • lindasewandsew
    15 years ago

    Glad to find this posting. I posted on the pool side and got some useful info, but a lot of "How could you do that?!!". There are lots of old, no longer used pools around and I'm surprised that more companies don't do pool demo. My sister searched the state contractor's license board website and found some in the area. I've gotten one bid so far and a few more to call. It's expensive, but will save lots of money and time in the future. Linda

  • jerseygirl66
    15 years ago

    Larger landscapers will do it as well. Call around and ask.

  • faithnkids
    15 years ago

    LOVE THIS SITE. I'm about to remove mine, and am curious if someone has run into this scenario - house was built in around 1970, pool was put in some unknown time since then (Google Earth satellite photo does not show pool), but excavator gave 4K estimate for removal based on assumption pool walls have a lot of rebar to suport the concrete. He wants to do the job based on a flat rate, and since neither of us knows for sure if there's rebar till the destruction begins, I'm not sure what to do. I'd hate to pay the extra if the job turns out to be easier. This is in central NC, and I'm paying for what everybody else has described - punch some holes in the bottom, knock down the sides, get some fill (which this price quote includes paying for). My quedstions - when was rebar used, and is there a way to tell? How common is it to do the job by a fixed quote like this? How have others dealt with this kind of unknown? Any other ideas? Thanks -

  • lindasewandsew
    15 years ago

    Hi, Below is another post from someone who removed a pool. Put 'pool removal' or 'remove pool', etc. in the search box and you may find more. It seems like a lot of pools are way past their prime. Ours will be removed later this year. Good riddance!! I found people on the state contractor's website. There should be one in your state. It will have lots of info and questions to ask the contractor, etc. In So Calif, the properties are much smaller than most of what I see on this website. We have to get a permit. They break big holes in the bottom and destroy the top 2 feet. They throw the broken cement into the deep end, fill it with dirt and topsoil, then compact the soil properly. The price will be over $8k, but in your area the going rate may be much less. The job will take 4 days. Even though it costs a lot, no more money will have to be spent in the future. I requested that Garden Web start a 'Pool Removal' forum, but they haven't. Maybe some more requests would get one going. Hope this helps, Linda

    Here is a link that might be useful: Another pool removal post

  • tnboscar
    14 years ago

    I am glad to find this site, because I am in urgent need of advice on the very subject.

    We bought this house with a huge pool(20x40 - 4' on one end 12' the other). Once the winter was over, we came to find out the pool is unusable, since the wooden walls are rotting and collapsing.

    I guess we're lucky that the pool is simply wooden walled and there's a vinyl liner that's already showing the sandy dirt under it.

    Around the pool, we have concrete patio, which we intend to partially remove. And the pool area will be a nice garden we hope:)

    We have excessive amount of leaves in the yard right now. We are thinking about dropping them into pool, possibly above the concrete pieces that will come out of the concrete patio, and below the fill.

    Is that a bad idea, since the leaves will rot in time? We're concerned that the garden we'll have on top may collapse and we may have holes on it, as the leaves settle.

    Thanks for all your answers in advance,

  • wynnie99
    14 years ago

    What about removing fiberglass pools? Ours is 35x16. Would this shell have to be removed before filling in, or could it be demolished and on site and used to fill the hole? Our side yards are very tight and there is not room for any large trucks or equipment. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated!

  • van1234
    13 years ago


    Cities usually require you to remove the shell before filling it in. Contact a pool removal contractor and ask them if you need to remove the shell. A google search for 'pool removal contractor' should list a bunch of contractors.

    When your side yard is very tight for access, contractors work around it by not bringing in heavy machinery. It'll all be manual work with tools like jackhammer and wheel barrow.

    Here is a link that might be useful: google results for pool removal contractor

  • blkzlady
    13 years ago

    Hi everyone,

    I live in Northern Virginia. Has anyone found a good, reliable contractor to remove their pool? I have been looking for 3 years now. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I noticed two people on here are from Va. and Md. If you had success please, please email me.

  • jazzygardener
    13 years ago

    We removed a 16 x 32 ft inground swimming pool ourselves. It took us 2 summers but, was worth the time & work. Our pool was over 40 years old an needed a complete makeover. So rather than spend the money on that we choose to remove it. We saved a lot of money by doing it ourselves. We even used the broken concrete from around the pool to make raised garden beds.Here's a few pictures. Please email me if you have any questions.


  • hosenemesis
    13 years ago

    Beautiful yard, jazzygardener. I love your concrete walls! And you did it all in two summers.

  • kitchenkelly
    13 years ago

    That is a great transformation. I have never understood pools in MN. The amount of upkeep for such a short season doesn't work for me. I am sure you enjoy your lovely setting much more than a pool.

  • organic_florence
    13 years ago

    Hi Everyone! Your comments have been great. My husband and I are also looking to fill our 25k gallon pool and transform it into a grassy area for my toddler. We also live in Upper Marlboro, so can the other Upper Marlboro member tell us who they used to fill their pool. I would GREATLY appreciate it. The excavator is also a good idea.

  • luckystone13
    13 years ago

    Has any one seen or heard of way to temporarily cover a pool (2-3 years) with a hardwood deck? We have 3 children under the age of 5 and are buying a house whose pool takes up most of the yard. We know the kids will love the pool in a few years, but for now it is too treacherous for us. We don't want to fill in the pool, but we want to be able to use the space for play. Are we dreaming?

  • Frankie_in_zone_7
    13 years ago

    luckystone, you may want to start a new thread.

    Does your pool have a drain or will it collect water?
    For example, I have vinyl-liner inground pool and so can't "leave it" for years or would be a cesspool from accumulated rain and debris, as I don't think even occlusive covers keep out all water (we use a mesh cover). But I am not as familiar with the maintenance of concrete pools with drains.

    I am assuming you meant you wanted a usable surface OVER the pool, and not just a plastic cover, so I would think building a deck to completely cover that size pool would be pretty pricey.

  • agupton
    13 years ago

    I am a project manager for a general contractor. You have two options: 1. Remove the entire pool and piping then fill in the hole. 2. Remove the top 2' feet of the pool deck and pool edge, then fill in the hole with dirt/fill.

    Option 2 will be much cheaper, because either way you have a large hole to fill in, option 2 just saves you the cost of removing the material and disposing. Drive around and find a new construction. They typically have excess fill they need to find a home for. Ask the site manager or call the contracting company, the number should be on a sign in the front. Tell them you need X amount of yards of fill, you can calculate the volume of your pool. They will want to charge you for it. Tell them no, you will take it off their hands for free. Remember, its the trucking that cost, not the actual dirt so find somewhere near your house.

    Hire an Earthwork or Landscape Contractor to compact the fill in minimum 12" lifts, preferrably 6", but that will cost you more. I would hire a landscaper, that way they can sod and landscape your area at the same time. The landscaper can probably remove the pool deck and edging for you as well. Call around and ask.

  • ellen2009
    13 years ago

    Great thread and information. My dilemma: I have a wooden deck that not only surrounds the inground pool that I want to fill in, but is incorporated with another raised deck and terraced wooden steps. Has anyone left a wood surround and if so did it work? No I do not want to keep the pool as the kids say "I'm over it".Any help appreciated

  • newhome2009
    12 years ago

    soooooooooooooooooooooooooooo can i just please fill the darn thing and just leave the concrete around??????? i can put potted plants on that area.

    is it possible????? that part i never got!!!


  • ksb1
    12 years ago

    We bought the house during the major boom time and settled for a pool, but I didn't feel comfortable with it since we had a small child.

    I did a lot of research and talked to a couple of people who had it done (referred by others). I called a few people and chose a company that seemed the most "together" and professional (and more expensive!). We did get lower quotes, but I didn't get a good vibe from those folks. My personal feeling on this is I'd rather do it right than have regrets down the road, especially for something so major. We also have drainage problems so I wanted to be extra cautious. Also get the necessary permits. When it's time to sell the house, it will help to have all your ducks in a row.

    Our cost for getting rid of the pool eight years ago in the Bay Area was (total) $12,000. They needed access to the back (BOBCAT machine), which meant knocking down a fence and
    removing a wooden deck that was on the side of our house. They do charge
    for taking down things! They will probably destroy your landscaping on the side they access. Ours needed to be redone, anyway, so not the end of the world.

    The cost for grass and sprinklers (with our gardener) was over $8000, but that included our front grass, so maybe around $4500 for the back? So I'd say around $16500 to get rid of the pool and plant grass - our lot is 7000 sq. ft. TOTAL and we have a fairly large house on it, so you can get an idea of the size of our yard (not that big).

    You might want to do a concrete deck or other form of landscaping to replace it. We couldn't save the concrete deck around it as they broke up the top six (?) feet.

    They drained it, broke up the sides a few feet down, drilled holes into the bottom (critical!), then compacted soil into the hole. We let the soil settle for around eight months before planting grass, through the rainy season, as we didn't want any uneven settlement issues down the road.

    It was a beautiful pool, too, but I used to have nightmares about our daughter falling in! Consequently, we never used the backyard, either. Now that we have grass (though I'm looking into adding a concrete patio) the kids play outside a lot. I wish we hadn't bought a house with a pool (!) but at the time there was such low inventory (five houses that fit our criteria) that we jumped on this one, just in time for our daughter's birth!

  • shelley10001_yahoo_com
    12 years ago

    We have a commercially licensed 18'x36' inground pool (vinyl liner) here at our B&B. Due to the VGBA (Virginia Graeme Baker Act) we have decided to fill in the swimming pool. The pool is surrounded by a lovely brick deck - as wide as twelve feet on some sides. My question - has anyone ever left the surrounding decking in place when they filled in their pool? We are envisioning filling in the pool area, placing a large fountain in the center of it, with a matching brick walkway to the fountain, and then sodding the rest. Does any one envision any problems we might encounter? Or have suggestions for how to do this?

  • nomorepool-lady
    12 years ago

    I am just in the planning stages of filling in my pool after 31 years of taking care of it!!
    Your design plan sounds great.......
    Do you have pictures of how your renovation looks??

  • kittycat4102
    11 years ago

    Hi, ok lots of great info here but this is my deal. 16x32 in ground fiberglass tight yard tons of trees little access. If we take the time a year or so to do this our self and we do make lots of holes in the bottom or even take out the bottom will the water stand? Will we have frogs and mosquitoes I donÂt have the 3 to 4 k to pay someone to do the work and have yet to find free dirt so it might take a long time to get this huge hole filled in so I am worried about the water standing issue. Thanks for taking the time in reading this and your help

  • wellspring
    11 years ago


    I don't know the answer to your question. Regular posters do seem to check in to see what's up here, so you may receive responses by piggybacking on this old thread.

    But...if you don't get any takers, it might be worthwhile to start a new thread.

  • s8us89ds
    9 years ago

    I experimented and wound up with something strange.

    I decided to leave the walls and surrounding patio intact when I filled in my pool. (I suppose I had visions of a humongous koi pond.)

    I had electricians and plumbers disconnect the electricity and plumbing, I drained the pool, then jackhammered holes in the bottom for drainage, then dumped 7 or 8 big truckloads of fill dirt into the pool, and finally dragged the old pool equipment to the curb. It cost only several thousand dollars, preserved the surrounding patio, and gave me soil deep enough for large trees to grow in it.

    But that huge underground concrete bowl tends to drain water very slowly. After really a heavy rainfall, the ground is covered with standing water for at least a couple days. Smaller puddles of water can sometimes remain for weeks. The soil can stay soggy sometimes for months.

    So what I effectively wound up with is what is called a "bog garden" or "rain garden". Only swamp-tolerant trees and plants will grow in it. It never needs watering, which is a positive. But it often looks like a swamp, which is not a common or even attractive appearance to many people. It is definitely providing a landscaping challenge!

    This post was edited by s8us89ds on Sat, Feb 16, 13 at 4:03

  • swimspa01
    9 years ago

    Generally a permit is required and testing the soil before anything is done. Many people demand a dirt professional in order to strategy this demolition. Many call for that most this materials become delivered off of and some allow for this remnants to be smothered.

    Best should be to check with a nearby developing office to view what's required. We've heard that prices begin about $10k based on needs, size and other issues. Then this filling up from the pool spot together with dirt will demand compaction which in turn calls for special apparatus.

  • fgrieves
    8 years ago

    I'm hoping someone here can help...after hours and hours of Google searches I still haven't come up with an answer but I have stumbled across this thread that seams to have lots of information.

    I have a vinyl lined swimming pool that I want to get rid of, a neighbour is actually keen to relocate it and move to a farm (in Western Australia).

    Does anyone know if the vinyl liners can be removed safely for relocation? If you do any advice on what to do would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance

  • lyfia
    8 years ago

    fgrieves - there is a pool forum on gardenweb you might want to go there and post a new post.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Pool forum

  • TxMarti
    8 years ago

    We had a vinyl lined pool, above ground, that we removed. It is best to start with new vinyl after moving a pool. It will have stretched and discolored into the shape of the pool and more than likely will tear getting it out of the old location.

  • waterwise-fillinpool
    8 years ago

    Hi you might like to read this articles to know more about
    Pool Removal

  • edwardislas
    8 years ago

    Hi if your interested in or would like to know about pool removals, pool demolitions. Pool fill ins. New construction you can see our projects on you tube socalpoolconstruction.. My Facebook/ Islas Excavation any urgent questions I am be reached 909 489 8078

  • Kim Letkeman
    5 years ago

    I had a company that specialises in pool removal in Toronto give me an estimate on removing a 14x27 vinyl lined pool. Basically cutting the concrete around the pool and caving it in with fill and a lawn. Cough ... 13000 to 15000 ... oh well, time to consider plan B. By the way ... what is plan B :-)

  • s8us89ds
    5 years ago

    Plan B is to drain the pool of the water, cut a handful of drainage holes in the bottom of the pool, and then dump in truckloads of cheap dirt. It should be half the cost of a full-scale removal. That's what we did and the only drawback is that it doesn't drain as well as we had hoped, so our dirt is often mushy. It's fine for us because we covered it with water-loving shrubs/plants and they grow like wildfire and we never have to water them.

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