Homeowners choose to demolish, remove, and fill in their swimming pools for several reasons. Sometimes the pool poses a safety hazard to kids, or the maintenance costs are simply too high. In other cases, homeowners want to repurpose the landscape to their liking. Either way, pool removal is a hefty project, and costs are one major factor to consider.
In-ground pool removal costs between $3,000 and $10,000 for smaller and medium-sized projects. Above-ground pool removal starts as low as around $300 and reaches upwards of $5,000, depending on the situation. Larger and more complicated removals can easily top $10,000.
Although there are a lot of elements that go into pool removal, you can hire professional contractors to help you complete the project. The best way to start a pool removal project is to get educated and stay informed. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know.
What’s the Average Price of Pool Removals?
Removing and filling a pool is typically a large project with multiple factors to consider. The size, materials, contractors, and more will impact the price. Generally speaking, larger pools cost more to remove and fill.
Removing an in-ground pool can cost between $3,000 and $10,000 for smaller and medium-sized projects. Above-ground pool removal, meanwhile, may only cost a few hundred dollars; however, it depends a lot on the situation. Some above-ground pools can cost several thousand dollars to remove.
It’s important to note that most pool removal contractors charge on a per-project basis. However, some contractors work on hourly wages, so it’s important to discuss these factors beforehand. Some cities and counties require engineers or permits, which also affects the total cost.
Partial vs. Full Removal
You’ll need to decide between partial and full removal services before beginning your project. Full removal services are generally your only option for above-ground pools. In-ground pool owners can decide between partial and full removals.
Partial fill-ins are generally cheaper and take less time. However, the area won’t be suitable for building new projects. Partial removals punch holes at the bottom of the pool, collapse the concrete, and fill in the remaining space. Partial fill-ins also have risks of sinking and improper drainage if done incorrectly. You must disclose this information when selling a home.
Full pool removals are more expensive and require specially engineered backfill material. The pool will be completely removed, and the area will be suitable for building future structures. Your home’s market value will not decrease with full removals, and you won’t have to disclose any additional information to potential buyers.
Partial removals typically start at around $5,000, depending on the circumstances. Full removals take longer and start somewhere between $9,000 and $19,000.
You can either tear down an in-ground pool wall-by-wall or fill it in. Filling in an in-ground pool is generally more cost-effective and starts at around $5,000. Full removals and demolitions cost between $9,000 and $19,000, depending on the situation. However, the price will depend greatly on the size of the pool, as follows:
- 10’ x 20’ Pool: $2,000 to $10,800
- 12’ x 24’ Pool: $2,100 to $11,600
- 15’ x 30’ Pool: $2,500 to $13,400
- 20’ x 40’ Pool: $3,000 to $16,000
- 30’ x 50’ Pool: $4,100 to $22,500
The most common method for removing an in-ground pool is to use a backfill. Backfills can be overseen by licensed engineers or done independently. Engineered backfills are more expensive, but you’ll be eligible to build additional structures on the finished location.
Independent backfills are more affordable but leave the area unsuitable for additional structures. There may be loose debris underground, unpacked dirt, or drainage issues. You’ll need to inform potential buyers if you use an independent backfill which can impact your property value.
Above-ground pools are much easier to remove comparatively. The cost to remove an above-ground pool can start as low as $300 and reach $5,000, depending on the landscape, backfill, deck, and more. Above-ground pool removals will involve:
- Draining the water using a sewer pump
- Unscrewing and unbolting the walls before demolishing
- Renting a dumpster or hauling crew for debris
- Landscaping the area afterward with new structures, plants, etc.
The added expenses of redesigning the landscape and building new structures, backfills, and rentals can easily increase the total cost of an above-ground pool removal project.
Cost of Materials
The costs of fill materials also impact the price of a pool removal project. Dirt is a cheaper option and costs between $5 and $15 per cubic yard. However, dirt is less stable and prone to settling over time. Many homeowners choose backfills with a mixture of dirt and stone.
Cost of Labor and Equipment
The costs of labor, contractors, and equipment significantly impact the price as well. Labor and contractors will vary depending on your area and situation. Some contractors charge per project while others charge by the hour, so make sure you discuss the billing system beforehand.
You’ll also need to pay for equipment rentals. Some tools and equipment used in pool removal can include:
- Heavy-duty drilling equipment
- Trucks for backfill
- Dumpsters for removing debris
Most contractors will include the cost of equipment in their estimate. However, DIY projects will need to include these elements in the total budget, and costs can easily reach $2,000 or higher. If your yard or pool is hard to reach, you might have to pay additional fees.
Pool removals sometimes require permits or inspections before the project can begin. Permits vary in price but can range from $50 to $250 depending on the situation. It’s crucial to contact your local municipality for the most accurate information available.
However, most contractors will acquire all the necessary permits and inspections for their projects. That said, it’s still good to be knowledgeable and informed so you don’t miss any legal steps or fees.
What to Know Before Filling in Your Pool
There are a lot of factors to consider before you start filling in your pool. The project is lengthy and expensive, regardless of whether you’re removing an in-ground or above-ground pool.
However, there are several reasons to fill in a pool. You might have recently moved to a location with an unusable pool or want to repurpose the landscape, for example. Either way, here are a few pros and cons to filling in a pool:
- You can save expenses on home insurance premiums.
- You can get rid of any pool maintenance costs.
- You will spend less on water bills.
- You remove any risks of pool-related accidents.
- You can repurpose the area to your liking.
- Partial pool removals are less expensive, but you won’t be able to build on the land.
- Removing a pool can lower your home’s market value in some cases.
- It can be expensive to install a new pool down the line.
Keep in mind that most pool removal projects are not DIY-friendly and should be done by professionals. Your project might require permits, inspections, insurance, and more. It’s recommended to hire professional contractors for most pool removal projects.
What Goes Into Removing a Pool?
Removing a pool includes several different steps, including draining, demolition, backfilling, and more. Most contractors will include the costs in the total estimate and fill you in on the process. But it’s equally important to stay informed so that you know what to expect.
You’ll need to drain out all the water before demolishing and removing your pool. Typically, motorized submersible water pumps are used to complete the job. These can range in price from $55 to over $100. Your city or county might require you to disconnect pumps, lights, and gas lines beforehand.
Pool typically need to be demolished before they can be removed. You’ll need to tear down and remove floors, walls, and materials for in-ground pools. Above-ground pools will need to be taken apart or torn down if they have a deck attached. Different pool materials like concrete, vinyl, and rebar will impact the cost.
You’ll need to fill in the area after everything is torn down and demolished. Pool removals require backfills that use various materials, such as dirt, stone, and concrete. Materials are usually placed in layers and patted down. You can run into safety and building risks if you don’t use proper backfilling materials.
Topsoil and Landscaping
The final layer of backfilling requires topsoil. Topsoil is usually used in the final 3 to 12 inches of space. Topsoil can vary in material and price but ranges from $12 to $180 per cubic yard. You’ll most likely want to landscape the yard after the final layer of topsoil is added.
Landscaping can involve planting grass, shrubs, and other plants. You might want to do this part yourself or hire a professional. Final landscaping will greatly impact the total price of your pool removal project.
Doing It Yourself vs. Hiring a Professional
Removing an in-ground pool is typically not a DIY-friendly project and requires experience, permits, inspections, rental equipment, insurance, and multiple people. Hiring professional contractors is usually recommended for backfilling to prevent drainage issues and protect the market value of your property.
|Factor to Consider||DIY||Professional Contractor|
|Cost||$1,800 to $6,200||$2,000 to $16,400|
|Timeframe||Timeframe varies, but it could take weeks to months to finish.||Usually a set timeframe of around 3-5 days.|
|Legal considerations||Work within local regulations to get permits and hire inspectors||Professionals handle all permits and inspections|
|Rental equipment||High cost to rent equipment||No need to rent equipment|
|Insurance||No construction insurance||Insured and licensed to do the work properly|
|Crew members||Just you and any friends or family||Crew sized properly to get the job done quickly|
|Cleanup||On your time||Cleanup costs are included|
|Disposing Debris||Rent a dump truck and pay for hauling and disposal||Crew provides trucks and pays for hauling and disposal|
The project can still be pretty extensive even if you’re removing an above-ground. Professional contractors will ensure the pool gets disposed of correctly, efficiently, and safely. However, if you decide to do some of the projects yourself, you might still need to hire professional landscapers to repair the site.
How Long Does It Take to Fill in a Pool?
As you can imagine, the time it takes to fill in a pool varies depending on the size, location, project, contractor, and more. Most professional pool removals take around two to five days from start to finish. However, the time it takes for permits and inspections can increase the total time frame.
Additionally, your timeframe will vary widely if you’re going the DIY route. It’s hard to say how long DIY pool removals will take, and your experience will depend on several factors.
Filling Your Pool With Dirt vs. Concrete
You’ll need to decide whether you’re backfilling your pool removal with dirt or concrete. Each of these options has advantages, disadvantages, and best use cases. You’ll need to factor in the timeframe, costs, and what you plan to do with the space afterward to determine which option is right for you.
Dirt is a cheaper solution and costs between $5 and $15 per cubic yard. For example, if your pool is 20′ x 15′ with a 6-foot depth, you might spend anywhere from $340 to $1,000 for a dirt backfill.
However, dirt is prone to settling over time and might make the ground unstable. This can make it difficult to build new structures and might impact your property value.
Concrete as a standalone isn’t typically used to backfill pools. Instead, contractors and homeowners will use a mixture of dirt and stone for backfills. In some cases, concrete is repurposed as part of the backfill in partial removals.
The concrete walls surrounding the pool are torn down and used in the dirt/stone mixture. Concrete, dirt mixtures, and partial backfills range in cost but have a total average of $5,000.
Will Filling Your Pool Increase Property Value?
As you can imagine, your property value may or may not increase after filling a pool. Your home’s market value will depend on how you filled the pool, what you replaced it with, where you live, who’s buying it, and more.
Filling in your pool might be a good solution if your pool is completely unusable. Unusable pools will only detract from your home’s market value. You might also decide to restore your existing pool. However, pool restorations can cost anywhere between $40,000 to over $70,000, making them an expensive option.
Your property value will be negatively impacted if you don’t use correct backfilling materials that follow your local guidelines. Incorrect backfill materials create risky areas that have negative consequences over time. You’ll have to notify potential buyers if you use an incorrect type of backfill, and that can turn away customers in some cases.
The Final Word
Pool removal projects are lengthy, expensive, and consist of several different factors. There’s a lot to consider and keep in mind when embarking on these types of projects.
You might spend anywhere from $3,000 to over $10,000 for in-ground pool removals. Above-ground pools will cost less to remove but generally need professional supervision.
You’ll need to consider a partial or full-removal and what you plan to do with the landscape afterward. Partial removals can’t be built on afterward, and they affect your home’s resale value. Full-removals cost more and are more extensive but can be worth it in some cases.
Either way, it’s best to contact professional pool removal contractors and get their expert opinions. They’ll go over prices, options, permits, and more during the consultation. From there, you can determine what’s right for you and your situation.