Is Removing An In-Ground Pool A Good Idea?

Our house came with an unwanted pool and after about the first year I began to think about getting rid of it. Is that bad for the property value? It depends. You can find experts that say it increases property value and those that say it can decrease the value of your home.

If you have a pool you know that the maintenance costs can get expensive. It’s not just the cost of the chemicals, it’s the maintenance. Every year a pump breaks or there’s a leak or you need a new pool sweep. It all adds up.

I asked my real estate agent if removing it was a terrible idea and he said yes. But is that really true? I decided to dig into it. I’ll give you the pros and cons of getting rid of your pool, share the cost in 2022 and give you the things to ask a contractor if you’re considering it.

Does A Pool Increase Property Value?

I found articles that supported both sides of the argument. Several argued that a pool increases a home’s value by up to 7%, but apparently not in all cases. In some cases, having a pool can make your home harder to sell because potential buyers don’t what the liability of a pool. It also depends on the type of pool, not all pools are equal.

You have to consider whether the pool takes up the entire backyard. You also have to consider whether most of your neighborhood’s homes have pools, if pools can be used year-round in your area and whether you have an old pool. Some people DON’T want a pool because of the cost of upkeep.

How Much Does A Pool Cost Annually?

The cost to maintain a pool isn’t just the cost of the chemicals. When factoring in the cost of pool ownership you also have to consider the cost of power to run the pump, the cost of water, the cost to heat it (if you do that) and the cost to fix equipment that doesn’t last forever. Let’s face it, an old swimming pool can end up costing quite a bit to maintain.

The cost to have someone clean my pool every week and adjust the chlorine is $175 per month ($2100/year). Over the last few years we’ve spent on average $800 fixing a pump, a filter or a sweep. What finally tipped me over the edge is a leak, which can cost thousands to find and repair.

Home Guide estimates the annual cost of pool maintenance is $3,000-$5,000. It depends on your area and the size of the pool. If you live in a climate that requires you to “close” your pool every year, it’s more expensive. Alternatively, if you don’t have to close your pool and you have an unexpected cold snap (as we did here in Dallas), you can end up needing to replace a lot of equipment.

How Much Does It Cost To Remove A Pool?

There are two types of pool removal. There’s a complete removal where they dig up the entire structure and take it away and a partial removal, where they break it up and fill it without removing it. It doesn’t matter if it’s a fiberglass pool or a concrete pool, the removal process is the same.

I received three bids. I recommend getting three bids and I HIGHLY recommend going on NextDoor to ask for advice from people in your area that have done this. I had a neighbor that shared photos and her experience, which was really helpful.

Interestingly, two of the bids were within $500 of each other, around $13000. The third bid was significantly higher, $21,600 (and $11,800 for a partial). My pool is not large or deep (5 feet at the deepest point). They all had different ways to approach the removal. That’s one reason why you should get multiple quotes for a big project.

Methods of Pool Removal Full Vs Partial?

If you talk to demolition companies about removing your pool the first question they will ask is if you want a complete pool removal or a partial removal.

A full pool removal means that they break up the bottom and all the surrounding concrete and take it away. A partial means that they break up the bottom of the pool to allow for proper drainage and they break up the sides of the pool and dump it in the bottom. Partials don’t require as much hauling away of concrete or as much filling.

The advantage of a full removal is that you don’t have the risk of sinkage in the area of the former pool AND you don’t have to disclose it to a potential buyer later on down the road. Leaving the pool in the ground means that no one can build on top of that spot in the future. This is true in the majority of cities. If you live on more land, a partial fill is the least expensive option.

It is cheaper to do a partial, but you have to consider if that spot is something that someone would ever want to build on top of. My house is small and there is DEFINITELY a chance that someone one day might want to add on to the back.

How Long Does It Take to Remove A Pool

The amount of time it takes depends on the size of your pool. The average is 2-4 days. It also depends on how easily they can access the pool area. They typically remove a few sections of the fence in order to bring in heavy equipment and set a dumpster as close as possible.

Questions to Ask Your Pool Demo Person?

Be sure to ask them these questions:

  • What happens to the fence, do you replace it?
  • Will I lose any of my landscaping?
  • Can I leave some of the pool deck concrete surround (if you want to)?
  • Does the price include sod?
  • What will be used for the last 2 feet of fill? If you are considering a future garden on the spot you want the best fill material possible.
  • Does the bid include repairs to irrigation work/sprinklers that could be damaged in the process?

I highly recommend asking neighbors through Nextdoor (which I talked about in comparison on Angieslist or Home Advisor) and they were SO helpful. One neighbor sent me photos (which I used here) of the entire process. A first-hand recommendation means a lot.

I can’t wait to get started on my inground pool removal and share my backyard makeover.

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  1. Wow – great post Andrea! I once moved from a rental house with a pool because my kids were tiny and I didn’t want any accidents. But if you’re a homeowner, there’s a lot more to consider. Thanks for all your research into it. 🙂 Hope you have a lovely holiday my friend!

  2. Andrea, I’m with us…a pool does cost money. We’ve been repairing and replacing parts all year. AND our pool was unusable for the longest time because our pool person just disappeared. We never found out what happened to him (did he die? move out of town?). Not a word after he serviced our pool for 20 years. We only noticed he was gone when the pool turned green (I had him on auto-pay). But now, after a large investment, it is running again. Great post. I had no idea the ins and outs of pool removal.

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