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CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Driveways, Pools & Outdoor Living > Inground Pool Removal

Inground Pool Removal Cost

How Much Does Inground Pool Removal Cost?

low costLow: $3,000-$6,000average costMedium: $10,000-$15,000high costHigh: $15,000-$25,000+
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Not everyone loves an inground swimming pool, particularly if operating costs are high or the pool is aging and needs expensive repairs or replacement. Local zoning codes govern exactly what can be done, but typically there are two choices. In partial demolition/removal -- sometimes called "filling in the pool" -- the tops of the walls are removed and the lower portions are buried in place (with holes punched for drainage). With full demolition/removal absolutely everything is pulled out before the site is filled in. If a building is planned on or near the former pool site, then full removal is required.

Typical costs:

  • It averages around $3,000-$6,000 for partial removal/demolition of a small- to medium-sized pool with easy access for heavy equipment, which includes a minimal (8-10 inches) layer of top soil, but total costs can jump to $6,000-$15,000 or more for larger pools or those with difficult access, lots of decking materials, plumbing or other structures.
  • Full removal costs vary considerably; it can be $6,000-$25,000 but averages $10,000-$15,000 for removing a small, basic pool with good access. A California homeowner[1] was quoted $21,000, but found a demolition company who did a full removal in four days for $10,000 (including permits).
  • Some or all of a pool removal project can be do-it-yourself, provided you follow all local codes and obtain required permits. After getting a $10,000 estimate for partial removal, a homeowner[2] did most of the prep and cleanup work himself, making the total cost (with a different contractor) $3,700. And two Minnesota homeowners[3] removed a 16x32-foot inground pool themselves with a couple of summers of off-and-on work and almost no out-of-pocket expense, using clean fill dirt they got for free.
Related articles: Debris Removal, Dumpster, Concrete Removal, Asphalt Removal, Landscape Design

What should be included:
  • In a partial removal/demolition, multiple holes are punched in the bottom of the pool, the tops of the side walls are removed to a certain depth (usually 18 inches-2 feet) and everything is filled with gravel and/or fill dirt (and chunks of concrete may be used as large fill at the bottom). The fill material is compacted layer by layer (to minimize settling), then covered with top soil. With a partial removal, any future buyers must be made aware of the former pool site. A home video[4] illustrates the removal process.
  • Whether it's a partial or full removal, the contractor should tell you ahead of time exactly what type and size equipment will be used, and how access will be gained. Be wary of driving heavy equipment over a septic tank, drain field, sewer connection or other underground services.
  • Check with your local planning department; many areas have specific codes for pool demolition, and may require a construction/demolition permit and/or inspections as the work is done.
Additional costs:
  • Pool demolition permits can be mandatory but free, or they may cost several hundred dollars or much more, depending on local rules. Homeowners who had a pool filled in without permits[5] (and without following local codes about the amount of sand, dirt and gravel used) ended up having the work done twice, for a total cost of more than $10,000.
  • The heavy equipment needed for pool removal may damage your landscaping, driveway or other surfaces, adding to the total cost.
Shopping for inground pool removal:
  • Get several estimates. Ask about specific experience with pool removal and knowledge about local demolition codes. Make sure the company is properly insured, bonded and licensed[6] in your state, and check for complaints with the Better Business Bureau[7] .
  • Contractor referrals are available from the National Demolition Association[8] . You can also contact local excavation companies, or your pool maintenance company may be willing to bid, or provide referrals to local contractors familiar with pool removal.
  • The written contract should include a description of the work to be done, the payment schedule (other than a small initial deposit, payment should be made only as work is completed), a start and finish date, and a description of who is responsible for obtaining and paying for a demolition permit (if required in your area).
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