What Is The Best Way To Get Rid Of An Inground Pool?

What Is The Best Way To Get Rid Of An Inground Pool?

Have you you outgrown your inground pool? Whether you’re too busy to swim, your kids are grown or you don’t like the maintenance, you’re probably wondering what to do next.

Fortunately, converting an inground pool into a useful space isn’t as hard as you may think. You might be surprised by all the different things you can do! Let us share a few practical ideas instead of rushing forward on an impulsive project.

Also check: A Comprehensive Guide to Swimming Pool Removal

What Can I Do With an Inground Pool I Don’t Want Anymore?

Pools are an excellent way to relax and cool off during the hot weather, but they’re also expensive to maintain. Not only do you need to clean your pool regularly, but you also need to check the water regularly for proper chemical balance.

Getting rid of your pool may be a huge relief. Consider the below projects.

Transform Your Former Pool Into a Garden

a backyard pool that has been replaced with a garden

Are you thinking of getting into gardening? Not only is gardening proven to be highly relaxing for the heart and mind, but you can also get some excellent food or flowers out of the deal.

Turning your pool into a garden space involves a few steps to ensure your garden won’t lose its viability. Your pool will need several holes drilled into the bottom to allow the soil to drain periodically. We also recommend purchasing thick soil to keep the garden from sinking, making walking difficult.

The additional benefits of turning your pool into a garden is having extra perks when selling your home. That said, if you want to grow some carrots or roses, double-check with your state laws to ensure you’re not stepping on any legal toes. You may need a permit first!

Related: What Do Home Appraisers Look For In A House?

Consider a Sunken Greenhouse for Style

Perhaps you want to try something a little less conventional than a garden. A sunken greenhouse is a stylish way to add flair to your home without purchasing extra space.

The design of an indoor pool makes greenhouses a solid choice, since these locations are able to retain steady temperatures year-round. The difficulty of creating a sunken greenhouse usually lies in the pool’s potential to buckle and break. We highly recommend consulting a carpenter before proceeding with this project.

Cover it Up For Extra Space

Not sure if you have the budget or the energy for the above options? You can always cover up your indoor pool for extra space, such as adding a patio or a few chairs.

Many homeowners prefer to convert their indoor pool into a brand-new deck. This act functions as both an affordable solution and a practical application, since you’re not technically removing the pool below. If you choose this route and decide to empty your pool, be aware that a high water table could make your pool rise up out of the ground as it floats like a boat.

Not sure how to put together a site plan for your next project? We provide  detailed site plans based on satellite imagery, GIS information, and more. Our plans are non-certified which are typically acceptable for a pool removal. 

How Do You Destroy an Inground Pool?

If you want to just eliminate the pool outright, you have options. Keep in mind pool removal is often expensive, requires heavy equipment and specialized knowledge. 

Not only do you need to demolish the pool structure, you need to fill the open space up with compacted dirt to avoid future settling. Expect to spend anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000 depending on the size of your inground pool.

Once your inground pool is gone, you’ll have all the space in the world to do with as you please. Additional yard space and no more pool maintenance may very well be worth the cost!

Related: How Much Does It Cost to Add a Second Story in 2022

Can I Just Fill My Pool With Dirt?

Absolutely not! Although it sounds easy just dumping a bunch of dirt into your pool, you run the risk of several issues.

Your pool needs to be properly drained and broken down before being filled with specialized, compacted dirt. Throwing in dirt willy-nilly could cause sinkholes or flooding down the line. Leave this process to the professionals to ensure the job is done right.

How Much Does It Cost to Break Down a Pool?

This is largely dependent on two factors. What are your future plans for the area and how much access is there for heavy equipment. The fastest and cheapest option is to demolish the pool in place, leaving the concrete structure and breaking holes in the bottom, fill and compact. If you plan to build over the area you will want to remove the entire shell and backfill under the supervision of a geo technical soils engineer. The lesser option will cost you around $10,000 wheres the full removal will run closer to $20,000. This is providing that 6' of access can be obtained. If not the price will go up from there.  

How Much Dirt do you Need to Fill Your Pool?

We created this handy swimming pool fill dirt calculator to find out!

Do I Need a Site Plan?

a man surveying a piece of land

In my 15 years of experience removing pools across about 50 cities we only encountered one city that did not require a site plan. When you go to apply for your permit the building department will let you know whether or not one is required. My bet is that it will be required.

Related: General Contractor vs. Subcontractor: What's The Difference?

Final Word 

The ideal way to get rid of an inground pool is to leave it to the professionals. Attempting this project yourself will leave you exhausted and probably in a worse spot than when you started.

Fun ideas you can consider for your inground pool include:

  • Transform your pool into a garden
  • Install a sunken greenhouse
  • Cover the pool up and make a new deck

Give your next home renovation project a neat plan to completion. Contact us today for custom site plans with a turnaround of twenty-four hours, Monday through Friday!


Question Answer
What are some creative alternatives to removing an inground pool? Instead of removal, you can transform the pool into a garden, install a sunken greenhouse, or cover it to create new deck space.
What should I consider before converting a pool into a garden? Ensure proper drainage by drilling holes in the pool bottom and use thick soil to prevent sinking. Check local regulations for necessary permits.
What are the challenges of creating a sunken greenhouse in an old pool? The primary challenge is the potential structural instability of the pool, which might buckle or break. Consulting a carpenter or structural engineer is recommended before starting.
What are the costs associated with demolishing an inground pool? Demolishing an inground pool can cost between $10,000 to $20,000, depending on the method used and access for heavy machinery.
Is filling an old pool with dirt a viable option? Filling a pool with dirt requires it to be properly drained and broken down first. Using compacted, specialized dirt is essential to prevent issues like sinkholes or flooding.
Why is a site plan important when removing an inground pool? A site plan may be required to obtain a permit for pool removal, as it ensures compliance with local building regulations and helps prevent future legal or structural issues.
How can I use my former pool space after removing the pool? After removing the pool, the reclaimed space can be used for additional yard space, landscaping, or other outdoor living enhancements.

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  • Ryan Crownholm