Swimming Po­­ol Removal Guide

Full article 14 min read
Swimming Pool Removal

Most affluent people have a swimming pool at their home. It is a great place to cool off in the summer and to have some fun with friends and family. However, there may come a time when you need to remove your swimming pool. Maybe you are moving, or perhaps it is just time for it to go. No matter the reason, removing a swimming pool can be a daunting task. This guide will walk you through the process of removing your swimming pool and will give you some tips on how to make the process easier. Before that, let’s discuss the pros and cons of removing a swimming pool.


Pros of Removing a Swimming Pool

● You will have more space in your yard.

● It will be easier to mow your lawn.

● It may be cheaper to remove a swimming pool than to maintain it.

Cons of Removing a Swimming Pool

● You may have to hire a professional to remove the pool.

● The process of removing a pool can be time consuming.

● You may have to dispose of the pool’s contents in a specific way.

See Also: Pros and Cons of Downsizing

Three ways to remove a Pool

There are three ways to remove a pool: dirt fill-in, part removal, and complete removal. The first choice does not truly eliminate the pool; instead, it fills the cement casing with dirt cement and leaves the deck intact. While some individuals try to garden or add landscaping on such soil, drainage holes will always allow water to accumulate over time, leading to the rotting of wooden decking and unsightly green patina on the pool’s coping stones.

The second alternative is to remove only part of the pool. Work begins with the pool’s draining, as it does in the previous method. Next, the team disassembles the pool’s deck and divides the pool’s sides at least 18 inches below ground level. Although the bottom of the pool is still under the earth, once it is filled in and covered with sod, grass, or mulch, it is impossible to tell that a swimming pool was ever there.

The third and most complete option for removing a pool is excavating the entire area down to the footings and breaking out the concrete. The decking and all other ancillary features are then disposed of as waste. This is the most expensive and time-consuming option, but it leaves no evidence that a pool existed on the property.

Removing a Swimming Pool – Step by Step

Now that you have decided how to remove your swimming pool, it is time to get started. The following steps will guide you through the process.

  1. Drain the Pool- The first step in removing a pool is to drain it. This can be done by opening the drain valves at the bottom of the pool or by pumping out the water.
  2. Disassemble the Deck- Once the pool is drained, you must disassemble the deck. This can be done by taking it apart piece by piece or cutting it into smaller pieces.
  3. Remove the Pool Walls- The pool walls can be removed by breaking them out or cutting them into smaller pieces.
  4. Remove the Pool Bottom- The pool bottom can be removed by breaking it out or cutting it into smaller pieces.
  5. Dispose of the Contents Properly- Once the pool is emptied, you will need to dispose of its contents properly. This can be done by hiring a professional or by doing it yourself.
  6. Fill in the Hole- The last step is to fill in the hole that was left by the pool. You can do this by shoveling dirt back into the hole or by using a machine.


Above-ground Vs. In-ground Removal

Swimming pools can be either above-ground or in-ground. The following is a comparison of the two types of pool removals.

Above-Ground Pool Removal

If you have an above-ground swimming pool, the cost and time involved will be lower. Even though you’ll want to hire a professional, draining and to demolish an above-ground pool involves simply emptying the pool, tearing it down, and removing the debris. The cost of dismantling an above-ground element is about $2,000.

In-Ground Pool Removal

A concrete in-ground pool, on the other hand, is considerably more difficult. The procedure begins with draining the pool but then necessitates the use of heavy machinery to complete it. This might require a Bobcat or even a wrecking ball to demolish the concrete and a backhoe to fill dirt in the hole. It will cost more and may need permits, depending on your municipality.

Complete Vs. Partial Removal

Swimming pools can also be removed partially or wholly. Partial removal means leaving part of the pool behind, typically the deck or walls. Complete removal means demolishing the entire pool, including the deck and walls.


The following is a comparison of the two types of removals:

Partial Pool Removal

If you choose partial pool removal, the cost and time will be lower. Draining and demolishing a partial pool involves simply emptying the pool and removing the debris. Partial removal is less expensive than a total one since only part of the pool is removed. The damaged chunks of concrete and other rubble from the pool, on the other hand, act as the base for its bottom. Dirt is then placed on top to form a hole. If done incorrectly, this process can result in sinkage, swelling, or cracking of the ground around the pool. The cost of dismantling a partial element is about $1,000.


  • The process is less expensive than complete pool removal
  • You can do it yourself with the right tools


  • It takes longer to remove a partial pool
  • You may need to hire a professional to dispose of the pool’s contents

Complete Pool Removal

If you choose complete pool removal, the cost and time involved will be higher. The process of draining and demolishing a complete pool involves simply emptying the pool, tearing it down, and removing the debris. With a total removal, everything above the ground—concrete, rebar, and whatever else is there. The pool’s pit is filled with gravel and dirt after being removed. Compacting, grading, and finishing the hole with topsoil are all steps taken to decrease the chance of something going wrong in the future, mainly if the pool is located on a slope. The cost of dismantling a complete element is about $3,000.


  • You will have more space


  • The process is more expensive than partial pool removal

Permits for Swimming Pool removal

Swimming Pool removal may require a permit, depending on your municipality. You can usually find out if a permit is required by contacting your local building department. You may need a permit to get your pool removed based on where you live. If you hire a pool removal firm or a contractor to perform the work for you, they will generally handle the licensing procedure. Permits may cost nothing or hundreds of dollars, depending on where you reside.

Additionally, you’ll need to be aware of any rules that may affect how you utilize the utilities connected to your swimming pool. These might cover things like how to cap water pipes, deal with electrical cables, and grade the property.

The following is a list of some common reasons permits are needed for swimming pool removals:

  • The pool is located in a location of historic significance.
  • The pool is larger than allowed by zoning regulations.
  • There is a septic tank or well on the property that will be affected by the pool’s removal
  • The pool is part of a larger structure, such as a house or shed, and removing the pool will affect the overall structure


Removing a swimming pool can be a time-consuming process, but it can be completed with the right tools and knowledge. Be sure to contact your local building department to find out if a permit is required for swimming pool removal in your area and review any rules that may affect how you go about removing the pool. Knowing what to expect can make the process smoother for yourself.

Costs to Remove a Pool

The cost of removing a pool depends on various factors, including the size of the pool, the method of removal, and whether or not a permit is required. Partial pool removal is less expensive than a total one, and you may be able to do it yourself with the right tools. Complete pool removal is more costly, but it can be done DIY if you have the proper equipment. Hiring a professional to remove a pool can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000.

Pool removals may be quite costly; therefore, you’ll want to obtain multiple bids to ensure that you choose the finest demolition method and get the best price. Cost Estimates should be in writing and include the following information:

  • Start and finish date
  • What is your payment schedule (when do you need to pay and how much)?
  • Permits must be obtained and paid for by the owner or party in charge.
  • If the firm is paying the charges for the permits, they must be recorded.
  • What kind of work will be done, and what type of equipment will be utilized?
  • Contact information for the company

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What Else Can You Do With a Pool?

If you plan to remove your swimming pool, you might be wondering what you can do with the space. Several options include:

  • Installing a patio, deck, or garden.
  • Using the area as a play zone for children or pets.
  • Converting it into additional living space.

If you’re not sure what to do with your swimming pool space, consult with a landscape architect or contractor to get some ideas. They will be able to help you create a plan that takes into account the size and shape of your pool, as well as your budget and lifestyle.



Removing a swimming pool can be a big job, but it can be done safely and efficiently with the right tools and knowledge. By contacting your local building department and getting multiple bids, you can ensure that you choose the best removal method and get the best price. Once the pool is gone, you’ll need to decide what to do with the space. There are several options, so consult with a professional to get started on your new pool-free life!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you remove an inground pool yourself?

If you’re taking down an in-ground pool, DIY pool removal isn’t suggested. Taking down a conventional above-ground pool is as simple as draining the water, tearing down the structure, and transporting it away to be disposed of properly.

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What do you do with a swimming pool you don’t want?

You can remove it, cover it or fill it in. These are the three most popular methods, but there are other ways to get rid of a pool, too.

Can you convert a swimming pool into a pond?

It’s possible to convert a swimming pool into a pond or water garden. This is a more time-consuming process and may require the help of a professional. You’ll need to have a firm understanding of how to do it and what is involved.

How long does it take to take down a pool?

The average duration of pool removal is 2-5 days, depending on the project’s complexity. The duration of complete pool removal, from start to conclusion, is typically three days; however, city inspections may add a few days. Partial pool removal may take less time.

What is the average cost of pool removal?

The average cost of pool removal ranges from $3,000 to $10,000. This includes the price of permits and hiring a professional. DIY pool removal can save you some money, but it’s essential to factor in the equipment cost before getting started.

Written by

Alex Sherr is the founder of My Long Distance Movers, a blog that provides moving information and resources for people who are relocating. He has more than two decades of experience in the moving and relocation industry, and he is passionate about helping people relocate smoothly and efficiently. When he's not writing or blogging, Alex enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children.