How Much Does Pool Removal Cost?

Thinking about removing the unused pool in the backyard? Pool removal cost ranges from $2,700 to $19,000, with many homeowners spending $6,000.

By Katie Flannery | Published Nov 28, 2022 1:41 PM

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How Much Does Pool Removal Cost

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  • Typical Range: $2,700 to $19,000
  • National Average: $6,000

There are many reasons a homeowner may want to remove a pool, such as eliminating the ongoing cost of pool maintenance, wanting to make the area safer for children and pets, upgrading to a new pool, or making the home more attractive to prospective home buyers. If an old pool requires extensive repairs that don’t fit into a homeowner’s budget or they want to use the outdoor area as a year-round space, pool removal may be the best option. How much does it cost to remove a pool? According to HomeAdvisor, pool removal cost ranges from $2,700 to $19,000, with the national average at $6,000. Swimming pool removal cost depends on the depth, size, material, and accessibility of the pool. Above-ground pool removal cost runs from $300 to $800, and inground pool removal cost ranges from $4,000 to $16,000.

Since pool removal involves heavy machinery, earth-moving equipment, safety gear, legal permits, and debris hauling, homeowners are advised to hire a professional for this project. Homeowners can find contractors near them who specialize in pool removal services by searching online. Pool removal companies’ websites often include a pool removal cost calculator to help homeowners get a ballpark figure for how much the project will cost. To reduce the possibility of swelling or sinking and to ensure proper drainage, many locations require a licensed engineer to backfill the pool area. In order to make the area suitable to be built on in the future, an engineer’s density report and a demolition and compaction plan are required. Since some of the best pool installation companies also provide pool removal services, homeowners can ask local professionals about the cost to remove a pool.

Many pool demolition companies charge from $1,000 to $3,000 or more in labor costs to remove a pool. Removing additional features, such as decking, fencing, or other items, can increase the overall cost of the project. This guide will explore the factors that affect pool removal cost, additional costs and considerations, the cost of removal based on pool type, and some frequently asked questions about the pool removal process.

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Factors in Calculating Pool Removal Cost

There are several factors that influence pool removal cost. Prices can differ from the national average due to pool type and material, pool draining costs, fill material, project scope, accessibility, and local labor pricing.

How Much Does Pool Removal Cost

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Pool Type

The cost to remove a pool depends on the pool type and how it’s filled. Smaller pools will be at the low end of the cost range, and larger ones that require more filling material will be at the higher end. An above-ground pool is typically less expensive to remove than an inground pool.

Pool Material

The pool construction material also impacts the cost, since the removal of some materials takes more time than for others. Vinyl and fiberglass are typically the least expensive of the materials to remove, with concrete and gunite being the most expensive. Each pool material is discussed in a section below.

Pool Draining

The process of removing a pool begins with draining the water. The price to drain a pool can be as much as $175, depending on how much water needs to be removed. Homeowners who want to drain the water themselves can rent a small pump for $40 to $70 from a home improvement or hardware store. The process should take about 24 hours to drain all the water from the pool.

Fill Material

The type of fill material can influence the final cost of the project. Most of the extra cost involves local labor prices and the level of the fill (full or partial). The most common materials used to fill a pool are dirt, gravel, and concrete.

  • Cost to fill a pool with dirt. The most common pool fill material, dirt costs from $8 to $12 per cubic yard. Pool fill dirt is usually a mix of gravel and dirt so it can compact easily. Some homeowners opt for gravel as a base layer and add dirt on top to cut down on costs. Professionals typically leave space on top for a layer of topsoil for landscaping purposes. To ensure the area has proper drainage and will not sink or swell over time, homeowners are advised to hire an engineer to oversee the filling process. Below are some common pool sizes and the average price ranges to fill a 6-foot-deep pool with dirt.
Pool SizeCubic Yards of DirtCost for Dirt
10 feet by 20 feet60$600 to $1,800
12 feet by 24 feet86$900 to $2,600
14 feet by 28 feet118$1,200 to $3,500
18 feet by 36 feet194$1,900 to $5,800
20 feet by 40 feet240$2,400 to $7,200
30 feet by 50 feet240$4,500 to $13,500


  • Cost to fill a pool with gravel. At $5 to $8 per cubic yard, gravel is the most budget-friendly option for filling a pool. Because the material does not compact tightly and is at risk of forming sinkholes, it’s not recommended for a full fill. Using gravel as a base layer with dirt on top can save money and result in a properly filled pool.
  • Cost to fill a pool with concrete. Pool demolition companies will not fill a pool with concrete because the price is significantly higher than the cost of filling it with dirt. A partial pool removal can use the broken-up concrete from the pool demolition to fill the space and then dirt to fill the remainder. If a homeowner is interested in building a new structure where the pool was located, a complete demolition of the pool is required. After the pool is filled, concrete slab installation can cost from $4 to $8 per square foot.

Project Scope

When a homeowner decides they no longer want to maintain a pool or they want to use the space for a different function, they have two ways to remove the pool: a full fill or a partial fill.

  • Full pool removal. The cost of a full pool removal can range from $4,000 to $16,000, with many homeowners spending about $9,000. This process involves removing everything from the pool cavity and hauling away all the materials. After the area is cleared, the space is filled and compacted, leaving it ready for new construction or landscaping. A full fill takes between three and seven days and costs more because of the time it takes to remove all traces of the pool.
  • Partial pool fill-in. A partial pool fill-in costs from $4,500 to $6,250. Instead of every piece of the pool being removed, the pool is collapsed in on itself while the bottom portion is left intact in the ground. To prevent soil movement, soil stabilization fabric is placed over the pool remains, and dirt is placed on top and compacted firmly so it will not settle. A partial fill takes about one to three days to complete, but there is the risk of improper drainage or sinking in the area. Before deciding on a partial pool fill-in, homeowners should consider that they need to disclose the partial pool removal when it’s time to sell the house.

Accessibility

The specialized equipment and tools that are needed for a pool removal are included with the removal estimate, but the pricing can increase if the area is difficult to access. For pool areas that have fencing or another type of enclosure, removal costs can increase. If a space is inconvenient for large equipment to access, smaller machinery may need to be used, which will increase the time spent removing the pool.

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Labor

It’s common for labor prices to run between $1,000 and $3,000 or more to remove a pool. The time it takes for the removal project depends on the pool material, size of the pool, project scope, and fill material. Removal of decking, fencing, and other enclosures can increase the labor costs. Labor pricing is usually more expensive in densely populated areas that have a higher cost of living and expensive materials compared to pricing in more rural areas.

How Much Does Pool Removal Cost

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Additional Costs and Considerations

When homeowners are budgeting for pool removal cost, it’s helpful to have information about any additional costs and considerations before they make any decisions. Some factors that can impact the final project price are the cost of hiring a structural engineer, pool deck removal, pool enclosure removal, landscape repair, dumpster rental, debris removal, and permit fees.

Structural Engineer

While some local building codes may require a structural engineer to be part of the pool removal and filling process, it’s recommended that homeowners hire one even if it’s not required. Hiring a structural engineer costs from $100 to $200 per hour, on average. For the area to be buildable after the pool is removed, an engineer’s density report and a demolition and compaction plan are necessary. The density report will show that the filled area is satisfactory for building and construction. Hiring a structural engineer can also ensure that the filled area has proper drainage and won’t sink or swell over time.

Pool Deck Removal

If an inground pool has a concrete deck surrounding it, it will also need to be removed. On average, the cost to remove and replace a concrete pool deck is $2 to $5 per square foot and, if needed, $4 to $8 per square foot to pour new concrete.

Pool Enclosure Removal

Removing a pool enclosure can cost from $800 to $2,000, depending on the enclosure material, size, local disposal fees, and accessibility. Removal of sturdy enclosure materials, such as steel or structural aluminum, will be on the higher end of the cost range.

Landscape Repair

Since removing a pool will damage the surrounding landscape, replacing the lawn, plants, and shrubs may be necessary. Some homeowners opt to protect what plants they can by moving them to a different area and using a protective covering on the grass. When the project is completed, the plants can be replanted and a landscaper can clean up the area. Hiring a landscaper costs between $100 and $200 per hour.

Dumpster Rental

The cost to rent a dumpster ranges from $220 to $500 per week. Having a dumpster is important to hold and haul away the debris from the pool removal. A pool removal company may include dumpster rental in its overall cost, though homeowners can also take this task on themselves if they can find a cheaper option.

Debris Removal

Removing debris from the project site can cost from $150 to $380, on average. The final cost depends on the weight of the materials, the size of the pool, and dump costs. If several trips need to be made, the more expensive the price of the debris removal. Contractors will often include the cost of debris removal in their project quote.

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Permits

As with the installation of inground pools, a permit may be needed to remove a pool. On average, a permit can cost approximately $200, depending on the local regulations and type of pool removal. It’s always good to double-check with the local building codes to see what types of permits are needed and the total permit fees. Many pool demolition contractors will secure the permits, but it’s a good idea for homeowners to know the requirements to ensure that all permits are obtained for the project. Some permits may take up to 3 weeks to get, so planning ahead is vital. An encroachment permit may be required if a public right-of-way is used to access the pool area, and a dumpster permit can cost from $10 to $75.

How Much Does Pool Removal Cost

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Removal Cost by Type of Pool

The type of pool being removed can also have an effect on the total cost. Common pool types include above-ground, inground, concrete, fiberglass, and vinyl.

Above-Ground

A homeowner may have installed their pool in the past because of the relatively low cost of an above-ground pool. Once they decide it’s time to remove or replace it, the removal costs can run from $300 to $800. Removing an above-ground pool with a deck can cost from $1,000 to $5,000, with many homeowners spending about $2,500. The range in pricing is influenced by additional costs related to backfill, landscaping, or any necessary excavation. Some professionals may charge less if the metal pool frame can be recycled.

The process of removing an above-ground pool begins with draining the pool; unhooking hoses, electrical connections, and pumps; disconnecting the pool walls and posts; removing the base sand; and hauling away the debris. It can take between one and four hours to remove an above-ground pool. Below are above-ground pool removal costs based on the type of removal.

Removal TypeAverage Cost
Above-ground pool only$300 to $800
Above-ground pool and deck$1,000 to $3,500
Semi-inground pool, deck, and backfill$1,500 to $5,000

Inground

How much does it cost to remove an inground pool? That depends on whether the removal is a partial fill-in or a full inground pool removal and fill-in. Like the initial inground pool cost, the cost to remove an inground pool can be expensive. While a partial fill-in is more budget-friendly than a full removal, the costs can run from $4,000 to $16,000 to remove a pool, and the cost to cover a pool permanently can range from $4,500 to $6,250. The reason for the wide span of pricing is the pool size. Below are some average pool removal costs based on the size of the pool.

Pool SizePartial Pool Fill-inFull Pool Removal
10 feet by 20 feet$2,000 to $6,200$4,300 to $10,800
12 feet by 24 feet$2,100 to $6,700$4,600 to $11,600
14 feet by 28 feet$2,300 to $7,700$4,900 to $12,900
15 feet by 30 feet$2,500 to $8,100$5,100 to $13,400
18 feet by 36 feet$2,800 to $9,300$5,600 to $15,100
20 feet by 40 feet$3,000 to $10,300$6,100 to $16,400
30 feet by 50 feet$4,100 to $14,700$8,000 to $22,500


Homeowners will want to keep in mind that while a partial fill-in costs less than a full removal, the area will not be suitable for new construction and they will need to disclose the fill-in project when they sell their home. A full removal can make an area buildable again, and homeowners do not have to disclose at selling time that the area once had a pool.

Concrete

Removing a concrete pool is typically the most expensive pool removal project. It’s common to use a partial fill-in for a concrete pool, since it reduces the overall cost. The price to remove a concrete pool runs from $3,000 to $15,000, with a full removal at the higher end of the price range. A full concrete pool removal costs more because it takes more time and effort to break apart and remove all the concrete debris.

Fiberglass

How much does it cost to remove a fiberglass pool? A fiberglass pool requires a full removal, since the material can’t be broken apart and left in the ground like concrete can. The cost to remove a fiberglass pool ranges from $5,000 to $15,000. If the fiberglass shell is in good condition and can be removed in one piece, it will cost less than the removal of smaller pieces. If the pool shell is in a bad condition, it will need to be broken up into more sections, which will increase the cost of removal.

Vinyl

Similar to a fiberglass pool, a vinyl pool cannot be partially filled. Removal of a vinyl pool costs from $3,000 to $10,000. The aluminum, plywood, steel, and concrete backing of a vinyl-lined pool can be removed only when it’s declared safe by a structural engineer.

How Much Does Pool Removal Cost

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Do I Need Pool Removal?

Some homeowners decide to fill in or completely remove their pool instead of opting for regular maintenance, pool resurfacing cost, or the process of closing the pool at the end of the season. There comes a time when even the best above-ground pools need to be removed or replaced. Below are some of the many reasons to remove a pool, which can include lack of use, safety concerns, high operating costs, and frequent repair requirements.

Lack of Use

If the family is no longer interested in using the pool or the children are grown and have moved away, removing a pool may be a good option. If the pool isn’t getting used, perhaps the space can be better used in another way.

Safety Concerns

Many homeowners with children and pets have safety as a number one concern when it comes to the backyard pool. Even with fencing or other enclosures, a neighborhood child could get into the pool when there’s no one around. Removing a pool can create peace of mind for many homeowners.

High Operating Costs

Depending on location, it can cost several hundred dollars a month to maintain a pool, not including repairs, and hiring a professional pool maintenance company can cost even more. Running a heater also adds to the monthly costs of having a pool.

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Frequent Repairs

The cost of repairs and replacement of pool parts and equipment can quickly expand beyond a household budget.

Homeowner Preference 

If a homeowner prefers to use the space for something else, like a vegetable garden, patio, or fire pit, removing a pool can provide valuable real estate.

How Much Does Pool Removal Cost

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Pool Removal: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional 

It’s highly recommended that homeowners hire a professional pool demolition company to remove a pool. Professionals have the proper tools and equipment to remove both above-ground and inground pools, and reputable contractors are insured and have the experience to acquire the permits, call for inspections, and protect the surrounding area. Hiring a structural engineer is vital to ensure proper drainage so that swelling and sinking of the removal area are avoided. If a homeowner wants to build on the removal site, professionals will need to be involved.

How to Save Money on Pool Removal Cost

Homeowners looking to save money on pool removal cost can decide on the cheapest fill option, but there are other ways to save without compromising on quality. Below are some tips to save money when it’s time to remove a pool.

  • Get multiple estimates. Get at least three estimates from reputable pool removal companies in your area to find a price that fits your budget.
  • Use a gravel base layer. Using all dirt to fill in the old pool is expensive. Using a layer of gravel at the bottom can help cut costs.
  • Do some of the work yourself. Removing fences or light-weight enclosures can be a DIY job and will save money on labor costs.
  • Ask about discounts. Some pool removal companies will offer discounts or seasonal coupons.

Questions to Ask About Pool Removal

Asking a pool professional the right questions about pool removal cost can help avoid miscommunication and save money. Below are some questions to ask about the pool removal process.

  • Are you insured?
  • What does the insurance policy cover?
  • Do you offer free estimates?
  • Does the estimate include permit fees and inspector costs?
  • How much experience do you have with debris storage and removal?
  • Do you include dumpster rental in the cost estimate?
  • Do you include debris removal and cleanup in the cost estimate?
  • Do you remove pool fencing or other enclosures?
  • Do you require a down payment?
  • Can you provide references?
  • Do you have examples of pool removal projects that you’ve completed?
  • How long have you been removing pools?
  • How long will the removal project take?
  • Who will remove the pool, or do you use subcontractors?
  • How much dirt will be in my yard during the removal process?
  • How long will it take to remove the dirt and rocks?
  • How will the excavation process impact my yard?
  • How will the excavation and removal affect the neighbors?
  • How will you protect my yard?
  • What is the pool removal process?
  • What warranties or guarantees do you have?
  • When can you start?
  • How can I leave a review of your services?

FAQs

Before homeowners decide on pool removal, it’s helpful for them to have all the available information about the removal process and the associated costs. Below are some frequently asked questions about pool removal.

Q. Can removing a pool increase the value of my property?

Yes, removing a pool can increase the value of your property. This is especially true if it’s the only pool in the neighborhood, the pool is more than 30 years old, or it takes up the majority of the backyard. Other reasons are if there is a very short swimming season, major repairs are needed to keep the pool in working order, there is no safety fence surrounding the pool, or it’s a vinyl-lined pool. On the other hand, if many neighbors have a pool, it’s less than 15 years old, and the pool and equipment are in good working order, then having a pool can boost the overall value of a home. In that case, homeowners might want to keep their investment and enclose it, and consider a removable pool fence cost.

Q. How long does it usually take to remove a pool?

It typically takes between 3 and 5 days to remove a concrete pool, depending on pool size and the removal process.

Q. Are there any permits or regulations that need to be obtained before removing a pool?

Pool removal permits cost approximately $200. Encroachment permits to use a public right-of-way may be required, and dumpster permits fees range from $10 to $75.

Q. Are there any potential environmental impacts to consider when removing a pool?

It’s important that the pool water that contains chemicals and chlorine is removed safely and not allowed to seep into the ground. Some locations may require the pool water to be drained into

the home’s sewer cleanout line so it can be processed at the water treatment plant. Other areas might approve of draining the water down the storm drain. Homeowners are advised to find out how the water should be drained in their area. An improperly filled pool area can lead to water retention and a soggy, unstable area.

Q. Can a pool be partially removed, such as removing the deep end but leaving the shallow end intact?

Yes, the depth of a pool can be changed. Some pool materials are easier to modify than others, with vinyl pools being the easiest and concrete being the most difficult to change.

Q. Will removing a pool affect my homeowner’s insurance rates?

Since there is always a danger of someone getting hurt or drowning in a pool, having a pool increases the homeowner’s insurance rates. Removing a pool can reduce the insurance rates.

Sources: HomeAdvisor, HomeGuide

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