- Filling in a swimming pool has a typical cost range of $2,700 to $19,000, with a national average cost of $6,000.
- Some of the main cost factors affecting this project include the type and size of the pool, the chosen fill material, the cost to drain water from the pool, and the labor cost for removal.
- A homeowner may want to remove a swimming pool from their home if they have safety concerns, don’t use the pool often, have high operating and repair costs, or just prefer to use their outdoor space for something else.
- Pool removal is a job best left to a professional because of the dangerous nature of demolition; a professional can also handle the legalities of any required permits.
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A swimming pool can provide homeowners with numerous benefits, including outdoor recreation, relaxation, and a potentially increased home value. But many homeowners will reach a point where they see their pool as more of a hindrance than a benefit, which can lead them to consider getting rid of their swimming pool and filling in the hole. Homeowners may opt to remove their pools for various reasons, such as safety concerns, maintenance costs, or simply wanting more space in their backyard. However, the process of removing a pool and filling in the area can be a daunting task, both financially and logistically.
According to HomeAdvisor and Angi, the cost to fill in a pool ranges from $2,700 to $19,000, with the average cost to fill in a pool around $6,000. It’s essential for homeowners to understand the costs involved and what to expect before they start the process. This guide explains all of the factors that affect the cost of filling in a pool, helps homeowners determine if filling in their pool is a good idea, and describes how to hire a professional to fill the pool.
Factors in Calculating the Cost to Fill In a Pool
Swimming pools are fairly complicated structures; there’s a lot to consider before installing a pool. If a homeowner has decided that keeping up with a pool is too much, it’s important that they understand the cost of removing and filling one in. Each potential cost factor is detailed below.
Pool Type and Size
First and foremost, the size of a pool determines the amount of material that will be required to fill in the hole and ultimately the cost. To find the size of a pool area, homeowners will need to calculate the cubic yardage. They will need to multiply the length of their pool by the width by the depth—all in feet—to find the volume. Then, they’ll divide the total by 27—the number of cubic feet in a yard. Homeowners can then use this cubic yardage to order the right amount of fill for their pool. The typical pool size is 12 feet by 24 feet. Assuming an average depth of 6 feet, the volume would be 64 cubic yards.
Homeowners will also want to consider the type of pool when determining the cost of filling it. Filling an inground pool is much more expensive than filling an above-ground pool, as above-ground pools require very little if any fill. Homeowners can expect to pay $300 to $800 to fill in an above-ground pool and anywhere from $2,000 to $16,400 to fill in an inground pool.
The cost to fill in a pool will depend on the material the pool itself is made of because certain types of pools require additional steps to fill in. Filling in a vinyl pool costs $3,000 to $10,000. Vinyl pools must be completely removed, rather than partially removed, as the inorganic material should not remain in the ground. Similarly, a fiberglass pool must be completely removed—this costs anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000. The cost to fill in a concrete pool ranges from $3,000 to $15,000. On the lower end of the range, the pool is only partially removed with much of the concrete left in the ground. On the higher end of the range, the entire concrete pool is removed from the ground and hauled away.
After the pool has been removed, you can fill in a pool with a few different materials. On average, these materials cost $5 to $15 per cubic yard, and there may also be a delivery fee of $150 or more. Common pool filler materials include gravel, dirt, fill sand, topsoil, and concrete. In most cases, a combination of materials are used in two or three different layers. The average cost of a filling with each of these materials is discussed in more detail later in the guide.
After paying the initial cost to fill a pool with water, a homeowner will need to pay to have it drained when removing the pool. Unless a homeowner opted for filling a pool with well water, then having it drained might feel like washing money away. Draining a pool will require renting or buying a submersible water pump, typically costing between $55 and $100. There are specific requirements for draining a pool in different municipalities, so be sure to request this information.
Removing and filling a pool is a laborious task. While equipment will certainly assist the project, a homeowner can expect a team of two to five people to be hard at work to fill in the pool. Pool-filling companies will likely quote a project as one lump sum cost; homeowners can expect to pay anywhere from $1,000 to $4,000 for labor costs to fill in a pool. Labor rates will vary by location, and factors such as access to the pool will affect how long the project takes and the total labor cost.
Additional Costs and Considerations
In addition to the cost factors discussed above, there are a few more that may apply in some situations. These additional costs and considerations are explained in detail below so homeowners can see if any are applicable to their specific pool-filling project.
Partial Fill-In vs. Full Pool Removal
Pool removal cost depends on whether the pool is partially or fully removed. It is possible to collapse a pool in on itself, leave it in the ground, and place fill material on top of it. This service typically costs $4,500 to $6,250. Soil stabilization fabric is placed on top of the remaining pool structure to prevent the material from shifting in the ground. A full pool removal, where all of the pool structure is completely removed before the hole is filled in, costs between $4,000 and $16,000, or $9,000 on average. Fully removing a pool is a more time-consuming process, but it assures there is nothing left in the ground that could shift or cause problems in the future.
A homeowner will need a structural engineer in order to build a swimming pool, and they may also need one to get rid of it. Structural engineers are typically only needed if the homeowner will be putting a new structure where the pool used to be. The engineer will ensure the new soil is properly compacted to handle the load of the new structure. The engineering analysis and calculations typically cost about $500.
Deck and Enclosure Removal
Removing a pool from a backyard may require removing more than just the pool. Some homeowners have a deck or enclosure around their pool, which will increase the cost of removal. The cost to install a pool screen enclosure is around $10,000 on average, and removal ranges from $800 to $2,000. Removing a pool deck costs $500 to $1,700; the cost to remove a simple wooden deck would fall at the low end of the range, and a thick concrete deck would fall at the high end.
The aftermath of removing and filling in a pool likely requires landscaping. At a minimum, a homeowner will need to level the ground and plant grass where the pool once was. Simply planting grass will cost anywhere from $400 to $1,600. Homeowners could consider adding additional landscaping features, such as trees, a garden, or a patio. In most cases, they will pay $50 to $150 per hour for a landscaper to put in various plants or landscaping elements.
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Removing a swimming pool often requires a building permit, though it does depend on the rules in the homeowner’s area. The cost of a permit for this type of project ranges from $50 to $250. Homeowners can work with their pool removal contractor to submit the necessary information to the local municipality and retrieve the permit.
Once the pool is removed, all that debris has to go somewhere. Most projects require a dumpster rental for all of the excess material. Dumpster rentals cost between $200 and $800 per week, or $380 on average, which includes hauling the dumpster to the house and disposing of the waste.
Removing and filling a pool presents homeowners with the opportunity to completely transform their backyard. Some homeowners choose to take advantage of their new real estate by installing a new patio, outdoor kitchen, gazebo, or other backyard features. Homeowners will want to consider how they will want to utilize their newfound space and what the associated costs may be when budgeting for this project.
Cost to Fill In a Pool by Type of Fill
To fill in a swimming pool, a few different materials can be used. In most cases, homeowners use a combination of two or three materials to properly fill the void left after removing a pool. Each type of fill and its associated cost is listed below.
|Type of Fill Material||Cost (per cubic yard)|
|Gravel||$5 to $8|
|Dirt||$8 to $12|
|Fill Sand||$15 to $40|
|Topsoil||$12 to $55|
|Concrete||$100 to $200|
Gravel is the most affordable option for filling in a pool. At $5 to $8 per cubic yard, gravel is cheaper than dirt, topsoil, or concrete. The downside is that gravel doesn’t do the best job of completely filling in the area where a pool used to be. Since each individual piece of gravel is much larger than a grain of dirt or sand, there will be voids in the gravel that can settle over time. Experts recommend putting down a base layer of gravel when filling in a pool to take advantage of the cheaper material and allow for drainage. Another fill material will need to be used on top of the gravel to fill in the rest of the hole.
Dirt is the most common material used to fill in the area where a pool used to be. It costs $8 to $12 per cubic yard and is usually easy to come by. Dirt is easy to compact, and unlike gravel, will pack together nicely with minimal voids. In most cases, dirt is used in conjunction with gravel to fill in a pool. The gravel is placed first at the bottom of the pit, followed by a thick layer of dirt. Dirt can be used as the exclusive fill material, but it is more budget-friendly to use both dirt and gravel.
Filling in a swimming pool with fill sand will cost $15 to $40 per cubic yard. Fill sand is essentially tiny rocks. They are smaller than gravel, and therefore compact better. Similar to gravel, fill sand should be used in conjunction with other fill materials. Homeowners may want to consider placing a layer of fill sand, then a layer of dirt that’s followed by a layer of topsoil to fill in the hole left after removing a pool.
Using topsoil to fill in a pool will cost $12 to $55 per cubic yard. Topsoil is typically used for the final layer at the top of the hole when filling in a pool. The topsoil layer can be anywhere from 18 to 36 inches thick and is the ideal substrate for new grass or other landscaping. Topsoil is better than plain dirt for growing plants since there are fewer rocks.
For $100 to $200 per cubic yard, a homeowner can fill in a pool with concrete. Filling in the entire hole with concrete is a recipe for disaster, but pouring a concrete slab in just the top 4 to 6 inches creates a beautiful new patio. Homeowners will want to work with a pool-filling company to have input on the size and shape of the concrete pad and to decide which fill is best beneath the concrete slab (gravel or dirt).
Do I need to fill in my pool?
While many homeowners are dreaming of installing a new pool, some are considering filling theirs in. If a homeowner can’t decide whether or not to fill in their pool, they can read through this list of reasons why filling it in may ultimately make sense.
Lack of Use
If the pool simply isn’t used enough, it may be time to remove it and fill it in. Whether the kids are no longer living at home, the weather isn’t cooperating, or swimming has simply lost its appeal, there are plenty of reasons a once-used pool is no longer necessary. Rather than continuing to put in the effort to clean and maintain the pool—or pay for one of the best pool cleaning services to do the work for them—it may be time for the homeowner to get rid of the pool altogether.
A pool can quickly become a liability for households with kids or pets. Even without those factors, pools can be dangerous and become the backdrop of accidents. Removing a pool eliminates this liability from the backyard and may even decrease homeowners insurance rates.
High Operating Costs
The initial installation cost of an inground pool, and even above-ground pool cost, is high enough as it is, but the cost doesn’t stop there. Pools come with expensive operating and pool maintenance costs. Over the years, a homeowner will spend thousands of dollars on pool cleaning and pool maintenance services. Getting rid of the pool means all that money once spent on chlorine and cleaning can be spent elsewhere.
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In addition to regular maintenance, pools will require repairs from time to time, especially with heavy use. The cost of these frequent repairs certainly adds up. Pool liner replacement costs and pool pump costs are expensive repairs that can really hurt the wallet. Finding a leak and making that necessary repair won’t be quite as expensive, but it’s certainly inconvenient. Filling in a pool ensures a homeowner will never have to deal with any of these costly repairs again.
There’s a chance the house a homeowner moved into had a pool, but they’re not particularly fond of it. Or maybe the homeowner has simply changed their mind, and the pool they once loved seems like a hassle. If a homeowner’s personal preference is not to have a pool, they can call a demolition contractor to get it removed.
Filling In a Pool: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
Removing a small, vinyl, above-ground pool could be a DIY task; however, most pool removal and filling projects will need to be done by an expert. Filling in a pit where a pool once was might seem like a straightforward task, but there are actually a few different variables to consider that warrant leaving this job to the professionals. First, demolition is inherently dangerous, so it is important that the person or people performing the job have the correct safety gear and knowledge of proper safety procedures to ensure the project is successfully completed and no one gets hurt.
Removing and filling in a pool likely requires getting a permit, calling for inspections, and using the proper equipment. For this type of project, a homeowner can hire a demolition contractor, a pool-filling specialty company, or even sometimes the one of the best pool installation companies. Whichever route a homeowner takes, the contractor will be able to walk them through each step of the process and answer many of their questions. Homeowners will want to choose a contractor that is insured so they can be sure they are covered during the demolition process.
How to Save Money on the Cost to Fill In a Pool
Filling in a pool can be a costly project, especially if any concrete is involved. To save some money during the filling, consider incorporating these budget-savvy tips.
- Consider a partial pool removal. If you are removing a concrete pool, you do not have to remove the entire thing. A partial removal breaks up the concrete and leaves some of it in the ground, which can then be covered up by dirt fill. This saves significant money that would be spent to haul the concrete to a disposal site.
- Use gravel as a fill material. While you likely can’t use gravel exclusively to fill in your pool, it is a cheap material that can help fill in some of the void. Use a bottom layer of gravel, followed by a layer of dirt, then finally a layer of topsoil to fill in the hole where your pool once was.
- Do your own landscaping. Once your pool is removed, if you have a green thumb, consider taking on the landscaping yourself. Throw down some grass seed or plant a few shrubs to fill in the area.
Questions to Ask About Filling In a Pool
Before hiring a company to fill in a pool, homeowners will want to properly vet their services. Asking the following questions to each of the companies under consideration can help homeowners fully understand their process and what to expect during the project.
- Do you offer free estimates?
- Will you provide a written quote and contract?
- Are you licensed and insured to complete this type of work?
- How long have you been in business?
- Can you provide references from similar projects?
- What do you recommend to use for fill material?
- Do you recommend a partial or full pool removal?
- How long will it take to fill in the pool?
- What happens if you hit rocks or groundwater?
- Do you require a down payment, and if so, how much?
- What is the payment schedule, and do you offer payment plans?
- Do you offer a warranty on your work?
- How soon can you schedule the work?
- How can I get in touch with you while the project is in progress?
- Do you take care of cleanup after the project is complete?
- Do you offer landscaping services once the hole is filled?
- What do you recommend I do with my yard to finish the project?
- How do you handle disputes or disagreements?
Removing and filling in a pool is usually a once-in-a-lifetime project. The following frequently asked questions can help ensure a homeowner knows everything there is to know about the process before getting started.
Q. How much does it cost to fill in a pool?
It typically costs $2,700 to $19,000 or $6,000 on average to fill in a pool. The exact cost depends on the size of the hole left after removing the pool as well as the type of fill material used to fill in the hole. Gravel is the least expensive fill material, concrete is the most expensive, and dirt and topsoil fall in the middle of the cost range. Other factors that affect the cost to fill in a pool are deck removal, enclosure removal, permits, draining, landscaping, and more.
Q. How much will it cost me to fill in a pool with dirt?
Filling in a pool with dirt costs $8 to $12 per cubic yard. Homeowners can determine the volume of their pool by multiplying the length, width, and depth in feet, and dividing that number by 27—the number of cubic feet in a yard—to find the total cost to fill their pool with dirt. The cost to fill a 12 feet by 24 feet by 6 feet pool with dirt is between $512 and $768 for the dirt-fill material.
Q. Can I restore a filled-in pool?
While a homeowner can restore a filled-in pool, it will likely cost the same amount as installing a new pool. Ideally, the filled-in pool was entirely removed before it was filled in. If there are still parts of the old pool in the ground, they will need to be removed first before the new pool can be installed. In addition, the homeowner will need to level the ground to prepare for the new pool installation. This can increase the overall cost of the new pool.
Q. How much will it cost me to fill a 10,000-gallon swimming pool?
Homeowners can expect to pay about $90 to fill a 10,000-gallon swimming pool with water. This assumes a rate of $9 per 1,000 gallons of water as charged by the local water authority. Depending on the homeowner’s local area, this cost could be much higher. If it’s possible to fill the pool with well water, there will be virtually no cost for the water.
Q. How long does it take to fill in a pool?
It will take anywhere from 2 to 7 days to fill in a pool. The biggest factor affecting the timeline is the size of the pool, but accessibility and the size of the contractor’s crew also play a role in how long the project will take. Adding new landscaping to the land once the area is filled in will further increase the timeline.
Q. Can I fill in a pool myself?
While a homeowner can fill in a pool themselves, it is not recommended as it can be a dangerous project. Additionally, a pool-filling professional will know what fill materials to use in each layer and how much each layer needs to be compacted to ensure the land does not settle over time. The expert will take care of obtaining the building permits and follow the necessary inspection procedures to ensure a smooth and successful project.
Sources: Angi, HomeAdvisor, Fixr, HomeGuide
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