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In-ground pool removal. Any thoughts?

  1. #1
    xxaarraa
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    In-ground pool removal. Any thoughts?

    Hey folks,

    I have an in-ground pool in the back of the house that I would like filled in and the space converted to parking. I am looking for thoughts and pointers from folks that have undertaken similar projects.

    Couple of decision points I'd like some thoughts on:
    • In-ground pools have a 'liner' correct? A brief online search reveals that those liners need to be removed and disposed of before the pool can be filled in with dirt.
    • Once it's all filled in, we are debating a few options on what to do with the space. Ideally, we'd like for it to be mixed use - half lawn/backyard and half parking. However, just paving everything and turning it all into parking is the maintenance-free option correct? Unless there is some kind of astro turf or fake grass for part of it that would be similarly maintenance free as paving it all?
    • What about cost of either option? Is astro-turf/grass cheaper than full paving or paving the cheaper option? This is a rental property and I will not be living there, so I am biased towards the more maintenance-free / cheaper in the long run option


    What type of contractor would do a job like this? I called a couple of demo companies in the area and one of them had a tip - he said he would sub-out the job to a landscaper anyway and suggested I call landscaping companies directly. Does that sound right? Would this be a landscaping job?

    Lastly, any wild guesses as to what a project like this would cost? I have googled, and plan on getting more than one quote before pulling the trigger, but just curious what I am looking at here.

    Thanks in advance.

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  2. #2
    ^ It's my bike and my car tls25rs's Avatar
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    Re: In-ground pool removal. Any thoughts?

    Excavation company? Completely remove the pool and back fill. If pool remains have any possibility of retaining water it can cause issues with whatever you put over the top.

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  3. #3
    Lifer gixxer72's Avatar
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    Re: In-ground pool removal. Any thoughts?

    The entire pool needs to be removed. Most have galvanized steel walls with a kicker brace every few feet. The walls and kickers are poured in with varying depths of concrete. Removed one via jackhammer once, not fun.

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    Lifer tsorfas's Avatar
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    Re: In-ground pool removal. Any thoughts?

    I was involved in exactly that few years ago. Landscaping company did a nice job and made it grass and patio.
    It was by far the cheapest option. We knew the guy very well so many thing may or may not happened according to code...
    Example: liner was definitely not removed.
    The pool we closed hadn’t been used in 15 years and it was originally built in the 60/70s

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    Resident Turkey Tricky Mike's Avatar
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    Re: In-ground pool removal. Any thoughts?

    We had a gunite pool/frog pond 86'ed a few years back.

    Our town allows you to leave it in the ground if you punch a big hole in the bottom of it first, so that's what we did. I'd have preferred to have the whole joint removed but the quotes to do that were yuge money. Fuck it.

    I went around the interior with a can of orange spray paint & had them demo the walls down to my line.

    I had to add some loam after a year or so of settling, but haven't had to do that since.

    We don't *have to* disclose to a buyer, bet will when that day comes.

    It's effectively disappeared.

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    Lifer jasnmar's Avatar
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    Re: In-ground pool removal. Any thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tricky Mike View Post
    We had a gunite pool/frog pond 86'ed a few years back.

    Our town allows you to leave it in the ground if you punch a big hole in the bottom of it first, so that's what we did. I'd have preferred to have the whole joint removed but the quotes to do that were yuge money. Fuck it.

    I went around the interior with a can of orange spray paint & had them demo the walls down to my line.

    I had to add some loam after a year or so of settling, but haven't had to do that since.

    We don't *have to* disclose to a buyer, bet will when that day comes.

    It's effectively disappeared.
    This makes sense to me. There at least needs to be significant drainage in the bottom.

    I worked on a parking lot project 20ish years ago (I just designed the lighting / electrical systems, but had to sit in on the construction meetings). The lot had previously been gravel parking. We were upgrading to asphalt. As the contractor was preparing the base layers with a roller they were getting a lot of "pumping" of the soil, but only in specific places. After some borings / research it was figured out that there were previously some houses in the area with basements (this was in Oklahoma, where basements are much less common than here). They demolished the houses, but left the basements. The basements were effectively filled with water that couldn't' escape and even 10' of soil wouldn't stabilize it (I have no idea what type of soil was actually used, I didn't care, but it certainly could make a difference). They ended up writing a change order to drill out the basements on something a 3'x3' grid where all of the "foot prints" of the houses were.

    Ideally you'd remove the "horizontal" part of the pool. At a minimum you want to poke some holes in it to allow drainage. Just filling it full of fill is a bad idea in my opinion.

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    TWINS! xrocket21's Avatar
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    Re: In-ground pool removal. Any thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tricky Mike View Post
    We had a gunite pool/frog pond 86'ed a few years back.

    Our town allows you to leave it in the ground if you punch a big hole in the bottom of it first, so that's what we did. I'd have preferred to have the whole joint removed but the quotes to do that were yuge money. Fuck it.

    I went around the interior with a can of orange spray paint & had them demo the walls down to my line.

    I had to add some loam after a year or so of settling, but haven't had to do that since.

    We don't *have to* disclose to a buyer, bet will when that day comes.

    It's effectively disappeared.
    WINNER WINNER, CHICKEN DINNER

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  8. #8
    xxaarraa
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    Re: In-ground pool removal. Any thoughts?

    Thanks for the thoughts everyone. Appreciate it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tricky Mike View Post
    I went around the interior with a can of orange spray paint & had them demo the walls down to my line.
    Quote Originally Posted by jasnmar View Post
    Ideally you'd remove the "horizontal" part of the pool.
    Could you both please say a bit more about what you mean? What do you mean by removing a part of the pool upto the paint line?

    Here's a picture of the pool back when it was in service. It has not been in service in the last 18 months - drained and covered with a tarp.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails In-ground pool removal. Any thoughts?-magoun-pool-1-jpg  

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  9. #9
    Lifer Falko's Avatar
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    Re: In-ground pool removal. Any thoughts?

    What is the pool made of? Does it have concrete sides or is it just a liner surrounded by sand? My neighbors had their pool removed, it was only a liner. Guy came in with a backhoe and ripped the liner out, smashed up the concrete and trucked most of it out. The hardest part of the project was getting enough clean fill to dump in the hole as he didn't want to buy anything expensive. He just turned it into a lot of weeds.

    If you are going to pave it, make sure it is compacted as they fill it or it will settle and destroy the asphalt. If it is just grass, you can add more fill as it drops over the years. Turf?? You have to add in good drainage to keep it from holding water and rotting.

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  10. #10
    xxaarraa
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    Re: In-ground pool removal. Any thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Falko View Post
    What is the pool made of? Does it have concrete sides or is it just a liner surrounded by sand? My neighbors had their pool removed, it was only a liner. Guy came in with a backhoe and ripped the liner out, smashed up the concrete and trucked most of it out. The hardest part of the project was getting enough clean fill to dump in the hole as he didn't want to buy anything expensive. He just turned it into a lot of weeds.

    If you are going to pave it, make sure it is compacted as they fill it or it will settle and destroy the asphalt. If it is just grass, you can add more fill as it drops over the years. Turf?? You have to add in good drainage to keep it from holding water and rotting.
    I called the previous owner today and got some information on the pool.

    It's an 8 inch thick concrete wall (he called it a knee wall) that's 3 feet deep from ground level. The floor of the pool is supposedly molded sand. He said there is a vinyl liner all around.

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  11. #11
    Lifer Falko's Avatar
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    Re: In-ground pool removal. Any thoughts?

    Most people used to rip the liner out and smash the concrete to fill the hole and then add fill to smooth it out. I don't think you are allowed to just leave the concrete in the hole anymore.

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  12. #12
    Resident Turkey Tricky Mike's Avatar
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    Re: In-ground pool removal. Any thoughts?

    Leaving the concrete depends on the town/city.

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    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: In-ground pool removal. Any thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tricky Mike View Post
    We had a gunite pool/frog pond 86'ed a few years back.
    Didnít Gunite have asbestos? A neighbor bought a house with a gunite pool and they wound up restoring it as that was cheaper than disposal.

    We know contractors near Boston that do this work but OPís profile doesnít say where he lives.

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    Last edited by Garandman; 02-06-18 at 09:17 AM.
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    Don't bother me! R7's Avatar
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    Re: In-ground pool removal. Any thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by xxaarraa View Post
    I called the previous owner today and got some information on the pool.

    It's an 8 inch thick concrete wall (he called it a knee wall) that's 3 feet deep from ground level. The floor of the pool is supposedly molded sand. He said there is a vinyl liner all around.
    Rip out the liner, fill the hole in with gravel, have a mason add 2 rows of cmu block to the top of the pool concrete knee wall , and there’s a foundation for a small garage.

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    Backwoods lobster boy number9's Avatar
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    Re: In-ground pool removal. Any thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Garandman View Post
    Didn’t Gunite have asbestos? A neighbor bought a house with a gunite pool and they wound up restoring it as that was cheaper than disposal.

    We know contractors near Boston that do this work but OP’s profile doesn’t say where he lives.
    xxaarraa is in Medford or Medfield I think.

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    Lifer gixxer72's Avatar
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    Re: In-ground pool removal. Any thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by xxaarraa View Post
    I called the previous owner today and got some information on the pool.

    It's an 8 inch thick concrete wall (he called it a knee wall) that's 3 feet deep from ground level. The floor of the pool is supposedly molded sand. He said there is a vinyl liner all around.
    The floor and walls up to the panels are most likely a vermiculite mix. It's pretty solid at this point, but would still come out easier than the concrete poured on the backside of the walls. Molded sand wont hold shape for the liner installation.

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  17. #17
    is not wearing pants Point37's Avatar
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    In-ground pool removal. Any thoughts?

    whatever you end up filling the hole with compact the hell out of it or spray it down with water so and then let it settle for a year then come back and level whatever sank then do whatever you want to do with it...could put down some filter fabric and bunch of stone and make a drywell with some of it if you have any roof leaders or a sump pump to pipe to it to remove water from the property but i wouldn't suggest this if you're going to pave it, only if you're going to put down fake grass or some other porous material...also check with the town to make sure you're not going over your impervious area requirement by paving it...my bro in law just put in astroturf in their yard with sand in it...it not a very large area but easy to clean up with for dog crap and leaves you can just blow off with a leaf blower...not sure how hot it gets if it's in direct sunlight though

    as far as demo goes...get a few buddies and a hammer drill rental (or 2) from home depot and drill a grid of holes in the walls at a 45 degree angle down and mix up some dexpan slurry and dump it in the holes...watch the walls crack and use the pieces as fill for your hole...i used this stuff to break some rocks in my yard...works like a charm

    How to break up concrete and rocks for removal? Dexpan Demolition










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    Last edited by Point37; 02-06-18 at 09:58 AM.
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    Resident Turkey Tricky Mike's Avatar
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    Re: In-ground pool removal. Any thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Garandman View Post
    Didn’t Gunite have asbestos?

    Truth be told I'm not sure it was gunite per se.
    It was concrete and reeebaah.

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  19. #19
    Don't bother me! R7's Avatar
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    Re: In-ground pool removal. Any thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tricky Mike View Post

    Truth be told I'm not sure it was gunite per se.
    It was concrete and reeebaah.

    Silica (in concrete, stone, sand, drywall/plaster) is the new asbestos. It is equally, if not more harmful to your lungs than asbestos.

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    Re: In-ground pool removal. Any thoughts?

    Just remove it asbestos you can.

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    Resident Turkey Tricky Mike's Avatar
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    Re: In-ground pool removal. Any thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by R7 View Post
    Silica (in concrete, stone, sand, drywall/plaster) is the new asbestos. It is equally, if not more harmful to your lungs than asbestos.
    Sometimes I wonder why I bothered quitting smoking.

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  22. #22
    xxaarraa
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    Re: In-ground pool removal. Any thoughts?

    OK I got the first of the quotes for pool removal from a wrecking company.

    Pull town permit, remove liner, drill drainage holes in the bottom, break up the pavers that are all around around the pool area now, then fill in with dense grade gravel. 3 days start to finish. He quoted me $11k.

    The way I understand it, you have to get it to this point before I can do other things with that space such as:

    - Put loam on top of the dense grade and plant grass (OR)
    - Put down an aggregate base on top of the dense grade and then finishing grade on top to pave it and turn it into parking

    Does that sound right? If it's $11k just to fill in the pool and prep the gravel before I do anything with that space, I will most likely break up the project over a few years. i.e., fill it it now and at least reclaim the space to be usable and then pave over a few years down the line.

    How is dense grade gravel to live with? Can people or pets walk over it? Does it get mushy or muddy when it rains?

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    Last edited by xxaarraa; 02-16-18 at 08:12 AM.

  23. #23
    Lifer Imbeek's Avatar
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    Re: In-ground pool removal. Any thoughts?


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    Last edited by Imbeek; 02-16-18 at 07:24 AM.

  24. #24
    Soul Rider Paul_E_D's Avatar
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    Re: In-ground pool removal. Any thoughts?

    THat is basically sand with a little stone in it. You're going to need to cover that asap or it will wash away in heavy weather.

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  25. #25
    Don't bother me! R7's Avatar
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    Re: In-ground pool removal. Any thoughts?

    Maybe densgrade is different in different areas, but I bought densgrade gravel for the driveway of my last house and it packs down like concrete. It’s basically washed, sifted gravel with fine crushed stone mixed in.
    The key to compaction with pretty much any fill (other than loam) is to make sure it’s compacted in layers.

    If it’s like the densgrade I bought, it will not turn to mud and won’t ever get soopy.

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