Filling in the swimming pool

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simple man
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Filling in the swimming pool

Post by simple man » Thu Nov 10, 2016 10:52 am

I hate my swimming pool. Kids don't use it anymore and I finally gave up cleaning it myself. I am paying about $250/month to have it maintained, plus paying for anything that breaks (seems like more than it should be). I started adding up the numbers and thought, hey, I should just fill that sucker up and get back to a nice yard. Lawn cutters are a whole lot cheaper around here ($25 a week and I already use one for the other grass). Any ideas on how much it should cost to get it filled up? I am thinking they break up the concrete but just leave most of it in the whole, and add a lot of dirt and some sod. I would think it would pay for itself in 3 years-ish for a 33% return. Thoughts? What am I missing? Hit to resale value?? Thanks, as always.

likegarden
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Re: Filling in the swimming pool

Post by likegarden » Thu Nov 10, 2016 11:00 am

This all depends on your climate and local regulations. I live in a cool area and only a few houses have a swimming pool.
You could Google the title of your post and find a lot of information. I would also check with a realtor to find out if the loss of a swimming pool would decrease the value of your house. Then I would call the town to hear if a local law exists about pool removal.

orca91
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Re: Filling in the swimming pool

Post by orca91 » Thu Nov 10, 2016 11:04 am

My mom did this a few years ago for about the same reasons.... wasn't getting used enough anymore and costs were far outweighing the fun factor.

If I recall, they can't leave the junk in the ground for environmental reasons. For breaking it down, removal, and fill and sod, I want to say my mom paid $8000. Don't quote me on the price, may have been a little less.

At the time she was looking at that or replacing a leaking liner that would have cost about $10k. She found the filling it in to be money well spent.

It was great to have the pool while we were kids growing up, it got used a ton, and my folks used it for years after until health issues kept them out of it for the most part. I'm thankful my folks got the pool, but I also learned life lesson that I will not have a pool at any house I own. To each their own for sure, but no thanks for me.

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dodecahedron
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Re: Filling in the swimming pool

Post by dodecahedron » Thu Nov 10, 2016 11:04 am

Check with your local building inspector.

In the next town over, what you propose would be legal and you would not even need a permit to do it.

In my town, however, a building permit is needed and it required that all the pool walls, underground plumbing pipes and wiring be completely excavated and removed. A licensed electrician and plumber were required to inspect that all had been done safely and then the building inspector came by and signed off. I did it--found a trustworthy contractor who did a great job, going completely by the book. It cost me $16K but the space is now completely solid soil, and anyone who wants to build on it in the future (e.g., for greenhouse, addition to home, even--heaven forbid--putting in another pool!) will not have any problems doing so. My understanding is that the previous existence of a pool will not even have to be disclosed to future buyers because it has been removed so completely.

A big cost, but I never wanted the pool to begin with, and I have now reclaimed a prime sunny space in my otherwise largely wooded yard. I have engaged a wonderful landscape architect and am excited about redesigning my space. (Plus I will be saving a bunch in pool maintenance and operating costs, as well as reducing my property tax and homeowners liability bills.) I like the peace of mind that goes with knowing that the pool (which I always considered something of a scar on the natural landscape) is completely eradicated.

On the other hand, my sense is that many others have followed the easier cheaper route allowed in the adjacent town of just breaking stuff up and dumping it in, filling with dirt as needed, and those folks seem happy enough. So if your city/town allows it, you can save some money.

Teague
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Re: Filling in the swimming pool

Post by Teague » Thu Nov 10, 2016 11:29 am

Whoever does it, at a minimum some good-sized holes need to be punched in the bottom of the deep end. Otherwise you will have a very large bowl of mud soup as a permanent feature.
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ktd
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Re: Filling in the swimming pool

Post by ktd » Thu Nov 10, 2016 11:33 am

$6000 for 2 days for 20,000 gallons pool Texas.

bloom2708
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Re: Filling in the swimming pool

Post by bloom2708 » Thu Nov 10, 2016 11:38 am

Can you narrow the "open" window and simply reduce the spend?

$250/month for something you don't use or want seems sub-optimal. $8,000 to fill it in and remove also doesn't seem like good spend.

If you only use it in June, July and August, can you simply drain/winterize/cover for the other 9 months of the year? Or is drain/winterize/cover a year round option? Just close it down and put it "on hold".

I guess if you are in Phoenix, Las Vegas, Florida, So. Cali, then your season is much longer. But you could still shorten the season.
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simple man
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Re: Filling in the swimming pool

Post by simple man » Thu Nov 10, 2016 11:49 am

Thanks ktd; even better than I thought!

The draining issue I guess is a possibility...I had not thought of that, since we are in the South and no one drains their pools. But an interesting option.

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dodecahedron
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Re: Filling in the swimming pool

Post by dodecahedron » Thu Nov 10, 2016 11:59 am

bloom2708 wrote:Can you narrow the "open" window and simply reduce the spend?

$250/month for something you don't use or want seems sub-optimal. $8,000 to fill it in and remove also doesn't seem like good spend.

If you only use it in June, July and August, can you simply drain/winterize/cover for the other 9 months of the year? Or is drain/winterize/cover a year round option? Just close it down and put it "on hold".

I guess if you are in Phoenix, Las Vegas, Florida, So. Cali, then your season is much longer. But you could still shorten the season.


When you winterize, you don't completely drain the pool. (That would lead to serious ground/pool wall instability.) You lower the water level a bit when you winterize but don't drain completely. And the costs for opening and closing the pool each year used to run me $700 for starters (not counting the inevitable stuff that didn't work after a winter of disuse and needed to be replaced. Plus you have to buy a pool cover. And the water bags needed to hold the cover in place are unsightly, but you can get the ones with springs that look nicer but are much more expensive.

123
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Re: Filling in the swimming pool

Post by 123 » Thu Nov 10, 2016 12:13 pm

If you live in the South it would seem that removal of the pool might diminish your property value though I suppose it depends.

If this is your "forever" home and you expect to live there for your duration then I would consider removal of the pool. If you expect to sell at some point I might be tempted to keep it, it may depend on whether the neighbors have pools since a property should normally remain "conventional" with its neighborhood.

Maybe it's not the pool that doesn't fit in, maybe its you.
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dodecahedron
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Re: Filling in the swimming pool

Post by dodecahedron » Thu Nov 10, 2016 12:41 pm

123 wrote:If you live in the South it would seem that removal of the pool might diminish your property value though I suppose it depends.

If this is your "forever" home and you expect to live there for your duration then I would consider removal of the pool. If you expect to sell at some point I might be tempted to keep it, it may depend on whether the neighbors have pools since a property should normally remain "conventional" with its neighborhood.

Maybe it's not the pool that doesn't fit in, maybe its you.


A majority of my neighbors have pools (including both of my immediately adjacent neighbors) but I very rarely see anyone actually using theirs! A couple of folks have filled theirs in (though, as far as I can tell from public records, I may be the only one to do so in a completely official "by the books" manner) but most people just seem to muddle along. Maybe the fact that it is so costly to do it legally is impeding them, but I know that a lot of realtors say that many folks really do NOT want a pool. (We were in that category ourselves when we bought this house 27 years ago. Told our realtor we didn't want a pool, but this house was so perfect in every other way, we caved.)

But maybe it's different in the south.

mmarreco
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Re: Filling in the swimming pool

Post by mmarreco » Thu Nov 10, 2016 12:45 pm

I don't know where you are located, but $250/month seems very high - maybe you can shop around and reduce that?
We pay $90/month for pool service in S.Florida. And we have a very large pool.

nolapepper
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Re: Filling in the swimming pool

Post by nolapepper » Thu Nov 10, 2016 1:04 pm

My friend just did it and it costed about $10K. We live in the south. The community has a big pool and the kids like to go there with friends.

Mako
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Re: Filling in the swimming pool

Post by Mako » Thu Nov 10, 2016 1:09 pm

Visit http://troublefreepool.com. They are basically the bogleheads of pools and may be able to help you out, including how to maintain it yourself for a lot cheaper if you end up deciding you want to keep it.

head gamez
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Re: Filling in the swimming pool

Post by head gamez » Thu Nov 10, 2016 1:17 pm

Your pool doesn't have to cost $250/ month. I would venture to say that mine only costs about $250/ year including an estimated electrical cost.

Just as there are fine sites like Bogleheads for financial info, there are sites for pool info. I would recommend checking out troublefreepool.com. Lots of info there on how to properly maintain your pool yourself for very little cost. There is also info there about removing pools.

Our pool is ~30,000 gallons. I put about 160lbs of salt in the pool over the course of the spring-late summer. Another ~$25 for Stabilizer. An occasional dose of Borax or Baking soda. That's it. Of course, this is with a Salt Water Chlorine Generator. I installed one at my neighbors this spring for them. Cost them about $900 for the equipment and install was an evening of work. That upfront cost makes for painless / minimal upkeep and saved them about $100 a month of chemicals that they didn't even know what they were for.

Of course, all of this is useful only if you would prefer to keep the pool but lower the cost. Lots of folks grow tired of the pool, but in many cases that is because the money or time involved. If you can reduce (virtually eliminate that) then you may very well be happy.

btenny
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Re: Filling in the swimming pool

Post by btenny » Thu Nov 10, 2016 1:47 pm

Have you looked into doing a deck cover to "retire" your pool. This method closes down the pool permanently and covers the pool with a wooden or hardy board deck but does not remove the pool itself. See below for pictures and discussion and pictures and videos of the process. I have not done this but one of my neighbors did and he is very happy with the results. Good Luck.

http://www.deckover.com/faq.html
https://vimeo.com/62843183

pshonore
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Re: Filling in the swimming pool

Post by pshonore » Thu Nov 10, 2016 2:52 pm

If you do remove the pool, don't forget to notify your tax assessor and get your assessment lowered. When you add a pool they surely increase your assessment; I can think of no reason why removing it should not result in a lower tax bill.

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dodecahedron
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Re: Filling in the swimming pool

Post by dodecahedron » Thu Nov 10, 2016 2:58 pm

pshonore wrote:If you do remove the pool, don't forget to notify your tax assessor and get your assessment lowered. When you add a pool they surely increase your assessment; I can think of no reason why removing it should not result in a lower tax bill.


Absolutely. My town's tax assessor specifically told me that I should let her know when I remove my pool and she will automatically lower my assessment.

ponyboy
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Re: Filling in the swimming pool

Post by ponyboy » Thu Nov 10, 2016 3:03 pm

The cost would be however much it costs to rent a jack hammer. Bust out the bottom of the deep end...fill it in with shale and dirt. Should be more than $250 total.

alfaspider
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Re: Filling in the swimming pool

Post by alfaspider » Thu Nov 10, 2016 3:58 pm

Mako wrote:Visit http://troublefreepool.com. They are basically the bogleheads of pools and may be able to help you out, including how to maintain it yourself for a lot cheaper if you end up deciding you want to keep it.


Second this recommendation. Once you have a pool properly set up, it should be very low maintenance and low cost. My pool runs about $7 a week in the summer and about $7 a month in the winter once I got on the system recommended there. Before, I was spending tons of money on pool supply store junk.

It's also very easy to DIY a lot of pool stuff. I've replaced worn out and cracked plastic components with new parts online for less than 1/4 of what a pool company would charge.

Bonanza77
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Re: Filling in the swimming pool

Post by Bonanza77 » Thu Nov 10, 2016 10:00 pm

Of course it depends on where you are, local regulations, etc., but $8-10,000 might be on the low end. We were recently house shopping in Houston. We did not want a pool and got several quotes for pool removal at three different houses. The cheapest was $12,500. The highest was $22,000.

One thing that can affect the cost pretty dramatically is how easy/difficult it is to access the pool--for example, if they have to tear down your fence to get their heavy equipment in the backyard. Or if they have to remove the debris and can't get a front-end loader back there and have to take it all out with wheelbarrows.

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Re: Filling in the swimming pool

Post by LadyGeek » Thu Nov 10, 2016 10:08 pm

This thread is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum (swimming pool).
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Re: Filling in the swimming pool

Post by abuss368 » Thu Nov 10, 2016 10:24 pm

I would napalm it!
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gmc4h232
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Re: Filling in the swimming pool

Post by gmc4h232 » Fri Nov 11, 2016 4:59 pm

Skate park?

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Toons
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Re: Filling in the swimming pool

Post by Toons » Fri Nov 11, 2016 6:27 pm

Fill It .
Move On.
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TRC
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Re: Filling in the swimming pool

Post by TRC » Fri Nov 11, 2016 9:08 pm

simple man wrote:...I am paying about $250/month to have it maintained....


What do they do for $250 a month? That seems insanely high. We live in the Northeast and have an in-ground pool that takes us 20 minute tops a week to maintain. It's literally checking the skimmers once every couple of days and adding salt every couple of weeks. We have a vacuum robot that does the rest.

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SurfCityBill
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Re: Filling in the swimming pool

Post by SurfCityBill » Fri Nov 11, 2016 9:48 pm

simple man wrote:
...I am paying about $250/month to have it maintained....



What do they do for $250 a month? That seems insanely high. We live in the Northeast and have an in-ground pool that takes us 20 minute tops a week to maintain. It's literally checking the skimmers once every couple of days and adding salt every couple of weeks. We have a vacuum robot that does the rest.


I was thinking the same thing. I've had a pool for 20 years that I've self maintained. Takes about 20 minutes a week plus twice a year I overhaul the filter (2 hours) The pool maintenance guys here want $75 - $100 in SoCal.

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Watty
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Re: Filling in the swimming pool

Post by Watty » Sat Nov 12, 2016 8:00 pm

Your homeowners insurance may go down too so be sure to check on that.

squirm
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Re: Filling in the swimming pool

Post by squirm » Sun Nov 13, 2016 1:25 am

What is costing $250? Maintaining a pool isn't too bad, I have I've myself.

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dodecahedron
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Re: Filling in the swimming pool

Post by dodecahedron » Sun Nov 13, 2016 7:37 am

My pool took a lot of work to maintain because there were beautiful trees overhanging it. Lots of leaves and, starting in mid-July, a ton of acorns fell into the pool.

So lots of leaf raking.

And the pool cleaning robot needed to be constantly babysat. Its cloth filter bag would constantly fill up with acorns, it would get too heavy to climb walls to scrub them, so we'd have to go out to unplug it, let it sit in the water for 15 minutes to cool off motor, then haul it out, remove and empty the cloth filter bag, replace, and return the robot to the pool.

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Re: Filling in the swimming pool

Post by mouses » Sun Nov 13, 2016 9:33 am

Teague wrote:Whoever does it, at a minimum some good-sized holes need to be punched in the bottom of the deep end. Otherwise you will have a very large bowl of mud soup as a permanent feature.


Also, I have read that filled in pools that are intact can "float up" if the ground gets wet enough.

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