How Much Does It Cost To Remove or Fill In A Pool?
$300 – $2,500 Above Ground Pool
$4,000 – $16,000 Inground Pool
$4,000 – $16,000 Inground Pool
The average cost to fill in an inground pool is $4,000 to $16,000 for full demolition or $2,000 to $10,000 to fill in with dirt. An above ground pool removal costs $300 to $800, or $2,500 with a deck. The cost to get rid of a swimming pool depends on the size, depth, material, and accessibility.
Get free estimates from pool removal contractors near you or view our cost guide below.
Cost To Fill In A Pool
The average cost to remove a swimming pool is $2,500 to $12,000. An above ground pool removal costs $300 to $800, or $2,500 with a deck. The cost to remove an inground pool is $4,000 to $16,000 for a full demolition or $2,000 to $10,000 to fill in with dirt.
|Above Ground Pool Only||$300 – $800|
|Above Ground Pool + Deck||$1,000 – $3,500|
|Inground Partial Fill-In||$2,000 – $10,300|
|Inground Full Removal||$4,300 – $16,400|
Demolishing a pool is a large project that involves legal permits, heavy-duty equipment, and debris hauling, which is why it's important to hire a professional. Learn more about the types and costs of pool demolition below, or get free estimates from pool removal contractors near you.
- No longer pay ongoing upkeep and maintenance costs
- Makes the area safer for children and pets
- Reclaim your outdoor space for year-round use, or build a new pool
- Attracts more home buyers and may increase your home's value
Swimming Pool Removal Cost
Inground swimming pool removal costs $4,000 to $16,000 on average, while most homeowners spend $500 to $3,000 to demolish an above ground pool. The cost to get rid of a swimming pool depends on the size, depth, material, and accessibility.
|National Average Cost||$8,026|
|Average Range||$2,451 to $13,497|
Most cities require the backfill to be performed by a licensed engineer to reduce the risk of sinkage, swelling, or lack of drainage. For the area to be buildable again for future structures, a demolition and compaction plan along with an engineer’s density testing report is required.
Cost to Remove an Inground Pool
The average cost to remove an inground pool is $4,000 to $16,000, depending on the size, depth, material, and accessibility. Partially filling in an inground pool costs $2,000 to $10,000 and involves demolishing the concrete and using the rubble as backfill.
|Pool Size||Partial Fill-In||Full Removal|
|10’ x 20’||$2,000 – $6,200||$4,300 – $10,800|
|12’ x 24’||$2,100 – $6,700||$4,600 – $11,600|
|14’ x 28’||$2,300 – $7,700||$4,900 – $12,900|
|15’ x 30’||$2,500 – $8,100||$5,100 – $13,400|
|18’ x 36’||$2,800 – $9,300||$5,600 – $15,100|
|20’ x 40’||$3,000 – $10,300||$6,100 – $16,400|
|30’ x 50’||$4,100 – $14,700||$8,000 – $22,500|
- A partial fill-in is cheaper and takes less time, but the area is no longer suitable for new building structures. A partial removal punches holes at the bottom of the pool, then collapses the walls and concrete deck in, and fills the remaning area with dirt. A partial removal poses a risk of sinking or improper drainage if not filled correctly, and the fill-in must be disclosed to potential buyers.
- A full removal is more expensive and requires using an engineered backfill. All traces of the pool’s existence are removed, and the area can be declared as buildable again for future structures. Plus, your home's market value will not decrease, and you won't have to disclose the former pool site ever existed to potential buyers.
Not sure what method is best for your type of pool? Compare all the pros and cons of filling in a pool.
Above Ground Pool Removal Cost
An above ground pool removal costs $300 to $800 on average, depending on the size. Demolishing an above ground pool with a deck costs $1,000 to $5,000, depending on if landscaping, backfill, or excavating a sand base is required. Some contractors charge less if they can recycle the metal frame.
|Pool Only||$300 – $800|
|Pool + Deck||$1,000 – $3,500|
|Semi-Inground Pool + Deck + Backfill||$1,500 – $5,000|
Getting rid of an above ground swimming pool takes one to four hours depending on accessibility, and the removal process includes:
- Unhooking the hoses, pumps, and electrical connections.
- Draining the water with a submersible or sewer pump, draining the pool filter, and removing sand or stone dust.
- Unbolting and dismantling the walls and posts with hand tools.
- Removing the 2 to 5 tons of base sand.
- Renting a dumpster or hiring a junk removal service to haul off the debris.
- Hiring a landscaper to redesign the space or install a new patio or deck.
Full vs. Partial Cost To Fill In A Pool
Partially filling in a pool with dirt and rubble costs $20 to $80 per cubic yard, while a fill demolition that removes all traces of the pool runs $30 to $130 per cubic foot on average. Prices depend on the labor, pool material, and blend of backfill used.
|Fill Type||Time (Days)||Cost Per Cubic Yard||Average Cost|
|Partial Removal (Small)||1 – 3||$25 – $110||$2,000 – $7,000|
|Partial Removal (Large)||2 – 5||$15 – $80||$2,500 – $10,000|
|Full Removal & Backfill||3 – 7||$25 – $160||$4,000 – $16,000|
The pool's material and access for equipment also affects the labor cost of removal.
- Concrete and gunite pools require larger, heavier equipment and cost more to remove. The concrete needs to be broken up into pieces and hauled away. For cheaper fill-ins, two to six holes (12-24" wide and 2-3' deep) are drilled through the bottom of the pool and filled with 18” pea gravel to facilitate drainage. The edges and sides of the concrete pool are demolished and used as backfill.
- Vinyl and fiberglass pools are typically less expensive to remove, but partial removal is not possible. The entire fiberglass shell must be broken-up and hauled away. For vinyl-lined pools, all the steel, aluminum, plywood, or concrete backing must be removed after an engineer deems it safe.
Cost To Fill In A Pool With Dirt
The average cost to fill in a swimming pool with dirt is $1,000 to $6,000, including delivery, labor, compacted fill dirt, and topsoil. Structural fill dirt costs $10 to $30 per cubic yard, depending on the amount needed.
|Pool Size||Dirt Required (CY)||Dirt-Only Cost|
|10’ x 20’||60||$600 – $1,800|
|12’ x 24’||86||$900 – $2,600|
|14’ x 28’||118||$1,200 – $3,500|
|15’ x 30’||135||$1,400 – $4,100|
|18’ x 36’||194||$1,900 – $5,800|
|20’ x 40’||240||$2,400 – $7,200|
|30’ x 50’||240||$4,500 – $13,500|
*Based on pool that's 6' deep. Dirt only.
Always hire an engineer to supervise the filling and compacting process to prevent sinking or swelling from poor drainage.
Structural fill dirt needs to be heavily compacted, but not the top 3” to 12” of topsoil. Since dirt settles over time, another option is mixing the broken-up concrete from the demolition with fill dirt.
Filling In A Pool With Concrete
Pool companies will not fill in a swimming pool with concrete, as the cost is far higher than it is to fill a pool with dirt. However, a partial removal involves filling the pool with the broken-up concrete from the demolition, which is cheaper and requires less dirt.
A full swimming pool demolition is required if you are looking to build a new structure afterward. Installing a concrete slab costs $4 to $8 per square foot once the pool is filled in.
Cost To Restore A Filled-In Pool
The cost to restore a filled-in pool is $28,000 to $55,000 or as low as $11,000 for DIY. Pool restoration costs are equal to the cost of building a new pool, plus additional excavation costs to remove the concrete and dirt backfill mix.
New Pool Installation
When removing a pool to replace when a new one, you'll save on the excavation costs from not having to dig a new hole. The cost to build a pool is $1,800 to $5,000 for an above ground and between $28,000 to $55,000 for an inground.
Additional costs may apply when making the hole smaller, larger, or deeper, and updating or relocating the pool equipment. Demolition costs still apply for removing the old pool’s concrete, vinyl frame, or fiberglass shell. Changing a cheaper vinyl pool to concrete increases the home's value, and you'll save on costly repairs such as replacing the liner every 10 years.
Pros and Cons of Filling In A Pool
The most significant advantage of filling in a pool is eliminating all future swimming pool maintenance costs, which is $1,000 to $1,800 per year. Plus, removing a pool increases your home's value and makes it more appealing to buyers. Others look forward to getting their yard space back.
An experienced, quality-focused contractor will be invaluable when going over every aspect of the pool demolition before work begins.
Pool Demolition Cost Factors
Demolition companies include any additional costs in their estimates, such as permits and debris removal. Removing custom features like enclosures, decking, and fencing adds to your total cost. Plus, the larger the pool, the more landscaping work is required.
|Permits||$0 – $300+|
|Pool Draining||$0 – $175|
|Fill Materials||$500 – $7,000|
|Labor||$1,000 – $3,000+|
|Licensed Engineer||$500 – $1,000+|
|Dumpster Rental||$200 – $550|
|Debris Haul-Off||$150 – $380|
|Remove Pool Enclosure||$800 – $2,000|
|Remove Pool Deck||$500 – $1,700|
|Landscaping||$4 – $12 per square foot|
Additionally, some cities require all pump and lighting wiring to be disconnected and removed from conduits, and any associated gas lines disconnected and capped at the meter.
Pool Removal Permit
A pool removal permit costs $0 to $300+ and takes one to three weeks to obtain. Encroachment permits may be required for using a public right-of-way, and dumpster permits cost $10 to $75. Most contractors pull all the necessary permits and include the costs in their estimate.
The permit may include the location of the pool, its distance to nearby structures, a demolition, drainage, and compaction plan (from a state-licensed engineer), and a performance security deposit.
Even if a permit is not required, get an engineer to oversee the process to protect your house value by keeping everything up to code. Additional fees of $1,000+ may apply for architects, engineers, and surveyors, while some cities allow site plans costing under $90.
Hiring A Licensed Engineer
Hiring a licensed engineer costs $500 to $1,000 on average. For the land to be buildable again for future structures, a demolition and compaction plan along with an engineer’s density testing report is required. This report declares that the backfill area is suitable for future construction.
Although hiring an engineer is not always required by local building codes, ensuring the pool is backfilled correctly prevents sinking or swelling from poor drainage.
Dumpster Rental & Haul-Off Cost
Renting a dumpster costs $220 to $500 per week, while hauling away concrete debris ranges from $150 to $380 on average. Prices depend on the size of the pool and the weight of the materials, which affects the number of haulage trips and dump costs.
Pool Backfill Materials
The rule of thumb for filling a pool is 80% compacted structural fill and 20% topsoil. Compaction increases the density, prevents sinking, and is essential if planning a structure. Typically 90% to 95% compaction is required in most cities.
|Material||Cost Per Cubic Yard|
|Structural Fill Dirt||$10 – $30|
|Fill Sand||$15 – $40|
|Gravel||$15 – $75|
|Topsoil||$5 – $50|
Fill sand is made of tiny rock particles that compact well around the rubble, and pea gravel facilitates proper drainage.
Heavy equipment used in the process can damage the surrounding landscape. Hiring a professional landscaper costs $4 to $12 per square foot or $50 to $100 per hour on average. Protect your landscape by moving shrubbery or plants and using protective covering on the grass.
Additionally, the building a new deck costs $4,000 to $10,000, while installing a new concrete slab or patio runs $5 to $15 per square foot.
Cost To Remove A Pool Enclosure
The average cost to remove a pool enclosure is $800 to $2,000, depending on the size, material, and local dump fees. Removing a pool cage made of hurricane-rated material like structural aluminum or steel is harder and would be on the higher end of the cost range.
Cost To Remove A Concrete Pool Deck
The average cost to remove a concrete pool deck is $500 to $1,700, depending on the size. Concrete removal costs $2 to $6 per square foot depending on the complexity of the project and your location.
Tools & Demolition Equipment Cost
The tools and demolition equipment required are included in a professional's estimate, but rise if access to the pool is difficult. For a DIY project, renting equipment costs homeowners $1,000 to $3,000 on average.
Sometimes, fencing needs to be removed to provide easy access for the equipment. Otherwise, smaller equipment that fits through a gate takes longer to demolish and adds to your overall labor costs.
|Equipment||Rental Cost||Inground||Above Ground|
|Excavator||$300 – $1,500||✓|
|Plate Compactor||$40 – $200||✓|
|Jackhammer or Heavy-Duty Drill||$100 – $400||✓|
|Skid Steer||$200 – $1,000||✓|
|Bulldozer||$500 – $1,600||✓|
|Wheelbarrow||$12 – $70||✓||✓|
|Water Pump||$40 – $70||✓||✓|
|Dumpster||$220 – $500||✓||✓|
|Hand Tools||$25 – $350||✓||✓|
Frequently Asked Questions
Who Fills In Swimming Pools?
Both pool companies and demolition contractors fill in swimming pools. Be sure to hire a pool removal contractor who is licensed, bonded, and insured.
Can my landscape, septic tank, or underground utilities be damaged from pool removal?
The heavy equipment used in pool removal can damage your property and utilities. Be sure to hire a licensed and experienced demolition contractor.
Can You Move an Inground Pool?
Moving an inground fiberglass pool is possible, but costs are comparable to buying and installing a new pool. Excavation is required to extract the old pool and prepare the new site. Plus, the cost to relocate pool equipment such as plumbing and electrical connections runs $1,000 to $3,000.
Should I Fill in My Pool?
You should fill in a pool if you need to reclaim the yard space and are tired of paying for pool maintenance and repairs. A partial pool removal costs about 50% less than a full removal but has fewer long-term benefits.
Reasons to fill in a pool:
- Expensive upkeep and repair costs
- Danger to children and pets
- Complex chemicals
- You need the yard space for another structure.
- Removing it will increase the value of your property.
- You are tired of animals and various pests attracted to the pools.
How Much Does It Cost to Drain a Pool?
The average cost to drain a pool is $70 to $175, depending on the size and gallons of water. Renting a small submersible water pump to drain a pool yourself costs $40 to $70 and takes about 24-hours.
Cost To Fill A Pool With Water
The average cost to fill in a pool with water is $80 to $160 for adding 15,000 to 30,000 gallons to your water bill. Bulk pool water delivery by truck costs $500 to $1,500 or $0.042 to $0.074 per gallon based on the amount needed and if it is already chlorinated. Using a garden hose takes 30 hours to fill a pool versus 2 hours with delivery.
DIY Pool Removal
Inground pool removal is not a DIY job and requires experience, permits, inspections, a crew, renting equipment, and insurance to ensure a safe demolition. Hiring professionals is recommended to plan the backfill process to avoid any drainage issues and to protect the integrity and value of your home.
|Item||Do It Yourself||Hire a Contractor|
|Cost||$1,800 to $6,200||$2,000 to $16,400|
|Time||Could take weeks or months||Set time frame for complete project|
|Legalities||Work within local regulations to get permits and hire inspectors||Professionals handle all permits and inspections|
|Equipment||High cost to rent equipment||No need to rent equipment|
|Insurance||No construction insurance||Insured and licensed to do the work properly|
|Number of Workers||Just you and possibly a friend or two||Crew sized properly to get the job done quickly|
|Cleanup Costs||On your time||Cleanup costs are included|
|Debris Disposal||Rent a dump truck and pay for hauling and disposal||Crew provides trucks and pays for hauling and disposal|
Even for above ground pools, hiring experienced contractors ensure the pool gets disposed of properly and safely. If you decide to perform some of the demolition yourself, you'll still need to hire landscaping services to bring the area back to life.
How To Fill In A Pool
Filling in an inground pool depends on the size and backfill materials used. The most cost-effective removal is to fill the pool with its own demolished rubble plus dirt and topsoil, but some cities won’t allow this partial removal.
When getting rid of a pool permanently, a professional will:
- Get an engineer’s demolition and compaction plan
- Drain all the water
- Remove the pool accessories – ladders, diving boards, etc.
- Remove the pump, filters, and lights and cap all gas and electrical lines
- Pull up the pool deck and pool enclosure
- For partial demolition, 12" of gravel is laid at the base of the pool
- Tear down pool wall liner, shell, or concrete walls; remove the pool floor and drains
- Haul away all the materials such as concrete, gunite, fiberglass, steel, and re-bar.
- Fill the space with 80% compacted fill material and cover with 20% topsoil
- Grade the dirt around the pool area to provide solid footing, and repair all landscaping damage
Hiring A Pool Demolition Contractor
Once you've decided to hire a professional, be sure to ask plenty of questions and get at least three quotes from demolition contractors with good reviews.
Questions to Ask
- Are you bonded, licensed, and insured? What does it cover?
- How many years have you been removing pools?
- Will you provide references from recent customers?
- Is cleanup and debris removal included in your bid?
- Does your quote include obtaining permits and getting inspections?
- Do you offer a warranty on your work?
- What will be done to protect my property from damages?
- How much of a down payment is required?
- Will you be using subcontractors?
- When can you start and finish?
- Read reviews and check out their previous work on HomeGuide, Google, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
- Verify their licensing and insurance is up to date.
- If referrals are local, ask if you can see the work in person.
- Always get estimates in-person, and be skeptical of low bids.
- Ask for a written estimate with an itemized list.
- Never pay cash and figure out a reasonable payment schedule upfront.
Get free estimates on HomeGuide from trusted pool removal contractors:
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Cost To Remove Swimming Pool. (2019).
What is the best type of swimming pool removal for YOU? (2013).
An Easy, Cost Effective Way To Fill In/Remove Your Old Swimming Pool. (2020).
Choose the Right Inground Pool Removal Method. (2019).
Fiberglass Pool Removal Step by Step Process. (2017).
Above Ground Pool Removal. (n.d.).
Cheap Above Ground Pool Removal. (2015).
Swimming Pool Demolition Requirements. (n.d.). PDF File.
Residential Pool Demolition/Fill In. (2014). PDF File.
The Pros & Cons of an Inground Pool Removal. (2018).
How to Properly Remove an Inground Pool. (2018).
Austin Swimming Pool Demolition & Removal Services. (2019).
What is the cost to remove a one story pool screen enclosure? (2014).
Why Do I Need a Permit for my Pool Removal? (2011).
Dirt Ninja. In Ground Swimming Pool Demolition Time Lapse (2015).
Swimming Pool Removal Requirements. (2018). PDF File.
Swimming Pool Demolition Requirements. (n.d.). PDF File.
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Swimming Pool / Spa Demolition Requirements. (n.d.).
Restore a filled in pool. (2007).
Can My Fiberglass Pool or Spa be Moved? (2016).
20+ Pool Removal Contractors in Ashburn, VA
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