How Much Does It Cost to Remove a Pool?

Written by Michael Dean
January 10, 2024

calculator next to construction equipment removing a pool

As fun as it is to have a pool in your backyard, there comes a time when you must part ways with it. The reasons might range from the pool being too costly, needing extra space in your yard, or the pool maintenance is simply too much to handle. Whatever the reason, it’s not an easy choice to remove a pool, and the actual execution of it is even more brutal.

If you are considering removing a swimming pool from your yard, you’ll need to determine how much the project would cost, including equipment and labor. I will break all of this down below. Let’s dive right in!

Main Takeaways 

  • The cost to remove a pool can range anywhere between around $500-$22,000.
  • Pool removal can be either a full removal or a partial one, which relies on your budget and requirements.
  • Seek quotes from different pool removal professionals to compare prices and services to get an idea of your regional rates.

How Much Does It Cost to Remove a Pool?

The cost of removing a pool varies depending on a few factors, including the size and type of the pool, the area you’re in, disposal fees, the contractor’s rate, and special permits. On average, though, removing a pool can range between around $500 to $22,000. Category-wise, however, it can look like this:

  • Above ground pools are easier to remove and, therefore, a lot lighter on the wallet. Expect removal to cost between $500 on the low end to around $3,000, although an average amount is usually $900. If you have a small above ground pool, you may even be able to DIY the entire project, which can cost next to nothing.
  • Inground concrete pools are the most expensive to remove and can cost A LOT more to get rid of, ranging from $4,000 and $22,000.

In the next section, I’ll run through the ins and outs of the cost factors behind pool removal.

Pool Removal Cost Factors

As I mentioned above, your pool can cost between $500 and $22,000 to remove, which is a massive cost range, to say the least. So, what affects this price, and how can you cut down on removal fees?

Type of Removal

There are two types of pool removals: complete removal and partial removal. A total removal involves removing the entire pool structure, with all pool materials disposed of and the ground filled and compacted, which is costlier and more time-consuming. That said, complete removal is better for your property long-term. On the other hand, partial removal involves collapsing just a portion of the pool cavity and filling it in. This is less expensive and quicker but also makes the area unstable for future construction.

Pool Type

The type of pool you have will impact the cost. For instance, concrete pools are more expensive to remove than vinyl or fiberglass pools—the former is more labor-intensive and requires heavy machinery to break up and dispose of materials. Vinyl and fiberglass pools are much easier since you can remove the liner or the fiberglass shell and then fill in the excavated section.

Above Ground vs. Inground

Inground pool removal is a more labor-intensive and costly job when compared with above ground pool removal. Removing an inground pool requires extensive excavation using heavy equipment, disposal of materials, and engineering to restore the area once the pool has been removed. While above ground pools aren’t a cakewalk to remove, they’re a bit easier to haul away in the back of the truck when their time has come.

Labor Costs

If you engage a contractor for this work, you will pay more for the project as the contractor will carry out the removal of the pool. The cost of labor depends on regional labor rates, the expertise of the contractors involved, and the size of the project. But in general, you can expect to pay between $900 to $4,000 in labor for a contractor.

Pool Size

Size matters when it comes to the cost of removing a pool. Larger pools will naturally need a lot more time, labor, and equipment to remove, which equals higher costs.

Pool Drainage

Before the pool is removed,  you’ll need to drain the water. You can do this yourself, but you need to ensure it is done safely and legally. Check with your local municipalities on any guidelines you’d need to follow to remove the pool water, and contact a professional if you are uncomfortable or unsure of doing it yourself.

Fill Material

After pool removal, you’ll need to fill the void left behind. You want to use good quality materials to fill the pool so the ground doesn’t collapse and you don’t have drainage problems. The most common fill materials are dirt, gravel, and sand. 

Gravel is an affordable option at less than $10 per cubic yard, but it does not compact well and can cause the surface of your yard to shift.

Dirt is a good option, though it generally costs a bit more than gravel at around $12 per cubic yard. You can use a mix of gravel and dirt to get the best bang for your buck.

Sand is the cheapest option, but I never recommend filling your pool with sand. This is because when it rains, the sand can become a liquid-like paste, forming sinkholes and massive shifts in your yard.

Topsoil is necessary for the top layer of fill material. This type of dirt is rich in nutrients and can be used to grow grass or other plants in your yard. Good quality topsoil can cost as much as $50 per cubic yard.

Landscape Repair

Once the pool is removed, you’ll need to restore the area to its original state, which generally requires landscape repair. Landscaping companies can vary in cost but generally are around $80 to $200 per hour.


Depending on your location, you may need to obtain permits for pool removal.

Pool removal can be a handful to deal with, but more or less, your budget will mainly depend on the factors discussed above.

Should You Remove Your Pool?

This isn’t an easy decision at all. A pool, after all, is widely considered a valuable investment that adds incredible value to your property. In certain circumstances, however, that value may be overshadowed by a few factors. In this section, I’ll go over some reasons you may have to remove a pool in your yard.

It’s Low Use, High Maintenance

You’re just not using the pool as much as it needs to be maintained. Removal becomes a sensible choice if you spend more time cleaning the pool than swimming in it, or if pool chores are simply too much to handle.

It’s Taking Up Space You Need

Assess how the pool impacts your property. If you feel that it’s occupying a lot of valuable space that you could utilize more effectively, or you just really need that extra space, it might be time to get rid of the pool.

It’s Too Expensive

Let’s face it. Pools cost money to run. Swimming pools come saddled with constant, ongoing maintenance, repairs, water, and energy bills. If the costs outweigh the benefits, or you’re short of cash and looking to cut expenses, removal becomes a practical and necessary choice.

It’s Hurting the Environment

Pools can be an environmental drain, consuming large amounts of water, energy, and chemicals. They’re also not great for the local critters community. So, if you want to shift to a more sustainable lifestyle, pool removal might make sense.

It Has Some Major Issues

If you have an especially old pool or your pool has significant issues such as major leaks and structural damage, it may be a better option to get rid of the pool than to continue using it and shell out large sums of money to repair it.

DIY vs. Hiring a Professional for Pool Removal

Removing a pool by yourself is not child’s play. It calls for careful planning, heavy physical labor, and access to the right tools and equipment (think an excavator, a bobcat, and/or a bulldozer). You will need to:

  • Obtain any necessary permits required by your local authorities and comply with their regulations on pool removal and debris disposal.
  • Rent the necessary tools and equipment for the project. You’ll need a jackhammer, digger, grinder, pressure washer, etc.
  • Drain the water, dispose of it properly, and disconnect any utilities connected to the pool, such as electric, plumbing, and gas lines.
  • Demolish and excavate the pool. This is the extremely labor-intensive part of the process and involves breaking up concrete and pool walls, removing the patio, excavating the resulting debris safely, etc.
  • Fill the subsequent void compactly using gravel, dirt, and topsoil. This is the most crucial aspect of the entire process. If this is flubbed, you might end up creating a sinkhole or an unstable land surface that is extremely hazardous.
  • Clean up the site, restore the landscape, and address any necessary drainage concerns.

As you can see, all of this is a physically demanding, time-consuming, and potentially hazardous process. I’m always up for a good DIY project, but in the case of pool removal, I strongly recommend going the professional route for the following reasons:

  • There’s assurance in knowing your pool is being removed by people who know what they’re doing and have the right tools and knowledge for the job.
  • It’s convenient and saves you time and effort.
  • Professionals will handle the hassle of applying for permits and complying with regulations, which offers a major peace of mind.

Tips to Save Money When Removing a Pool

Here are a few ways to save money during the pool removal process. After all, every dollar saved counts!

  • Seek quotes from different pool removal professionals to compare prices and services and choose the most competitive and cost-effective option.
  • Opt for partial removal if it meets your needs and local regulations since it’s less expensive than full removal.
  • Sell off spare pool parts or equipment that you no longer need, such as the heater, filter, pump, and unused pool chemicals.
  • Save money by handling all or part of the removal process yourself. For example, you could hire a professional to remove the pool and do the landscaping and topsoil yourself.
  • Ask for a discount! Some pool removal companies may offer lower rates during off-peak seasons.

How Long Does It Take to Remove a Pool?

The time it takes to remove a pool can vary. If you DIY a partial or total removal, it can take up a decent chunk of time and take anywhere between a few weeks to a few months. If you opt for professional services, a partial pool removal can be wrapped up within a few days, around 1-5 days. If it’s a complete pool removal, you can expect it to take around a week or two.

Both DIY and professional removal timelines vary depending on whether the pool is inground or above ground. And, of course, unexpected delays caused by poor weather, bad site conditions, and hiccups with permit requirements can affect the projected timeline.

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So, Is It Time to Remove Your Pool?

This is a tricky question. Removing a pool is not a decision one takes lightly, and the fact that you read through this article is a sign that you’re at least seriously considering it. Pools are a highly desirable feature in most properties and can elevate your home’s value, not to mention an endless source of summer fun. However, the mere potential for value and fun may not be enough to balance the rigorous maintenance and expenses a pool incurs. So, removal may be the best option if running the pool is a drain on your time and resources and you no longer use it.

Need more advice on removing a pool from your yard or other pool maintenance-related queries? Reach out to me. My expertise is just a question away!

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