The cost of demolishing an inground pool can vary significantly based upon various factors. Some of these factors include size, type of material, and accessibility to the site.
The national average cost to remove an inground swimming pool is $6,000.
There are many contributing factors that play a role in determining the cost of your swimming pool removal. This includes location, ease of access to the worksite, type of pool, size of the pool, and more.
Whether your project costs $2,000 or $20,000 depends upon several key factors, so let’s take a quick look at a few of these and discuss how to maximize your savings.
Inground pool demolition cost breakdown
Let's take a closer look at the costs typically associated with an inground swimming pool removal project. Costs vary by location and by demolition contractor, so some of these costs won’t apply in every case.
- Quote/Assessment: Free
- Demolition permit: Free - $300+
- Complete pool demolition: $7,000 - $15,000
- Partial pool demolition: $3,500 - $7,000
- Debris removal / Site grading: $1,000
Need ideas for your new outdoor living space?: Demo's Done...Now What?: The Benefits of an Outdoor Living Space & Ideas to Fill It
Factors influencing the cost of demolishing an inground pool
As with any home service, cost varies significantly based on your location. If you live in a city with a relatively high cost of living, expect to pay more than the national average to demolish the pool. The opposite also tends to be true if you live in a relatively low cost-of-living area.
Here are some examples of how the cost to remove a 20 ft. x 40 ft. inground pool can vary from place-to-place:
- $12,000 in Davis, CA
- $5,500 in Anaheim, CA
- $5,000 in Fort Worth, TX
- $10,000 in Dallas, TX
- $8,500 in Livonia, MI
- $4,000 in Tampa, FL
- $6,500 in Westfield, NJ
- $5,000 in Reading, PA
- $6,900 in Hillside, IL
As you can see, the price to demolish the same size pool can vary by thousands of dollars based on location; but there are several other factors that can affect the price of your pool removal or pool fill-in as well, such as the type of demolition (complete remove or partial pool fill-in), the type of material used to build the pool, how easy it is to access the pool site, and the pool's size.
Type of demolition
There are two main types of inground swimming pool demolition: complete (total) demolition or partial demolition (break up and fill in the pool). However, depending on where you live, city codes and ordinances may dictate the type of demolition options available to you.
Complete: This is the more expensive option, but it’s the right choice if you plan to build a structure or anything heavy on the demo site. A total demolition involves breaking up the pool, hauling all the debris away, filling the hole with dirt and/or gravel, and properly grading the site.
Partial: A partial demolition, also known as a pool fill-in, involves breaking up part of the pool walls, drilling holes in the bottom for drainage, and burying all the debris with fresh dirt and/or gravel. It’s the cheaper option, but it’s not a good idea if you plan to build anything on the site because small air pockets and cracks can cause instability.
Keep reading about swimming pool removal:
- The Homeowner's Guide to Swimming Pool Demolition and Removal
- Swimming Pool FAQs: Quick Answers to Common Questions
Size of the pool
It’s no surprise that a bigger pool costs more to remove than a smaller pool. Factors that drive up the price include increased labor costs, debris removal, dirt/gravel costs, and machinery.
However, the complexity of your pool design may affect demolition costs even more than the size. For example, a pool with a custom shape, built-ins, waterfall, and large deck would cost more to demolish due to the additional labor necessary to complete the job.
If the demo company can easily access the pool—presumably in your backyard—it can save you money. Excavators and other heavy machinery need quite a bit of space for maneuvering. If obstacles like fencing or outdoor playsets are in the way, it will increase the cost of labor.
If your home is way off the beaten path, this may also increase the total cost of the pool removal. Anything that increases the amount of time it takes to complete the demolition will increase the overall costs.
TIP: Time is money, so make your property as accessible as possible to reduce costs.
Type of pool
Most pools are lined with either vinyl, fiberglass, gunite, or concrete.
A concrete or gunite pool demolition requires heavy machinery to break up and remove all the sidewalls and bottom. It’s more time-consuming work and tougher on the machinery compared to removing a vinyl or fiberglass liner, so expect to pay a bit more for a concrete or gunite demolition than you would for a vinyl or fiberglass pool removal.
Check out other resources related to pool removal and demolition:
- Choose the Right Inground Pool Removal Method
- See what others have paid for swimming pool removal
- Pool Removal Cost Comparison: Partial vs. Complete
- Planning a Successful Demolition or Renovation Project
How swimming pool demolition works
Full Inground Pool Removal
Step 1: Break down the top layer of concrete.
After the pool is drained, the top layer of concrete is broken up, including surrounding concrete and walkways.
Step 2: Break up the walls and floor.
Next, the pool's walls and floor are broken apart into manageable pieces of debris.
Step 3: Haul away the debris.
All the concrete debris is then removed with the help of an excavator and a dumpster.
Step 4: Remove remaining materials.
All existing wood, aluminum, or steel framing is removed. (Recycle or reuse these materials!)
Step 5: Fill in the pool with dirt and/or gravel.
The empty hole is then filled to the top with dirt and/or gravel.
Step 6: Level the site.
Finally, the site is leveled, and your property is ready for grass seed or new construction.
Pool Fill-In / Partial Inground Pool Removal
Step 1: Break down the top layer of concrete.
Once the pool is completely drained, the top layer of the pool is broken up, including surrounding concrete and walkways.
Step 2: Punch holes in the pool floor.
Next, holes are punched in the floor of the pool to allow for adequate draining.
Step 3: Push debris into the pool.
The debris is then pushed into the bottom of the pool.
Step 4: Fill in the pool with dirt and/or gravel.
The debris at the bottom of the pool is then buried with dirt and/or gravel.
Step 5: Level the site.
The site is then leveled, and you're ready to enjoy your new space!
See the process for yourself...
The video below features time-lapse photos of an actual inground pool demolition from start to finish. In this case, the homeowner chose to go with a complete pool demolition, which involves breaking the sides, hauling away the debris, backfilling the hole with dirt, grading the site, and laying new sod.
The homeowner in this example spent under $6,000 for the entire demolition and got great results.
Inground swimming pool removal money-saving tips
- Call at least 2 - 3 demolition contractors for quotes (it’s free) to ensure you get the best pricing.
- Make the site as accessible as possible for heavy machinery (i.e., take down fencing, clear the yard of debris/toys/swingsets/etc.).
- Search sites like Craigslist, Freecycle.com or your local newspaper to find free fill dirt in your area. It’s not always available, but when it is, it can save you money in that regard.
- Sell any working pool parts, such as the pool pump, online (i.e., eBay) or locally to recoup some of the demolition costs.
- Lay plywood on sensitive areas of your property where machinery will travel back and forth. The demo company may do this for you upon request.
- Drain the pool before the demolition company shows up.
Learn more about hiring the right pool removal contractor: