What to do with an In-Ground Pool

10 Replies

So my agent approached me with a potential rehab flip that he put under contract at an auction. Due to the situation, the timeframe for a decision is tight and wants to know whether I want to move forward with it by the end of the week. I walked the property about an hour ago and everything looked great except for there being a covered in-ground pool within the backyard; the cover was tight but I was able to stick my head in a small gap and found that it was completely drained. My agent is very good at what he does and works with many other investors in my town but was unable to give me any further information as to whether it's working or if it's completely out of commission. What do I do? Does anyone have any experience with these kinds of situations? What's the worst and best case scenarios and how much would each one cost? I would imagine the worst would involve having to fill it in but how much would that cost?

Not sure if this will be of any help but here is an aerial of the property (the pool is pictured in the bottom left):



Pools are a mixed blessing.  You can estimate the size (length and width) and depth of the pool,  then figure out how much it would cost to fill it in. (LxWxD). If you can measure both the deep end and the shallow end, then use the average of the two for the depth.

From there figure out if it's concrete or vinyl lined. Call around to find out the cost to completely redo that size pool,  filter, lines etc.

Once you have those two costs then you can decide how you want to proceed on the pricing.

You won't really know what you are in for until you remove the cover. If you figure your worst case scenario,  you should be covered. 

FWIW most REO companies cover the pools regardless of the condition of the pool for liability reasons. It could be in perfect working order or it could be shot.

Hope that helps. 

Good luck, 


Fill it in. Pools are great for homeowners who don't have children, don't have children in their neighborhood, don't have grandchildren and don't have friends with children. Other than that pools are a liability and they are cheap and easy to fill in. 

@Jimmy Dudley You're completely right, but they're anything but cheap to fill in. The quote I got was in the neighborhood of $10k but I guess I'll have to assume that to stay the conservative route.

In my area of Maryland its $ 4000 and up to tear out and fill in a pool , all depends on access , concrete or vinyl , distance from dirt supply and whether you bury debris or haul it out 

@Matthew Rembish The costs and exact procedures to fill in a pool may vary somewhat based on the location as some municipalities require a permit, and have different requirements, to demo/fill a pool. But here's a rough idea of the basic steps involved and what it cost when I did it:


~ Drain the pool

~ Remove pool equipment & cap off water lines

~ Remove/cap off any unused electrical

~ Knock down the edges around the pool and make holes in the bottom of the pool for drainage

~ Fill pool with "clean fill" material (i.e. soil, gravel, rock, sand, etc)

~ Tamp the fill material as you put it in to compact it and reduce the chance of it settling over time once it's all full

COSTS: (we did the labor ourselves so this is just for the material)

~ $450 to buy a jackhammer to knock down the edges around the pool and also to make the holes in the bottom (we could have rented a jackhammer for cheaper but this way we own one and can use it on future jobs)

~ $1600 for the fill dirt (it was a lot of dirt!)

~ $450 for a bobcat & operator to transfer the dirt from the delivery trucks and into the pool (we were going to just rent the bobcat but found a guy on Craigslist who owned one and was willing to also do the driving of it for about the same price as it would have cost to just rent the bobcat by itself)

~ $100 to rent a tamping rammer to compact the dirt

So, in total, about $2600.  (Obviously this will be higher if you're paying someone else to do it though.)

Here's a few pics to give you a visual:

@Kyle J. That was extremely helpful, I really appreciate all of the information. Probably going to pay someone else to do it though. It's a huge pool so I'm not sure if I'm ready to take on a project of that scale. Thanks!

Call a local pool service guy for local estimates for different what ifs.   IMO it is not a big deal. Buy home warranty with pool coverage.

If you want to fill it some city wants a permit.

So did you decide to fill it in?  You will probably end up with similar costs between filling it in and replastering (if it's plaster) and adding new equipment.  Remember when you fill it, you'll have to do something with that space, so figure that much sod as well.  You'll have to figure out with your realtor on what is more desirable in that neighborhood, pool or no pool, and then decide that way, but either way you're probably looking at 5-10K depending on how much sweat you want to put into it.