What Is the Best Type Of Swimming Pool Removal for You?

What is the best type of swimming pool removal for you? How do you know the right approach? Various factors can drive a decision to remove a swimming pool from your property, including maintenance costs, safety concerns, or a desire for more usable yard space. However, homeowners face another significant choice, what is the best type of swimming pool removal for their needs? 

You can either choose from a full or partial removal. The best option for you will depend on your specific situation. Consider consulting with a professional to evaluate your property and discuss the pros and cons of each method in detail.

This article delves into the critical aspects of swimming pool removal, offering insights into the options available, factors to consider, and guidance on selecting the right swimming pool demolition contractors.

Types of Swimming Pool Removal

Swimming pool removal can be categorized into two methods: complete and partial. Each option has advantages and disadvantages which are crucial to understand before deciding on a plan of action.

Complete Removal

Complete removal involves demolishing and removing the entire swimming pool structure from the property. This method is often ideal for homeowners who plan to repurpose their outdoor space extensively or sell their property, as it leaves no remnants of the pool behind.


  • Provides a clean slate for future landscaping or construction projects.
  • Removes any potential legal or disclosure issues when selling the property.


  • Typically more expensive due to the extensive labor and method of disposal required.
  • Longer project duration.

Partial Removal

Partial removal involves demolishing the pool’s upper portion and filling the remaining structure with dirt and gravel. This method is less invasive and can be a cost-effective option for homeowners.


  • Lower cost compared to complete removal.
  • Shorter project timeline.


  • Future construction in the area of the old pool may be restricted.
  • It may only be permitted in some localities.

Factors to Consider

When deciding on the type of swimming pool removal, several factors come into play including:

  • Budget: Complete removal is more costly but may be worth the investment for long-term plans.
  • Future use of space: Consider your plan for the area. Some future projects require complete removal.
  • Local regulations: Always check local laws and regulations, as some areas have strict guidelines for swimming pool removal.

What Is the Average Cost Difference Between a Complete and Partial Swimming Pool Removal?

The cost of removing a swimming pool from your property can vary widely depending on several factors, including the size and type of the pool, the method of removal chosen, and the geographical location of your property. Generally, there are two main methods for swimming pool removal: complete removal and partial removal, each with its cost implications.

Complete Removal

In a complete removal, the entire pool structure is demolished and removed from the property. This process involves breaking up the concrete or fiberglass, removing all materials, and then filling the resulting hole with soil and gravel to leave a level ground. 

The comprehensive nature of this method means it’s typically more labor-intensive and requires more resources, including heavy machinery and disposal fees for the demolished materials. 

As a result, complete removal is usually the more expensive option. The cost for complete removal can range widely but often falls between $10,000 and $15,000 or more, depending on the pool’s size, depth, and location.

Partial Removal (Pool Fill-In)

Partial removal, or pool fill-in, involves removing the top portion of the pool structure (usually around 18 to 36 inches of the walls) and then punching holes in the bottom to allow drainage to occur. The remaining cavity is then filled with a combination of dirt and gravel. 

This method is less labor-intensive and requires fewer resources than complete removal, making it a more cost-effective option for many homeowners. The cost for partial removal can also vary but is generally lower, ranging from about $4,000 to $7,000, depending on similar factors such as pool size and location.

Cost Difference

The average cost difference between complete and partial swimming pool removal can be significant, ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 or more. This difference is primarily due to the additional labor, equipment, and disposal fees associated with completely removing all traces of the pool. 

Homeowners looking for a more budget-friendly option rather than planning to construct new structures over the old pool site may find partial removal a suitable choice. However, it’s essential to consider the long-term implications and potential restrictions on property use before deciding.

Additionally, homeowners must obtain multiple quotes from reputable swimming pool demolition contractors to clearly understand the costs involved. Prices vary significantly between contractors and regions, so shopping around and asking for detailed quotes can help ensure you get the best price for the service you need.

How Long Does the Typical Swimming Pool Removal Process Take?

The duration of a swimming pool removal project can vary based on several factors, including the method of removal chosen, the size and type of the pool, the complexity of the site, weather conditions, and local permitting processes. However, understanding the typical timelines for complete and partial swimming pool removal can help homeowners plan their projects more effectively.

Complete Removal

For complete removal, the process is more labor-intensive. This involves several steps: draining the pool, demolishing the structure, removing the debris, and then filling and compacting the hole with soil and gravel. This method requires careful coordination, significant labor, and the potential for heavy machinery usage. 

The timeline for complete removal can vary, but it generally takes about one to two weeks from start to finish. This estimate includes the time needed to obtain necessary permits, which can vary significantly by location and extend the timeline if delays occur.

Partial Removal (Pool Fill-In)

Partial removal, or a pool fill-in, is typically quicker than a complete removal. This process involves draining the pool, demolishing the top portion of the structure, punching holes in the bottom for drainage, and filling the remainder with dirt and gravel. 

Because this method involves less demolition and material removal, it can often be completed in a shorter timeframe. The expected duration for a partial removal is usually about two to five days, depending on the pool’s size and the efficiency of the crew working on the project.

Factors Influencing Duration

  1. Permitting process: Obtaining the necessary permits from local authorities can significantly impact the project timeline. The time required for this step varies by location and the project’s complexity.
  2. Weather conditions: Adverse weather conditions can delay work, especially during steps that require dry conditions, such as filling and compacting the hole.
  3. Access to the site: The ease of access to the pool area for demolition equipment and removal trucks can affect the speed of the project. Limited access may require additional time to maneuver materials and machinery.
  4. Complexity of the project: Factors such as the pool’s proximity to buildings, the presence of underground utilities, and its condition can all influence the duration of the removal process.

Before beginning the project, homeowners must discuss the projected timeline with their chosen swimming pool demolition contractors. Experienced contractors can provide a more accurate estimate based on their assessment of the pool and the site’s specific circumstances. 

Homeowners should also factor in some additional time as a buffer for unexpected delays to ensure that their plans accommodate the potential for the project to extend beyond the initial estimate.


Selecting the best type of swimming pool removal depends on various factors, including your budget, plans for the space, and local regulations. Whether you opt for complete or partial removal, hiring reputable swimming pool demolition contractors is critical to a successful and safe project.

Optimal Earth Work

3070 Garden Ave, San Jose, CA 95111

(408) 603-3805

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