How Much Does It Cost to Remove and Fill in a Swimming Pool?

Typical Range:

$2,700 - $19,000

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.

Updated July 13, 2022

Written by HomeAdvisor.

The average cost to remove and fill in a swimming pool ranges between $2,500 and $12,000, with a national average cost of $6,000. Above-ground pool removal is less expensive at $300 to $800 on average. An in-ground pool can be extracted for between $4,000 to $16,000.

A homeowner may choose to remove their swimming pool for a variety of reasons, including safety, the cost of swimming pool maintenance, upgrading, or increasing curb appeal. No matter what fuels the decision, this is no small task. This project involves heavy-duty equipment and machinery, safety gear, city and/or county permits, and debris removal. Hiring a local pool removal pro will be necessary for this removal project.

Cost to Fill in a Pool by Project Type

While removing and filling a pool is considered a big project, the type of pool and how you choose to fill it will impact the cost. Generally speaking, the smaller pools that require less filling will be on the low end of the average cost at around $2,500, while removing a large in-ground pool and filling in the area can cost upwards of $12,000.

Partial Pool Fill-In

A partial pool fill-in costs between $4,500 to $6,250 on average. Through this process, the pool is collapsed in on itself, leaving a portion of the pool cavity in the ground. Soil stabilization fabric is placed over the rubble to minimize soil movement before filling the pool cavity with dirt. The ground is then compacted to prevent settling.

While a partial pool fill-in is less expensive and a quicker project, taking only one to three days to complete, when compared to full pool removal, it does come with some risks. The partial removal leaves the area with a risk of sinking or improper drainage. When you sell your home, you must also disclose a partial removal.

Full Pool Removal

A full pool demolition gets rid of everything from the pool cavity using specialized equipment. The materials are hauled off and properly disposed of. After everything is removed, the area is filled and compacted. A full pool removal costs an average of $9,000 to complete but can range in price from $4,000 to $16,000.

Full removal is more time-consuming than partial removal, taking between three to seven days. Choosing this option leaves the area solid and buildable, which alleviates stress for homeowners. 

Above-Ground Pool Removal Costs

Depending on the size, removing an above-ground pool costs $300 to $800 on average. If your pool has a deck, the average removal cost is between $1,000 and $5,000, with a national average cost of $2,500

The cost difference for a pool with a deck accounts for any landscaping, backfill, or excavating of a sand base, which impacts the cost.

The process of removal takes between one to four hours and starts by draining the pool with a sewer pump. After extraction, the walls are unscrewed and unbolted before being torn apart with a hand tool. Finally, the debris is hauled away either through a dumpster rental or by hiring a removal crew.

In-Ground Pool Removal Costs

Homeowners have two options when removing an in-ground pool: through a partial fill-in or full pool removal. A partial fill-in is more cost-effective than removing it entirely. You can spend anywhere between $4,000 and $16,000 to physically remove a swimming pool, while covering one costs an average of between $4,500 to $6,250.

The cost varies based on the size of the pool. A 10-foot-by-20-foot pool averages $4,300 to $10,200 to remove. A 15-foot-by-30-foot pool averages $5,100 to $13,400 to remove. A 20-foot-by-40-foot pool averages $6,100 to $16,400 to remove. In-ground pool removal can take anywhere from one to seven days to complete.

Pool Removal Permits

As with the installation of in-ground pools, you may be required to acquire permits or inspections before removal can begin. Permits can cost an average of $200, depending on the type of removal and the city's ordinances for each step in the process. This number varies by area, so contact your local building department to get an accurate permit cost for your area.

In most cases, contractors take care of building permit costs and acquisition on behalf of their clients. If the specialist you work with offers to do this for you, it's still a good idea to be knowledgeable about what you need so you can rest assured that the hired professional doesn't miss any necessary legal steps.

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Cost to Fill in a Pool by Pool Material Type

When filling in your pool, the material of the pool can factor into the cost of your project. The additional cost factor accounts for the labor associated with the fill-in, as some materials require additional steps and are therefore more time-intensive compared to others.

Vinyl Pool Fill-in Costs

The cost to remove a pool with a vinyl lining ranges from $3,000 to $10,000. However, with vinyl pools, a partial fill is not possible. An engineer will need to deem that the material is safe for removal, which could be steel, aluminum, wood, or concrete.

Cost to Fill in a Concrete Pool

The most common method for filling in a concrete pool is with a partial fill. The cost range to fill in a concrete pool is between $3,000 and $15,000. A partial fill is often chosen in this case because it keeps costs down since it’s not necessary to invest in concrete removal.

However, if you choose to fully remove the concrete, you’re looking to pay on the higher end of the average range. With a full removal, the concrete must be broken up into pieces and hauled off. The project requires heavy equipment and is time-intensive.

Fiberglass Pool Fill-in Costs

Similar to vinyl pools, a fiberglass pool is unable to be partially filled. A fiberglass pool requires complete removal due to the material. The cost to fill in a fiberglass pool ranges from $5,000 to $15,000.

The condition of the fiberglass shell will impact the cost. If the shell is in good condition, it can be lifted out in one piece and will be less costly to remove. However, if the shell is in poor condition, it will need to be broken into pieces. The total cost will increase depending on how many pieces it’s broken into, so you’re looking at spending on the high-end for this removal.

What Material Should I Use to Fill in a Pool?

The material you choose to fill in the pool will impact your overall cost for the project. A partial fill, of course, will require less material than a full fill. 

Cost to Fill in a Pool With Gravel

Filling in your pool with gravel is going to be the least expensive option, but it does come with some downfalls. Delivered and poured, gravel will cost between $5 to $8 per cubic yard. Gravel is not the preferred material for filling a pool because it is difficult to tightly compact it.

It’s recommended to use gravel as a base material to fill the pool to help cut costs. It’s not recommended to solely use gravel to fill because the material can settle and lead to sinkholes over time.

Cost to Fill in a Pool With Dirt

Dirt is the most commonly used material for filling in pools. You want to opt for quality dirt that is a mix of soil and gravel so that it can easily compact. The cost for dirt fill-in ranges from $8 to $12 per cubic yard.

If you are looking to cut down on costs, you can use gravel as a base for your fill and then add dirt for the remainder. No matter how you choose to fill, you will want to leave some space at the top to add topsoil if you plan to landscape the area afterward.

Partial Fill-in vs. Full Pool Removal

Before you decide on a method for removing your pool, take a look at the pros and cons that come with each. 

Pros and Cons of a Partial Pool Fill-In

Pros Cons
Less expensive project overall
Easy removal
Completed quicker than a full removal
Land becomes unbuildable
High risk of landscaping issues (sinkholes, pooling underground) Illegal in some places
Can decrease property value

Pros and Cons of a Full Pool Removal

Pros Cons
Increases property value
Land is safe to build on post-removal
Low risk of landscaping issues
Elimination costs to maintain the pool
Higher project cost
Long completion time
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Other Pool Removal Cost Factors

Removing a pool can be very costly. As you’re mapping out your budget, there are other important cost factors to consider.

Pool Removal Permits

Before you begin removing your pool, you may need to obtain a permit. Pool removal permits cost around $200 on average. Check with your local building authority to see if a permit is required. The turnaround time for a permit can take up to three weeks.

Hiring an Engineer for Pool Removal

While hiring a structural engineer is not required for the project, it is highly recommended, and it may even be required by local building codes. Structural engineers cost, on average, between $100 to $200 per hour.

If you plan on building on this piece of land in the future, you will need an engineer to help you put together a structural engineering plan and may require an engineer’s density testing report.

Pool Deck Removal Costs

Most in-ground pools have a concrete deck surrounding the pool. This will need to be removed whether you’re doing a partial or full removal. On average, concrete removal will cost between $2 to $5 per square foot.

Pool Enclosure Removal Costs

All pools have an enclosure as required by law. Depending on the material and size of your pool enclosure, it can cost between $800 to $2,000 to remove. Material that is harder, such as structural aluminum, will be more costly to remove.

Landscape Damage

A pool removal project will cause damage to your landscape, and not just in the area where the pool is removed. The heavy equipment used during removal will damage the surrounding areas on your land.

You can protect your landscaping by moving plants and using a protective covering on the grass, but you will likely need to hire a landscaper to help with this and clean up the area after the project is completed. On average, landscapers charge between $50 and $100 per hour.

DIY vs. Hiring a Pro

While it is possible to DIY this project for those with the necessary skills and experience, hiring professionals is highly recommended to ensure proper and safe demolition. Necessary tasks involved include purchasing permits, calling for inspections, renting equipment, and protecting the integrity of your home. 

This is best handled by professionals. When you're ready to demolish your pool and get a few quotes, consider these questions:

  • Do you have insurance, and if so, what does it cover?

  • Does your quote include the cost and organization of obtaining permits and hiring inspectors?

  • Do you have experience with debris storage and removal?

  • Can you show me an itemized list for your estimate?

  • How long will this project take, and how many people will be working on it?

Even though removing an above-ground pool is an easier process than an in-ground, it is still in your best interest to hire a professional to make sure the project gets done right.


Can I fill in a pool myself?

Unless you are well versed in purchasing permits, calling for an inspection, renting equipment, and ensuring the integrity of surrounding structures, this is a job best left to the pros. Completing this project as a DIY is likely to be time-consuming and labor-intensive and runs the risk of causing trouble down the line when you try to build a new structure or sell your home.  

Can you move an in-ground pool?

While moving an in-ground pool is possible, the cost associated with it is similar to the cost of buying and installing a new pool. Moving the pool requires excavating the old site and preparing the new site for installation. 

How long does it take to fill in a pool?

On average, it takes between one and seven days to fill in a pool. A partial fill-in can take one and three days, while a full pool removal can take between three to seven days.

Is it possible to restore a filled-in pool?

Yes, you can restore a filled-in pool. Restoring a filled-in pool can cost about the same as it would to install a brand new pool. 

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