What Are The Pros And Cons Of Filling In A Pool In Australia?
If you have a dilapidated, rundown pool, are tired of doing upkeep and maintenance, or simply don’t use your pool very often, you may be wondering about the pros and cons of filling it in.
In this article, we will cover the pros and cons of filling in a pool and also compare this option to keeping and repairing your pool or having it totally demolished and removed.
Fill In vs Total Demolition: What’s The Difference?
When your pool is filled in, large chunks of the concrete and rebar structure are broken down into smaller pieces and compacted down into the ground.
Although some material may be removed, large portions of your pool’s structure remain buried in the ground when you choose to have a pool filled in.
Having a pool completely demolished and removed involves breaking the structure into smaller pieces and then extracting all of this rubble from your property. Afterwards, the hole that is left by your pool is filled in with soil-quality fill dirt.
Pools that are totally demolished and removed carry a much lower risk of showing signs of earth settling in the years following the removal than pools that are only filled in.
The Pros And Cons Of Filling In A Pool
Lower Home Insurance Rates
Swimming pools are costly to insure. This is because they increase the risk of injuries and drowning. Pools can also affect other parts of your property.
For example, leaking swimming pools have the potential to damage the foundations of other buildings within their vicinity, leading to a loss of structural integrity.
Removing your pool reduces the insurance rates when compared to keeping your pool, and this applies whether you fill your pool in or opt to have it completely demolished and removed.
Reduced Safety Concerns
As mentioned above, pools carry a high safety risk. Even with standardised fencing that includes non-climbable walls and self-locking gates, swimming pools can lead to accidental drowning for children and pets.
When you get your pool removed, these safety concerns are no longer an issue for you, whether you fill in your pool or fully demolish it.
Adds More Yard Space
One benefit of filling in your pool is having more yard space, and the options that this new free space can be used for are practically endless.
You could start a vegetable or flower garden, set up a swing set for the kids, install an outdoor barbeque, or set up a small shed for storage or DIY projects.
If having a pool no longer excites you, filling it in or having it removed can give you more space to create something new.
Put An End To Repair Fees
Another benefit of filling in or demolishing your pool is that you put an end to ongoing repair and maintenance fees.
If your pool is old, dilapidated, or otherwise in a perpetual state of disrepair, having your pool removed will completely end all repair costs associated with upkeep.
Whether you fill in or demolish your pool, you are going to save money.
Can Speed Up Home Sale
Because swimming pools are tricky to care for, having one on your property can narrow down the range of buyers who are interested in purchasing your home.
Although many people enjoy swimming, home buyers may not be ready to invest in caring for a pool and may be weary of how it will affect their property value in the future.
Demolishing your pool will make your home more appealing to a wider audience, especially first-time home buyers and others who aren’t interested in taking care of a pool (like elderly buyers).
Eliminates Time And Money Spent On Maintenance
Removing your pool will eliminate time and money spent on maintenance. If you are tired of having to test and adjust your pool’s chemicals on a near-daily basis, the good news about removing your pool is that you will never have to deal with pool maintenance again.
This also eliminates all costs related to upkeep, such as electricity bills and chemical expenses.
If you find yourself imagining all of the things you could be doing instead of vacuuming up leaves, emptying skimmer baskets, using shock treatments, balancing your pH, and fighting algae, filling in or completely demolishing your pool could be a great idea.
Pool Removal Costs
Pool removal is expensive. Oftentimes, it can be cheaper to repair or renovate an existing pool than to have one removed. This is especially true if the existing pool is in fairly good condition and does not suffer from any structural issues.
Having a pool filled in is cheaper than getting one removed entirely, but depending on the condition of your existing pool, removal can be more expensive in the short term than choosing to keep it.
Check out this pool removal cost calculator to get a feel for how much you’ll pay.
Loss Of Family Activity Space
Pools are a shared outdoor area that often acts as a gathering place for family and friends. Swimming pools allow people to enjoy shared recreational activities, which is important for strengthening our relationships and improving our overall well-being.
By choosing to fill in or demolish your pool, you lose a communal outdoor activity area that can foster shared experiences of relaxation or play.
Removals Must Be Disclosed During Sale
Although removing your pool makes your home attractive to a wider variety of buyers, pool removals must be disclosed during the sales process. This is true for both pools that have been filled in and pools that were entirely demolished and removed.
In some instances, having a pool filled in can discourage homebuyers more so than a completely demolished pool.
This can happen in cases where people are interested in repurposing the land where the pool was or those who have other uncertainties about land settling.
Decreased Property Value
Although removing your pool also removes a lot of related expenses, removing your pool can also lower your overall property value.
So long as your pool is well-maintained and is not particularly old, swimming pools generally tend to increase the overall property value of a home.
Land Use Regulations
Another downside to removing a pool is land use restrictions. These types of regulations vary widely depending on the policies of your local government, but typically involve building restrictions for the land that the pool previously occupied.
Pools that were filled in are especially unlikely to be approved as building sites of any kind due to the unstable nature of the soil.
Pools that were entirely demolished and removed may be approved as building sites, but only if a significant amount of time has passed to allow the fill dirt to appropriately settle into the hole.
There’s no obvious answer here - whether getting rid of your pool is the right choice for you or not depends on how you feel about the pool.
Is it a source of pain or pleasure? Removing a pool is no simple task, so think long and hard before settling on a decision.
If you live in Queensland, this fact sheet by the Ipswich City Council has some useful information about pool decommissioning.
A chemical engineer by trade, Louis is committed to debunking myths in the pool industry by explaining the underlying chemistry and making it accessible to all.