Pool Demolition – The Procedure – Part Two

Just a little nostalgic this morning.

I am ready to post about our pool demolition. It has been completed now, and no way to go back. But as I look through the videos I have taken, I am coming across old videos of fun at the pool, and I do have my regrets. That pool was a lot of fun even if it was such an expensive and tiresome drain on us.

Fishing Practice With Papaw

Since I am writing this for information for anyone considering a pool demolition, I need to tell you upfront that your city and/or county may have restrictions or codes or inspection requirements for this type of operation on your property. If you should ever consider anything like this, call your city, township, county offices. Permits and inspections may be required. That is all regulated by your particular municipality. 

So investigate early and save a lot of problems in the long run.

The process we performed is called “partial collapse and non-engineered fill.”  This is the most common pool demolition and is permitted by some cities. However, that land will now be considered non-buildable, but based on where that empty area is located, it may not be an area where you want to build anyway, or would even be permitted to build based on current building codes .

Also, if you should sell your property, you would be required to disclose this partial collapse to any buyer. We don’t plan to ever move from this house, so that is a moot point for us, but you may need to consider this.

We are aware that settlement of the soil will occur over the next few years, and it is in our plans to haul in even more soil after that occurs. Our soil is very compacted and clay-like here in Ohio anyway. I will not have a nice lawn for a while. ( We will not be placing sod since that would be so expensive!)  I can wait on grass.

Maybe a big rock garden? A big hypertufa garden? Wow……No, I have to restrain myself. I have too much to take care of anyway.

I did take a lot of video footage, some of which was usable, and I have tried to compile some good footage to show you what we did.

It is in 500% speed or these films would be endless!  I added some music since the videos at high speed sound like I “filmed inside a chicken coop” as Jerry says.

Pool Demolition Part One | The Hypertufa Gardener

And this is the second part.

Pool Demolition Part Two | The Hypertufa Gardener

Friday, I will put together the final video of our finished-up-to-this-point back yard. I will let you know our cost compared to what our estimates were to have it done.

We will be adding more topsoil. I think I have enough backfill at this point, but I want to have good soil on the upper layer. When it settles we will just keep adding.

Any opinions? Let me know in the comments. Would you have tried this?


  1. Daun Watson says:

    If you want a great lawn, google CANADA GREEN seed. It is NOT invasive but it will grow in a week and it chokes out weeds.
    When the snow melts, you will be the only one will your grass already green. We have used it for years and everyone asks us what we go to get our grass SOOOO green, even in the 100* in June, July and August.
    Good Luck!

  2. It was interesting to watch you remove that old swimming pool with a trackhoe. My sister wants to excavate and remove an old barn in her backyard. She’ll want to hire an experienced professional to make sure it’s done correctly and safely.

  3. Your comments about the land and current building codes are important. It’s a good reminder to readers that codes are important when it comes to considering overall losses and wins.

  4. Kim, looking at the picture of that excavation machine, is that the only machine your husband used for the demolition? I ask this in order to know for myself what type of excavation machine I should also use for my yard. The reason for me having a machine is to clear up a section of my yard to build a basketball court.

    1. Kim Smith says:

      Yes, the Bobcat with the blade and drill attachments are the only things we used on the demo itself. And those where chosen based on the size we could get into our rear yard. Tight squeeze.

  5. Correy Smith says:

    Oh wow Kim, that sure is a pretty big job that is being done for your pool. This just gave me an idea of how to remodel my pool. Well, I wonder, to extend a pool about an inch larger than what it was would it be alright to do a small demolition?

    1. Kim Smith says:

      Personally, I wouldn’t do any demolition at all with the purpose of adding an inch. I think you would have to demo and start from scratch making a new pool? $50k for new pool to gain one inch? Nah!

  6. My husband and I recently bought a home that has a pool in the yard; however, the pool takes up space that we would rather put towards a bigger yard, and caring for the pool itself would be difficult. You mentioned that the city will have limits and restrictions on pool demolition. Do you know which ones we should be aware of? Also, which kind of equipment did you use to remove your pool? We think an excavator may be useful.

    1. Kim Smith says:

      Thanks for your visit. We checked with out city offices and county offices to be sure of any restrictions or requirements for our demo project, so you would need to check with yours. Each locality would have its own. We used the Bobcat as shown in the videos ( with a hammer thing to attach.) It was the only type of excavating machine we could maneuver into out rear yard since we are in a residential area with houses next door.

  7. Ava Laurie says:

    So would pool demolition mean that you have to break the concrete with hammers? The video only shows that process from the tractor. The rest of the pool looks like of was already demolished. I would think that the only way to get the pool out, is to go and demolish it by hammer.

    1. Yes, we had to break up the concrete with the Bobcat shovel and then a hammer that attached to the Bobcat. There are three videos which show the sequence. Sometimes my son would get out there and swack it a sledge but it was done with the hammer and Bobcat.

  8. Wow, that seems like quite the project to take on! It sounds like it was good to have the pool demolished in your situation, though. I’m not sure if I would try something like this, at least if I were doing it myself. I can see a lot of things that I would have done wrong that would be better taken care of by professionals. It’s excellent to see your experience, though!

    1. Thanks, this is our first spring without it and I am glad it is gone. With the water shortages going on, it seems the wise thing to do.

  9. Wow, it is pretty cool to see a demolition like this in action! Plus, the music you put with it works pretty well. I have to say you probably made the right decision, especially since you don’t spend a lot of time in the pool anyways. Now you can use the space to make your yard look prettier!

    1. Thanks for visiting. I see you are in demolition too. Do you also do swimming pools? I understand that many are getting rid of theirs due to drought conditions which make them seem wasteful. We are having a slight settling which we anticipated, and will be doing one more “smooth out” and addition of topsoil before we seed. Hopefully we’ll have a full green yard this year.

      1. I agree Kim, smoothing out is a great technique when demolishing a pool. I think it would help everything settle after being disturbed. My brother has a pool in his backyard, but it’s above the ground. I still haven’t even seen it, I will have to visit him sometime.

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