Home Buying in Sherman Oaks>Question Details

Kevin, Home Buyer in 90067

We're looking at a nice house with an ugly pool.

Asked by Kevin, 90067 Mon Jun 23, 2008

I was wondering if anyone has an idea of the cost to fill in a 20'x10' pool. We welcome other suggests to make an ugly pool work. Thanks!

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You are very astute in your observations of pools. You have been exposed and are aware of many problems that most pool builders, themselves, fail to address.

I agree, it is always best to check with your local building ordinaces and if choosing one method over another, be sure to advised your contractor of the future plans of the site.

I could only wish we had as knowledgeable and concientious inspectors as Mike is!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 5, 2009
The Ugly Pool Guy's method would facilitate good drainage under most circumstances, and only the walls of the pool would insignificantly obstruct construction or landscaping. They area would still be subject to differential settling, and should not be built over. City of Los Angeles Dept. of Building and Safety requires that a permit be obtained and that the location of the pool become a permanent record so that the area can be used for landscaping only. I am not sure if Sherman Oaks falls under LA's Dept of Building & safety, but most areas have similar building codes. http://www.ladbs.org/forms/plan_check_forms/structural/2008/PC-STR.…

Get estimates to fill it in properly and compare with estimates for complete removal. I would disclose the filled in pool when selling the home, and would want to take pictures of the process to document that the drainage openings were cut, bond beam cut 24" below grade, and proper materials used for fill in.

When I find filled in pools at inspections, especially ones with the bond beam extending above grade, I write it up on my inspection reports. I usually suggest that the owner provide documentation that adequate drainage openings have been cut and proper fill used, otherwise excavation may be needed to determine whats down there. I always recommend that structures not be build over the pool.

Unfortunately, most filled in pools that I have discovered at home inspections have not been done properly. A pool filled in using the methods suggested by The Ugly Pool Guy, would be almost invisible above the surface, but usually, there is a gas stub out, plumbing remains, heater slab, or electrical terminations which indicate that a pool was once present.

Either way, you go, get a permit.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 5, 2009
Actually, we have had great success in filling in pools vs removal. You will find that when correctly executed, a pool fill in will not lead to any future problems to the homeowner.
When filling in a pool, the following steps must be taken
1) Demo drainage holes in the floor of the pool. These should be 2' X 2' and there should be at least 6-8 for a 400 Square foot surface area pool. More if the pool is larger.
2) Demo the bond beam 18-24" to allow for proper fill and compaction above the pool. This will allow landscaping to be planted over the pool location.
3) Fill and compact the pool using appropriate material. We utilize pea gravel (1/4 minues river rock) with the last 2' being filled by good, clean, dirt and compacted 98%. The actually compaction process will take a few days to be correctly done.

We have had several structures built over our filled in pools and never had a problem with them. Additionally, because of the methods we use, no standing water or drainage issues.

While I do agree that this is not the optimal method for removing a pool, it does work.

Always check with you city and state regulatory guidelines because you will want to remove any cancelled pool from the property records.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 5, 2009
A filled in pool will be a problem. The pool prevents drainage of the soil retained by it and therefore, you will have a mud pool in the yard during the rainy seasons. It will cause extreme moisture problems, and anything structural placed over the pool area will be prone to movement and settling. In fact, the pool in place renders that area unacceptable for any type of structure to be built, therefore limiting the future use of that area.

Repair the pool or remove it. Don't fill it in under any circumstances.

Some people break up the bottom of the pool before filling it in to provide drainage, but the remaining walls of the pool still limit construction possiblities for the future, and also prevent planting trees in those locations. The cost of breaking up the bottom of the pool is not justified. You might as well spend the money on the repairs, or spend a little more to remove the whole thing. If you do break up the bottom, keep receipts and pictures to document it, should you decide to sell the home later.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 5, 2009
I am The Ugly Pool Guy! Ugly Pool problems are no problem at all! You would be looking anywhere from $2500-$7500 to fill the pool in, depending on type of construction of the pool (fiberglass, concrete, or vinyl) and how much decking would be around the pool. Do you want to completely remove it or just cancel the pool and be able to plant over the place of the pool? As far as fixing, it really depends again, on the construction methods and what needs to be done. Some simple pool remodels are as inexpensive as $2200 and run into the several thousands of dollars.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 5, 2009
It sounds like you need to contact a pool contractor to remodel or call a reasonable contractor to get an estimate on filling it in. Please note in the summer time in San Fernando Valley a pool is a nice thing to have! Best of luck to you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 1, 2009
My house in Sherman Oaks had a pool that we never used. Once we had a kid we decided it was too dangerous and wasteful just to keep. I called Bob Culver who's one of the top pool inspectors in Los Angeles and over the phone he told me not to take out the pool that I'd regret it, etc. Once he actually came and looked at it he saw it needed about $30,000 in repairs because it was so neglected and out of date. Bottom line, if I ever wanted to sell the house that money would come out of the offer so a pool, especially a neglected pool can actually be a detriment to your property. Just cause it's there doesn't me it makes your place more valuable.

I decided to fill in the pool and cover it with grass. It was a bit of an ordeal but cutting corners I did the whole project for less than $12,000 and now I have a big and safe back yard, no water and electricity waste and my house is worth more than it would have been otherwise. Don't believe the pool hype. Pools waste water and electricity and chances are one of your neighbors has a pool so use theirs. I'm thinking of buying a new house in a few years but I'll never look at another house with a pool. There are a lot of buyers like me.

Here's my blog on how I closed my pool. Very interesting stuff.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 19, 2009
Hi Kevin,

A local pool specialist should be able to answer your questions.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 14, 2009
Dear Kevin,
I agree that the pool..though ugly...can be improved and become an asset. In Sherman Oaks..you really need a pool! So don't fill it in...have it remodeled by someone who specializes in that type of work!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 1, 2008
Kevin, I have met a couple of pool builders that re-design pools. It can be fairly simple to change that ugly pool into something beautiful!
Web Reference: http://www.DotChance.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 24, 2008
Hi Kevin

Please contact some hardscapers and landscapers to get some estimates in your area. Because the price depends on your specs. In the long run, having a pool will pay dividends for you especially in the valley.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 24, 2008
There are many ways you can spuce up a pool, addiign a spa, Re tiel, cope, plaster, pebble tech. Hard lansacaping, waterfalls etc. There are many Pool landscape companies out there that can transform this for you to your showpiece in your back yard.
Filling in can be expensive to do

Kind Regards
Michael Barron
First Team Real Estate
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 23, 2008
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