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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Filling in can be expensive to do
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