Blog – WA's leading swimming pool removal company

To Drain or Not To Drain?

Whenever the peak pool season comes to an end, one may be wondering what to do with their pool. Maybe the water has taken a turn for the worse following some rain, or inadvertently neglected to clean it in a timely fashion. Whatever the reason may be, many pool owners think the logical solution is to drain the pool. This is a bad idea for a number of reasons.

In-Ground Fibreglass Pools

For inground fibreglass pools, according to ThoughtCo.,

When one drains the pool and there happens to be water under the shell (like in the rainy spring when people want to clean up the pool) the entire pool shell can heave. This is because the water under the pool creates an upward hydrostatic force (through buoyancy) and the pool is lifted out of the ground.” Read more here…

Apart from that, older pools may not have been built structurally to hold back the weight of the dirt against it when the pool is drained. This can cause the walls to collapse.


As water is drained, the pressure outside the pool causes the pool wall to cave in

In-Ground Concrete Pools

With in-ground concrete pools, these are built structurally to withstand the weight of the water pushing outward on the shell. That water weight helps keep the shell in the ground. Now, if the groundwater is high enough, it can actually push the entire pool out of the ground.  Once a pool has popped out of the ground it will not go back down!

This type of pool can also crack when the temperature is above 70-75 degrees and the surface of the swimming pool doesn’t remain wet.

Cracks on a concrete pool plaster

In-Ground Vinyl Liner Pools

In-ground vinyl liner swimming pools are the most dangerous to drain because the older pools may not have been built structurally to hold back the weight of the dirt against it when the pool is drained. When the pool is drained it can cause the walls to collapse or groundwater can cause the liner to float; neither of which are good for swimming pools!

Since drought conditions are on the rise, the simple and easy answer is to not drain your pool but recycle it instead.

Some Pros and Cons of Partial Pool Demolition

Some people often opt for the ‘cheapest’ version of almost anything. May it be clothes, car, even a property. And as together with anything that can be purchased, there are pros and cons to these “lower-priced” options. Here are some of them when opting for a partial pool demolition (decommission-only) over a full demolition.

Pro: Cheaper price? Check.

Of course, let’s start with the obvious — the price point. A partial pool demolition is at least $4,000 cheaper than a full removal of a standard concrete pool. An average concrete pool full demolition starts at about $8,000 +GST up to $20,000 +GST.

Con: Possible Doubled-up Expense

You may have saved a couple more thousands in choosing a partial demolition but in the future, if you have to do subdivision or maybe you needed to sell the property and you were advised by your real estate agent to have it removed and filled before listing the property.

Either way, if you were to pay for the entire process of 1) unearthing the previous fill, 2) having it fully removed this time and 3) have it filled (again!), it’s going to cost more.

Pro: Getting your backyard back ASAP!

With partial demolition, you can get your backyard back . This, procedure only takes a day or two compared to a full demolition which may take 3 days to a week.

Con: No-no for Future builds

For decommissioned-only pools, especially with concrete pools, since the pool shell is still in-ground, no structure can be built on top of the old pool. Until the entire pool has been taken out and the site filled and compacted with a certification, can the location be used as a site for building.

Which one do you plan to have?

Lastly: Getting a permit

It is easy to acquire a demolition permit for a full concrete pool removal. The same cannot be said with the other. This is because not all councils allow a pool decommissioning procedure. Either way, it’s best to call your local council and ask if it’s something that they allow, or not.

We hope that this short list of pros and cons can help you decide with which process you’d like to have when getting rid of your pool.

Things to consider before building a swimming pool

A swimming pool definitely adds a certain “cool” factor to a property but before getting one, here are some things to consider.

Purpose

Just like with any other major renovation or build, you have your reason as to why you’d want to have a pool. It could be for laps, relaxing or recreation. It could also be for your kids, to enhance a view, etc.

Once you have a clear idea of what your plans are, be sure to use it enough to justify about $17,000 (fibreglass) and $35,000 (concrete) and up for just installing your pool.

Type of pool

Concrete and fibreglass are the most popular choices if you’re planning on building a swimming pool. Concrete (steel-reinforced) has long been viewed as the most durable, and the strongest for years. However, recently, advances in fibreglass technologies have increased the materials durability and strength — not to mention it’s cheaper compared to a concrete one.

Size and location of property

The size of your property will determine the size, design and shape of your pool. It is highly advisable to get in touch with your council first to check what the requirements are in positioning your pool near property boundaries as this is the case with urban sites.

By default, swimming pools are easier to build on a level property so if you live in a slopy area, building may be trickier.

In ground or above ground

Digging a hole for installing and removal of a pool is costly but having an in-ground pool gives off a certain ‘permanent’ feel to a property.

However, if you are renting and want to take your pool with you when you move, DIY models or above-ground pool ones may be the best option. There are many options with these types of pools: basic ones (with no filtration system) or larger ones (with filtration) and is enough for laps.

Costs

Installation: Fibreglass pools cost starts at about $17,000 for fibreglass pools and $35,000 for concrete ones. There are also additional installation expenses such as covers, decking , landscaping and fencing.

Maintenance: Some ongoing costs of filtration include, running and servicing pumps and filters. With regards to keeping the water clean, there’s the budget for chemicals, saltwater chlorinators, self-cleaning units and suction cleaners, etc.

Largest maintenance cost for pools is the lining. Some concrete ones will need to be acid-washed every three to five years and resurfaced every 10 to 15 years. Vinyl-lined pools are more prone to being puncture so they should be looked into and repaired in 5-10 years. Fibreglass pools are the easiest to maintain and mostly come with a 20+ year warranty.

Contractor

Word of mouth recommendations are often the best way to get the best contractor. If you’re coming up short on the recommendations, you can go to SPASA Australia and start your hunt for your professional pool and spa builders.

Prepping for pool removal

Finally! You have decided on what to do with your pool. You were also able to book that job with your chosen contractor. Now what? Prepping for a pool removal is really easy as long as you have an idea what to do.

Here’s a quick checklist of the things you need to know before your pool removal.

Site visit 

Based on our experiences, there are some clients that would call, enquire for prices, and just book jobs. Even if that’s the case, be sure that you meet with the contractor first. This is the perfect opportunity when you can ask questions, and discuss everything to make sure everything’s to the T.

Machine access

Once the contractor advises you of the access needed, make sure that it is clear and available especially on the day of the job. Issues with machine access usually entail a price increase. This could be due to the contractor removing a fence, dismantling a brick wall or just use a different machine altogether (a smaller one at that).

tight access for a machine

Missed preparation: A machine gets stuck in a tight access

☐ Getting council forms ready

Depending on the council, some may require for you to accomplish a notification form before the pool removal and some just need to be informed after. Because of this, please be sure to get in touch with your council to make sure that everything’s in place.

Pool removal notification (City of Bayswater)

Pool removal notification from the website of City of Bayswater

Pool drainage preparations

This actually depends on the contractor, by default they will be the ones that will perform the drainage to make sure that it is done properly. This is also to make sure that the water is disposed of correctly (storm drains vs sewer). However, this is sometimes proactively done by the client.

Money

This is a no-brainer – you will need money to pay for the service. However, this is here on this list because of ‘unexpected’ costs. As stated earlier on the Machine Access section, there are times wherein something needs to be done completely out of the plan. This counts for unexpected expenses.

Counting money

Be sure you have emergency funds just in case something goes out of the plan…

Depending on your contractor or the extent of the job, this list may be longer or shorter. Bottom line, before the job commences, be sure to ask all the questions as much as you can to make sure everything is ready to go.

 

Pool removal: Should you DIY?

You have decided to get rid of the pool sitting in your backyard and costing you a lot. You picked up the phone and got some quotes. Looking at the quotes and comparing them you think, “Didn’t know it’s this expensive! I will just do it myself”.

You went online and googled DIY pool removal. You will come across multiple search results and you may think that you can do it. You’ll get the equipment, list the procedure and get started.  

There are plenty of Youtube videos showing a one-day job from demolition to newly level yard. What these videos don’t show is in a couple of months or years later when the ground begins to settle, or sinkholes appear, or improper water drainage creates a swamp.

If you’re reading this, chances are, you’ve thought about it or maybe done some of what I’ve mentioned above. BUT you are still weighing why would pool removal companies charge that much and what does it actually entail?

I will enumerate some of them here.

A neglected swimming pool that needs pool removal

A neglected swimming pool

DIY Pool Removal Do’s and Don’ts

1. Correctly draining the pool water.

Here are some steps as told by Kennards Hire,

“A submersible pump can be used if you have a concrete or gunite pool. However, if your pool is vinyl-lined or made from fibreglass you should think twice. It is better to call in the professionals as these linings can tear, rip and collapse if the job is not done correctly. Before you begin to undertake this task, you must think about where the water will …” Read the full article here.

2. Punching holes at the bottom of the pool.

Correct drainage is just one of the most essential factors in a pool removal. For a partial pool removal, it is needed to cut openings in the bottom of the swimming pool tooth cavity. Depending on the council, they will have requirements on how big the hole/cut is supposed to be.

3. Getting the appropriate machinery.

If you have to break the ground inside the swimming pool, you will require a powerful tool. You’ll have to get a heavy duty equipment that can efficiently break through the solid and stubborn materials. Note that it is expensive, so the wisest thing to do is to rent it out. Another thing to take note of is the labour that goes with it.

A pool removal professional cutting a pool shell

A professional pool removalist cutting a pool shell

4. Gas and water lines.

According to an article created by Blue2Green,

“One of the things that can create trouble for you is the presence of water, gas or any other lines, which may cause a problem in your house. The dangerous part? You will not be able to make out until you break on through. This is something that professionals have to keep in mind as well because the water and/or gas lines can’t be detected until they are damaged. It is important to use proper tools and techniques to ensure that the water and gas lines are safe and functional.”To read more, click here.

One of the most important things for me is to consider hiring a professional plumber or electrician, before you DIY pool removal. You can choose to spend a couple more dollars to make sure it is done professionally or spend it on repairs or hospital bills.

5. Unknown fill.

You throwing just any building product at the bottom of the swimming pool is ruled out as an improper fill. Some councils require a specific type of fill. The Hills Shire Council stated that,

“Only clean fill, or Excavated Natural Material (ENM) can be used for filling of the pool excavation. The filling must be well compacted. It is not permitted to leave remnants of the pool shell in the ground or to use portions of the pool shell and coping as filling within the pool excavation….” Check fact sheet here.

6. Unloading the sand from the truck directly to the pool.

This is a problem with some DIYers that may not know how the process works. If you are, you should compact the dirt in sections to make sure it is progressively packed.

A successful pool removal - hole filled and compacted

Pool hole completely filled and compacted. Ready for landscaping or building

These are no-brainer preventive steps professional removalists take at EVERY swimming pool removal job. Doing it yourself or hiring a person who is without insurance, unlicensed and unskilled may easily cause an accident. DIY pool removal may or may not be for you. If you need more info, please let us know.

Different methods of pool removal

As per our previous article Why People Opt For Pool Removal, we have discussed several reasons why you should get rid of a pool. So now that you have fully decided to go through it, the next question is “what type of pool removal should I opt-in?”

Factors to consider:

– Pool Type (fibreglass, concrete, liner pool, spa or above-ground pools)
– Council requirements
– Budget
– Plans after removal

So, let’s get down to it:

Partial Removal or Decommissioning-only

Procedure:

This is the most common form of pool demolition. This involves draining the pool water out, punching holes at the bottom and then filling it in with sand.garden bed made after a pool removal

 

Applicable to:

  • Concrete and liner pools (depends if the council allows )

Advantages:

  • Most affordable option (ranges from $3,500 to $6,000 +GST)
  • Fastest to complete (typically around 1-2 days)

Disadvantages:

  • The pool area is still considered as a “non-buildable” location. This means no additions or dwellings can exist on this part of the property. If your plans after the removal only involve, building a vegetable garden, lay some lawns or landscaping, then this will suffice.
  • This is something that you will have to declare to your future buyers and it could affect the value of your home depending on what your plans are after the removal (subdivide, build a dwelling, etc).
  • If the removal isn’t done correctly, there is an increased risk of sinkage, swelling, or lack of proper seepage.

Few notes:

– Depending on your council’s requirements, the top rim of the pool can be taken out – 300mm to 600mm from the top (varies) for an additional price.  Price usually starts at about $2000 +GST.
– If decommission-only is done, you may ask your contractor if you can use the rubble as fill. This may lessen the costs for the clean fill sand/soil.
– Confirming with the council if a pool inspector has to be present PRIOR to the hole being filled in is highly advisable. Otherwise, they may not take you off the rates list until they’ve confirmed it.

Full Removal

Procedure:

Full removal is done by draining the water, and all materials including floors, walls, liners, are removed and are hauled away. The empty area is then filled with clean fill sand.

pool shell being cut up

Applicable to:

  • Fibreglass Pools
  • Concrete and liner pools
  • Spas
  • Above-ground pools

Advantages:

  • Full removal is the most affordable option for fibreglass pools (ranges from $3,000 to $4,000 +GST). Partial removal will only double up the costs. It is because you’ll need to have to dig the fill out, cut the pool shell out and then filled again.
  • For fibreglass pool removals, it is the fastest to complete (one day).
  • Disclosing that you have a fully removed pool at your property, it should have little to no impact on your home’s value.
  • Risk of sinkage and seepage in the area is greatly reduced, even eliminated!
  • Once full removal is done, a compaction or Engineer’s certificate can be acquired. A compaction certificate will allow you to apply for a building permit so subdivisions, additions or dwellings can be built.

Disadvantages:

  • This option is more expensive than partial removal or decommissioning of concrete and liner pools (ranges from $5,500 to $20,000 +GST)
  • May take days or weeks to complete

 

Whatever your decision is, don’t forget that we’re just a phone call away to answer any other questions you may have. You can reach us at 08 6461 6464.

Why people opt for pool removal

When you dream or start installing a swimming pool, probably the last thing on your mind is the possibility of having to let go of it one day. This is especially true if you’re building a fibreglass pool that is built to last for decades.

With this said, a business might be booming for pool builders but the demand for pool removal is starting to be strong enough that there are companies that specialize in the service. Here are some of the reasons people decide to remove a swimming pool.

 

Parent’s whose children have grown and moved away from home

An article in the Financial Review described why a retired engineer and management lecturer, Mr John Waters, decided to take out their pool…

“I was a bit emotional at first about our decision to take out the pool as we put it in when we built the house 40 years ago. But now I think it was a very good decision. Our children used to use it and our grandchildren, but now our youngest is 15 and she prefers to go somewhere where she can do a few laps or meet up with her friends. And I was the only one who ever cleaned it …” Read the full interview at AFR.com

This is one of the most common reasons for our clients removing their pools. If the kids moved out long ago and the grandkids don’t visit often, older pool owners can find the prospect of maintaining a pool daunting, from both a financial and physical point of view.  

Green swimming pool

 A neglected, green swimming pool

Safety hazard

I know this is a sensitive topic but in an article written by Olivia Lambert, she mentioned,

“THERE IS a drowning epidemic in Australia, and there have almost been as many water deaths over a Christmas period as car fatalities. We hear the warnings year on year, every summer. ” Read the full article here

Another article from Pool + Spa discussed how a family immediately decided to take their pool out due to a near-drown experience.

“After the horror summer of drownings Australia experienced over the 2016–17 season, many parents of toddlers are beginning to see their backyard pool as a safety hazard rather than a relaxing oasis. It’s a sad (and scary) fact that children aged zero to four are the most at risk of drowning, and all it can take is a moment’s distraction for a toddler to access a pool and drown.

Parents whose children have had near-drowning incidents often aren’t willing to take the chance again. Cousins says he has been called to remove pools the very next day after a child has nearly drowned. “They get scared and nothing can convince them to keep their pool,” he said.”  Read more here

It’s sad that what used to be a fun area for the family is now being treated (and feared) as a hazard…

Courtesy of Royal Life Saving: Toddler Drowning Prevention campaign
 

Maintaining Costs

If someone is sitting on the fence, struggling to decide between renovation and removal, the cost is usually the deciding factor.
In an article from Domain, Adam Martelletti specified the breakdown of costs in maintaining a pool year-round.


“The annual costs for an average eight metre by four-metre backyard pool can be $1400 every year.

Pump
A 1kW pump, cycles 10 hours per day, seven days a week and can cost $112 a month over summer, and $80 a month in winter. The total cost for the pump alone is $1216 each year. A high energy star-rated variable speed pump could save up to $500 per year, the cost of the pump could outweigh the savings.

Heating
Heating your pool can cost a bomb – especially if you’re using gas. Solar Heating is about $100 to $200 each year, electric heating $250 to $750 each year, and gas heating $500 to …Continue reading here 

old swimming pool being drained before removal

Draining pool before removal

It’s natural to reevaluate your plans once you tally up the price of pool removal (that’s why we offer no-obligation quotes!). You may decide that it makes more sense to put your pool in “low maintenance mode” until you sell the house, or when you compare the costs side-by-side, you may find it tempting to double down on your pool by remodeling or just get rid of your pool due to maybe one of the reasons above. You won’t know what the best course of action is until you have all the facts.

If you have questions, would like to know more or schedule an onsite quote, you can reach us at 08 6461 6464 or via Chat.

Pool Removal Perth joins SPASAWA

We’re pleased to announce our membership of the Swimming Pool & Spa Association of Western Australia, we are the only specialist pool removal company that holds membership of the association in WA.

Pool Removal Perth is pleased to be associated with an organisation which holds its members to high standards as a part our ongoing commitment to be the best pool removal company in Perth.

We have been removing swimming pools in Perth for many years and do an average of 3-4 a week, every week of the year.

Our staff are profession and it doesn’t matter where on the property your pool is or what it is constructed from. The majority of Fibreglass pools that we remove are taken out, back filled and tidied up in less than a day.

For clients that need it, we offer interest-free in-house finance and can spread the cost over 12 months for them. We also offer a 10% discount to holders of a current WA Seniors Card.

So if you’re looking to have your pool removed, get in touch with the Pool Removal Perth team today on 08 6461 6464 or click here to request your quote.

What can go wrong with a pool refurbishment

It’s amazing how many pools we end up coming in to remove that have actually been recently renovated by cowboy contractors costing the homeowner thousands of dollars and a whole load of stress. There are generally two reasons that people choose a swimming pool renovation over a pool removal. The first that they genuinely want to keep the pool in service, the second being that they have a perception that refurbing a pool is cheaper than removing it.

For the first group our advice is that they make sure they go with a professional pool refurbishment company and that they check their references. There are a lot of cowboys out there and it can get very costly and stressful if you get someone irresponsible or inexperienced to complete the work. For the second group of people, who think they are saving money. It’s not just about what the pool costs to repair, it’s also about what it costs to own and the negative impact on the value of your property.

A quick search on the Internet will find plenty of people in home improvement forums, both in Australia and abroad, sharing stories of badly behaved or inexperienced contractors leaving swimming pools in bad shape after the repairs. When it comes to fibreglass pools, cracks that have been repaired will never be as strong as the rest of the shell. Repairs can often only last a short while, especially if the person making them is not an expert in doing this kind of work.

Another issue with a fibreglass pool repair is that it can be difficult to match the colouring. Fibreglass fades over time and the repairs can look ugly.

When it comes to concrete and liner pools, once again, it’s not hard to take a look online and find myriad posts that contain absolute nightmare experiences about repairs to these kinds of pools. Liners not fitting properly, bad surfacing one the concrete pour and issues with poorly laid paving. These pools are also generally extremely expensive to conduct a refurbishment on. Concrete pools in particular need regular maintenance and resurfacing, this can make a repair extremely expensive if they haven’t been maintained to standard in the past.

The long and short of matters is that, costs of repairs aside, a swimming pool is an extremely expensive asset. Spending thousands of dollars a year for something that, in Perth, is only really useable for a few months doesn’t make sense. How about a vegie garden?

Have you got any kind of pool in your yard that you’d like us to assess for removal? Our quote process is quick, costs nothing and we’re experts at what we do. We remove 3-5 pools a week for Perth homeowners just like you. Click here to get your quote or call 08 6461 6464 today.

5 amazing things to do with your Perth Backyard once your pool is removed

So you’ve finally made the decision to get rid of that swimming pool but you’re not sure what to do with your backyard once it’s gone? Most of the Perth people we talk to each week about swimming pool removal feel exactly the same way. That said, there are loads of low maintenance, reasonably priced options that you can take to fill in the void once your pool is gone.

1 – A rockery

The great thing about a rockery peppered with succulents or cacti is that you are basically setting yourself up for a zero maintenance yard. They are also incredibly attractive and use a lot less water than other kinds of gardens.

2 – Artificial turf

If you’re someone who really doesn’t want to replace their pool with a whole lot of grass that you’ll have to mow then artificial grass can be a great option. When we took out Marie’s pool she went down that track.

3 – A pergola

Extending your living space outdoors is a great way to make use of the place where your pool used to be. Putting in a covered outdoor seating area is one way that a lot of our customers go when they’re planning what to do with the extra space.

4 – A granny flat

As long as you get a compaction certificate after your pool has been removed then you can build another structure. One that you could potentially rent out for extra income or use as space for guests when you have visitors.

5 – A herb garden

There are plenty of hardy herbs that don’t take a lot of looking after, they’re fresh, attractive and can add something special to your meals too. Consider rosemary, thyme and oregano for hard wearing and low maintenance – not to mention tasty!

 

 

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