10 Common Pool Removal Mistakes

Most pool removal mistakes are because you hired the wrong contractor.  

We often get frustrated calls from homeowners and contractors to fix pool removal mistakes.  Sometimes we get called while the pool removal is still in progress and they have concerns.  We generated this list of common pool removal mistakes to help inform people about pool removal pitfalls.

The value of performance and client experience is often overlooked.

Having a swimming pool in disrepair can be stressful and frustrating.  You’ve made the decision to remove your pool and the contractor shows up unannounced with a big machine and surprises you.  Now you are genuinely concerned and wondering what you signed up for. Here is what you need to think about before you sign that low bid, what the experience will be like and the results in the end. 


  1. Be aware of referral/marketing services that are not referring the best contractors for the job.  The lowest bid is most likely not the best bid and you can’t always trust online reviews
  1. Is the pool being demolished to meet or exceed local pool removal code? How would you like it if you bought a house where the contractor cut corners with the pool removal?   
  1. Are you hiring the right company that is qualified to set grades/slope of the land for proper drainage (landscape architects, engineers, and land surveyors) and has the precision equipment to get it done right?
  1. Be aware of companies that say all they do is remove swimming pools, making it seem like they are an expert because it is all they do.  These contractors may give you the low price you want but they are not concerned about restoration, the impact to your property and client experience through the process
  1. The quality of restoration, grading, seed or sod and providing fertile topsoil at proper depth, is what makes it look like the pool was never there. The easy part is wrecking the pool, the real work is putting the place back together and making it look like there never was a pool. 
  1. The contract does not clearly specify how the job will get done.  A lot of contractors do not like putting down plywood/ground protection. Make sure you clearly understand local codes. Is the concrete is staying or is it being removed? Are they bringing in properly licensed contractors to disconnect the utilities?
  1. Some contractors try to save time using oversized equipment causing unnecessary impact your property and roads. 
  1. Not being aware of the surroundings, trees roots, utilities, property lines, and taking the wrong access path.
  1. Attempting to move forward with a pool removal when the ground is too saturated with water or substantial rain is on its way.  This causes increased trauma to the yard and the road with heavy trucks, it is harder to clean up the jobsite, and not possible achieve proper compaction.
  1. Homeowners attempting it themselves. Most of the time they underestimate how much work they will be doing and time it will take and give up before they are halfway done. Also, they run the risk of doing costly damage to rental equipment and possibly injuring themselves.  

Mack Land Landscape Architects & Contractors is a swimming pool specialist.  We design and install pools and we are America’s leading expert on swimming pool removals.  Our local markets are Illinois, southern Wisconsin, and Colorado.  If you are outside those markets, give us a call we are still happy to help. 

Are you on the fence about removing your pool?  Give us a call and we can consult you on your options: repairing your pool, removing your pool, or installing a new one.   We guarantee client satisfaction and make sure the job is done right the first time. We also make sure the client has a good experience from beginning to end.   

How Much Does it Cost to Remove a Swimming Pool


Full Pool Removal$10 – 14K$12 – 16K$20K and up
Low Impact Pool Removal$7.5 – 10K$10 – 14K$15K and up
Basic Pool Removal$6.5 – 9K$7 – 12K$12K and up
Above Ground Pool Removal$1.5 – 3K$2 – 4K$4 – 6K

Note: Many other contractors do not properly restore the access path and pool area to a professional level. Don’t be fooled by lower prices that don’t include professional restoration.


Comparing apples to apples is just about impossible. In most cases we provide a scope of services that you would have to go multiple contractors to get the same scope of work completed. This is something anyone can do, but to do it correctly in a timely manner you need to have the right equipment and experience. Anyone can fill in hole, but the difference is the in the possibility of settling and impact/trauma to your property by the equipment being used. An excavation company may be cheaper, but they are not going to restore damage to your yard and will likely want to use over kill equipment causing unnecessary trauma to your property. Other landscape companies do not have the equipment or demolition knowledge to complete the project in safe timely manner without future issues.


Settling is the most common question asked. To date Mack Land, LLC has never had an issue with settling on a pool removal. Why? Because we fill in thin even layers and compact it evenly as we fill the pool in.

How long will it take?

Most in ground pool removals are completed in 3-7 days. Above ground pool removals are completed in one to two days.

Who gets the permits?

Mack Land, LLC will obtain all permit as part of our services.

How do we get started?

Mack Land, LLC will start the permit process with a signed contract and a copy of your plat of survey.

What is PGE?

PGE is a regional classification of coarse gravel. PGE is 6-8” minus recycled fractured concrete gravel with fines suitable for use as sub base for roads or for general structural fill. Mack Land, LLC will process all concrete
associated with the pool into PGE and use it as fill material.

What is better sod or seed?

Seed is by far the best way to go. Grass grown from seed will develop a more drought tolerant root system and blend into your existing lawn better. Also with sod it very possible to get grubs and other pests from the sod farm.

When do you need the project deposit?

Mack Land, LLC prefers to pick up the deposit check in person after the permits are approved. Mack will deliver the permits and pick up the deposit check at that time. The remaining balance is due on completion.