The Changing Backyard

The current pandemic has changed how we work, go to school, socialize, and especially how our homes are being used.  Our backyards are seeing more use than ever, and you may be looking out at yours, thinking about how to get the most out of it.

Don’t let your old swimming pool define the space.  Often older pools dominate the space and do not leave room to entertain.  You must wonder if it is the best use of space?  Removing the pool opens a world of possibilities that can add value to your home and increase the usable space in your backyard.  Do you want a large lawn area for the kids and dogs to run?  Or how about a large patio with a firepit or outdoor bar or kitchen?  Or all the above?  Installing a spacious patio with different gathering areas and diverse spaces can enable you to entertain and social distance. 

That’s not to say that installing or working with your current pool isn’t possible as well.  Today’s swimming pools place emphasis on the spaces around it and how it relates to other features in the backyard.  On average, the are slightly smaller and shallower than traditional pools.  The key is to balance out the pool cost (which is typically the largest) with the costs for the surround spaces.  The most value is added when everything is done to the same level.

Mack Land’s landscape architects are here to help you design the backyard you are looking for.  We are following the CDC’s best practices and public health guidance to keep our clients and staff safe.  If you are in the Denver Metro area or the greater Chicagoland area, please contact us to discuss your options. 

Pool Removals: We recommend removing the concrete.

Real Estate Pool Removals: Tip #1

This can be a topic that varies depending on who you ask and where you are located.  The landscape architects at Mack Land specialize in pool removals and always recommend removing the concrete, no matter if the code allows it to be left onsite.  Ideally this is the right thing to do and adds the most value.  However, site constants, access and budget sometimes make leaving the concrete the only feasible option.

Most towns do not see a lot of pools being removed and have not put a lot of thought in to their code.  Some towns have no code at all.  The most basic code we commonly see is to perforate the pool bottom and take the sides down 24” below grade.  Well that’s OK if your seller is looking to do the bare minimum.  What if the next homeowner wants to put a pool back in, or an addition?

Removing a pool in today’s market.

Benefits include:

  1. Gain a larger backyard with more usable and marketable space for realtors to sell. Potentially lower property taxes.
  2. Houses without pools appeal to a broader market.
  3. Houses being sold “as-is” with a pool in disrepair will decrease the value of the home more than it will cost to remove it.  Surrounding property values may be negatively affected as well.

When you are sitting at the closing table, a new buyer can take issue to the concrete being left onsite even if the code allows it and try to leverage a better price.  This is more likely to occur in a buyers’ market.  In a sellers’ market, people are more likely to overlook these concerns.  In elite communities, we feel it always pays to remove the pool in its entirety.

As we stated earlier, removing the concrete is the most ideal thing to do but is not always feasible.  If you decide to leave the concrete, the entire swimming pool should be thoroughly broken down into small pieces.  An excavating contractor or a pool removal only contractor are concerned only about getting the job and want to get in and out as fast as possible  They will want to do the bare minimum and they will not be concerned about minimizing the damage to the property because they are more than likely not going to have to restore it.  These bids always seem cheaper.

If the client chooses not to haul everything off, Mack Land thoroughly breaks up the entire pool into small pieces of concrete (see below).  We go above and beyond to remove all plastics, metals, wood, and vegetation and recycle it off site.  Also, we make sure the fill dirt is clean and suitable for compaction and from a local residential source.  In addition, we typically use plywood/ground protection along the access route.  Our specialized low ground pressure machinery also reduces our impact to the work area.  We include a professional restoration and we always use the highest quality seed and turf.  Mack Land is so confident, we are providing pool removal closure reports and a lifetime warranty on our pool removals.  The pool removal closure report is a great tool to have on hand during real estate deals – documentation of the process from start to finish.


Mack Land Low Impact Pool Removal - Concrete is processed onsite into structural fill.
Mack Land Low Impact Pool Removal – Concrete is processed onsite into structural fill.

Don’t pay to get the pool removed twice, get it done right the first time.

Not all contractors care about homeowners like Mack Land does.  We are committed to add value to your real estate.  Why?  We care about the buyer and the seller.  We are not going to push anyone into something because it is easier for us.  Whether it is a buyers’ or  sellers’ market, it pays to do the job right the first time.  Improperly removed swimming pools can be something that can be a nightmare at the closing table or haunts you down the road, even after the real estate transaction has been completed.  Most states require you to disclose landfills.  Buried concrete can be considered landfill material.  No matter how you interpret the laws and codes, morally, you should feel obligated to disclose the buried pool removal to the next owner.

Mack Land, pool removal company, pool demolition, pool removal mistakes, swimming pool removalCopyright Mack Land, LLC – a pool removal & demolition company.  All rights reserved.


If you’re in the greater Chicago or Denver areas please contact us to discuss your pool removal options.

America’s #1 Source for Pool Removals

Robot Mowers in the Landscape

Yesterday we presented a talk on robotic lawn mowers with Kathy Moseler of Paradise Robotics at the iLandscape Show that is currently going on in Schaumburg, IL.  In case you missed it, here are a few highlights of what we covered:

Robot Mower Basics

  • The majority of robot mowers work with a perimeter wire and a transmitter/receiver system.
  • The robot mower works within the perimeter of the wire, mowing in a random pattern, covering the whole area over time.
  • Robot mower perimeter wire has  less installation cost, and the same maintenance requirements, as a lawn sprinkler system.
  • Robot mowers improve grass health while reducing water and fertilizer requirements.
  • Robot mowers are quiet and do not pollute.
  • Robot mowers have significant safety benefits that reduce landscape business operating costs.

Mack Land, robot mower, pool removal company, landscape architect

Design for People, Accommodate Robots

  • Site analysis to address low spots, obstacles (trees, fences, water features), steep slopes.
  • Use landscape to avoid potential mower conflicts: narrow lawn sections, tight corners…
  • Edgers of metal and plastic are not to be used with robotic mowers.
  • Hard surfaces such as pavers, mulch or gravel level with the lawn, work well.
  • Gentle curves allow the robot mower to reach all desired areas, avoid 90 degree turns.


Robot mowers are for more than use residential use:

  • Commercial & Industrial Settings – vineyards, solar fields
  • School & Office Campuses – environmentally friendly
  • Hotels & Resorts – no loud mowers disrupting pool time
  • Municipalities – free up staff to address other items

The popularity of robot mowing has been on the rise in current years.  In Europe, the market has fully adopted robot mowers.  With all the makes and models coming on to the market, there is a robot mower for almost any size yard, including large fields.

Paradise Robotics, Ambrogio, robot mowing

If you are attending the iLandscape show, make sure to stop by the Paradise Robotics booth (#519) and talk to Kathy to learn more about robot mowing and find out more about other robots currently on the market.   If you live in the greater Chicago or Denver areas, give us a call .

Mack Land, robot mower, pool removal company, landscape architect