Bringing Life Back to an Old Pool

Have you recently purchase a house with an old pool that hasn’t been opened in years?  Has the pool in your backyard seen better days?  Is your liner ripped or the plaster cracked? Are you wondering if there is a chance of Bringing Life Back to an Old Pool? Perhaps the time has come to remove it

Bringing Life Back to an Old Pool – First Steps

The first step with concrete or gunite pools is to drain the water to best assess the situation.  Depending on how long it has been sitting, you may need to clear out leaves and other debris as well.  With vinyl liner and fiberglass pools, there is some risk involved with draining the pool.  Fiberglass pools are lightweight and can move or float without the weight of the water holding it in place.  Vinyl liners can shrink and shift. 

Water Talk

If you opt to not drain the pool completely and the water is questionably green, time and effort can bring it back to clear.  A process of removing all the organic debris, cleaning the sides and bottom, checking the water balance, shocking the pool and filtering the water can bring it back. 

Alternatively, you can fill the pool with new water.  We recommend using a water truck service.  You can fill the pool from your hose but that takes time and with well water, you may be filling the pool with water high in minerals or metals.


Now you move on to the repairs.  Concrete or gunite pools can have stains, rough texture, or leaks.  All of these should be addressed and repaired prior to resurfacing.  The pool will need to be prepped for the new surface, this can be achieved through sand blasting or hydro blasting.  Then the pool surface finish material can be installed. 

Denver weather report

With vinyl liner pools, you may need to install a new liner. You may need new faceplates and gaskets as well.

So, as you can see there are many pros and cons as well as many decisions to be made about Bringing Life Back to an Old Pool. We have been involved in the Denver Pool Removal business for many years. Please contact us for the best advice.

Pool Demolition and Removal, Arlington Heights, IL

The Best Pool Removal Contractor in Arlington Heights

Swimming Pool Demolition and Removal Services

Are you thinking about removing your inground swimming pool and are in the Arlington Heights area? Call MackLand, LLC – landscape architects and pool removal contractor – to speak with a professional company that specializes in pool removals. Our family run business has the experience and knowledge to handle any pool removal issues you may have. We were the first to offer pool removal services in Chicagoland.

  • 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
  • The value of performance and experience is often overlooked.
  • One of the biggest differences in our services is that we are concerned about the impact to your property during the pool removal process. We use ground protection and specialized low ground pressure equipment.

If you are ready to find out more about removing your swimming pool, please do not hesitate to give us a call or fill our our form. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about pool removals or any of the other services that we offer.

America’s #1 Source for Pool Removals

Defining the Role of a Landscape Architect

And how it may apply to your project.

Every landscape architect will have their own unique description of what they do. From historical preservation, to golf course design, commercial projects, residential, and property management, landscape architects are involved. The field of landscape architecture overlaps many studies including ecology, engineering, architecture, sociology, horticulture, soil sciences, graphic communication and art, to name a few. Fredrick Law Olmstead is considered the father of American landscape architecture and pioneered the field in the late nineteenth century.

One of Fredrick Law Olmstead greatest works was Central Park in New York City. At 840 acres, Central Park is a true oasis in the middle of the city, a break from the hustle and bustle of city life. The trees provide shade from the sun on hot summer days. The pathways meander through scenic landscapes and frames views that inspire. This is a timeless masterpiece that keeps reinventing itself. Even though parts of the park were closed due to the pandemic, users were still able to walk through the park and experience the positive effect of nature.

Aerial view of Central Park lake in autumn.

Definition of a Landscape Architect:

From the ASLA: Landscape architecture involves the planning, design, management, and nurturing of the built and natural environments. With their unique skill set, landscape architects work to improve human and environmental health in all communities. They plan and design parks, campuses, streetscapes, trails, plazas, residences, and other projects that strengthen communities. 

Illinois Title Law: Landscape architects are responsible for arranging outdoor spaces and objects to create a safe, efficient, healthful and aesthetically pleasing environment.

Colorado Code of Regulations: Landscape architects lead the planning, design, and stewardship of healthy, equitable, safe, and resilient environments.

The role of a landscape architect is to know what professional to turn to solve a complex problem in the landscape, knowing when to consult a civil engineer or architect. The difference between an engineered solution and one by a landscape architect – an engineered solution will be more of a mathematical, efficient solution, where the landscape architecture solution takes more of the character of the site as a whole into consideration. 

Landscape architects are not substitutes for engineers, architects, and other scientists, but there is some overlap in the tasks a landscape architect performs, such as preparation of grading plans, design of decks, outdoor structures, and retaining walls. The landscape architects at MackLand focus on commercial landscape design plans.

Different states have different laws governing what landscape architects can do.  One of the biggest challenges that one faces after going through the rigorous process of an accredited landscape architecture program and the following testing for licensure, is others claiming to be able to do the same without the same credentials. 

Bethesda Terrace in Central Park.

Every landscape architect tends to develop their own niche in the field. Here at MackLand, we are swimming pool specialists. We remove old pools and install new ones.  When we remove swimming pools, we make a great effort to restore the yard as much as possible to how it was prior to the pool.  Taking into consideration character, grading, and soil profiles so that when we are completed with our project, you can not tell there was a pool there. 

As a commitment to the sustainability of the swimming pool industry, we recommend hauling all of the old pool offsite. This is to make the area where the pool was as usable as possible. You never know when a future resident may want to put a pool back in.

During a pool removal, a lot of landscape problems can come up.  Such as what to do next, figuring out hardscape issues, designing of a new patio and planting, and in general, how to utilize the new space. 

When we install swimming pools, we design custom pools and hardscape to meet the needs of our clients with functional space, adding value and character to the area.  Creating a backyard oasis that adds long lasting value to the property.  One of our biggest assets is that our pool removal business has given us a unique perspective on what works and what doesn’t. 

If you are looking for a landscape architect to help you with your next project, give us a call. We would love to work with you.

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.

MackLand’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 MackLand 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, MackLand 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.  MackLand 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 MackLand 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 MackLand, 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