How Much Does It Cost To Fill A Pool [Inground & Above Ground]

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Dealing with the maintenance and the cost of chemicals is just too much sometimes. No wonder that people decide to fill in their pool. But you gotta keep the cost of doing that in mind.

How much does it cost to fill a pool?

The average cost to fill an inground pool ranges from $8,000 – $20,000. The cost range may increase depending on the pool size and the filling material. With above ground pools, you’d just need to calculate the demolition cost. Because they don’t require filling. The average demolition cost for an above-ground pool ranges from $3,000 – $8,000.

That was only a part of the whole discussion. Need more details? Then keep reading till the end. It’ll surely help you organize your budget plan.

Don’t just wait! Let’s begin!

Filling a Pool Cost Calculator

It’s troublesome to separately calculate all the cost factors for filling a pool. But not with this filling pool cost calculator. You can calculate the total cost for filling a pool based on its size.

I’ve included the calculator for both the inground and above ground pools. Hopefully, this saves your time and makes the work easier.

Cost For Filling An Inground Pool With Dirt

Permit Cost $50-$250$50-$250$50-$250$50-$250$50-$250
Engineer Fee$500-$1,350$500-$1,350$500-$1,350$500-$1,350$500-$1,350
Pool Draining $0-$175$0-$175$0-$175$0-$175$0-$175
Demolition Cost$300-$2,040$720-$4,896$1,125-$7,650$2,000-$13,600$3,750-$25,500
Filling Cost (with dirt)$600-$1,300$900-$2,200$1,400-$3,200$2,400-$6,000$4,500-$10,500
Rental Equipment Cost$1,437-$5,740$1,437-$5,740$1,437-$5,740$1,437-$5,740$1,437-$5,740

Cost For Filling An Inground Pool With Concrete

Permit Cost $50-$250$50-$250$50-$250$50-$250$50-$250
Engineer Fee$500-$1,350$500-$1,350$500-$1,350$500-$1,350$500-$1,350
Pool Draining $0-$175$0-$175$0-$175$0-$175$0-$175
Demolition Cost$300-$2,040$720-$4,896$1,125-$7,650$2,000-$13,600$3,750-$25,500
Filling Cost (with concrete)$800-$1,600$1,152-$2,304$1,800-$3,600$3,200-$6,400$6,000-$12,000
Rental Equipment Cost$1,437-$5,740$1,437-$5,740$1,437-$5,740$1,437-$5,740$1,437-$5,740

Cost For Demolition Of An Aboveground Pool Without Filling

Permit Cost $50-$250$50-$250$50-$250$50-$250$50-$250
Pool Draining $0-$175$0-$175$0-$175$0-$175$0-$175
Demolition Cost$300-$800$300-$800$300-$800$300-$800$300-$800
Rental Equipment Cost$297-$1,040$297-$1,040$297-$1,040$297-$1,040$297-$1,040

An above ground pool doesn’t need to be filled. 

Need more details? Then move on to the cost breakdown section. It’ll hold the answers to your questions.

Filling a Pool Cost Breakdown

The cost of filling a pool is no joke. But the cost of maintaining a pool is no measly matter either. 

It might cost you a lot to demolish an inground pool and fill it. But it’s still better than paying the monthly maintenance and the chemical fees.

Plus it’s gonna raise your home value and give you a free backyard. So, filling in a rarely used swimming pool is definitely a better choice. 

But brace yourself. Because the cost won’t be a measly amount.

We see people having either inground or above ground pools in their homes. Inground pools are those that have been built underground. 

Aboveground pools are made above the surface. Their structure is different from inground pools. Most above ground pools do not have a solid structure like an inground one. 

That’s why they are more vulnerable than an inground pool. You have to spend less to build them. The same goes for demolishing them. 

Since they don’t have a sturdy heavy-built structure, it’s easier to demolish them. You only have to worry about the fencing part of it. 

Dealing with the rest is easy. But that’s not the case for an inground pool. An inground pool is a giant hole in the ground. Filling it requires a lot of materials and labor work.

But before that, you’d have to get a local permit and hire an engineer. They guide you on how it should be demolished and then filled in. All of these steps come with a heavy price.

If you’re to demolish your backyard pool you will need a budget plan first. Otherwise, you might end up with a huge debt on your bank account. 

Now, don’t be so worried. The next segment is just what you need.

I’ll be discussing all the costing factors for filling in a pool here. So, keep reading!

Permit Cost

Filling in or demolishing an inground pool requires local permits and inspection. Filling in a pool is a big demolition project. Because the waterline, drainage line of the local area can be related to it.

An inground pool removal permit costs around $50-$250 on average. The price range may differ depending on different states. It also depends on the type of removal.

While inground pools require permits many above ground pools don’t require one. It basically depends on the pool structure and the area you live in. Check with your local jurisdiction to know if you’ll require one or not.

Most of the above ground pools are not permanent structures. Such pools don’t require permits. But it mostly depends on your location’s juridical rules. Some states may require a permit for building or demolishing an above-ground pool.

Having a professional contractor will be a lot of help in resolving this issue. Getting a permit is easy for professional contractors. They can pull all the necessary permits in place of their clients. 

That’s why it’s important to hire a good contractor for the job. A hired professional contractor won’t miss any necessary legal steps. It takes almost three to four weeks to obtain the permit.

Hiring Engineer

Demolition of a pool is a complex project. How it should be demolished or filled in depends on many factors. 

The pool’s structure also matters. The demolition and filling in should be properly planned.

The land might be used to build a different structure in the future. So, it’s important that everything is designed properly. Engineers may take density testing on your inground pool. 

This test reveals whether the land will be suitable for future constructions or not. Hiring an engineer for this job will cost you around $500-$1,350 on average. The charge might be higher depending on the complexity of the location.

For above-ground pools, it’s the same as it was for permits. If the pool structure isn’t permanent, there’s no need to hire an engineer. But if the structure is solid you might need an engineer.

Because demolition without any planning might end up ruining your yard. You wouldn’t wanna see your house lose its charm for saving a few hundred. They can also help you with your inground pool landscaping after the demolition.

Pool Draining

Draining a pool of water can cost you $175 to no money at all. The draining is easy. Any swimming pool owner can do it by themselves. That is if there isn’t any clogging on the draining line.

The water should be drained without having any issues. But in case you’re facing any problem let the professionals deal with it. Depending on how serious the issue is it might cost you a few hundred.

Demolition Of The Pool Surface

Before you fill in your pool its structure needs to be demolished. It should be back to the shape of an ordinary square-shaped ground hole. 

The demolition cost depends on the pool material. It also depends on the equipment needed to clear them.

Concrete and granite are the heaviest pool material. They are costly to remove as they require heavier equipment. The concrete on the ground and sidelines need to be broken and hauled away.

Vinyl and fiberglass pools are cheaper than concrete and granite. It would cost you less to demolish them. 

The demolition cost ranges from $2.5-$17 per sq. ft. It includes the labor cost as well.

Considering the dept in 6 feet, let’s see the table below for better understanding:

Pool SizeArea Size in Sq. Ft. Estimated Cost
10’x20’120 sq. ft.$300-$2,040
12’x24’288 sq. ft.$720-$4,896
15’x30’450 sq. ft.$1,125-$7,650
20’x40’800 sq. ft.$2,000-$13,600
30’x50’1,500 sq. ft.$3,750-$25,500

This cost range covers the full demolition of an inground pool. Note that the high-ranged cost is for granite and concrete material. Also, remember, the harder it’s to remove, the costlier it’s gonna be. 

For an above ground pool, the average demolition cost is around $300 to $800.

Filling The Pool Cost

You can fill the inground pool with dirt or concrete. This is the most expensive part of the whole project. 

The filling cost depends on the depth and area of the pool. The bigger the pool is, the more material you’re gonna need to fill in.

The general rule for filling a pool is to have 80% structural fill. The remaining 20% should be filled with topsoil. 

The cost for these materials per cubic yard is given below:

MaterialCost Per Cubic Yard
Structural fill dirt$10-$30
Fill sand$15-$40
Topsoil $5-$50
Gravel $15-$75

Two popular ways to fill a pool are to use dirt or concrete. Let’s take a look at the cost of these filling materials-

Filling With Dirt

Filling a pool with dirt will cost you less than filling it with concrete. The cost for filling a pool with dirt costs $10-$30 per cubic yard. This amount covers the delivery, labor, and material fees.

The table below shows the cost for filling a pool with dirt:

Pool SizeEstimated Cost

Note that the pool is 6 feet deep.

Filling With Concrete

Filling a pool with concrete is costly. Pool companies don’t usually use concrete to fill pools. Because they increase the total cost a lot. 

Using the broken concrete pieces from demolition is sometimes used for filling. It also decreases the total cost a little bit.

The cost for filling a pool with concrete costs $4-$8 per sq. ft. It includes the labor, delivery, and material cost. 

The table below shows the cost for filling a pool with concrete:

Pool SizeEstimated Cost

This table is made for pools that are 6 feet deep.

Rental Equipment Cost

Demolition of an old pool and filling it with new materials require heavy equipment. Because the broken-up solid grounds are heavy to lift. The same goes for the filling materials.

You can rent these tools and equipment on contract for pool removal. These types of equipment must be handled by professional demolition contractors. Because they can damage your property.

You’re gonna need a list of equipment for this project. Don’t worry, I’ve listed them for you. The table below shows the tools & equipment you’ll need for this project. 

I’ve also mentioned which equipment is for inground pools and which are for above-ground. Let’s take a look-

Equipment Rental Cost (Inground)Rental Cost (Above-ground)
Excavator $300-$1,500N/A
Jackhammer/Heavy-duty Drill$100-$400N/A
Plate Compactor$40-$200N/A
Skid Steer$2,00-$1,000N/A
Wheelbarrow $12-$70$12-$70
Bulldozer $500-$1,600N/A
Water Pump$40-$70$40-$70
Hand Tools$25-$350$25-$350
Dumpster $220-$550$220-$550


All the processes of demolition and filling the pool might ruin your surrounding landscape. The newly achieved land will also require some landscaping. The cost for landscaping ranges from $4-$12 per sq. ft.

The cost mainly depends on how much surrounding you want to work on. You can leave the pool area as it is and work on the deck. This depends on how you want to make your land look.

For your ease, I’ve included the cost for landscaping for different area sizes below-

Pool SizeNew Land AcquiredCost For Landscaping
10’x20’200 sq. ft.$800-$2,400
12’x24’288 sq. ft.$1,152-$3,456
15’x30’450 sq. ft.$1,800-$5,400
20’x40’800 sq. ft.$3,200-$9,600
30’x50’1,500 sq. ft.$6,000-$18,000

Looks like you can cover the cost of remodeling a bathroom with that amount, doesn’t it? Yes, landscaping is gonna be costly. But it’ll also give you a beautiful yard to look forward to.

Other Costs

Apart from all the costs mentioned above, there’ll be a few extra costs too. Sometimes these costs can be handled in cheaper ways. I’ll let you know about them in your next segment.

Now, let’s see the list of our extra cost factors-

ItemsRental Cost (Inground)
Filling material$5,00-$7,000
Dumpster Rental $220-$550
Debris Haul-Off$150-$380
Remove Pool Enclosure$800-$2,000
Remove Pool Deck$500-$1,700

Note that these filling materials might not be needed for an above-ground pool. Because I already mentioned that not all above ground pools need filling. But if it needs to be filled, you’re going to need them.

How To Save Money On Filling A Pool?

Filling a pool is in no way a cheap project. Even more so if it’s an inground pool. It almost costs the same amount as the cost of adding a second story

But there’s still room for saving some money. Here are some tips that might be helpful to you-

Cut Extra Expenses

Any cost mentioned above can’t be called extra expenses. But if you’re really tight on budget then think of the least important factors.

For example, you can leave the landscaping part for later. At least, you’d have your pool filled. 

Although you’d have to look at a messy construction site, it can be dealt with later. So, don’t worry!

Cheaper Filling Materials

Choose dirt instead of concrete to fill your pool. That is if you don’t plan on making heavy construction in that area. 

But do consult it with an engineer first. They can assure you that using cheap materials can be an option for you. Also, use the demolished parts of your pool as filling materials. It’ll save some cost for you. 

Hiring Contractors

Look in multiple companies to hire a contractor for your project. That way you’ll get to know about rates for other contractors. It’ll help you with bargaining the fees. 

Always look in at least 3 different service providers. That way no one can overcharge you. 

By the way, if you want to observe the filling in work, do wear safety gear. These include goggles and gloves mainly. 

I’ve mentioned some good ones here-

Product 1
Product 2

Hopefully, all these pieces of information are enough to make your budget plan. 


Question: Partial removal or full removal, which would be better for demolishing a pool?

Answer: Partial removal costs less than the full removal of a pool. But it’s better to do the full removal instead. Because it’ll make your pool area look more presentable. You can also utilize the full land and make future plans for it.

Question: Does adding pools increase home value?

Answer: Adding a pool in your house may increase your annual property taxes. But it doesn’t increase the selling price of your home. Most people prefer an open backyard to have a pool. Because maintenance of a pool is troublesome and costly. 

Question: How long can I keep my pool closed?

Answer: If you live in a cold climate area, the time limit is 6-months. Because in cold areas bacteria and insect growth are minimal. If it’s located in a warm climate, the time limit is 2 months. Don’t keep your pool closed for more than two months. Take proper preparations beforehand. This way you won’t have to deal with bacteria and insect manifestation later.

Last Words

That was all from me regarding how much it costs to fill a pool. I tried to fill you in with all the necessary information you could use. 

Hopefully, this was enough to help you make a pool-filling budget plan. Don’t forget to do a background check before hiring a contractor. 

Lastly, good luck with your renovation project!

Scott Kelly
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