Non functioning in ground pool

Tommie Jack
by Tommie Jack
We are looking at a house with a non functioning in ground pool. The options given us was to fill it in, or very expensive repairs of the pumping system. It holds water fine, thinking of making a fishing pond for the grand kids, any ideas?
  13 answers
  • A lot of your consideration needs to be around safety. A built in pool contains a lot of water and can create a hazard for small kids. Unlike a pond that is only a foot or two deep, a small child can stand up in, a deep swimming pool is much more dangerous. Given the amount of water in the pool it needs to be aerated at a much higher level as well to provide what is needed to grow plants and fish. Making a pond out of a pool is expensive, much more than installing a new filter and a few pipes. If your issue with expense is the driving factor, remove the pool and have a small fish pond installed once its back filled. Remember also, insurance costs. If you have a pool in ground your insurance rates will go up as does your local taxes, at least in my area. I would have the pool demoed and remove the cement from the hole. Backfilled and landscaped. Many pool removal companies simply break the pool up and bury the cement. Something you do not want to do. As in the future you will need to inform any buyers of the presence of this cement as part of the disclosure and this can break the deal. Another reason why to remove the cement is voids are created that often times after a while become sink holes in the yard. Remove it, and install a small rubber swimming pool or fish pond in its place.
  • Annie Annie on Jan 29, 2015
    I saw and went into a pool that was converted into a Pool (billiards) Room. He build a roof over the empty pool. We entered at the shallow end steps. In the deep end he put in a floor to level the bottom.
  • Patti Patti on Jan 29, 2015
    Hi, Repair the pool! I owned a house with a pool for 15 years and it was wonderful to have. It makes you feel like you are on vacation when you are sitting out by th pool. I would get 3 to 5 quotes on repairs and check references. You will find a large discrepency in repair prices! Then save your money and repair the pool. Next purchase would be an automatic vacuum-made all the difference in keeping the pool clean without a whole lot of labour. They go on sale too! Of course, check your city bylaws to ensure you are following all the safety rules! If you make an offer on the house, phone a pool company or two, find out the average price of purchasing a new pump and labour and reduce your offer price by that amount and explain your offer amount to the agent or homeowner. Or, you could always add a condition to your offer that they have the pool in working order by the sale date. A pool is not hard to maintain and will give you many great memories and years of enjoyment! Good luck in your decision making! Patti
  • MagnoliaMama MagnoliaMama on Jan 29, 2015
    My relative decided she didn't want her pool, but she did want someplace more private for guests to stay. She leveled the bottom of the pool, and it became the basement of a charming little guesthouse built directly above it!
  • DawnandTravis Baxter DawnandTravis Baxter on Jan 29, 2015
    Keep the pool and fix it. It is already there so the main cost is done. We loved ours and just bought another house with one built in. Was a mess to have one put in and have the new sod put down and water it. You will have a great time sitting around the pool and at night get a little fire going and a tv out side and float in the pool it is awesome :)
  • Lisa L Lisa L on Jan 29, 2015
    If you don't employ a pump it wouldn't be a fishing pond, but an algae/mosquito breeding ground. If you convert it to a pond it will need some source of moving and aerating the water to keep it from getting stagnant. Inquire at foster& They have a ton of support and ideas for pond building and supplies. Pinterest also has a ton of ideas for natural swimming pools and fish ponds. You could probably get by with a less expensive pump and a biological filter than what it would cost to get a real pool filter/pump. Might be kinda fun... You can plant potted water lilies and water plants as well. Eventually the floor of the pond will build up a layer of silt soil and it will look very beautiful and natural. Good luck!
    • See 3 previous
    • Carra Mary Ann Cole Carra Mary Ann Cole on Nov 02, 2020

      I agree with the mosquito breeding ground. Been there and couldn't spend more than 5 minutes in the patio area. Check out my comments and photos below.

  • Tommie Jack Tommie Jack on Jan 29, 2015
    Thank you everyone who commented Let me say safety is our concern, but the pool is already fenced, the repairs and up keep of a pool is my biggest concern,( Since probably only my dog will use it for swimming,) we have beautiful clear rivers here in Idaho., and I am highly allergic to chlorine and such but a trout pond sounds so much better, already have pumps and aerators from past pond building so we will see what the county and lender say
    • See 1 previous
    • Carra Mary Ann Cole Carra Mary Ann Cole on Nov 02, 2020

      Dogs are constantly drowning in pools. They can't get out like with a pond. This was the primary reason I filled mine pool in and laid sod.

  • Mabeline Mabeline on Jan 29, 2015
    I am thinking that a koi pond water garden would be delightful and enjoyable.
  • Lisa L Lisa L on Jan 29, 2015
    Natural pools are becoming very popular these days. They can be for swimming and recreation, but are in a more natural state, and don't require chlorine. They are varied in design and very pastoral and beautiful. I think this movement is a result of people being concerned about constant exposure to chlorine and harsh pool chemicals.
  • Brenda Webster Brenda Webster on Jan 29, 2015
    If I was lucky enough to have this dilemma, I would thoroughly clean the whole pool, put steps all along the shallow end and arrange some patio furniture, a firepit, a BBQ grill, some lighting and some potted plants and trees. Perhaps new paint and some mosaics.
  • Gail Salminen Gail Salminen on Jan 29, 2015
    @Tommie Jack have you consulted a pool company. We have had our pump replaced for our inground pool and it wasn't that expensive - probably cheaper then filling in with dirt. Perhaps they mean the piping to the pool needs to be replaced which would require digging etc. I think I would check first. If replacing the pump you may also be able to convert to a salt water pool which I understand to be easier to maintain, this could take care of your allergy to chlorine. As for making it into a pool, I think it would be easier to teach grandkids pool safety rather than pool safety, either way a vigilant eye needs to be maintained when they are around. Our grandson learned easily and has great respect for water and also enjoys the pool a great deal.
  • John Thompson John Thompson on Aug 02, 2015
    I am not sure, but a pools walls are supported by the water. Without water the walls become week. Also most pools are too deep to make a pond out of it. It would be very dangerous. Finally, no matter what you do the water will have to be moving or it will be a big mess. I would guess you are going to put at least 5 to 10 thousand dollars in it either to fix it or remove it.
  • Carra Mary Ann Cole Carra Mary Ann Cole on Nov 02, 2020

    The house I bought had a decommissioned pool that the previous owner put a deck over with a little plunge pool to beat the heat. Unfortunately they did not think to concept out well and had put a sub-pump in the sand bottom with PVC pipe to pump out the rain water. This would have been fine for a concrete bottom, but the pump just sucked up the sand and clogged the pump and pipe creating a mosquito breeding ground.

    I wanted some green space that I could enjoy and a friend suggested a fire pit as an option. It took about $3000 and some time to get what I wanted, but thrilled with the results. - Photos with sod were taken Halloween 2020, Lazy Bones is not always there, but might leaving him when I retire to keep me company