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Three ideas for what you can do with that swimming pool you never use

(Public Domain Photo)

Tired of your swimming pool?

Maybe you hardly ever splash around in it any more now that the children are older and off to college. Maybe you only use it two or three times a year and you don’t like the maintenance it takes. Maybe you’ve even daydreamed about getting rid of it someday.

Here are three ideas for that unused pool:

Remove it

The cost will depend on the size of your pool, and also on whether an earthmover can easily get into your yard. Demolition companies estimate the cost from $2,700 to $13,000 for the entire removal. Some plants — plus the fence — might have to be moved or removed before work begins.

Often a company will refer you to a demolition expert. You want to be sure that the contractor gets the required permits. City rules about how the removal must be done may vary. Don’t forget to turn off the water and power.

First, the pool is drained. Then the demolition crew digs a five-by-five foot hole in the bottom that gets filled with a base of crushed rock. That way, rainfall or other water can drain out after the empty hole is filled in.

Cities usually require the removal of the top two or three feet of the pool walls plus the decking. Often the demolition contractor will dump this debris into the hole rather than taking it away, if the owner agrees.

Finally, the site is covered with top soil, and the area is graded so you can landscape or put in a patio.

Sometimes it’s better to remove the entire structure because a homeowner who later sells and moves might not tell a buyer that some debris from the old pool is still in the backyard.

Retire it

Deckover Pool Retirement of Phoenix has another solution for those who want more outdoor living space but don’t want to get rid of the pool: The firm can build a deck using composite lumber.

That deck goes on a structure of wooden beams built inside your empty pool. It is drained, of course, and utilities turned off.

The whole process takes about a week and some homeowners even use the empty pool as a storage area.

To prevent drainage or mold problems in the pool, a pump is installed to remove possible rainwater and ventilation areas are provided so the shell can breathe. The pool is basically intact under the flooring so that, at a future time, it might possibly be used again, although it may need some spiffing up.

Cover it temporarily

Maybe you still love your pool, but you want to put it into secure “hibernation” during the summer when you’re off to the Midwest or when you take off on a long vacation.

The right solar cover can also enhance safety, which is very important when you’re away for a while. You might have a secure fence, but curious children can climb fences when no one is there to stop them. Choose a really secure cover with fasteners that anchor into the pool decking.

A pool with water in it can actually hibernate for months as long as the chemistry is done properly. The water will remain clear and safe to swim in later, though some debris may have to be removed at the pool bottom.

If you just cover the pool for a single season, you can simply put chlorine in it and dive in. If you decide to leave it covered for more than a year, however, you may want to drain and refill before using it again.

Covers can fit not only the pool but also the stairs and water features. The cost generally ranges from $2,500 to $3,500 depending on the size.

That may seem expensive, but the cover will slow down on evaporation and reduce your water bill. You will save hundreds because you won’t need to run the pump as often and you’ll also save on buying chemicals. You can cancel your pool service as well.

For more homeowner advice, DIY tips and videos, and information about all the projects around your house, home, castle or cabin, visit Arizona’s largest collection of homeowner DIY advice and information at RosieontheHouse.com.

And if you are in need of a quality contractor you know you can trust, visit our list of Arizona’s very best contractors or service providers for your home improvement projects at RosieontheHouse.com – Arizona’s most-trusted referral network.

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