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Thread: Advice wanted on restoring a filled in pool/hot tub combo

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    Advice wanted on restoring a filled in pool/hot tub combo

    Hi all, I am new to this site and am looking for some advice on digging out a pool that is buried in my backyard. Approximately 3 years ago, the former owners of my house decided they no longer wanted their pool, filled it in with sand, and poured concrete on top. This week I broke up a little bit of the cement to see the condition of the pool and have attempted to attach a picture (sorry if the pic is sideways... the red part is the lip that hangs over the pool, and the brown on top of it is just the sand we dug out).

    I believe the pool is a cement pool, approximately 15' by 30', was built in the early 90s, and has a hot tub at one end. The pool is in El Paso, TX, and I believe it was a salt water pool. I do not believe that the former owners punched holes in the bottom of the pool, but have no way of knowing that for sure. The pump and filter are gone, but all the piping remains above ground on the walls running along our fence. The skimmer basket was also filled with sand and concreted over. I am unsure about the rest of the electrical/plumbing.

    So my question is how much $$$ do you all think it would take to restore this pool? I know an accurate estimate is probably not possible given the limited information, but I am hoping for a ballpark estimate ($$$ amount for best and worst case scenarios).

    We would like to do some of the work ourselves, but will need to hire professionals to do the electric and plumbing. We are thinking of hiring a crew to help us dig it out, or possibly attempt to re-plaster it ourselves. We do not have much DIY experience, so we are looking for any advice you may have. If we dig it out is there a certain end we should start at or specific way we should do it? Could digging out the pool damage it further (I have heard stories about pools "floating out" etc)? How important is it to have professionals re-plaster? Is it important that they be licensed and insured? Sorry for all the naive questions, but we are just a pair of first time home buyer who are out of our element lol. We are getting estimates this weekend from pool companies, but do not want to get taken advantage of, and are looking for DIY ways to cut costs if possible. Any help, estimates, or advice would be great. Thanks!
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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Advice wanted on restoring a filled in pool/hot tub comb

    What an undertaking that would be. How thick is the concrete? BUT if if could be done you would have a pool so......

    I have NO idea how much it would cost. Most of it will be labor. Oh you will have to find some place to put all of that dirt.

    Good luck!

    Kim
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    Re: Advice wanted on restoring a filled in pool/hot tub comb

    Your single biggest cost in restoring that pool is going to be the labor in getting rid of that concrete and sand. If you do it yourself you can save a lot of $$$. You will need a place to put all that, or may have to pay to get it taken away. I would get one of those tuff bags or whatever they are called from Home Depot. I am pretty sure you can at least put the concrete in it, and Waste Management will haul it away for the cost of the bag. If there are holes punched in the bottom I imagine they could be repaired. The small sample you have there, the pool actually looks to be in decent shape, considering.
    27' Round Might Sun AG Pool 18000 Gallon Intex Krystal Clear SWG Hayward Pump/Filter on a Timer

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    harleysilo's Avatar
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    Re: Advice wanted on restoring a filled in pool/hot tub comb

    You could also price out having one of those big Vacuum trucks come out and suck out all the sand...
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    Re: Advice wanted on restoring a filled in pool/hot tub comb

    Those "Tuff Bags" are no good deal here in the Northeast. I was able to get a 20 yard dumpster for the same price.

    I'd advertise on Craigslist for free fill. A small bobcat front loader and a few day laborers will help too.

    Problem with projecting cost is the unknown condition of what's underneath all this fill. BTW, I'd leave the plastering to the pros.
    Anthony Pool, 35k gal plaster, DE (1.5hp Ultraflow), Rainbow 320, Dolphin Diagnostic 2001 (Advantage) & Polaris, Retrofitted Anthony mod #20 120v Niche light with Pentair 5G & adapter ring, 70's build / recoped and plastered 1.5 years ago

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    Re: Advice wanted on restoring a filled in pool/hot tub comb

    Some thoughts:

    1. I would call several pool and excavation contractors to give you bids. That will tell you two things: First cost and second the work required. At that point you could negotiate parts you could do yourself and parts you could hire a contractor. Make sure they are itemized detailed bids.

    2. You can plaster yourself, several folks on here have, but it is not something for the faint of heart. Use the search function to find their posts.

    3. This is going to cost money, getting rid of concrete is usually not cheap nor is digging out a pool. Plus you will have to replace/redo the coping and the decking.

    4. Call around, use Yelp/Angies List to find a couple of old local pool service guys and talk to them about it. You want guys with leather skin who only wear shorts and sweat chlorine. They are around and they have seen this done.

    5. Have fun!!
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Advice wanted on restoring a filled in pool/hot tub comb

    We have a few of these *Dig Out* threads here at TFP. It can be done!

    I would be tickled pink if I found this gem in my back yard!
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

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    ComputerGuyInNOLA's Avatar
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    Re: Advice wanted on restoring a filled in pool/hot tub comb

    I can't wait to see what you do with this. I am rooting for you! Good luck!
    Gunite/Plaster pool at 13k gallons. All Jandy with CL340 series cartridge filter, 1.5 HP Jandy Stealth pump. Jandy 1400 SWCG and PDA4 controller. Dual waterfalls. Polaris 280. Pool installed August 2012. Southern Louisiana. And lets not forget my trusty TF100 test kit!

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    Re: Advice wanted on restoring a filled in pool/hot tub comb

    Hi all, thanks for the advice/encouragement! Today we dug some more and got to the bottom of the end of the deep end (it is approximately 6 feet), and the pool light seem to still be intact although we have not reconnected the breaker for that yet. We also dug out the majority of the hot tub, and there is about 2 inches of water on the bottom. This was a little surprising because we did not find a huge pool of water in the deep end. Does anyone know what this might mean? We do live in a desert and it does not rain a lot, so maybe that plays a role?

    We also dug out the filter basket hole on the side of the pool and it looks fine. We got our first estimate today and it was cheaper than we thought! The company wants $2,000 to dig out and remove sand, and then $3,000 -$4,000 to replaster. Does this sound about right? I thought re plastering would cost more (we do live in a low income city so maybe that drives down the costs)?

    We are getting our second estimate tomorrow, and then our third on Monday. I will post more pics soon

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    Re: Advice wanted on restoring a filled in pool/hot tub comb

    Best of luck and please post more pics!
    24,000 20x42 double roman end in ground pool being built. Start date june13, 2012.
    Finished July 4th, 2012, sports pool, vinyl,SWG, DE filter, fountains. Heat pump,
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    clambert1273's Avatar
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    Re: Advice wanted on restoring a filled in pool/hot tub comb

    For about 6K, I would have already had it dug out




    Christina
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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Advice wanted on restoring a filled in pool/hot tub comb

    Quote Originally Posted by ComputerGuyInNOLA
    I can't wait to see what you do with this. I am rooting for you! Good luck!

    Me too!

    I would say yes, you absolutely want a pro to re-plaster it. Keep looking into all the angles you are now, and you will come out fine I bet. I know this does get expensive, but if I were in your shoes I would sure want to do it. I want a true pool so bad right now I just can't imagine how someone comes to the decision of "yep, lets fill'er in".

    Man...I just can't imagine it!

    Oh hey....Welcome to TFP!
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    Re: Advice wanted on restoring a filled in pool/hot tub comb

    Bid to plaster looks about right to me (I am in DFW) for plaster (upgrades would be more). $2,000 for a dig out looks like a bargain to me but I don't have anything to compare it to... just someone would have to pay me a lot more. Equipment would depend on how many gallons the pool is. A VERY ROUGH idea of filter cost (someone here can do much better than me) is that my pool which is very roughly the same size as yours has a DE filter with 60 feet of grid. I was pricing them over the weekend and I was looking at $700ish for the filter. No labor included. I have no idea what the pump would cost. And I don't have a spa but it looks like you are going to need a heater.

    Another question would be if any of the neighbors know why they filled the pool. If the pool is cracked that leads to additional cost/problems. I am a new pool owner, but I would be digging that sucker out! It should be way cheaper than starting from scratch unless you run into huge structural problems.

    Good luck! Remember to get us lots of pictures!
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    Re: Advice wanted on restoring a filled in pool/hot tub comb

    Sounds great so far! Good luck, and please keep the pictures coming!!!!
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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Advice wanted on restoring a filled in pool/hot tub comb

    I like the idea of asking the neighbors. Maybe someone will know something about the pool history.
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