Buried Pool renovation

michmela44

Member
May 21, 2020
15
Lousiana
We purchased a house in 2011 with a buried pool in the backyard.

The neighbors told us the pool was buried because the original owners were getting older and didn't want to take care of the pool anymore.

I found an image of the pool from 1998 from satellite imagery:


When we purchased the house, it looked like this:




You can see that the edge of the pool was broken up so that it sits a few inches below the surface. The neighbors told us that before it was filled in, a bunch of junk was thrown in to fill space, then covered. We do not know anything about how much of a hole may be be punched through the bottom.

We have seen a few threads here where buried pools were recovered, but everyone around here that we called said there's no way to salvage it. Pool company said our only option was to get a smaller pool built inside the shell of the other pool.

We are looking to do as much of ourselves as possible.

The question is, what would make it not salvageable? Even if there are holes punched, can they just be filled with more concrete?

The walls are only broken off the top as far as about where the water line is. Is it ok to build this back up?

We are at a point where we need to make a decision on fixing it, or breaking up the rest of it so it's not sticking out of the ground anymore. Is there anything we should be on the lookup for that is a show-stopper? What would make this project unable to be completed?

Any help or advice is appreciated.



We found the steps earlier today:


Also looks like they plugged the lines before filling:


Found some of the old pool equipment:


And this is where we are now, trying to decide whether we should attempt to restore it as we find more of the original pool equipment buried:
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
2,387
NY
I think nobody wants the responsibility to charge you to dig it out just to find something non-fixable and not be able to finish. Nobody ever happily thanks the PB and pays them $1500 for their time.

That being said....... the Indiana Jones in me would just dig and dig until it was empty. But don't let curiosity kill the cat. Dig down evenly to avoid a dirt collapse from the part you havent touched yet. If not evenly, slope it gently so there is no cliff to give way.
 
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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
15,828
Northern NJ
Keep on digging until you find a showstopper. So far it looks good. It needs coping, tile, and plaster.

Have you found the location of the equipment pad? The pool probably needs a complete replumbing and you will need to cut up the deck and replace it.
 

michmela44

Member
May 21, 2020
15
Lousiana
There is no more equipment pad. It was removed. The electrical was taken over and run across the pool to the garage. That's the conduit that's running over the skimmer. The main panel on the house is near-by so getting the electrical for the pool shouldn't be a problem.

We are intending to dig enough to try to get a clear answer, but we are limited on space and can't store an extra 100+ yds of dirt in the back yard, so are just trying to get a small chunk cleared out to inspect it.

We expect we will have to replumb, and the concrete is already gonna be completely removed around it soon no matter what.

find something non-fixable and not be able to finish
That's what I'm trying to figure out. Is there anything not fixable?
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
15,828
Northern NJ
That's what I'm trying to figure out. Is there anything not fixable?
With the way what you have exposed looks I think it will be fixable. I doubt they went to any effort or expense to destroy the floor.

You will need to excavate around the outside to install new plumbing and lighting and trench to an equipment pad. You will have a good part of your yard dug up.
 
Last edited:

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
44,699
Tallahassee, FL
You rang????????? Oh am I glad I answered this call!!! WOW! You found a jewel right there!

I agree with everyone else..........it looks like they took the coping off.......EASY to put some back on! The walls look solid=SCORE! If they did punch a hole in the bottom=NO problem! We can help you fix that!

Now to find a place to put the dirt!

I am with NewDude in making more of a slope for your digging so you don't get trapped by falling dirt. I would dig down at an angle and find the bottom and see what is there.

If you are trying to figure costs going forward add in new plaster as IF the bottom is messed up.

I say GO FOR IT!!! Get some friends, fire up the grill, ice down the cooler and call it a party!!!
 

zea3

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
12,162
Houston, Texas
Call around and see if there are any places looking for fill dirt. They may be willing to come dig it out for a fee. You can also round up all the friends you can find to help dig and pay them off in free dirt and liquid refreshments. Maybe get some sand bags and fill them and stick them in front of the house with a big "free fill dirt" sign.

So far your pool looks better than some of the other pool rescues I've seen posted here.
Here is some inspiration:
 

GDN

Bronze Supporter
Oct 17, 2016
367
Dallas, TX
Very cool - looks like a fun project, but will be work. I can't imagine they would have had to damage the shell, but maybe did it so it wouldn't come out of the ground? Wouldn't just filling it in prevent that? Looks like a diving board on the right side, so going to be lots of digging down to 8 to 10'. If you're going to spend the money to do it, I think I'd start with hiring someone with a small excavator and dump truck. The problem is if you got to the bottom and truly found a lot of damage and changed your mind - the dirt would be gone. That would be incredible to see redone though. I have new threads up above to go read, I've never seen this truly done before.
 

michmela44

Member
May 21, 2020
15
Lousiana
We intend to hire someone to come dig and haul it off. We are waiting for a quote now.

We are only digging that way in the small spot because it’s the shallow end and just trying to see the bottom.

I think we are going to start digging out the broken edge all the way so we can see how far the damage goes down and assess it from there.

Given the current look, we are assuming we will be looking at a chip-out and replaster at a minimum. Any ideas a rough cost on that? Is that a practical DIY project?
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
44,699
Tallahassee, FL
The chip out can be a DIY. The plaster not so much as it is hard to find anyone that will see a DIY person plaster AND it does take skills and machines most people do not have.
 

michmela44

Member
May 21, 2020
15
Lousiana
What about products like Sider-Crete? Or should we just stay away from that type of stuff?

We want to try to DIY and save some $ where possible, but want it to be right and are ok hiring out when necessary