repair or remove fiberglass pool before selling house

al27

Well-known member
Sep 11, 2017
66
Franklin, TN
We plan on selling our house in the next year or two and we are trying to decide if we should fix the problems with our 15-year-old fiberglass pool or remove it. The biggest issue with this pool is that it is over 2" off level. (The shallow end is approximately 2 inches lower than the deep end.). The settling has caused several leaks in the past two years and it has caused cracks to develop in the concrete cantilever coping above the tiles and on the deck. The leaks have been fixed but the cracks above the tile and along the deck would need to be repaired since they are an eyesore. These repairs are going to be expensive so I'm wondering if it would be worth fixing since the pool will still be 2" off level. I know from experience that leaks are expensive to fix so I'm concerned that we could experience more leaks after it is fixed since it will still be 2" off level. How big of a deal is it that the pool is 2" off level? Would the experienced pool owners on here purchase a house with a 15-year old fiberglass pool that is 2" off evel and there is no easy way to re-level it? Since the swim season is only 5 months here, I've been told that pools don't add much value unless they are in good shape. If the pool being 2 inches off level is going to cause more leaks or other issues in the future, it might be in our best interest to remove the pool rather than repair it. Any advice would be appreciated.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
10,847
Northern NJ
As much as I hate killing pools it sounds like your pool is terminal. As is it will create friction for any sale. And if you disclose it it will chase away many buyers who do not want to deal with it. If you do not disclose it and let it be discovered during inspections after contract you risk tieing up your sale in renegotiations or having buyers back out.

You will not recover the cost of installing a new pool in the sale of the house. Do what makes economic sense.
 
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sktn77a

Gold Supporter
May 16, 2010
1,422
Chapel Hill, NC
I'd look into leveling the decking/coping around the pool and then re-tiling to be level with the water. This should be much less than a full blown pool remodel or removal.
 
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chazas

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 4, 2007
75
Manassas, VA
I'd look into leveling the decking/coping around the pool and then re-tiling to be level with the water. This should be much less than a full blown pool remodel or removal.
Agree. That’s what my installers told me they do if the worst happens on an initial install, tile the rim to be level then pour a level deck so it’s not noticeable.
 
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RuralTexas

Well-known member
Mar 3, 2019
105
Houston area
Our fiberglass pool was a lot older, but, even back at 15, it needed a serious facelift. We knew the old pool would be an issue if we ever needed/wanted to sell. An older pool in need of repair will always scare a portion of potential buyers away.

"You will not recover the cost of installing a new pool in the sale of the house. Do what makes economic sense".

We looked into repairing our fiberglass pool before deciding to build our new gunite pool - at 30 years it was a gut job. They are much cheaper to take out than to repair. I don't know how to link my thread, there are pictures there of ours being removed.
 
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Rich D

Bronze Supporter
Aug 3, 2018
583
MA
In my opinion filling it in is the only correct thing to do. As stated above you might not even recoup the expense of 'Patching' not 'fixing' the issues. Nobody can tell you for certain that the pool is done settling so to Patch things up and hope the next pool owner does not have to deal with a continually leaky sinking pool is certainly not the correct thing to do either.
 
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al27

Well-known member
Sep 11, 2017
66
Franklin, TN
Thanks so much for the advice. I think I am going to do what would make financial sense and remove it, like several people suggested. A real estate agent said that I would have to disclose the prior leaks, the crack that was repaired, the age of the equipment (15 years old), and any known problems, which might scare a lot of buyers off even if I fixed the problems with the deck and coping so the pool looks nice again. I'm wondering if the pool was installed off level and they disguised it with the tile like someone else mentioned above because it doesn't look off level unless you look carefully at it. We didn't even know it was off level until we lowered the water below the returns to fix the crack last year and saw that it was 2" lower in the shallow end. A pool contractor told me that the problems we are having with this pool could have been avoided if the previous owner had simply paid extra to have it backfilled with gravel instead of sand. We have clay soil here so sand is apparently a terrible choice. This pool contractor said that he has only removed a few pools and all of them have been fiberglass ones that were backfilled with sand.
 

PoolGate

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
3,840
Damascus, MD
See what your agent says. Perhaps offer a credit of 1/2 the removal costs if it comes up. You are looking at maybe $5k to remove the pool. Maybe more. Then another $3k or more to fill the hole and sod the area. Pools are usually sold "as is" anyway so I would not worry too much about disclosing the issues.
 
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Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
A pool contractor told me that the problems we are having with this pool could have been avoided if the previous owner had simply paid extra to have it backfilled with gravel instead of sand. We have clay soil here so sand is apparently a terrible choice. This pool contractor said that he has only removed a few pools and all of them have been fiberglass ones that were backfilled with sand.
Same here. Clay soil, back-filled with sand before I knew better (prior to TFP) and could insist on gravel. Minimal settling about 3 years later. Guests don't see it, but I know. :mad: I can relate. Best of luck on your preparations to sale. Keep us in mind when you relocate. Hopefully find a place with a nice pool (or install a new one) and hook-up with us again with an updated signature of details. Good luck!
 
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sktn77a

Gold Supporter
May 16, 2010
1,422
Chapel Hill, NC
A real estate agent said that I would have to disclose the prior leaks, the crack that was repaired, the age of the equipment (15 years old), and any known problems,
You can't believe most things a real estate agent tells you! Yes, most areas require you to disclose known problems/faults, but not all the things that have been repaired over the years!
 
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malba2366

Well-known member
Jul 27, 2016
75
Middletown, NY
Realtor is full of BS...you don't have to disclose previous repairs to the home that were done in a proper manner. Ie. If you replaced a broken Furnace, or a leaky Roof this does not have to be disclosed. If a pool leak is present this has to be disclosed, a repaired pool leak does not have to be disclosed. Whether or not the pool being 2 inches out of level is a defect that needs disclosure or is a cosmetic issue is debatable.
 

al27

Well-known member
Sep 11, 2017
66
Franklin, TN
On the real estate disclosure form here, it asks owners to list any repairs that have been done to the pool during their ownership. It also asks owners to list any known problems with the pool, including leaks. If I'm honest, I'd have to disclose that we fixed a leak in the return, we fixed a crack along the wall of the pool that was leaking, and we fixed a leak in the light niche. Its debatable whether or not I'd have to disclose that the pool is off level since it isn't causing any problems with the pool currently. I'm just concerned that listing all of the prior leaks is going to scare buyers off or the pool inspector will discover that the pool is off level and the buyers will back out of the sale because of it. For this reason, I think it makes financial sense to remove the pool before selling. One local contractor said he would do it for $5000 if we waited to do it right after he installs another pool nearby so he can use the dirt from the other pool to fill the hole.
 

al27

Well-known member
Sep 11, 2017
66
Franklin, TN
Wow, $5000 is cheap. Does that include the dumping fee after it is removed? Of course, there will be landscaping on top of that.
That price doesn't include landscaping or sod so I would have to hire a landscaper afterwards. I'd also have to hire an electrician and a plumber to disconnect the electrical and gas lines from the pool. They will be dumping the concrete pieces from the deck into the bottom of the hole before filling it with dirt so they didn't mention anything about a dumping fee. If I want all of the pieces of fiberglass removed, I was told that I'd have to pay extra to remove it, but I wasn't told how much. Does anyone know if there is a problem with burying the broken up fiberglass pieces in the hole, along with the concrete pieces? The contractor says he usually dumps the fiberglass and concrete pieces from the deck into the bottom of the hole unless the homeowner wants the fiberglass removed. He thinks it is an unnecessary expense to remove the fiberglass pieces but I'd like to get more opinions about this.