Restoring a buried pool

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bradyb

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Jun 29, 2019
10
Palmdale, CA
We are buying a house and would like to restore and repair a gunite pool that was buried 10-15 years ago. The owner reported that they did drill holes for drainage when it was filled. It was filled in because the owner's children had grown up and left home and it was not being used. There is decking and the patio around the pool is intact and some of the side pool lights are functioning. We plan to dig it out by hand ourselves and see what we have. I know that it will take awhile, but it is good exercise. What type of expenses can we expect once the digging is complete? Other than digging it out, I don't think we could do any of the other work ourselves.

Thanks!
 

Casey

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Apr 16, 2007
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We've watched buried pools come to sparkling oasis here a few times. I'm sure if you use the search bar you may find some. Welcome to TFP!
 
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kimkats

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Jul 10, 2012
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Tallahassee, FL
OH I love these!!

So I am guessing there is no equipment left. How about the pipes? Did they cut it out right at ground level? Do you know where the equipment pad was? That will be very helpful to know as you get started on setting it up!

I would LOVE to see a pic of what you are starting with so we can watch our progress. Do have a place you can put or take the dirt to?

Kim:kim:
 

zea3

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Jul 10, 2009
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Hi, welcome to TFP! You will need somewhere to distribute the dirt that comes out of the pool. You will need to repair the holes in the shell, and you will probably need new plaster and tile. Pipes might be ok, depends on what they were (pvc or metal) and how they disconnected them. You should be able to locate and inspect the skimmer(s) fairly easily to see if they look to be in good shape. If they kept the filter and pump they might still be usable. If not then they must be replaced.
 
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bmoreswim

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In order to view similar threads type “filled in” in the search box and, very important, hit the “G” button to do a Google search of the site. Sometime the phrase is the key and I recently had success with that one.
 
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bradyb

Member
Jun 29, 2019
10
Palmdale, CA
OH I love these!!

So I am guessing there is no equipment left. How about the pipes? Did they cut it out right at ground level? Do you know where the equipment pad was? That will be very helpful to know as you get started on setting it up!

I would LOVE to see a pic of what you are starting with so we can watch our progress. Do have a place you can put or take the dirt to?

Kim:kim:
No equipment, but I believe we have a good idea where the equipment used to be. I don't see any pipes. I can post a picture after we close.

We will have over 1/2 an acre and can use the dirt elsewhere. If there is too much we will have to have some hauled away.
 

YippeeSkippy

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Jan 17, 2012
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Evans, Georgia

I ❤ these projects!! Remember the guy with the orange tree growing in the pool? I love the older classic pools styles not to mention the whole recycling thing. Sign me up to watch this!!

Maddie :flower:
 

Geebot

Well-known member
Aug 19, 2013
840
It was filled in because the owner's children had grown up and left home and it was not being used.

Thanks!
As a total aside, we got our pool because our kids left home. Gives them another reason to visit on the weekends.
 
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stebs

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Dec 8, 2013
125
If you can find somebody with a locator (gas utility, irrigation tech, etc), you can hopefully push a metal fish tape down the skimmer line and they can hook onto that and follow it back to where it dead ends, and then you’ll be close to where the equip pad was.
 
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Wobblerlorri

Bronze Supporter
It may cost as much to dig up and reno that old pool as it would to just build a new one in a spot you like instead of one picked out by the prev owner.

You should get estimates for all the work that will need to be done, as well as three estimates for putting in a new pool with all the bells and whistles you'd like to have. Chances are they'll be pretty close to equal, if not a new pool being a bit cheaper.

That's a lot of hard physical labor you're looking at, too. Set aside equipment and finding the plumbing pad -- you said you're going to dig out a pool of indeterminate depth by hand. We just finished leveling the ground for a little 14' round AGP, and it like to killed us. I can't imagine digging out your hole without some sort of machinery.

Anyway, it's your pool, your decisions. We'll be here to help no matter what road you choose! :cheers:
 
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bmoreswim

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My view is it will be a cheaper with the existing. Doing the excavation yourself will help. But the comment above said "better off" not actually cheaper. Better off also takes into account that doing the reno means you get no say on pool shape, location, etc. Though you can of course make changes to the shape (at significant cost).
 

woodyp

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Apr 17, 2010
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Good response Wobblerlorri. There's just way too many unknowns for a pool that has been buried for 15 years and was probably in service for 20 years. Your already looking at a pool that is at least 30 years old.
They did things different back in the day and it may not be remotely plumbed as you'd like, even if the plumbing is intact. But I'll send you a shovel and wish you Best Of Luck!
 

Neto

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2019
60
Urbana, MD
digging it out yourselves? do you mean by hand? if so, that would be a crazy idea... There has to be at least 60-100 cubic yards of soil in there. I suggest you rent a bobcat at least with a backhoe and DIY if you are handy. Other than this, it wont be as easy as digging it out and turning it on, you will need proably new plaster ($10k-$15k), new equipment, plumbing & electrical repairs depending on the condition.... Hopefully the integrity of the pool is in good shape...
 

YippeeSkippy

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Jan 17, 2012
10,544
Evans, Georgia
Oh bah humbug y'all!
We've seen gorgeous, classic older pools rehabed here. No, they're not necessarily new and fancy but they've got a classic beauty all their own. And the OP can certainly dandy them up with new equipment if needed.


Maddie :flower:
 
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bradyb

Member
Jun 29, 2019
10
Palmdale, CA
The digging out by hand doesn't phase me. I like digging and I am looking forward to seeing what I uncover. Last winter in the span of 2.5 weeks, I dug out and moved about 18 cubic yards of soil and wrestled with many tree roots in my yard and I only had an old shovel and a bucket. I know this will take a lot longer, but I will make sure to get a new shovel and a wheelbarrow.
 
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