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ashfern

UPDATED with photo Inground pool: Repair or fill it in?

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We're looking at a house that the pool is in really bad shape. The liner is torn & falling off and the cement underneath is cracked & has weeds growing through it. The pool has a slide & diving board. Has steps going in maybe 4 feet deep and then however deep it would need to be for a diving board (at least 8 ft). Probably put in some time in the 80's. DH estimates the size to be 10 feet by 25 feet. Would also need all new pump & equipment. I really want a pool. There is room on the property to put a pool in but we would most likely do an above ground if we did a new pool. What is your opinion: repair or fill it in?

Edited by ashfern
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My friend bought a house a couple of years ago and repaired the pool. She said it was well worth it to have a new liner and pump put in. They love it now and use it all the time in the summer.

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I'd imagine that you'd likely be happier with the filled in pool. Whether that's realistic or not given budgetary concerns, only you guys can determine.   I'd at least get a quote on repairing the pool vs. filling it in + buying a comparable above ground pool, and use those to negotiate the house price. 

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Repair.  If you can afford to. I probably would not have a diving board, and would want long enough for effective lap swimming - which that may be, if not, I’d consider lengthening it.  

I think unless there’s a bad earthquake or some such that inground pools taken proper care of last longer - and are much nicer to use. 

Edited by Pen
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Price it out.  And see if there is a nearby neighborhood pool you can join.

For the record, our pool heater just went out.  $5,000 to fix it.  (DH is handy so he will get it done by fabricating metal and so on for under $1000, but one PART was $800.). The crawly vacuum thingy broke a year after we moved in.  $1,000.  The pump had to be fixed when we moved in.  $2,000.  Annual chemicals and so on, IDK but you use a lot of them, and you have to get test kits and so on, so unless you live near a pool supply store, you'd better have a lot of storage.  

I would prefer an in-ground to above-ground, but I'd prefer at this point not to have a pool at all.  We got this one because it came with the house in a hot hot market, and given our options, the pool was fine by me, because other houses in this price range had horrid floor plans and decks falling off the house.   We got a nice house. 

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You're not meant to just fill them in, so get a prices for properly demolishing it and fixing it and compare. You don't necessarily have to remove it completely, but just filling it in can cause drainage issues. Finding out the cost of filling it in properly may make repairing it much more appealing. 

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We repaired a very old pool but it doesn’t have a liner...and no weeds growing through the concrete.  We have loved our repaired pool.  Dh did it all though.  

 

Dh says that what  you described may May very well be beyond repair.  

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I also think you need to price it to even start deciding. You want a pool, so it seems like repair is the better option, but I have no idea what sort of costs you'd be looking at.

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For me - it's wouldn't even be a question of initial outlay of money.  I love swimming, but would never ever want to have a swimming pool in my backyard.  Neighbor's backyard?  Sure.  But not mine.  Unless I was very well off.

I see pools nothing but money pits and safety disasters.  But I also live in New England, our summers are about 5 minutes long.  Sure, it would be nice to go for a swim on that one  very hot day, but all the additional expenses - insurance money, upkeep, worrying about someone injuring themselves there....no, thank you!

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58 minutes ago, SereneHome said:

.  But I also live in New England

 

This seems important— how much it would get used, and whether a cover could be put to increase how long it could be used

but I presume if you’re talking about repair versus above ground pool that you’re planning to get plenty of use

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Another thing to think of that here an above ground pool adds nothing to your property value no matter how its installed or how nice it is but an inground pool does.

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For me, it would mostly come down to the overall price difference, but it isn’t entirely that cut and dry. I would very much prefer the inground pool, but I would still have to think long and hard on it. 

My aunt (well, great-aunt) has an amazing inground pool. My uncle had done so much of the work himself when my cousins were little. It was wonderful for their family and for extended family and friends. I have such great memories of huge family parties and enjoying the space they had created. But my aunt, now in her late-ish 70s, is sad that no one uses the pool. One of my cousins passed away, another lives somewhat far away, and the one who is living with her has two nearly grown kids who don’t have much time to use it.

She can’t just not maintain it. It still has to be cared for or it will become dangerous and eventually deteriorate into an even bigger money pit for her or someone else.  Even though an above ground pool would never be my ideal, at least that could be removed much more easily and cheaply than a more complicated hole in the ground if there comes a time when the family is done with it.

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Our friend’s neighbor had a pool that they were thinking of filling in vs some costly repairs. It had a a concrete bottom also. Apparently, in York, PA, you can’t just fill it in. All the concrete would have had to be broken up and carried out. Like the poster, this is a large pool. Cost of filling in, per code requirements, was $30,000. They eventually decided to repair😊much to the delight of our friends😊

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We're in GA so the pool would get lots of use. This house is in the middle of the country (10 acres with cows behind us) so no local neighborhood pool and I really wouldn't want to drive to swim. My youngest is 5 so there's lots of years of use.

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Well, I just INSISTED on a pool in our new house.  It was either, get a lower cost home with $$ for an inground pool, or get a house with a pool already there.

We did look at a few that needed repairs.  We were willing to repair them!

I vote for a STRONG repair vote!

PS:   We currently have . 28' above ground pool that the previous owners put up 17 years ago.  It is one of those $10k expensive ones.  When the boys were younger we got lots of use out of it.  Now that they are older, they don't like it nearly as much as an inground pool.  Although I would have loved an inground back then to sit around and watch them if I didn't want to go in.

Our new house will have an inground pool, ready to go for us!  July 1st baby!  

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We bought a house with an in-ground pool that needed repair. We're pretty hard-core DIYers, but we were occupied with trying to make the house liveable, so we paid to have the pool done.  New liner and new water = $5000. The pump and filter were working and my husband has purchased used pumps and filters for replacement parts very inexpensively. Ours gets used all the time and we think it was worth every penny. 

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12 hours ago, Patty Joanna said:

One option you might price out is getting a liner, instead of repairing the concrete.  :0)

 

except you can't put a liner over concrete.  It is placed over sand... so they'd have to remove the concrete, then add sand and new liner.   New liners are in the thousands too, at least it was that much when we had our replaced.

I concur with PJ - everything about owning a pool is expensive.  Price it out.  It always cost us a couple thousand each year with our older big pool.  The kids loved it, of course, when they were little.  I hate the sun, so I didn't use it that much.  I loved swimming at night in the heat of the summer 🙂     I vote for an above ground pool.   My sis has an above ground pool with a deck around it.  They LOVE the sun and their pool.   

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4 hours ago, ashfern said:

We're in GA so the pool would get lots of use. This house is in the middle of the country (10 acres with cows behind us) so no local neighborhood pool and I really wouldn't want to drive to swim. My youngest is 5 so there's lots of years of use.


With this update.  Repair is the only answer.   You will get lots of use out of a repaired pool and removing is expensive also. 

40 years ago, my parents installed an in-ground swimming pool.  We got lots of use out of it.   At this very moment, DD is at Camp Grandparents enjoying the same pool.   It is bonding time with Grandpa while they have water gun fights in the pool.  

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With a 5yo I’d totally want inground so you can lifeguard from the outside as child gets old enough to be in pool alone (or with a friend), but not without an observer .  An above ground can be very hard to lifeguard kids in unless you are inside it yourself or on a platform overlooking.  I’d want to be able to be under shade, or on a cellphone call, or listening to audiobook sometimes while kids swam or played Marco Polo etc and by time a platform good enough to allow that were built too, I think you may likely have exceeded cost of the inground.  

Edited by Pen
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My DH piped up that a lot of the value and expense of a pool depends on location.  All the expenses I listed are related to a pool in the PNW which has to be heated (a big expense) and is useful for about 1/5 of the year but requires year-round work and upkeep.  

A pool in Arizona will be used more, might not have to be heated--but the water expense might be more.   So, YMMV.  

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We went and measured the pool. It's 19 feet by 40 feet!! I'll try to add a photo here. I'm getting ready to call a couple of companies to see what cost we're looking at.

20190602_171547.jpg

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Wow! 40’ is sweet.  Looks like it needs completely new concrete and tile work— the way liner has failed I’d probably want something different that would hopefully last better, but looks like it would then be wonderful in a hot climate.

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Ask how it should be done and cared for— the failure looks way worse than I’ve seen on older California pools going through earth quakes. 

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Is this a house you ARE buying or a house you are considering?  You may want to consider the price point of a new pool in another property as well to compare.  If you buy this house, obviously you're going to need to do something with that mess. 

I grew up in a house with an inground pool.  It was nice at times but I personally didn't think it justified the cost of installation or maintenance for the amount we used it.  I've not wanted to live in a house with a pool as an adult.  With a five year old, I'd want that behind a locked gate from your home.  

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How long has it been sitting unused?    It might not be as bad as you think.  I am thinking under 10k, but keep us posted on what they say!

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The underlying question I have is this - why would anyone want to sell a house with a pool in that condition? Sellers want their houses to look their best. If this is the best they can do, it makes me wonder if the pool is repairable at all. If they are letting this show, what, exactly, is bad enough for them to hide? There very well may be worse things about the house than this pool.

I would want the current owner to remove the pool and place appropriate landscaping as a condition of the purchased.

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Our pool was 20x40' rectangular.  It is the largest (or almost largest) pool size they usually make for residential.  Everything was more expensive (chemicals, replacement liner, replacement cover, etc.) because it was the largest one.  

Pools are like boats.  They are a money pit.  Some people love them and use them all the time, so it's worth it to them.  Others only use them occasionally and it's not really worth the cost.  It's not always easy to tell which type of person you'll be.  We started off using it much more but that waned as the years went by.  Also, my kids got used to a warm July pool and wouldn't swim but for 5 mins in Aug. when the evenings cooled off and water got colder.    Seriously, my kids would jump in the pool once and then get out and say, "I'm done". 

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19 minutes ago, TechWife said:

The underlying question I have is this - why would anyone want to sell a house with a pool in that condition? Sellers want their houses to look their best. If this is the best they can do, it makes me wonder if the pool is repairable at all. If they are letting this show, what, exactly, is bad enough for them to hide? There very well may be worse things about the house than this pool.

I would want the current owner to remove the pool and place appropriate landscaping as a condition of the purchased.

It's an estate sale. Mother died and the three adult kids are selling. There really is nothing else comparable. We just had the inspection yesterday and other than the house being dated (built in the 70's and never updated) there isn't anything major wrong. HVAC works, no roof leaks, and all systems are good. It needs the carpet taken out of the bathrooms 🤣 and updating like that. It's a brick ranch on a full basement with 10 acres and we have it under contract for $210,000.

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1 hour ago, ashfern said:

It's an estate sale. Mother died and the three adult kids are selling. There really is nothing else comparable. We just had the inspection yesterday and other than the house being dated (built in the 70's and never updated) there isn't anything major wrong. HVAC works, no roof leaks, and all systems are good. It needs the carpet taken out of the bathrooms 🤣 and updating like that. It's a brick ranch on a full basement with 10 acres and we have it under contract for $210,000.

Wow - that sounds like a great deal, even if you do end up paying to have the pool removed yourself! Make sure you get it inspected by an independent inspector, if you haven't alr

Also, would the city or county be a resource as to what you need to do to repair the pool? My concern would be that any extensive repair/renovations may require a permit, which then may require the pool be brought up to the current code standards instead of the standards at the time it was installed. You would want to be aware of that before you make a repair/remove decision.

Also, if the house was built in the 70's, I must know - what color are the appliances? Have you scored any flocked wall paper, paneled rooms, avacado green or harvest gold decor? Inquiring minds want to know - but overall I'm eager to know what you decide to change/keep the same. Congratulations - may the closing process go smoothly!

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When you fix the pool, add a hot tub. You deserve it. :biggrin:  

Seriously, my ds likes a hot tub as much as the pool, and you already have water and electricity run out.

PS. Just me, but I'd get that 5 yo in swim lessons and keep 'em in till they're champs. That's a pretty big pool. My ds started around 5 at the Y and they run lessons year round, great stuff. Just do it so there's no heartbreak.

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Even with swim lessons, I'd want that pool behind a lock for any kids under like 10 or so depending on the kid.  I know a 6 year old who drowned that passed red cross level 4 and could swim laps.  And he was in a busy pool with people all around.  Many young kids aren't good with risk assessment or impulse control.  

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3 hours ago, TechWife said:

The underlying question I have is this - why would anyone want to sell a house with a pool in that condition? Sellers want their houses to look their best. If this is the best they can do, it makes me wonder if the pool is repairable at all. If they are letting this show, what, exactly, is bad enough for them to hide? There very well may be worse things about the house than this pool.

I would want the current owner to remove the pool and place appropriate landscaping as a condition of the purchased.

 

And I'm sort of the opposite.  I'd rather have the option of choosing what I want to do with it.  If they fix it up, then the price probably reflects that work; if they don't, the price reflects the not-work.  But it *does* make me wonder about the house itself.  EDITED TO ADD:  I misread your post to some extent--you are saying that the owner should do what I ask in an offer--either fix it or remove it--and there's no harm in asking.  But if I were the owner, a counter-offer would reflect the work involved.  Which may be fine as it all gets wrapped into the mortgage that way and isn't an initial expense on TOP of the mortgage.

Knowing what I know now about pools, if I *wanted* one, I would want a rectangle so I could get a cover for it. 

One of my friends got sick of his pool and turned it into a wine cellar.  :0)  

 

 

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from the picture, it looks to be a mess.  the pool deck also would need to be repaired.  have you had an estimate?  do the pumps work?  are the lines good?  or would all of that stuff also need to be repaired/replaced?

how much do you want a pool?  would it be cheaper to just fill it in and start over?

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2 hours ago, TechWife said:

Also, if the house was built in the 70's, I must know - what color are the appliances? Have you scored any flocked wall paper, paneled rooms, avacado green or harvest gold decor? Inquiring minds want to know - but overall I'm eager to know what you decide to change/keep the same. Congratulations - may the closing process go smoothly!

The master bathroom tub & sink are avocado. The hall bathroom tub & sink are flesh colored. Most of the carpet in the house is pink, even those bathrooms. The basement bathroom is blood red including the carpet. 😬 The dining room has velvet yellow wallpaper which I may keep as it's kinda funky & in really great condition but the yellow carpet must go. The kitchen is boring black appliances. About half of the rooms are paneled. I'll have to do before & after photos.

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3 hours ago, FuzzyCatz said:

Even with swim lessons, I'd want that pool behind a lock for any kids under like 10 or so depending on the kid.  I know a 6 year old who drowned that passed red cross level 4 and could swim laps.  And he was in a busy pool with people all around.  Many young kids aren't good with risk assessment or impulse control.  

yes.  my sil has her pool fenced and keeps it locked.  it's on a spring to automatically close so little kids can't wander in even it's not locked.  and even then, the number of adults who don't pay attention to the little kids... dudeling was telling me recently how last summer he pulled one of his cousin's kids out of the pool because he'd lost his float and couldn't swim and his parents weren't there...  

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7 hours ago, TechWife said:

The underlying question I have is this - why would anyone want to sell a house with a pool in that condition? 

It's really not that unusual. People sell houses in all kinds of conditions. 

3 hours ago, ashfern said:

The master bathroom tub & sink are avocado. The hall bathroom tub & sink are flesh colored. Most of the carpet in the house is pink, even those bathrooms. The basement bathroom is blood red including the carpet. 😬 The dining room has velvet yellow wallpaper which I may keep as it's kinda funky & in really great condition but the yellow carpet must go. The kitchen is boring black appliances. About half of the rooms are paneled. I'll have to do before & after photos.

Now I'm wondering if they were color-blind or just extremely groovy even for the 70s! 

I will confess that we looked at the paneling on one side of the living room when we moved in this house and said, yes, of course, that has to go, but we'll just paint over it for now until we have time. 20 years later, guess who still has painted paneling in the living room! This girl here! It's not that noticeable. I grew up with a Pepto Bismol pink bathtub/sink and a green velvet couch, though, so it's possible that it takes a lot to set off my groovy meter. 

 

Edited by katilac
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Something like that would drive me crazy to look at/worry about kids playing by.  Are you prepared to put $$ to it right away instead of money for other things?

We are finishing a remodel like what you describe.  Cerca 1975.  Very good shape, but in need of complete remodel.  Some things have come up though during the process that we did not anticipate.  That always happens.

In our area, you would need a landfill permit to just fill it in and you would not get it(really no one does.) You would have to have the concrete removed and filled in with clean fill.

Any house with a pool(inground) was immediately crossed off our list when we were house hunting.  I did not wish to funnel money for remodeling into pool upkeep. Also, I work some and the kids stay home.  I trust them, but they are not above error.  I would worry about them while I was at work/not at home.  

Definitely matters how much extra money you have to devote to pool upkeep.

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13 hours ago, ashfern said:

The master bathroom tub & sink are avocado. The hall bathroom tub & sink are flesh colored. Most of the carpet in the house is pink, even those bathrooms. The basement bathroom is blood red including the carpet. 😬 The dining room has velvet yellow wallpaper which I may keep as it's kinda funky & in really great condition but the yellow carpet must go. The kitchen is boring black appliances. About half of the rooms are paneled. I'll have to do before & after photos.

 

Have you seen the Retro Renovation site?  The blogger, Pam, loves to post photos of time capsule houses.   Read enough on that site and you might come to appreciate the colored bath fixtures.   

 

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10 hours ago, katilac said:

It's really not that unusual. People sell houses in all kinds of conditions. 

Now I'm wondering if they were color-blind or just extremely groovy even for the 70s! 

I will confess that we looked at the paneling on one side of the living room when we moved in this house and said, yes, of course, that has to go, but we'll just paint over it for now until we have time. 20 years later, guess who still has painted paneling in the living room! This girl here! It's not that noticeable. I grew up with a Pepto Bismol pink bathtub/sink and a green velvet couch, though, so it's possible that it takes a lot to set off my groovy meter. 

 

the 70's was an ugly decade...  even worse than the 60s.

 

there is nothing so permanent as a temporary solution.

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44 minutes ago, gardenmom5 said:

there is nothing so permanent as a temporary solution.

that's brilliant 

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13 hours ago, PeterPan said:

Definitely on the before and after! :smile:

Yes! I love before and afters!

52 minutes ago, gardenmom5 said:

there is nothing so permanent as a temporary solution.

I may frame that and place it next to my most recent temp fix... (When we moved into this house, the plumbing under the sink was wonky. My dad rigged it up with some rope to hold things straight til we got a plumber in. That was, ahem, 13 years ago.) 

Edited by alisoncooks
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I will be interested to hear the price of repair.....but really that looks like almost starting over.  You at least would have the hole dug....but I bet all that concert has to go.  I have never seen a pool in such bad disrepair!  

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32 minutes ago, katilac said:

that's brilliant 

why thank you.  thank you very much.  I'll be here all week, and don't forget to tip your server...

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On 6/4/2019 at 9:22 AM, gardenmom5 said:

the 70's was an ugly decade...  even worse than the 60s.

 

there is nothing so permanent as a temporary solution.


The colors were horrible.   But, I have a soft spot for flicked wallpaper.   Not enough to install it, but I'd probably leave it. 
When I removed the horrible 70's Moorish style hanging bathroom lights, I put them in an attic.  Maybe in another 30 years someone will think they are the cats meow. 

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