Swimming Pool Demolition and Removal 101: An Interview with Dave Frisch of Frisch & Sons Construction, Inc. Original article found on SouthernCaliforniaHomes.com. July 2014.
Tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.
Frisch & Sons Construction, Inc. is a general engineering/building contractor. We specialize in pool removal and abandonment. We take care of all phases of the demolition process from pulling all city permits, to scheduling all city inspections. We never use subcontractors, and we only use state licensed geo-technical firms for our engineering needs. Frisch & Sons Construction is celebrating our 20th anniversary in business. We have removed over 1,000 pools and spas in Orange County and the surrounding areas. Last year alone we demolished 76 pools and spas.
Is a pool demolition the same thing as a pool removal or are they different?
Pool demolition can be related to the general type of service which we provide. This includes breaking out and chipping away at the pool and or spa as required by each individual city along with surrounding concrete and decking or structures to be hauled offsite. Pool removal can be related to the process of complete removal of the pool and or spa. This would consist of removing all of the gunite and related debris completely from site, with an engineered and structural fill, which could support a new structure such as a room addition over the pool area.
What is the basic process for having your swimming pool demolished/removed?
Frisch & Sons Construction will take care of all city/county permits required for each project. We will pump all standing water from the pool. Schedule all inspections and meet with inspectors onsite to keep all jobs on schedule. We will cut the required holes in each pool; usually we remove the top 24″ of the existing structure. The entire structure can be removed but at extra cost. We use compaction grade-fill dirt for backfill and will include topsoil at the owner’s request. Any surrounding concrete or decking is removed to local recycling facilities. All backfill material is compacted with hand held whackers to achieve a 90% minimum density in fill areas. Our soil engineers provide a stamped soil report to the owner and all cities that require soil reports. All pool equipment is, removed, capped and hauled offsite. We grade the pool area for new landscape or hardscape.
Can you talk about the typical costs for a pool removal in Southern California?
The price to abandon/demolish a swimming pool can cost between $5,000 to $12,000.00 on average. Cost varies depending on access, amount of offsite hauling, size of the pool, and distance to the pool area from the staging area. The average pool demo is (approx.) $7,800.00, which would include permits, all work, and engineer’s compaction reports.
What are some of the benefits of having your swimming pool removed?
Most older pools in the Southern California area really have a negative value in residential neighborhoods. Some of the reasons that my clients give me for wanting to remove their pools are lack of use, high property taxes, monthly maintenance, high electricity rates, in need of repairs, water costs, property tax and liability issues.
What’s one of the biggest challenges with keeping a pool that’s not being used?What about a common challenge contractors/engineers face during the demolition process?
I think that the biggest challenge with keeping a pool that is not being used is probably maintaining it, maintenance can be very costly. One of the most challenging issues to contractors/engineers is ground water. The beach and other low-lying areas have a lot of ground water, which creates different challenges for our equipment when trying to demolish a swimming pool.
Do you have any tips for Southern California homeowners about how to plan or what to do with the swimming pool site after the removal?
It is always good to have a plan for your new backyard. I always recommend synthetic grass and cactus, succulents and drought-resistant species of plants for low maintenance with minimal irrigation.
What’s the best way for people to contact you and your company?
See our interview on Southern California Homes, a top site for California homes for sale, New Mexico real estate, Northern California real estate & Orange County, CA homes for sale: Swimming Pool Demolition and Removal 101.