Inground pools provide seasonal fun for many people. However, some families may move into a house with an old, existing swimming pool and learn it's been damaged. Other families may not have the time or inclination to deal with regular maintenance and upkeep. Fortunately, you have options. Don't let your old swimming pool become an eyesore. Depending on budget and ambition, dealing with an old pool is a matter of a few minor repairs or a major backyard overhaul.
Make Any Necessary Repairs
If you wish to continue to use your old, inground pool, check to see if repairs are necessary. Some repairs are easy to spot, while others need a trained eye. If your pool hasn't been used in some time, you may want to call in an expert.
If the pool has holes in the liner, do-it-youselfers can patch or replace these in less than a day. If repairs take more than a simple liner fix, call an inground pool company to evaluate and assess. Deeps cracks in the pool may render it unusable and too expensive to repair. Also check local laws regarding pool repair. Certain damage may condemn the pool, rendering it illegal to use, even after making repairs.
Fill It In
If you don't want to fix the swimming pool, consider filling it with dirt. Be aware that if you don't fill it properly, you may create a quicksand or sinkhole situation. Never pour dirt directly into an old pool. Always remove the concrete first to ensure proper drainage.
After draining the pool, use a backhoe to break apart the cement and haul it away. Fill the area with dirt and pack it down to prevent a cave-in. Once the hole is completely filled with soil, cover it with grass or landscape with plants and flowers. It's important to note that filling in your swimming pool may significantly lower your property value.
Make a Fish Pond
A third option is to turn a swimming pool into a koi pond. This is a labor-intensive do-it-yourself project, so many homeowners opt to call in a landscaper.
Turning a pool into a fish pond entails filling the hole almost to the top with dirt, keeping in mind that almost all home koi ponds are only a couple of feet deep. When the hole is full, take a shovel and outline a natural, pond-like shape. Dig to the desired depth. Line the hole with a heavy black liner and pull it tight to eliminate most wrinkles. Add any necessary pipes, lights, plants and other landscaping around the outside area of your pond, fill and add fish.
Many landscaping stores have fish pond kits with everything you need, including a heavy black container shaped like a pond. Instead of using a liner, fill the empty pool area with dirt and embed the pond container and filter, and you're good to go. This might be a better option than figuring out the size and shape of the pond on your own.