Can You Change The Depth Of An Inground Pool?

Can You Change The Depth Of An Inground Pool Explained

Homeowners often purchases houses and inherit pools they don’t love. Similarly some folks who build a pool in their backyard start to have second thoughts on if they made the proper design choices. If either one of these fit your predicament, you may ask, can you change the depth of an inground pool? Fortunately, you do have options. In this article, we will explain how this process works.

Can You Change The Depth Of An Inground Pool?

First things first, yes, you can change the depth of an inground pool.  However, you must be somewhat reasonable with your expectations. Certain types of inground pools lend themselves better to this project.

Fiberglass & Vinyl Liner Pools

You can’t expect to make a fiberglass pool any different than it is right now. With fiberglass, you’ll need a whole new pool to make a deeper or shallower pool.  A vinyl liner pool will need some work, at the very least a new liner, but maybe some new walls also to make it shallower. 

Gunite Pools

A gunite pool can be modified any which way you want, so long as you have the money to do it.  Whatever you do to your pool structure you will need a consulting structural engineer to inspect the work as it is taking place and make recommendations for how to modify the found existing structure.

Can You Change The Depth Of An Inground Pool to be deeper?

Can You Change The Depth Of An Inground Pool To Be Shallower?

The most common modification to a gunite pool other than benches and steps is to make the pool shallower. There are many reasons you may want to make a pool shallower. Perhaps you’ve had a child and want the pool to be safer. Or, you want your pool to be more of a casual place to relax rather than workout destination.

Why Make A Pool Shallower?

It was not uncommon back in the earlier days of pool construction to build small, deep pools.  These pools are difficult and dangerous. First, they often include a diving board without the appropriate clearances. Second, they have very little space to stand up in the pool.  Having a lack of standing space means you’re limited in enjoyment.

Your pool games can only include things like Marco Polo and diving for rings.  Fun games in their own rite, but unless you make some modifications to the pool you’ll not be playing volleyball, nor will you be having an in-pool cocktail party anytime soon.

To make a pool shallower you generally will start by jackhammering into the structure of the deep end of the pool. Then, you’ll extend up the main drain plumbing. Finally, you need to bring the pool into code compliance.  At the end, you’ll backfill with crushed stone to the new level of the bottom of the pool structure. 

Afterward, you’ll tie rebar to the existing rebar in the walls and create the new floor structure.  Then after gunite phase you’ll have a new concrete floor which can then be plastered along with the rest of the pool with whatever interior finish you want to use.  

Can You Change The Depth Of An Inground Pool To Be Deeper?

This project is more difficult and less common.  This often includes demolishing the majority of what will become the deep end of the pool.  The structural engineer may require the entire wall of the deep end of the pool to be replaced with newly constructed and reinforced concrete instead of reusing the existing.

Is Making A Pool Deeper Worth It?

By the time you demolish half of your existing pool, the cost of doing this work may become so high it makes sense to demolish the whole pool and start over. That way, you can build exactly what you want.  Keep in mind that warranties are generally shorter for renovation work than they are for newly built pools and spas.

Bottom Line

Whatever you do it’s important to make sure your pool is exactly what your family needs and wants for their recreational and entertaining needs.  It may be daunting to imagine making changes to your pool and rightly so.  It’s a big deal.  Whenever you do renovation work on a pool you must have a qualified and experienced contractor on the job. You should also have a structural engineer consulting who is familiar with pool construction.