A Sentimental Society
Over the years I’ve come to realize the decision to remove and fill in a swimming pool can be a very personal decision for many families. The children grew up with the swimming pool; it was the setting for many family celebrations. Often times the grandchildren have learned to swim in the same pool that their parents learned to swim in. The swimming pool isn’t just full of water – it’s also full of cherished memories.
Sooner or later the old pool starts to get used less and less. My pool demo clients will often tell me “This pool has hardly been used over the last few years, the time and cost of the upkeep is starting to outweigh the benefits of opening and keeping the pool.”
And from there I’ll provide them with a quote to demolish and fill in the swimming pool. The owners are usually very receptive and ready to pull the trigger and go through with the pool removal. A day or two later I’ll get a phone call, or an e-mail saying “We talked with our children about our plans to fill the pool in. Two of our children are ok with it, but our daughter that lives 75 minutes away is adamant on keeping it.” And eight times out of ten they will go on and say “she works 60 to 70 hours a week and in the last 3 years has only swam in it once each summer, but she is very upset that we want to remove it, so we’re going to hold off on filling it in.”
I’m not the type to tell my clients how to manage their lives. Hopefully by me sharing this routine experience, it can help my prospective clients craft a strategic plan for breaking the news to their family and loved ones. There is always that one family member, usually the one that lives furthest away, that insists on keeping the pool!
See, they don’t look out the window every day at the money pit sitting behind the house. They’re miles away going about their life, the furthest thing from their mind is the old swimming pool sitting behind your house. You’re totally catching them off guard when you tell them you’re about to demolish and fill in the swimming pool. It’s a natural instinct reaction when they do not give you their blessing to remove the pool. You caught them off guard, they didn’t have time to digest and rationally consider the nuisance the pool has become. The concept of removing / demolishing an in-ground swimming pool is something many people have never heard of. Be prepared for some opposition from some family members!
Years ago we had a client in Bethesda MD with a pool that no one in his family used. His children were pre-teens. In early spring he broke the news to them in that the pool was about to be demolished and removed. The children were not happy. So what he did is he secretly maintained a log showing the dates for each time anyone in the family used the pool for the season. At the end of the season the log showed the pool had been used one time, which he revealed to his family…. and the demolition began.