Hitting Rock During Inground Pool Construction – What are the Options?

Yup! It happened to us, we hit rock during our pool excavation, what are the options to remedy this sucky situation?

A severely sucky situation…yes a triple S…no one wants to hit rock when building their pool. Oil…YES 🙂 Rock…NO 🙁 Besides causing delays, it’s a huge financial hit to the wallet, but it happens.

Having talked with friends in our neighborhood, we knew there was a real possibility of hitting rock in our yard during the excavation of our pool. What to do when this happens?

How to Avoid Surprise Costs When Making the Decision to Build a Pool

I feel that when the decision is made to build a pool, (or any major home remodel) the homeowner has to allow for certain contingency situations during the process such as the possibility of hitting rock. The financial hit is easier to take if you know what to expect.

If you are building a pool or thinking about building a pool, I recommend that your contract spell out in clear language what can be expected financially if hard rock formations or boulders are found during excavation. No-one wants surprises during a home reno or pool build, we want to know all possible contingencies so we can plan accordingly. A reputable pool builder will clearly spell out in the contract all likely scenarios during construction. Do not accept vague language that leaves you at the mercy of the contractor. If hard rock formation is found, what are the options and if you decide not to continue, will your deposit be refunded? Will the pool company put your yard back to the original condition by filling the hole? Will there be a charge to fill the hole? Make sure the language is clear and you know what to expect if the situation occurs. A reputable pool builder will lay out all contingency costs and they should be factored into your budget.

“Prepare for the Worst…..Hope for the Best”

Our pool contract had an addendum listing the daily cost of hiring additional equipment needed to break up the rock if that situation occurred. I had a very honest talk with my pool builder before signing the contract about “worse case scenario” and how many days he thought, based on his experience, the equipment would be needed, so I was prepared.

Our Biggest Fear as a Homeowner is to be Taken Advantage of by a Contractor

As homeowners, we fear the unscrupulous contractors who takes advantage of these types of situations to gouge the homeowner.

In Building a Swimming Pool (Week 1) – Breaking Ground, you can see the large rocks that were encountered during the dig. I watched as many huge rocks were removed from the ground. I was very pleased to see my contractors working hard to remove as many boulders as they could with the equipment they had on hand.

An unscrupulous contractor would have knocked on my door the moment they hit rock. As homeowners we want to know that everything has been done to try to remedy the situation before going to the next step. I was impressed with the level of effort from my guys before the dreaded knock on the door.

Pool Rock Break-2All but one stubborn boulder was removed.

Pool Rock Break-1At a cost of four thousand dollars a day 🤮…the rock hammer was brought in. The truly sucky part was that we only need the equipment for less than an hour, nonetheless we paid for an 8 hour minimum.

Pool Rock Break-4Again, the daily cost was clearly layed out in our contract, so I did know what to expect, and my contractor was kind and gave us a slight break in price, which I appreciated.

Pool Rock Break-3We were given a less costly option to remedy this situation and add a seat where the rock was located, in essence to cover it up, but we chose to stay with our original design.

Pool Rock Break-5Depending on where you live, rock can be a common scenario when building a pool. It also seems that the deeper you dig, the more likely it is to hit rock. Chances are higher you will hit rock digging a 9ft deep pool than a 7ft pool, something to consider.

Now, I want to know what my pool builder plans to do with all this rock sitting in my yard? More to come…



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8 thoughts on “Hitting Rock During Inground Pool Construction – What are the Options?

  1. Denise, you could build a beautiful rock garden with all that rock ( as long as you don’t have to move it yourself). Sorry that you had to experience the worst but hopefully it will be forgotten when you are sitting beside your beautiful pool (unless you see your rock garden to remind you). Anxious to hear more about the ongoing construction.

    1. A rock garden is a great idea Donna. But it seems that the labor could be pretty high for a project like that? I don’t know..may cost me more to keep it than to get rid of it? I’ll explore options but I like your idea 🙂 thank you!

  2. Oh, no!! Sorry this happened to you but glad that you were so prepared for it!! A rock garden sounds like a great idea!

    1. Oh Joni, I was tempted! The deep end is 6.5 feet deep and I really didn’t want to take up a huge chuck of the space with a seat, it was in a weird location. We are putting seats at the far end, but they will be in the corners.

  3. Wow! Amazing what an hour’s work can do! I bet it was fun to watch too, although the ticket price was awfully high for the entertainment! I’m glad you were at least prepared, and I’m sure it’ll all be a dim memory when you’re in the pool next summer!

    Good luck on the next phase! Can’t wait!

    1. It was definitely a painful pill to swallow but it’s done. It was entertaining for sure…but as you said not for the cost! Waiting on the next piece…which is a bit behind due to all the shut downs…ugh…

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