Swimming pools can be a great addition to the backyard, but many need to realize they need permission from their local government. So, what is a pool building permit, and why do you need it?
Local governments implement building permits as a way to make certain safety requirements are met. Pool permits ensure that homeowners install their pools correctly, so there aren’t any safety or sanitation concerns for people nearby. These requirements vary by local code and region, so it’s important to know what applies in your location.
Before installing a swimming pool at your home, you must understand your local laws and get approval from the provincial government to construct the pool. Knowing what kind of permits you may need and the process of getting them before beginning your swimming pool construction is essential. Here’s everything you need to know about obtaining a pool permit.
Things to Research for Pool Building Permits
When planning to build a pool, it is essential to research and understands your area’s permit requirements. Here are some of them:
1. Local Permits
To build an inground swimming pool, you must obtain a permit from your local municipality. The specific type of permit required may vary, with some municipalities only requiring a residential building permit, while others also require an electrical permit. It is best to check with your local city or town to determine the specific permit requirements for your area.
2. Contact Homeowner’s Association (HOA)
Before building a backyard pool, it is essential to check with your Homeowner’s Association (HOA) if you have one. Some HOAs may not permit backyard pools, while others may require the homeowner to submit plans for approval before construction can begin. To ensure compliance with your HOA’s rules and regulations, it is best to consult them beforehand to determine what is allowed in your community.
3. Understand Ordinances
The regulations surrounding the construction and operation of pools and hot tubs can vary depending on your location. Local ordinances may impose specific requirements, such as using quiet pool pumps that meet a certain noise level or “setback” rules that dictate the minimum distance a pool or hot tub must be from buildings. It is essential to research and understand your area’s specific regulations before building a pool or hot tub.
4. Safety Regulations
Certain municipalities have regulations in place to increase the safety of swimming pools. These rules may include requirements for barriers around the pool, with specifications for the height and size of openings. Some municipalities may also mandate that gates open in a specific direction and that they equip all entrances to the pool with locks. It is essential to familiarize yourself with the particular regulations in your area to ensure that your pool meets all safety requirements.
5. Final Inspections
Once your pool is built, it must undergo a final inspection to ensure it meets all safety standards. This inspection will cover various aspects of the pool, such as its structure and electrical and plumbing systems. As inspectors are often busy during peak building season, scheduling your inspection well in advance is advisable to avoid delays.
Who to Contact?
There are two key people you should consult with both before and after you begin:
1. Local Municipality
When building a pool, you must contact your local municipality to inquire about the required documents and permits. The city may provide a “pool packet,” which typically includes all the required information and forms, such as building requirements and permit fees.
2. Local Inspector
Schedule an inspection towards the completion of your pool construction to ensure compliance with codes. The inspector will evaluate your deck, coping, fencing, and gates and the proper installation of pool equipment, including lights, handrails, ladders, filters, pumps, heaters, timers, and other electronics.
What’s the Cost of Getting a Pool Permit?
A pool permit can cost as little as $25 to $3500. Each city or town has its way of figuring out how much it will charge. Some places have pools that cost a flat fee. Most of the time, though, they will have a “value” price per thousand dollars.
To figure out the permit costs, some towns require applicants to provide a copy of the construction contract alongside the application. If you live in a municipality that charges $15 per $1,000 of value, and your pool project will cost $120,000, your permit will set you back $1,800.
If you hire a pool builder, make sure their price for building the pool includes the total cost of the permit. A pool builder will often have an “allowance” for permit fees and then charge you the rest when they go and get the permit.
How Much Time Does It Take To Obtain a Pool Permit?
It is unusual for your city to process a permit for at least two weeks. However, we’ve seen permits take up to 12 weeks to go through the building department, so it’s a good idea to figure out the estimated wait time early so you can prepare for it in your project timetable.
Steps to Obtain Electrical and Plumbing Permits
This is a list of the steps you’ll need to take. You’ll need to look up your state, city, and county to determine the details.
Step 1: Gather proof of ownership with a deed or a bill of sale
Step 2: Submit the building plans and specs for the pool.
Step 3: Show your plans or blueprints and demonstrate your ability to execute them.
If you are executing the work but are not a licensed electrician, you must demonstrate your ability to be a chief electrical code administrator. The “chief electrical code administrator” title refers to any municipal or county official examining building plans to conform with electrical codes. You may need to prepare for a written or oral exam to demonstrate your talents; thus, you may need to study before this appointment.
Some Pool Permit Setbacks
The government’s motivations for issuing permits include financial gain and the protection of citizens, ecosystems, and property. Keep this in mind when considering why they will deny your permit. Hiring an architect to create detailed plans for the pool before applying is recommended to increase the chances of obtaining a permit.
- Distance: Building codes contain regulations on various aspects of construction, including sizes and lengths between structures, such as houses, pools, fences, and pool pumps, as well as lot dimensions. It is essential to pay attention to setbacks, which refer to the minimum distance a structure must be built away from its surroundings per regional regulations.
- Your land may fall under various zoning categories, each with restrictions on what can be built and where. Some common examples of zoning categories are:
- Designated land
- National park
- Greenbelt park
- Historic building
- Conservation area
More Potential Complications
Dangers may appear in a variety of aspects. When constructing a pool, the risk might manifest in one of the following ways.
- Expansive Soil: It is necessary to evaluate the soil characteristics that sustain the pool before construction. Hiring a geotechnical engineer to conduct the examination is recommended rather than attempting to do it independently.
- Pool Safety Fence: Drowning is the leading cause of death for children due to medical or accidental reasons. To address this significant threat, each state has implemented regulations for fencing, though the specifics vary among states.
- Noisy Pool Pumps: Pool pumps can be a source of noise pollution and disruptive to neighbors. To avoid legal issues, it’s essential to ensure that your pool pump complies with local decibel level regulations, as they can vary from location to location. Ensure your pool pump doesn’t exceed the maximum allowed volume to avoid disturbance.
In conclusion, it is essential to understand all local regulations before building a pool or hot tub. Contact your local municipality to inquire about the necessary documents and permits required. The city may provide a “pool packet,” which typically includes all the required information and forms, such as building requirements and permit fees. It is also advisable to schedule an inspection to complete your pool construction to ensure compliance with codes.
The inspector will evaluate your deck, coping, fencing, and gates and the proper installation of pool equipment, including lights, handrails, ladders, filters, pumps, heaters, timers, and other electronics. Thanks for reading!
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