Is a Permit Required For an Aboveground Pool?

Although every city, town and municipality may have different permit rules and regulations, the fundamentals are basically the same. They all have definitions for a swimming pool, and they all describe versions of an in-ground pool, an aboveground pool, or a “temporary” pool. All seem to agree that if a pool is going to contain approximately 36” of level water, or more, a permit will be required. A reliable pool contractor will be well acquainted with the specifics, and will be able to recommend a suitable plan-of-action.

Various documentation is required when applying for a permit, and that documentation will be dependent on the type of pool, the size of pool, and the configuration of the pool. Suffice to say that the same documentation will apply to most swimming pools, regardless of the construction approach. And although the basic requirements are listed below, a good pool contractor will offer a detailed checklist and worksheet that will make things easy to follow and monitor. For the customer, it’s best to be well informed and knowledgeable.

Basic requirements when applying for a pool permit:

  • Municipal address of the project and homeowner contact
  • Contractor company details, including the contact specifics
  • Value of the swimming pool project (specifics might vary)
  • Site plan, which probably includes a survey of the property
  • Configuration of swimming pool design and location on-site
  • Measurements (to the existing property lines and buildings)
  • Location of proposed fencing and exact type of construction
  • Confirmation of compliance with respect to fencing by-law
  • Description of deck around the pool, including cross-section
  • Applicable fees and charges specific to the building permit
  • Possible additional permit required to access city property

Today, a swimming pool enclosure is an integral component of a project. Most every by-law will insist that a pool enclosure be designed and installed to prevent children from accessing the fenced-in area of a pool. There will be minimum specifications about fence height, fence construction, and even access points. There will be rules for chain link fencing and there will be stipulations for fence materials like wrought iron and vinyl. Needless to say, these construction details will be required when submitting for a permit.

As for gates and access points, municipal regulations require that all gates (that are part of the pool enclosure) must be self-closing and outfitted with a self-latching feature. Indeed some of the rules and regulations are quite detailed and specific, and often include provisions for when the swimming pool is not even being used. All of these pre-requisites are designed to ensure safety and security for all, but are also critical for the homeowner, with respect to insurance and liability implications. In short, better be safe than sorry.

There are a host of variables when designing and building a swimming pool, and the project is far too costly and complex to be taking construction shortcuts. Building permits and building codes are intended for a purpose, and a good pool contractor considers it all part of the job.

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