So, you have finally taken the plunge and decided to install an above ground pool! Although you have made the decision to go ahead, you should also know that you may need to acquire building permits to legally install a swimming pool on your property. Professionals are often asked, “Do above ground pools need a permit?” The State of Virginia requires all pools, above ground and in ground, that are larger than 150 square feet, hold more than 5000 gallons of water or are more than 2 feet deep, to have a building permit. Depending on your circumstances, you may also need to apply for gas and electricity permits for your pool as well.
In the article below, we will review the basics of pool permits so that you are aware of the facts if your above ground pool does end up requiring a permit.
The Application Process
If you use a contractor to install the pool, they will normally also apply for the necessary permits. Although homeowners may apply for permits, the applicant is ultimately responsible for the work done, so unless you are confident in your abilities, it should be left up to the contractor. The application process consists of gathering the required documents, submitting the application along with the fees, constructing the pool upon issuance of the permit and scheduling inspection of the completed work.
Permit applicants will need to provide a plot plan that shows where the pool will be constructed and how far it is from the house and property lines. There are requirements for the distances between the pool, house and property lines. The pool builder must also supply two sets of construction drawings that include copies of the pool’s assembly instructions.
Types of Permits Necessary
At the very least, a building permit will be necessary for the construction of the pool and the barrier that surrounds it. If there is any electricity used by the pool, for a water pump or heater, for example, an electrical permit must also be applied for. If the pool is heated by gas, a gas permit will also be required.
A barrier, such as a fence, must surround the pool and be at least four feet high. For above ground pools, the sides of the pool are allowed to act as the barrier as long as the walls are at least 4 feet high. It’s also possible to add a barrier on top of the pool walls to meet the four-foot requirement. The space between the bottom of the barrier and the ground must not be more than two inches. Barriers must not be climbable meaning that there should be no foot or handholds on the outside face of the barrier. Chain link fences must have spaces smaller than 1.25 inches. If there is a gate, it must open outward and be self-closing and latching. If the latch is positioned lower than 4.5 feet, it must be on the inside of the gate. The gate must also be lockable.
Not that you are aware of what to expect as far as permits for above ground pools are, download a buyer’s guide to find out more about our models.