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Do I Need a Permit for a Swimming Pool?

By Christopher Coble, Esq. | Last updated on

With summer in full swing, the hot weather may have you tempted to put in a swimming pool.

Before you dive into constructing one, there may be one pesky issue you'll have to take care of first -- a permit.

Do you need a permit to build a swimming pool?

Permit Required?

Permit requirements vary from state to state and city to city. Here is a sampling of different pool permit requirements and procedures:

Minneapolis, Minnesota

If you have a kiddy pool less than 24 inches deep, then you won't need a permit. Otherwise, any pool more than 24 inches deep covering more than 150 square feet requires a permit, a zoning check and site plan, an inspection, and a construction review plan. The good news is that you won't need a contractor. You can DIY it if you want.

New Orleans, Louisiana

In New Orleans, getting a pool permit should be relatively quick and painless. The permit is usually issued on the same day and costs about $60. If you're trying to build your pool in a local historic district, you'll have to pay an extra 50 percent on the permit fee and get permission from the Historic Districts Landmark Commission and the Vieux Carre Commission.

Montgomery County, Maryland

You need a permit for any pool over 18 inches deep. This includes the inflatable kiddie pool you bought at Target. To get a permit, you'll also be required to put up a 5 feet high barrier surrounding the pool.

Waukesha, Wisconsin

If you want to put in any pool more than 24 inches deep, you'll not only need a building permit but also an electrical permit. If there is any electrical wiring work to be done, you must hire a licensed electrical contractor to do it. In addition to building the pool, you must also build a fence at least 4 feet high and at least 4 feet away from the edge of the pool, and install a combination or key lock on any gate. You don't want any uninvited intruders drowning in your pool.

What If You Don't Get a Permit?

These permit requirements may sound like a hassle, but don't neglect getting one. It's possible that you many never get caught for having a pool without a permit. But, if you are caught, you can expect to pay a lot in fines and fees and may even have to get rid of the pool. Always, check your local rules for permit requirements before installing any swimming pools, or consult an experienced construction lawyer for help.

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