Mar 22

In-ground pool building permits, setbacks, and building codes

Lagoon in-ground pool installation Newburyport MA

If you have already made the decision to install an in ground or above ground swimming pool (even if you have not selected a contractor yet) then it is never too early to start the process of securing a building permit. Building permits always seem to be a fear of a homeowner, when in fact they are there to protect the homeowner. Following your local guidelines and having the proper inspections along the way should ensure a quality and liability free job for the homeowner.

First Steps of Getting a Pool Permit

The first thing required to install a swimming pool is a building permit. You will need a copy of your plot plan (which is normally located with your mortgage paperwork) so it can be determined whether or not you have the space needed to install the pool you want. It has to fit on paper or it will not fit in your yard. The plot plan combined with the local setbacks will determine the size of the pool and where on your property you will be able to install the pool. Every town has a different set of building regulations adopted by the people and enforced by the local building inspector. These rules set for by the building code will determine things such as setbacks off of the property lines; side, rear, front and things such as a septic tank and septic field.

Common In-ground Pool Property Setbacks

Setbacks can range from 6 feet to a property line up to as much as but not limited to 20 feet. Septic setbacks are usually the same town to town; 10 feet from the tank and 20’ from the field are the norm. Every town differs how far you may install a pool to the house itself. I have seen a range of 0’-15’ setbacks off of a house when building a in-ground pool in Massachusetts. Your local building inspector is the authority on all setbacks in your yard. If you have wetlands on, abutting or within 100’ of the proposed pool you may need to go before your local conservation commission. Since these boards usually only meet once a month you can see how a pool permit applied for in March may take until May or June to be issued.

The Pool Builder Should Always be On the Permit

You should always have your installer sign on to the permit so you are not solely responsible for everything that takes place during the construction. If your pool installer does not want to pull a permit and wants you the homeowner to pull the permit then most likely the contractor does not have the proper insurance required to pull the building permit. You want to be very cautious of a contractor who wants the homeowner to pull his own building permit. Remember if the homeowner pulls the permit on his own without the builder then the homeowner assumes all responsibility for all liabilities during the project such as worker accidents, property damage ….etc. A properly insured pool contractor will have workers compensation insurance and liability insurance.

If you have questions regarding pool setbacks and building permits feel free to leave a comment below or email us at [email protected].

If you are looking to build a pool in Massachusetts or Seacoast NH we take care of all the permits and building inspections for you. Feel free to contact us here about your new spring in-ground pool install.

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