Understanding What Is Required for a Pool Permit

a woman wearing a hat and leaning on a pool edge.

Building a custom vinyl liner in-ground pool is a large project with a lot of moving parts. After you find the pool builder who you trust to create your dream pool and beautiful backyard oasis, you will begin to get into the details of the complicated process. One of the first crucial tasks, which is a process in itself, is obtaining the permits required to build a pool. You must have the appropriate approvals before beginning.

Beginning the construction of a pool without the proper permits can result in hefty fines. In some cases, you could be asked to rip out what has been done until you have secured the required permits.

Most pool companies take care of getting the permits for you; however, if this is the case, you will need to be involved in gathering some information for the builder. At Prestige Pools of N.C., we will take the lead in acquiring the permits based on the information we receive from you. To help you along in the process, in this article, we cover what is required for a pool permit so that you can understand the reason each piece of information is important.

Steps in the Process of Obtaining Permits

The basic steps in the process of obtaining permits are:

  • Check with your HOA, if applicable, for rules and the municipality for local ordinances.
  • Collect the relevant information, survey, and plot plan.
  • Submit the completed permit application at the appropriate office
  • Pay the fees for getting the permit.
  • Wait for the permit to be issued.
  • Build the pool, fence along with decking, and any electrical installations

What Are the Rules and Regulations?

You have to adhere to local rules and regulations when you build a swimming pool. Here are some of the things you should look into before building a new pool.

Talk to Your Homeowner’s Association (HOA)

If you have an HOA, you already know how important it is that you adhere to the rules they have set in place for your residence, making it crucial to check with them in the beginning. Some HOAs don’t allow backyard pools while others do. Many HOAs will need you to submit the plans for approval before beginning construction. Talk to your representative before beginning the building process in order to determine what you can and can’t do.

Check Ordinances

Local ordinances may vary from one municipality to another. Pools, decks, pool equipment, and fences may not be installed over or in a public sewer easement or a public or private drainage easement. You will need to get approval from your municipality’s water department for the location of a pool if a public sewer or public or private drainage easement exists on your property. Local ordinances may require quiet pool pumps that operate under a maximum allowed noise level. Others may have “setback” requirements that outline the minimum distance to build from buildings. If your property is in a Historic District or your home is designated as a Historic Landmark, there may be ordinances that determine historic district requirements.

Find Out About Safety Measures

Some municipalities mandate rules that make swimming pools safer. For example, some require a barrier of a certain height, which varies, around the entire pool. Some have rules that allow for certain-sized objects to pass through any openings in the barrier. And, others require gates to open in certain directions and that locks are placed on the entrances to the pool.

Research Local Permits

Your municipality will require some type of permit in order for you to build an in-ground vinyl liner swimming pool. Residential swimming pools are regulated by the state, county, and municipality. Permits and inspections are required for anything that holds more than 24 inches of water, including in-ground pools, above-ground pools, spas, and hot tubs. Don’t neglect to apply for the appropriate permits before beginning the building process. It may take several weeks to obtain the permits you need. Talk to your local city or town to find out which types of permits you need. They may have a pool packet that has all of the required documents for new pool construction, including the permit fee and the building requirements.

What Permits May Be Required?

Swimming pools require 1) building and 2) electrical, and possibly gas permits.


For building a pool, the minimum necessary is for the construction of the pool and the barrier that surrounds the pool area. This is just a basic building permit.


Your vinyl liner in-ground pool will require electricity to function correctly. The filtration system needs electricity to keep the pool safe and clean. Most towns and counties require that electrical work be done by a master electrician who is licensed with the city or county limits in accordance with the National Electrical Code. Many times, the contractor that you hire to build your pool will include the electrical installation by a licensed electrician and will take care of obtaining the appropriate permit.


If you want a gas heater, you will also need a separate air pressure gauge to verify the pressure. Most gas tests must utilize a diaphragm gauge an inspector must test and verify. Depending on whether or not you already have a gas line run to your house, it’s possible that the contractor you hire for the project will get the permits and inspection for the pool installation.


What You Need for the Permit Application

Most inground swimming pool contractors will submit all of the required documents to apply for your permit, but you will need to supply them with current and complete documentation.

Current Survey of Your Property

You need a current survey of your property that includes all of the existing structures, concrete surfaces, sheds, distances to property lines, etc. Typically, your builder will provide you with a final survey with your home’s closing documents. Otherwise, you’ll need to obtain a survey from a licensed survey company.

Current Septic Permit

Knowing where your septic system is located is one of the most important considerations due to a 15′ required setback from all septic system components, including the repair area, to the water’s edge. You’ll need to provide a current septic permit with a drawing that includes all of your septic system components (tank, lines, repair area, etc.) and distances from the property lines and buildings. You can typically find these documents with the closing documents for your home or you can contact your town or county for the septic permit..

Plot Plan

You will need to include your plot plan when you apply for a permit. This plan is a detailed diagram of what your property will look like with the pool. It should contain measurements and the location of the pool, decking, landscaping, etc.

Contact Prestige Pools to Build Your In-Ground Pool

When you are ready to invest in a vinyl liner in-ground pool, we are here help you from start to finish. Call us today at 919-586-8556 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a quote for pool installation in Raleigh, Cary, Clayton, Garner, Knightdale, Coats, MiddlesexFour Oaks, Wendell, Zebulon, and the surrounding areas.