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Do Above Ground Pools Need A Permit? What You Need to Know

Above-ground pools are perfect for cooling off during the hot summer months. They are relatively simple to install and can be covered when not in use. However, do above-ground pools need a permit before being installed on a property?

Above-ground pools that are at least 24 inches deep or more than 250 square feet need a permit before installation in most areas, but any above-ground pool smaller than this, like a kiddie pool, does not.

Having the proper permit is essential because it helps you avoid penalties and stay up to code which ensures safety for all who use it. So, read on to learn more about above-ground pools and what you need to know to install them properly.

When Does an Above-Ground Pool Need a Permit?

A permit for an above-ground pool is required when the pool is 24 inches deep or greater and or more than 250 square feet deep in total. This permit rule was created to help reduce accidental drowning, especially in young children.

Along with obtaining the construction permit and finding a contractor to build it, the pool cannot be used until the owner has a Certificate of Occupancy and a final inspection of the pool is passed. Above ground, residential pools do not get regular inspections like in-ground public pools to do.

When choosing a contractor to install your above-ground pool, make sure they are licensed and that they obtain the building permit for the pool themselves.

You should only get your building permit if you want to work without a contractor. The contractor should go over what pool inspection entails and the requirements of the permit.

Here’s a video showing a case where the pool location can cause issues, with more info below:

Here’s a link to some Pool Accessories from Amazon and the highly recommended Sand Filter Pump to upgrade any above ground pool setup.

Can You Put An Above Ground Pool Anywhere?

It is a requirement for residential above-ground pool permits that the pool is built in the backyard at least 6 feet from the property lines. Otherwise, you have to pay a variance fee to have it installed in another area.

Technically, an above-ground pool can be placed anywhere provided that you pay the appropriate fees and get approved to build the pool in the location you want because variance requests can be denied.

What Are The Safety and Maintenance Requirements For Above-Ground Pools?

These are the safety requirements you should be aware of before beginning the installation of your above-ground pool.

  • The pool must have a fence around it that is the height of the pool or higher. The wall or side of a house does not count as a fence.
  • A 4-foot enclosure with a self-latching gate has to be built around the ladder area of the pool
  • Fencing requirements: top rail must support at least 200 lbs to avoid collapse, the mesh must be able to prevent a four-inch sphere from passing through to discourage climbing, and post and rail fencing can only be used if the mesh is added.
  • Any electricity added to the pool or pool deck must be up to code, and the pool cannot be placed under overhead electric wires

Any pool that does not meet these basic requirements cannot be constructed or installed. Pools should also have regular maintenance to keep them sanitary for swimming or be drained and covered when not in use. Covers also prevent the pool from sustaining damage from bad weather like snow and rust from rain.

What Information is Needed to Get a Permit for An Above Ground Pool?

The requirements can vary by state,  but generally, the contractor or tenant wanting to construct the pool must submit the following information:

  • 2 copies of the site plan for the pool that includes the sidewalks, patios, and or driveways near it as needed, the dimensions of the pool and distance from fence lines, as well as the power source and under/overhead wire locations
  • 2 copies of the pool plan showing the pool and deck if applicable, anchoring points, details about the ladder and pool cover, and barrier information
  • 2 copies of the manufacturer assembly and installation manual which should include all of the construction and anchoring details, as well as the specifications for the pump the pool needs

There may also be additional forms needed depending on your building situation, but these are the core things you will need before construction. Consult with your contractor to ensure you have everything you need

Are Above-Ground Pools Worth It?

After seeing the work it takes to build an above-ground pool, you may be wondering if it is worth it to start the process. To determine this, you need to think about your budget and how often you will use the pool.

In-ground pools are much more budget-friendly than in-ground ones because they come in kits, use fewer materials, and only take a few days to install. If you want a pool for your family but are not sure about the commitment and permanent nature of an in-ground pool, then they will be your best bet.

However, above-ground pools are not the best option if you or your loved ones like to dive because they are only 48 or 52 inches deep which is not safe to dive in.

Also, if you are thinking about selling your home in the future and want to include the above-ground pool in the selling price, you will be disappointed.

Above-ground pools do not add value to homes because they are temporary and can be removed at any point. Above-ground pools will take away from the space in your backyard as well, so they may not be the best option if you have kids or need space for dogs to exercise. However, if you do not swim often, you can cover them when not in use to keep them clean.

Here’s a link to some Pool Accessories from Amazon and the highly recommended Sand Filter Pump to upgrade any above ground pool setup.


Above-ground pools need a permit when they are 24 inches or more deep or 250 square feet in size. This is because deep pools are a safety hazard and the incidence of drowning is higher. Above ground, pools can be placed anywhere if you have a variance permit, but are most commonly installed in backyards

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