One of the most exciting things for your family to do is install a swimming pool in their home. But many homeowners are not prepared for some of the most common pitfalls that can cost a lot of time and money.
These 10 tips will help you to avoid many of these errors!
1 | Do you know the maximum size pool that will fit into your yard within local zoning codes..?
There are regulations for the “property line offsets” for all proposed construction to be done in your yard. Your local zoning codes may be found online but it's much easier to contact a local permit expeditor for verification. A good expeditor will be able to advise you on every step of the process, and in some cases - handle everything!
A copy of your current property survey will be required. By the way, a building permit is required for all pool types, whether in-ground or above-ground.
2 | Prefer a pool contractor that has been referred to you by a friend or family member, if possible.
Many companies look good online, but the proof of their quality is in the referral sources they offer. The worst thing that could happen is for you to be half-way under construction and suddenly the site manager can’t be found, and he’s not answering your calls.
A 20% off sale is of no use if you don’t get the results that you wanted, so don’t let a “sale” lead you in picking a company. Get referrals…!
If you are unable to find a personal referral - as permit expediters that specialize in obtaining pool permits we are happy to recommend some contractors that can provide references, which is the next best thing!
3 | Will your pool installer provide you with pool and door alarms that are now required..?
There are several criteria to meet for closing out a pool permit beyond the pool structure itself, and many home-owners get tripped up on the details.
Alarms, gate latches and fence locations are often overlooked. Be aware of the items that your contractor may not offer in the base price so you are not surprised later on.
Hiring a permit expeditor can help to prevent these kinds of issues, as they will hold your hand throughout the process and make sure you don't get left alone in the deep end. (Pun intended)
4 | Consider an accessory structure like a shed or cabana, while you are applying for your pool permit.
It will save you a lot of time and money if you plan for these other structures now since you are likely going to need them in your yard for seasonal use.
Designing a layout for the entire yard space all at once will assure you that you meet proper setbacks without having to apply for a zoning variance.
5 | Is your property sloped and might you need retaining walls designed to create a plateau for your new pool..?
There are “steep slope ordinances” in several towns on Long Island and it is best to have a plan for the whole yard designed by a licensed professional.
Include a deck or patio design, along with any accessory structures, on the full landscape design plan. This way you won’t receive a “stop work order” when the digging of your new pool goes beyond the intended scope.
6 | If considering a poolside cabana or wet bar, it's important to note that this is classified as an accessory structure which requires a permit & C.O.
A cabana building often includes a wet bar, plumbing fixtures and interior finishes; this is very different from a shed building that has an unfinished interior and is used more for the storage of yard and pool equipment.
If you would rather not roll the dice on exactly what is required, the right permit expediter can really bring peace of mind throughout the process.
7 | If you are going to have a pool heater installed, will it be powered by gas or electric..?
A gas pool heater requires a plumbing permit and a gas test; electrical heaters need a UL certificate. Be careful not to confuse these two requirements and to file the permits correctly to avoid costly fines.
A permit expediter can take care of this and more if you prefer.
8 | A pool requires a fence enclosure for safety purposes, but there are many variables.
A fence enclosure may encompass the perimeter of the property, or just around the pool area. The types of pool alarm necessary will vary dependent upon the type and location of the safety enclosure.
Be sure to do your research to make sure you are obtaining the proper permit and have the correct type of alarm - or, you can hire a permit expediter to handle this on your behalf.
9 | Hot Tubs also require safety alarms.
A Jacuzzi or hot tub requires a safety alarm unless it has a separate durable cover with a lock. Be sure to obtain the appropriate alarm, if necessary, to avoid a tragedy or a costly fine.
Consult with a permit expediter for concrete answers and take the guesswork out of the process.
10 | Don’t forget to confirm the issuance of a C.O. for your new pool.
A building permit for a proposed pool is typically the first step performed by your pool contractor, but once the construction and inspections are complete, it is up to the homeowner to confirm that the final C.O. (Certificate of Occupancy) is issued.
The local municipality usually requires a couple of final documents to be submitted and you may only receive one notice of this requirement.
It is often overlooked and pool CO’s are notoriously missing and the permits never closed out, which can result in costly fines!
Make sure you obtain all the appropriate permits at each stage of the process, keep track of all your approvals and file them meticulously - or you can hire a permit expediter who can handle everything on your behalf.
I truly hope you found these 10 tips helpful!
Good luck in whatever stage of the process you might be - and if you would like to sit back, relax and let Dynamic Permits handle everything... you can easily request a free quote & consultation.