Do You Need A Permit For A Semi Inground Pool?

semi inground pool with silver exterior in backyard of a white luxury home with green plants next to it and a black fence behind it

When you are putting in a pool of any kind, there’s the ever-present concern of what authorities do you need to satisfy in the process?  Does the city or town have anything to say about me building a pool?  The time delay and cost of pool permits can be frustrating. You may have heard from someone that there’s a difference between permitting an above ground versus in ground pool. In this case, do you need a permit for a semi inground pool?  The answer might surprise you.

Why Are Pool Permits Required?

The first thing to consider when building anything of any kind on your property is whether or not your city, town, county or state has any permit requirements.  The overarching reason permits exist is safety.  The safety of you, your family and your neighbors is the original reason for building codes and permitting authorities existing in the first place. In addition, there are zoning regulations you must comply with (in most instances).  

However, the utilitarian reason cities, towns, and states require building permits is property taxes.  Without permits, there is no way for governing authorities to update their tax rolls without in person assessment.  Some places have begun using satellite imagery, but for the most part, reliance on building permits is the biggest source of property tax updates.

Now that you know why building permits exist, you can understand why putting an above ground pool semi-inground may change your property tax classification. An above ground pool is seen as less added value to the home than an inground pool in most cases

What Types Of Pools Require Permits?

Unfortunately, this is subjective and from one permit granting authority to another you will see glaring differences.  For example, there are some towns which simply check a box, do you have a pool or not.  You can spend $500,000 on a backyard paradise or less than a thousand dollars on an Intex pool.  They will value the pool the same.  You have a pool, hence your property valuation will go up by x dollars.  Often this amount is $10,000 or a similar round number.

Often in cities which see all pools the same, they will require a permit for all pools.  There may be a different permitting process for each, but all will require a permit.  If you live somewhere you only need a permit for an inground pool, you may trigger the permitting requirement when putting in a semi-inground pool.

In nearly every case where you are running electrical wiring, you will need an electrical permit for the electrician to do their work.

Do You Need A Permit For A Semi Inground Pool?

Your semi-inground pool will likely need a permit of a different kind anyhow.  Permit granting authorities generally have a cutoff for how tall a retaining wall can be without requiring a permit.  This is often 24” or 36”.  If this is the case, you will need a permit to build the retaining wall for your semi-inground pool.

do you need a permit for an inground pool questioned in a backyard with a large evergreen tree and a swim up bar made of granite

Do You Need A Permit For A Semi Inground Pool Summary

Unfortunately, the answer to do you need a permit for a semi inground pool is that it depends.  But with a little online research you can usually get the answer from your local permitting authority.  If you can’t find the answer online, call the building department and ask.  You don’t have to tell them your address or why you are asking, just ask and see what they say.