Pool Permit: How Much It Costs & How Long It Takes

how a pool permit works explained

Before you start your pool project, long before any shovels hit the ground, you need to do your pre-construction planning. You simply cannot start a project without planning it out if you want it to be successful.  A big part of planning your project is making sure you are compliant with all pool permit requirements

You’ll find you need to ask your city, town or county how much is a pool permit?  Additionally, you’ll need to know how long does it take to get a pool permit? Many homeowners are shocked to learn that even above ground pools usually require pool permits.

The answer to these questions, as you might have guessed, is it depends. This is the typical answer you find whenever asking questions about a pool. A pool’s price, pool permit and so many other key factors are dependent on location.

A good place to start finding the answers is to do some research on your permitting municipality.  Usually it’ll be called the ‘building department’, or ‘inspectional services’ and they’ll have a table somewhere on their website breaking down their permit fees.  Always and I mean always call however, since these town websites are not always up to date.  Also, you’ll discover additional hoops you’ll need to jump through by calling and save yourself a trip to town hall.

How Much Is A Pool Permit?

In the hundreds of pool permits we’ve been a part of, we’ve paid as little as $25, and as much as $3500.  Each municipality has a different calculus to come up with how much they’ll charge.  Some places have a flat price for pools.  More commonly though, they’ll have a price per thousand dollars of ‘valuation’. 

Some municipalities will go further and demand a copy of the construction contract along with the permit application so they can use that to calculate permit fees.  For example, if your pool project costs $120,000 and your town charges $15 per $1,000 of valuation, your permit will cost $1,800.

If you are using a pool builder, make sure they include the total permit cost in their construction price.  Often a pool builder will include an ‘allowance’ for permit fees, then charge you the additional when they go and pull the permit.  

How Long Does It Take To Get A Pool Permit?

How long does it take to get a pool permit?  Once you know how much you need to pay, the next logical question is how long will it take to get the permit?  This is highly dependent on what municipality you are pulling the permit in, and also your specific project. 

It’s not uncommon for a permit to take at least two weeks to be processed by your municipality.   However, we’ve had permits take as long as 12 weeks just to get through the building department, so it’s a good idea to find out the expected wait time early so you can plan it into your project schedule.

In Massachusetts, if you are building a pool on a property abutting a wetland, you will probably need to go through the conservation commission.  This can add weeks or months to your permitting process.  In other places, you may need to go before zoning to get your project approved.  

Everything explained about a pool permit in a tropical backyard with a luxury pool

How To Speed Up Your Pool Permit Process

Once your project is being reviewed by the building department, you can have further delays due to staffing shortages and disinterested municipal employees.  In our experience it always pays to be kind and patient with the building department officials

They get a lot of attitude from people on a daily basis due to their place in government, restricting what people can and cannot do on their property.  Many people get emotional and frustrated.  Do your best to remain calm, and thank them for their help moving your project forward.

Summary

Your pool permit journey will be heavily dependent on where you’re located. The price of a pool permit varies from $25 to $3,000. A pool permit can take 2 – 12 weeks to be ready. Always be kind to the building department as they control how quickly your pool permit gets done. If you have property on wet or otherwise conservation land, expect further delays.