backyard-poolDid you know that if you wanted to add a swimming pool to your residential property that there are permits, documents and fees required? Fairfax County, for example, requires a permit for the installation of a residential swimming pool, spa or hot tub. Fees vary, depending upon the scope of the project.

First, the homeowner must apply for a permit, and submit an application form, building and site plans, and property ownership verification. Although the homeowner can apply for the permit in his or her own name, it is recommended to have the contractor pull the permit. This helps the County in which the permit is issued to gain compliance for defective work. Zoning requirements must also be met, and specific towns and jurisdictions, like Vienna and Clifton, VA have their own requirements. Trade permits for mechanical, electrical and plumbing can be pulled after the building permit has been issued.

Bear in mind that you must call Miss Utility at 811, TYY 711 prior to excavating for any project. This will enable you to locate any underground utilities.

Other Requirements for a Pool, Spa or Hot Tub

All outdoor pools, spas and hot tubs must be protected with a barrier (fence). In Fairfax County, the minimum height is 48” from the outside face grade, with 2” to the grass, gravel or mulch, 4” to concrete, wood or other hard surface, or 4” maximum between the top of an above-ground pool and the bottom of the barrier. Other requirements are listed in the Fairfax County’s Pool, Spas and Hot Tubs regulations. Powered safety covers for pools and lockable safety covers for spas and hot tubs can be substituted for barriers if designed to meet the ASTM F 1346.

Fairfax County, for example, has other requirements that must be met, along with requirements and design standards found in the International Swimming Pool and Spa Code. They include energy conservation, slip-resistant surfaces, tapering of surfaces, outdoor hose accessibility, and rounded deck and patio edges. For safety, pol filtration and circulation systems must be designed to prevent suction entrapment, handholds must be placed in specific locations, there must be no obstructions that can cause entrapment, and a rope float in the shallow end must be installed. There are even regulations for recreation equipment, like the diving board and slides.

Site Requirements for Pools, Spas and Hot Tubs

The site-related plans that must be submitted for a permit for a pool, spa or hot tub include a house location plat, a conservation plan, and a grading plan. Problem soils, such as those with a high water table, expansive clays or behavioral issues require that a foundation be designed by an engineer and inspected by a county-approved licensed professional.

Inspections for Pools, Spas and Hot Tubs

Inspections must be scheduled at various checkpoints throughout the building and installation process, and the county must be notified when these are reached, for inspection before construction can continue.

Homeowners Can Rely on Först Consulting Group

Even if you hire a professional contractor to install your pool, spa or hot tub, you, as the homeowner, must keep an eye on the project. If you suspect an error along the way, have a conflict with your contractor, or desire an outside private inspection to verify code requirements, you have an advocate on your site with Först Consulting Group.

Homeowners rely on the Homeowner Services Först can provide when they need a qualified second opinion or professional code inspection. We can also help homeowners with choosing a qualified contractor, negotiating contracts and navigating conflicts with contractors.

You don’t need to undergo a construction project alone, with Först Consulting Group on your side. Contact us today.