Installing a swimming pool in your home in Florida is a necessity to overcome the hot, humid summers. If you haven’t been lucky enough to buy a home with a pool already installed, you can set up one, whether it be an above-ground or an in-ground pool.
However, there is quite a bit of planning that needs to go into this project, including obtaining a permit where necessary. Let’s look at when permits are required and what procedure to follow to obtain such.
Permits are required for installing both in-ground and above-ground pools in Florida. Most applications can be made online. Additional required documentation may include site plans and official design plans (in-ground) or manufacturer installation instructions (above-ground).
Permits Are Required
If you are planning on installing an above-ground pool that is more than 24 inches deep or an in-ground pool, you will need a permit.
Miami-Dade residents also need a zoning improvement permit (ZIP) for an above-ground pool, which gives you permission to construct it. If you are planning on installing an in-ground pool without a licensed contractor, you will need an additional Own-Builder permit.
All in-ground pools are permitted to be secured with a safety barrier, which also needs a permit. Above-ground pools that are higher than 48 inches need a ladder. If no ladder is present, then a barrier or fence is necessary.
According to Lee County and the City of Palm Coast, alarms are permitted in place of fences or safety barriers.
The City of Orlando requires three different permits for in-ground pool installation, namely building, electrical, and engineering permits.
Why You Need a Permit
Permits ensure that homeowners have been following the rules and regulations set out by the Florida Building Code.
Regulations are set in place to ensure the safety of pool users and bystanders. Permits also show that your chosen area is fit enough to build a swimming pool (if in-ground) and be able to support the construction that takes place.
As a regular homeowner, you may not have all the expertise to do just this, which is why its so crucial to have an experienced contractor inspect the area and make sure you don’t put lives in danger or land up wasting money by building in a spot not fit enough.
If you are sneaky and skip the permit process, the chances of you getting caught could be low (as long as you plan on never selling), but if you are caught, it could come with a hefty fine or you could land up being forced to get rid of your pool.
Hopefully, though, they will just fine you and make you apply after the fact.
What You Will Need for the Pool Application
To obtain your permit, there are certain documents that you would need to submit along with your application form. Application forms are available on the official government pages.
Whether you are installing an above-ground pool or an in-ground pool, you will need to provide a site plan that looks at the location and dimensions of your pool as well as access points for electrical work and plumbing. This will determine if your chosen site is fit.
For in-ground pools, Licensed or Registered Architects need to provide sealed design plans, according to the Residential Florida Building code.
You will also need to provide manufacturers’ installation specifications if you are installing an above-ground pool.
If you are an Orange County resident, you would also need to provide a Swimming Pool Affirmation certificate if your pool is less than 48 inches high and does not have a ladder.
In the City of Fort Lauderdale, you are required to have a licensed contractor sign a Dewatering Affidavit for your permit application This can be obtained by the Department of Sustainable Development.
Where to Apply
Luckily, we are in a technology-driven era, and one can apply online in most parts of Florida, such as:
- Miami-Dade County: You can send in your application to the Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources.
- Orange County: Submit permit online on their Fast Track online services portal.
- Escambia County: Applications can be set to the Escambia County Building Inspections Division via email (email@example.com).
- Lee County: if you are submitting a paper application you would need to deliver the completed application and its supporting documents to the Building Department. For online applications, one would need to register on eConnect.
- City of Orlando: the digital application will need to be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The general application process includes either physical paper application submission or online submission either through portals or email addresses.
Once applications have been sent through and you have revisions you would need to submit it as soon as you can.
Your application will then be reviewed.
If your application has been rejected, then you can re-submit with the required information. If its not rejected, you will receive your permit online (if you did an online submission) or you can collect it in person from your department.
Permit application fees will then need to be paid. Payments can be made online, or you can visit your relevant department and make payments in person.
If you are in the City of Okeechobee, your fee depends on the cost of the contractor work and can range between $50 and $100. Lee County residents will need to pay $225 for an in-ground or $75 above-ground pool.
Inspections are highly recommended and can be scheduled online or by contacting the relevant department.
Quick Links to Government Pages Across Florida
|Links to official pool permit information
|City of Okeechobee
|City of Live Oak
|City of Orlando
|City of Palm Coast
|City of Fort Lauderdale