Can You Build a Swimming Pool in Your Garden?

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Is owning a swimming pool at the very top of your wishlist? If yes, this article helps you explore the requirements of owning a pool and the different pool types you can choose from.

Can you build a swimming pool in your garden? Your property can be limiting in terms of space for pool construction. Nevertheless, if you have a garden, it can be a good site for pool installation.

To learn more about pool ownership and construction, read on!

Can You Build a Swimming Pool in Your Garden Without a Building Permit?

Building a pool in your garden not only adds an oasis-like ambiance to your home but also offers you a unique novelty. But, unfortunately, while so many homeowners are eager to have swimming pools, they are scared of the numerous legal requirements they may have to fulfill when building a pool. Is this true?

The requirements vary depending on the type of swimming pool you want to be installed, the site, among other factors. So, can you build a swimming pool in your garden without a building permit?

If you are building an inground pool, you must adhere to the different building and zoning regulations. As a result, you need to apply for a building permit and get approval before any installation or construction work starts at your preferred site.

Your town’s building and zoning regulations may differ from another town, so it’s essential to learn the details of your area. Nevertheless, there are general requirements that every homeowner is expected to follow. They include:

  • Pool distance from sewer lines, wells, septic tanks, property lines, and wetlands.
  • Codes for gate hardware and pool barriers.
  • Pool depth for diving boards.

Your perimeter wall also needs to be at least 5ft. tall with self-closing. If you have a chain-link fence, it should not have large openings.

Protection of young kids is also essential when building pools. You can have alarms in all doors leading to the pool and the gate for enhanced protection.

Getting a power safety cover for your pool will also keep you and your loved ones safe. To learn your area’s particular regulations, contact your local zoning board or building department.

Also, these rules and regulations can change at any time. So, before you build a pool in your garden, ensure that you have the most updated zoning and building requirements.

While a pool is a great recreation addition to your home, it also poses dangers like drowning. Besides supervising your kids closely, here are some rules that can help you avoid such accidents:

1. Installing Pool Barriers

According to Grim statistics, drowning is the second leading cause of unintended deaths of kids after automotive accidents. In some states like California, Arizona, and Florida, it’s the leading cause of death of children under five.

An appropriate pool barrier can prevent your child from going under, over, or through it to access the pool. So, how do you create such barriers? You can construct a pool safety fence, pool gate and add alarms to avoid drowning.

Don’t forget to maintain your barrier by repairing any damages that may leave a large enough opening for your kid to access the pool unsupervised.

To ensure maximum protection, the  U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) sets the following guidelines for swimming pool owners:

1. Surround the Pool with a Fence

Can my house walls serve as part of my swimming pool fence? No, this can give your kids easy access to the pool when you are absent, causing drowning.

Consequently, the guideline requires you to build a four-sided wall that surrounds the entire pool. Don’t forget to make it 5ft high or more!

2. Prevent Climbing on the Fence

Children love to explore, and if they find footholds or handholds in your pool’s fence, they will utilize them to climb and get into the pool. So, when building the barrier, ensure there are no enhancements that will facilitate scaling it.

3. Install Alarms

Alarms are part and parcel of our daily life, for instance, in clocks and phones. As a result, you can mistake the sound of your pool alarm with that of a device at home.

To avoid such scenarios, install a pool alarm that has a distinct sound from other gadgets. You should also install an underwater pool alarm that goes off once someone gets inside the pool and ensure it’s also different from other noises in the house.

4. Doors and Gates

Having doors leading to the pool? Installing alarms on each alerts you when your child is headed to the pool area. In addition, your doors and the pool gate should be self-closing and have self-latching devices.

Since kids may try to open doors or the gate to access the pool, ensure the locks are extremely high for your kids to reach. Also, make sure you perform maintenance practices on the doors and the pool gate because one mistake can give your children access to the pool unsupervised!

5. Pet Doors

Ever seen kids crawl through pet doors to access a prohibited space? When constructing a swimming pool, don’t add pet doors to your pool gates or the fence. If you have a pet opening in any of the doors leading to the pool, close it permanently or install a new door.

2. Install Anti-Entrapment Covers

When building a pool, you need to plan for an anti-entrapment safety drain cover. While it may seem like an additional cost, this part of the pool helps save kids or even adults.

Getting an entrapment safety drain cover with powerful suction can trap children or adults and prevent drowning. You should also keep children off the pool drains, pipes, and openings that may cause entrapment.

3. Familiarize with the Legal Risks of Pool Ownership

Besides dealing with accidents like drowning, pool owners are subject to legal risks like getting sued. Below are the measures you can take to minimize this risk:

  • Follow the safety rules and regulations for your area.
  • Follow all the CPSC guidelines.
  • Insist that everyone swimming in your pool should have company.
  • Deny intoxicated guests access to the pool.
  • Ensure that your homeowner’s policy covers liability lawsuits.

4. Prepare for Pool Emergency

Planning for safety elements and devices during pool construction is vital; nevertheless, accidents can happen. Consequently, you should prepare for such times in the following ways:

1. Taking Safety Courses

When an accident happens, most people panic because they don’t know the next action they should take. But with the right preparation, you or your loved ones can save a life.

So, how do you prepare for pool emergencies? By ensuring that everyone in your home takes first aid, water safety, and CPR courses. These will help them be effective in times of crisis.

2. Keep Rescue Equipment Close

Is your rescue equipment in good condition always?

Where do you store the safety equipment?

These are some of the questions you should keep in mind when building a swimming pool in your garden. Items like life rings, reaching poles, and floats should be easily accessible and in good shape all the time.

3. Sharing Safety Instructions and Pool Rules

You should share safety instructions and pool rules with family, neighbors, friends, and babysitters to avoid accidents in your pool. Some of the pool rules you can institute include:

  • No pushing
  • No running
  • No diving
  • Use the bathroom, not the swimming pool
  • For kids, don’t go near the pool without an adult.
  • Get help quickly when someone is in trouble.

5. Have a Phone by Your Poolside

Installing a phone by the pool with emergency numbers can be useful in case of an emergency. You can also post your address for babysitters, guests, or your young kids who have not memorized it.

6. Swimming Lessons and Children Supervision

Owning a swimming pool necessitates that every person in your home learns to swim. Non-swimmers and inexperienced swimmers must wear life jackets that are approved by the U.S Coast Guard.

When it comes to drowning prevention, every second counts. Consequently, your child should be within an arm’s reach, whether inside the pool swimming or outside the pool chilling.

For more protection, you should avoid using floaties for young kids to avoid becoming reliant on them. This will help them learn how to swim fast, preparing them to handle the risk.

Before you contact a pool contractor, ensure you consider all these requirements for pool owners. Remember, you can always contact the local building department to confirm with them if you aren’t sure about s!

Types of Swimming Pools You Can Build In Your Garden

Are you finding it challenging to settle for a pool type for your garden? Swimming pools come in different shapes, sizes, materials, filtration systems, and cleaning methods.

As a result, most homeowners are left in a dilemma when choosing the type of pool to construct. In addition, due to the enormous variety in the market, pool construction costs range between $10,000 to $100,000.

So, what is the best pool type for your garden, and how much does it cost? Let’s find out!

1. Above-Ground Pool

If you are looking for an inexpensive pool type that is easy to build and is less invasive, an above-ground pool is your ideal choice. This swimming pool has a wide range of shapes, sizes, materials, and styles, although most people consider them less attractive.

You can add decks, stairs, or any other suitable features to enhance their appearance and function. While it’s easy to build this type of pool, it can be limiting in terms of shape, size, and style.

Can you build a swimming pool in your garden for less than $20,000? Yes, since above-ground swimming pools cost between $1,500 and $16,000.

2. In-Ground Swimming Pools

In-ground pools can be built in various ways with different materials. The most common in-ground swimming pools include vinyl, concrete, and fiberglass pools.

These pools are more attractive and offer more customization options and pool types like natural, saltwater, and infinity. To find out which one suits you best, here are the different in-ground pool types and their construction costs:

1. Vinyl In-Ground Pool

Vinyl pools cost between $35,000 to $65,000. They use vinyl liners during construction, offering you much freedom.

Whether you want to build a small or large pool, the vinyl liner can be applied to your pool excellently regardless of its shape. You can get freeform or organic shapes that are challenging for fiberglass pools.

Nevertheless, while vinyl liners cost less and offer great shape options, they don’t last long like concrete and fiberglass pools. Consequently, you may incur a low initial cost but pay more after 7 to 9 years to restore the vinyl liner.

2. Concrete In-Ground Pool

Can you build a swimming pool in your garden with concrete? Concrete pools are suitable for any space, especially if you want a permanent recreation feature for your home.

This type of pool costs between $50,000 to $90,000 and has much versatility. It offers different sizes, shapes, and finishes, including tiles and other decorative features unavailable for fiberglass and vinyl pools.

While concrete pools require more maintenance than fiberglass pools in the long term, they are easier to conserve than vinyl, making them a great option in the long run.

3. Fiberglass In-Ground Pool

Building a fiberglass in-ground pool costs between $45,000 to $85,000. This pool type is robust and durable, making it a good long-term investment.

Nevertheless, its shapes are limited to what the company can produce, and it can be challenging to get large sizes since the shells can be damaged during transportation.

Most fiberglass swimming pools are also restrictive when it comes to depth. Consequently, you may have to choose a different material that will suit your diving needs. Nonetheless, fiberglass pools cost less in the long term as they require less maintenance.

The average costs of different pools also vary depending on the size. The larger the pool, the higher the costs for landscaping, building a deck, diving boards, among other features.

For instance, building an Olympic-size pool can cost you between $300,000 to $500,000, while a small pool costs between $31,200 and $85,000. Quite a high variance, right? This is due to the different materials and additional features different pool owners prefer to have.

Factors to Consider Before Building a Pool in Your Garden

1. Site for Building the Pool

Generally, it is easier to build a pool on level ground. So, if your site is steep, the construction cost may be higher. Consequently, it is essential to pick the best place for your pool.

Below are some tips to help you choose the right site for building a pool:

1. The Sun

When choosing a location in your garden, it’s vital to ensure the place is open to the sun and away from trees. This will not only offer you free solar energy but also reduce leaves dropping in the pool.

2. Breezes

When building a pool in your yard, you need to curb the effects of wind, for instance, evaporation. Otherwise, you may have to keep adding water to the proper level.

If you live in a windy area, you can block the breeze using windbreakers like thick shrubs or installing a solid-board fence.

3. A Clear Site

Locating your pool above sewer lines, electrical cables, or septic systems can be hazardous. You should ensure your pool location is clear below and above.

4. High and Dry

How does your site look like? Is it high or low? Low-lying sites can result in flooding with debris and mud when there is heavy rainfall. As a result, you should choose a high location in your yard to enjoy a dry pool!

5. The View from the House

Building a pool within your house not only offers you a refreshing viewing experience but also helps you supervise those in the swimming pool. It helps you keep your loved ones safe!

If you have any doubts about your pool location, consult an established pool contractor for expert help!

2. On-Going Pool Costs

A backyard pool demands additional costs after construction. These costs vary depending on the material used to build a pool and the maintenance practices you decide to apply.

So, what ongoing pool costs should you anticipate?

1. Chemicals

The cost of pool chemicals ranges between $50 to $100 per month, depending on the pool size, frequency of use, and climate. Does the type of pool determine the cost of chemicals?

Whether you build an in-ground or above-ground pool, the cost of chemicals remains within the same range. But, if you decide to have a natural pool, you don’t need to buy them.

2. The Pool Cover

Hiring an expert to open or close the pool every season may cost you between $100 to $ 350. If you want the pool cover to be cleaned and stored, you may have to incur an additional cost.

3. Equipment

Equipment life spans differ depending on the brand and quality you purchase. Other factors that can affect the durability of your equipment include water chemistry and its position.

For instance, pumps are meant to push water so, when you place your pump higher than the pool level, it will pump harder, decreasing its life span. But when you place it at the pool level, it will work more efficiently, lasting longer.

4. Utilities

During a pool’s open season, utility bills increase because much electricity is used to power the pump. Heated pools also require a lot of energy; hence you need to keep this in mind when installing your pool.

5. Maintenance

Your pool’s interior finish will determine how much money you will spend on maintenance. For instance, vinyl liners need replacement every 7 to 9 years, and plaster finish can last 10 to 15 years.

Thanks to technology, new cement-coated products can last a lifetime, like the Pebble Tec. You don’t have to worry about high repair costs!

3. Pool Installation Timeline

There will be dirt around the pool location when building an inground pool since its construction requires excavation and other landscaping activities. Depending on the weather, you may have to wait for three or twelve weeks to enjoy your pool.

Can you build a swimming pool in your garden within a week? If you prefer installation within hours or a few days, you can choose from the numerous above-ground pools.

4. Pool Insurance Coverage

Pool insurance is usually part of a homeowner’s insurance. Some insurance companies increase the premium when a client builds a pool while others do not. So, before you install a pool, consult your insurance company to plan for any extra costs.

How to Build a Swimming Pool in Your Garden

Whether you choose vinyl, fiberglass, or concrete pool, you will follow the same installation process. So, how can you build a swimming pool in your garden?

Step 1. Plan

The first step towards creating a good pool is planning. You need to get the different requirements before you start the installation. You also have to choose a suitable pool location to avoid construction difficulties.

To get a building permit, apply through the website of your Local Department of Building Safety. Does your neighborhood allow pool installation? Checking the neighborhood homeowner’s association guidelines will help you avoid conflicts and financial loss.

So, how do you estimate the full cost of pool construction? The total cost of installing a pool usually amounts to double its price. For instance, if you buy a pool at $50,000, you are likely to spend $40,000 to $50,000 for installation, depending on your contractor and the material you use.

Step 2. Designing Your Pool

Planning to install a concrete pool in your yard?

What shape and size do you prefer?

Getting a design for your pool makes the construction process easier and faster. It also helps you prepare the materials needed for the installation without much hustle.

Some of the aspects that your pool design should address include:

  • The shape – whether round, rectangular, or kidney-shaped.
  • The depth of your pool.
  • The number of entrances and exits in your pool.

All these details are essential, and you need to discuss them with your contractor before the project starts. The more complex the design, the higher the cost, so ensure you get a plan that matches your budget to avoid financial strains.

Step 3. Getting the Pools Material

What material do you want to use for your backyard swimming pool?

Is it vinyl, concrete, or fiberglass?

These three materials differ in durability and flexibility. If you want to create a long-lasting foundation, you need to use concrete. While concrete is expensive, it is the perfect choice for pools that are permanent additions to homes.

If you expect some heavy use, concrete can help you avoid extra repair costs in the future. All you need to do is perform the right maintenance practices. Moreover, the preservation extends to increase your home’s resale value.

Having a pool design that demands the use of a flexible material? Molded fiberglass will give you an easy time installing your pool. Fiberglass pools are normally sold in one piece, and all that the contractor has to do after excavating the yard is lower them and backfill around them. Quiet easy, Right?

This material also offers both durability and affordability. While concrete wears down due to saltwater, fiberglass and vinyl pools stay in good shape all the way!

If you are looking for an inexpensive option that will add a stunning yard pool, the vinyl pool liner can help you realize this backyard project at an affordable price. However, you may have to bear with bubbles and wrinkles.

This may mean additional repair costs to adjust the liner to restore the initial appearance. Vinyl also wears down faster than concrete and fiberglass, making it costly in the long term.

Step 4. Excavating the Area

After settling on the material you will use, hire a certified pool contractor to begin working on your project. During excavation, the contractor will mark off the pool’s location and dig the space you select.

To accomplish this, your contractor may have to use a backhoe or heavy machinery. So, ensure your home is accessible by such equipment because installing all your pool’s components depends on this step.

If it’s not performed well, you may have challenges laying the foundation and other elements like the pipes. You also need to utilize the building permit at this point to avoid unearthing or damaging any utility lines unintentionally.

Step 5. Grade the Ground

After the contractor completes excavating the site, they will prepare the floor by making the bottom of the hole even. This step usually entails covering the bottom surface with a dense base of washed gravel subsoil. This layer is then raked and compressed until it becomes perfectly even.

Grading a swimming pool can be done using different methods. Consequently, you need to communicate with your contractor early enough to ensure they know your preferences.

For instance, if you desire to dive, you will need a sloping floor rather than a flat one. This will give you a deep and shallow end that will serve all your diving needs.

Step 6. Framing the Walls

With the pool’s bottom set, now you can begin to create your walls. Your pool builders will execute this step by setting metal bars and wooden boards around the circumference of your pool.

Why set metals and woods around the site? These structures help to create the shape that you desire and offer support to the pool you install. Like the floor, you have to ensure that the walls are even and aligned with one another.

To maintain construction integrity, you can hire a steel subcontractor to help with the framing of walls if your contractor is not licensed. Remember, your pool will be holding much water, and you don’t want a pool that is not strong enough to bear the weight.

Step 7. Set the Plumbing System

Can you build a swimming pool in your garden without professional help?

For a pool to be installed accordingly, it passes through different requirements like engineering and plumbing aspects that you may not be familiar with.

As a result, handling a pool project like any other DIY task may not give you the best results. Unless you are qualified in these fields, experts advise you get professional assistance!

The water circulation and filtration systems depend on how your plumbing features are laid. So, get a licensed plumbing expert to set up all these elements for the optimal functioning of your pool.

Some of the components you will set up include:

  • Skimmers
  • The drain
  • The pump
  • 2-way and 3-way valves

Plumbing systems may also differ depending on your local building code. So, have a competent person who can handle any system to avoid messing with your pool at its early stages of construction.

Step 8. Wiring for Electricity

Before lining the pool, wire the pool to power the filtration system and any lighting you want to have in the pool. Some people make a grievous mistake by hiring an incompetent electrical contractor who messes with the entire project.

To avoid this, get referrals from people you trust and secure an experienced electrical contractor. Remember, bad wiring and water can be hazardous. So, don’t put swimmers at risk of getting electrical shock!

Step 8. Lining the Pool

The process of lining the pool depends on the material you choose. For instance, if you are building a concrete pool, the pool builders will cover the steel form in the interior with a concrete mixer.

They will then grade and level the concrete while it’s wet. Typically, concrete pools are finished with concrete spray or cinder blocks. To enhance the pool’s appearance, the contractor might add a plaster cap.

Step 9. Filling Up the Pool

After you complete the construction, fill it up with water. When doing this, ensure you check whether there are leaks or plumbing issues and contact your contractor to repair them before using the pool.

Step 10. Treat the Pool

After the pool is installed and filled up with water, you need to check the water’s PH level. Then add the right chemicals like chlorine, shock, and algaecide.

When adding these chemicals, ensure they are balanced and in the right amounts for safe swimming. Your pool’s water PH should range between 7.4 and 7.6.

So, if you are not sure what amount of chlorine or algaecide you need to add, you can contact a local pool maintenance contractor for professional assistance.

Can you build a swimming pool in your garden and take your first dip immediately? The pool’s water PH and chlorine level usually take around ten days to balance out. Consequently, taking a dip immediately may cause effects on your skin or eyes.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can You Build a Swimming Pool In Your Garden with Plaster Finish?

After constructing your yard pool, you can choose from the three common types of finish. They include pebble mix, plaster, and a hybrid with quartz. A plaster finish can last long with the right maintenance, and it offers numerous color options.

So, you can customize your project to stand out. However, a pebble finish can be rough on your skin depending on how sensitive it is, or in children under the age of ten.

2. What Budget Busters Should I Look Out for When Building a Pool?

Some items are not included in the pool’s price and can make your backyard project costly than you think. For instance, outdoor lighting, decking, fencing, and whirlpool spas.

So, when planning for pool construction, it’s vital to keep those decorative elements in mind. This will help you prepare financially.

3. Can You Build a Swimming Pool in Your Garden Without Evacuating it?

Yes. Constructing a pool without evacuating demands you use wood beams and then build it above the ground, similar to a farm fence. You will also need a plastic liner to cover it.


Looking for an ideal way to increase your property’s value? Adding a swimming pool to your home helps you secure high property resale values and offers you great experiences.

So, how can you build a swimming pool in your garden? All you need to do is plan and hire a competent pool contractor to help you make your dream pool a reality!

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