Everyone likes relaxing in a swimming pool on a hot summer day! Water gives you extra coolness and you don’t feel like you are melting. However, not all of us have public swimming pools close to our homes, so many people find a solution by installing a pool in their yard.
However, then you might have another point of concern. If you have a pool next to your house, how far is it best to locate it from the building? Many homeowners are concerned about having a swimming pool too close to the house foundation because they believe that it may somehow influence the structure.
In this article, we will do our best to figure out how far you should locate your pool from your home. You will find out what factors influence this should you install an above-ground pool or in case you want to get an inground option instead. Like that, you will better understand what you should pay close attention to when planning to install a pool and when choosing what type of it might suit you more.
How Far Does a Pool Have to Be From a House?
Those of you who don’t have your own pool yet may already wonder how far from the house it should be located. Many people believe that, if they install the pool way too close to the building, the water in it will attract moths and mosquitoes, making it impossible to sleep during the night or even spend an evening on the terrace! Others are afraid that a pool located too close to the house might somehow influence the foundation or even cause damage to the basement.
Well, some of these concerns really make sense whilst others don’t. For example, if you locate your pool too close to the building or property lines, it may indeed cause certain damage:
- Electrical problems
Below, we have prepared a detailed explanation for you on this subject. Read on to learn what factors may influence the distance that should be kept between the pool and the house depending on the type of pool you are going to install.
How Far From Your House Should an Above Ground Pool Be? Things to Consider
When installing a new above-ground pool, you must take into consideration the space within which you have to work. In this case, the above-ground pool distance from your house matters a lot. How close can an above-ground pool be to a house? Well, several factors will influence this.
On the one hand, you need to have enough room to accommodate the pool of course. But at the same time, you will also need to ensure it is far away enough from the property lines to prevent any problems for neighboring properties.
There are also regulations that dictate how far the pool must be away from the house to prevent any electrical problems caused by floods, leaks or splashed water. Also, you will need to think forward enough in order to realize that your future plans might include adding a deck, patio or some other type of structure.
Choosing A Location
When trying to figure out if you have enough space for a backyard pool, you will need to take the planning of the location for your pool into consideration as well.
Pools work best in areas that get a lot of sunlight which can act as a natural water heater. This is why it makes sense to choose a spot in your backyard that gets the most sunlight during the day.
Also, you will benefit from locating the pool in an area that is protected from the wind. Like that, you will be able to decrease the amount of evaporation that occurs and slow down the loss of heat from the water.
And here is one more tip for you: avoid situating the pool too close to trees or shrubs! If you do, they will be constantly dropping leaves or pollen into your pool. As a result, you will end up spending more time cleaning the water than actually swimming in it!
Above Ground Pool Distance From Property Lines
If you are planning to install an above ground pool, you will also need to keep it as far away from property lines and other surrounding structures as possible.
Local zoning ordinances will specify how far a pool must be from setbacks and easements. But please be aware that, because of these zoning regulations, you may actually need much more space than you originally thought! Depending on the size of your yard, this may affect the size of the pool you can install as well.
National and Local Requirements
You might not be aware of it but there is a national standard regarding swimming pools. This standard requires that all swimming pools must be at least 10 feet away from the house walls. This will protect electrical wiring from leaks, floods, and splashes.
But even though this is a national requirement, local rules may require the pool to be placed even farther from the house! These rules may be enforced by the county, municipality or even the local housing association.
This is why, before you start installing your pool, it is a good idea to check with all the various regulatory bodies to make sure that your pool remains legal. If you locate your pool wrong, you could be fined significant amounts of money and be required to dismantle your new possession for failure to comply!
Consider Your Pool Dimensions
You might think that the above-ground pool only needs the space needed for installing the construction itself. However, it is also important to remember that you may require more space around your pool than the actual dimensions of the pool itself.
Some pools will need extra support along the outer walls and you will need extra space to provide room for that support. Make sure you understand exactly how much room the pool will need to be functional.
Alright, now you are more aware of certain specifics and nuances of an above-ground pool installation and the amount of space needed for it. But what about the inground pool? Will the requirements be the same? This is what we will explain below.
How Close Can an Inground Pool Be to a House?
When you are going to install an inground swimming pool, the issue of choosing a proper distance between it and your house depends on nearly the same factors as for the above-ground construction.
Choosing the distance the pool needs to be from your house depends a lot on what your local regulations say. In particular, building codes regulate what is known as a setback, which is the measure of separation between the swimming pool, your house, and the property lines.
Setback distances vary from neighborhood to neighborhood and could range from a meter or two to 15 meters or more. Many factors can affect the size of the setback:
- septic fields
- protected areas
- the average size of the neighbouring tracts
We recommend you consult with your local zoning office to find out the exact measurements for your address. However, there is one more nuance that will play a big role. This nuance is called easements.
Easements are parts of your property on which it is not allowed to build. There are utility easements, drainage easements, right of way easements and, more recently, conservation and scenic easements.
So if you are planning to install an inground swimming pool in your backyard, you need to look at your property survey or better query the permit office about any easements you need to be aware of. Note that it is very important not to neglect this step! If you do, then getting it wrong could end up with you being fined and needing to move the swimming pool! To help you out at least a bit, we have provided the most important nuances that need to be taken into consideration when you are planning to install an inground pool.
When planning the future location of your swimming pool, take the utility lines into consideration. For example, if your pool is going to be quite far away from your house, you might need to consider installing a dedicated water tap. But if the pool is close enough, your everyday garden hose will be more than enough.
You will also need to set up gas and/or electricity lines to power your water pump and heater. For this purpose, a dedicated electrical circuit originating from the electrical panel in your house and running to your pump and heater is a must. If you are using gas to heat your pool, you will also need to install a gas line running from your house.
Of course, the cost of installing all these utility lines increases the longer they get. At the same time, you will need to be aware that your water pump and heater will not run silently! This means you don’t want to locate them very close to any dwellings (yours or your neighbors’), otherwise, they will be constantly disturbing you or your neighbors.
Consider How Much Sunshine Your Pool Will Get
The scheme is very simple: the more sunshine your pool gets, the less you will have to pay to heat the water. This is why some calculations might be handy.
Make sure to consciously analyze the path of the sun as it passes over the planned pool location throughout the day. Also, you need to take your trees or other structures (including your house) into consideration since they will cast a shadow over the planned pool area. The more sun the better of course, but you will want your pool to be exposed to at least four to six hours of sunlight a day.
Speaking of sunlight, note that trees also play an important role! If you have a lot of trees that shed their leaves, do your best and try to keep your pool at least 15 meters away from them. Otherwise, instead of enjoying the swim, you will be spending all your time skimming the pool. You might even consider removing trees if they are going to pose a big problem.
Most municipalities will require a fence of a certain height to surround your pool. If close enough, the back of your house can act as one side of that fence. Again, consult with the permit or zoning office to find out the exact regulations that govern your neighborhood.
Now you finally know what the distance between your house and your pool depends on and how far the pool should be located from the building. As you can see now, this distance depends on several factors that are most common for the two major types of swimming pools - inground and above-ground pools.
With all the information that you learned today, it will be easier for you to figure out how you should pick a location for the future swimming pool, what should be taken into consideration before you start installing it, and what regulations must be followed. The last factor is especially important since, if you install the pool in a place that it should not be built in, you might be fined by your local authorities! But after you get familiar with this article, this will hardly happen!