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Swimming Pools, Spas and Water Features

Minimum Requirements for Swimming Pools, Spas and Water Feature Permits

RESIDENTIAL PERMIT PROCESS

  • View the One-Stop Permitting Process Guide
  • Often residential building permits require review by other Departments or Divisions, depending upon specific, individual conditions or circumstances.
  • Once the Building permit has been issued, sub permits applicable to the project such as roofing, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, gas, irrigation, will be listed on the permit and are required to be obtained. For more information contact ESubs@ocfl.net or call 407-836-5550

DETAILED PERMITTING REQUIRMENTS FOR RESIDENTIAL STRUCTURES MAY BE FOUND IN THE FOLLOWING: Guide for Residential Plan Approval

GENERAL PERMITTING REQUIREMENTS:

  1. Site plan or Survey showing the location of the proposed structure. For questions on the requirements for a site plan/plot plan/survey, contact zoning at Zoning@ocfl.net or call 407-836-3111.
  2. Lot Grading/Drainage Plan and finished floor elevation.

REQUIREMENTS FOR PERMIT TYPES

In-Ground Pools and Spas

  1. Construction Plans prepared by an Florida Licensed Professional Engineer or Registered Architect in accordance with the most current Residential Florida Building Code.
    1. All documents shall be properly signed, dated and sealed for the required method of submittal.
  2. Provide a specific layout of the proposed pool, spa, deck area and play features. The layout must show the pool perimeter in relation to any existing house, accessory structures and lanai foundations. The layout must include the locations of all pool features such as pool light(s), main drain(s), sun-shelf, swim-outs, etc. and include pool depths from entry steps to deepest point.
  3. When applicable, provide site specific engineering for all water features, sheer decent, slides, stairs, grottos, bridges and rock formations, lazy rivers, etc. For disappearing or infinity edge pool features, provide site specific engineering including the pool wall down to and including the collection basin.
  4. When applicable, a separate building permit and site specific engineering for rain curtains added to the home, accessory structures such as, trellis, pergolas, shade structures, non-integral retaining walls, etc. are required. A Florida licensed building contractor is required to obtain the necessary permits for these features as they cannot be included with the pool permit.
  5. Document the pool depth from the entry steps to deepest point.
  6. Document the dimensions of the pool, spa and deck areas
  7. Provide a square footage tabulation of the pool, spa and deck areas
  8. When applicable, provide site specific angle of repose engineering. Identify the affected area on the pool layout.
  9. Provide a completed site specific worksheet complying with ANSI/APSP 7 (Total Dynamic Head (TDH) Calculation) or include this information on the plans.
  10. Provide a completed site specific worksheet complying with ANSI/APSP 15 (Energy Efficiency Compliance Information for Residential Swimming Pools) or include this information on the plans.
  11. Submittal documents must include equipment make and model as follows:
    1. Pump(s) - Must include pump size
    2. Heater(s) - Must include fuel type
    3. Main drain(s)
    4. Filter(s)
  12. A completed site specific Swimming Pool Safety Affirmation identifying required barriers to be used is required.
    • When using a mesh safety barrier (commonly referred to as baby fence) or pool cover, the manufacturers installation details are required.

Fiberglass Pool

FIBERGLASS POOLS - Additional Requirements

  1. Proposed engineered method to resist hydrostatic pressure based on soil conditions
  2. Leveling method
  3. Method used to support step, swim-out, sun shelf, etc.
  4. Backfill method, material and compaction

Above Ground Pool

ABOVE GROUND POOLS - Minimum Documentation Requirements

  1. Provide manufactures installation instructions to include pool size, shape, depth
  2. Provide manufacturers installation instructions for a removable ladder.
  3. Above ground pools that do not include a removable ladder and have a wall height less than 48 inches must comply with the safety barrier requirements of the current Florida Residential Building Code:
    1. A completed site specific Swimming Pool Safety Affirmation identifying required barriers to be used is required.
    2. When using a mesh safety barrier (commonly referred to as baby fence) or pool cover, the manufacturers installation details are required and must comply with the safety barrier requirements of the current Florida Residential Building Code.

NOTE: If constructing a wood deck/platform for entrance to the pool, a separate permit and digitally signed and sealed plan(s) prepared by a Florida Licensed Registered Architect or Professional Engineer are required.

Plans must be designed to the most current Residential Florida Building Code.

Above Ground Portable Spa

ABOVE GROUND PORTABLE SPAS - Minimum Documentation Requirements

  1. Provide the manufactures installation instructions and product information for the spa to include spa size, depth and electrical connection requirement (hardwired or plug-in).
  2. Provide the manufactures installation instructions for a spa cover that complies with the safety barrier requirements of the current Florida Residential Building Code
    1. Above ground spas that do not have a spa cover and have a wall height less than 48 inches must comply with the safety barrier requirements of the current Florida Residential Building Code
      1. A completed site specific Swimming Pool Safety Affirmation identifying required barriers to be used is required.
      2. When using a mesh safety barrier (commonly referred to as baby fence), the manufacturers installation details are required and must comply with the safety barrier requirements of the current Florida Residential Building Code.

NOTE: If constructing a wood deck/platform for entrance to the spa, a separate permit and digitally signed and sealed plan(s) prepared by a Florida Licensed Registered Architect or Professional Engineer are required.

Plans must be designed to the most current Residential Florida Building Code.

Fountains

Fountains with a basin deeper than 24 inches are considered Swimming Pools and require a completed Swimming Pool Safety Affirmation This form can be found our website at www.ocfl.net/PermitsLicenses/PermittingAndConstructionForms.aspx

  1. Fountains, regardless of whether or not they are prefabricated or site built, require engineered plans designed to the current building code showing the foundation, attachment of the basin to the foundation and the basin to the center portion of the fountain. Basically a continuous load path. If the catch basin is deeper than 24 inches, it will fall under the code definition of a swimming pool and would be required to meet all the code requirements for a swimming pool.

Retaining Walls

When constructing a retaining wall which is integral to the pools construction the following is required:

  • Signed and sealed engineering is required for retaining walls. Retaining walls that are not laterally supported at the top and that retain in excess of 48 inches (1219 mm) of unbalanced fill, or retaining walls exceeding 24 inches (610 mm) in height that resist lateral loads in addition to soil, shall be designed in accordance with accepted engineering practice to ensure stability against overturning, sliding, excessive foundation pressure and water uplift.

When constructing a retaining wall that is not integral to the pools construction the following is required:

  • A Florida licensed building contractor is required to obtain a separate building permit as this cannot be included with the pool permit.
  • Separate signed and sealed engineering is required.
    • Retaining walls that are not laterally supported at the top and that retain in excess of 48 inches (1219 mm) of unbalanced fill, or retaining walls exceeding 24 inches (610 mm) in height that resist lateral loads in addition to soil, shall be designed in accordance with accepted engineering practice to ensure stability against overturning, sliding, excessive foundation pressure and water uplift.

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INSPECTION REQUIREMENTS:

Inspections are required for all permits. For additional information, refer to the inspection record provided upon permit issuance for a list of inspection types that may be required for your project. For additional questions, please contact 407-836-5550 and request to speak to a Building Inspections Team Member. Use Fast Track to schedule and manage inspections online. To learn more, please visit the Fast Track Video Resources.

A passed "290 Final Inspection" is required in order for the permit status to change to complete. Failure to schedule and pass a Final Inspection within the allowed time will result in the permit Expiring. Additional expense to reinstate/replace the permit and possibly updated plans and documentation may be required.

APPROVED RESIDENTIAL SWIMMING BARRIERS

A building permit is required for the installation of swimming barriers

The following is a list of residential swimming barriers that meet the requirements of the Florida Building Code, as determined by the Orange County Division of Building Safety. These manufacturers have submitted product engineering documenting compliance with the Florida Building Code, Residential, 4501.17. The list is not exhaustive; property owners and contractors may use products that do not appear on this list, provided they submit sufficient product documentation of compliance with the Florida Building Code, as noted.

Mesh Safety Barriers (FBC Residential 4501.17.1.15)

Manufacturer

  • Action Aluminum Products
  • Pool Barrier Safety Fence
  • Kinderguard Pool Fence of Central Florida
  • Protect-a-Child Pool Fence Company
  • All-Safe Pool Safety Barriers
  • Roll-A-Way Protective Pool Fence
  • Baby Barrier Pool Fence Company
  • Safety Guard Inc.
  • Baby Guard Pool Fence Company
  • Safe Zone Pool Safety Fence
  • Life Saver Pool Fence of Central Florida

Exit Alarms (FBC Residential 4501.17.1.9)

Manufacturer, Products

  • GRI:189-3, 189-4, 289-3, 289-4, DPA-10
  • Telko/Techko: S087, S088, S089, S187D, S189A & S189D
  • Yardguard Smartpool: PE-03W, YG-03 YG-18

Swimming Pool Alarms (FBC Residential 4501.17.1.9)

Manufacturer, Products

  • Poolguard: PGRM-2
  • Pool Patrol: PA-25, PA-30

Safety Pool Covers (FBC Residential 4501.17 Exception)

Manufacturer, Products

  • GLI Pool Products: Secur-A-Pool Safety Cover
  • Katchakid Inc.: Katchakid Pool Safety Nets
  • Aquamatic Cover Systems: Built-in, Under-Deck-Track, Automatic Swimming Pool Cover System
  • (HPI) Hinspergers Poly Industries Yard Guard Deck-Lock Covering System: Standard Mesh, BlocMesh99, Std Mesh 95, Aquamaster (14x28 max. size)

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Moving a Pool

  1. May I move an existing in ground pool from one location to another and what are the permitting requirements?
  2. You may move an existing in ground pool from one location to another. However, the pool must be retrofitted to meet all of the requirements of the current Florida Building Code Residential as if it were new. In addition to the steps above, you are required to obtain and submit as part of your permitting documents a signed and sealed structural certification from a Florida licensed Professional Engineer or Registered Architect. The certification must indicate that the design professional has inspected the various structural parts of the relocated pool to verify that it has not sustained structural damage and that it will meet the requirements of the most current Florida Building Code Residential.

Contact Us

For questions, please call the Division of Building Safety:

Phone: (407) 836-5550