Outdoor pool

Installing a Pool or Spa

How to get a permit to build a residential pool in Raleigh

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Before Submitting an Application Prepare Applications Materials Submittal Instructions Project Review and Permitting Paying Fees

Residential swimming pools are regulated by the state, county, and the City of Raleigh. These regulations are meant to make sure pools are safe for everyone to enjoy. Permits and inspections are required for projects that can hold more than 24 inches of water. That includes:

  • in-ground pools
  • above-ground pools
  • on-ground pools
  • spas
  • hot tubs

Please read the ABCs of Pools and Spas for more detailed information. 

Before Submitting an Application

Detailed code review will not begin until application submittals have been deemed complete by customer service staff. It is important that all required information is submitted for a project, and it is the applicant’s responsibility to be informed on the prerequisites below:

  1. Contact zoning staff at 919-996-2492 or currentplanning@raleighnc.gov to discuss the specifics of your in-ground pool project and general zoning standards relating to walls and/or fences before you begin.
  2. Swimming pools require building and electrical permits. If a connection is made to a water supply in the home, a plumbing permit for the water service extension and a backflow device will also be required.
  3. A legally recorded map of your property at the Durham or Wake County Register of Deeds is required to verify the location of any public easement
  4. Pools, decks, pool equipment, and fences (sometimes referred to as “permanent impoundments”) may not be installed over or in a public sewer easement or a public or private drainage easement. You must receive approval from Raleigh Water for the location of a pool if a public sewer or public or private drainage easement exists on your property. Visit Development Review for more information.
  5. Pools and decks may not be constructed over septic or wastewater systems or their repair area. If a septic tank exists on your lot, contact Wake County Environmental Services at 919-856-7400 to determine the allowed location.
  6. If you are a homeowner acting as the contractor for your project, the Owner Exemption Affidavit is required.
  7. If your home is in a Historic District or designated as a Raleigh Historic Landmark you are required to submit a Certificate of Appropriateness to the Raleigh Historic Development Commission (RHDC). Approval from the RHDC may be required prior to submitting your permit application.
  8. If your property contains a private well or septic services, you may need approval from Wake County prior to applying with the City of Raleigh.
  9. If you have requested a variance, it needs to be approved by Board of Adjustment.
  10. Your property may be subject to Residential Infill Compatibility standards. Learn more about residential infill development and verification.

Prepare Applications Materials

The below application forms and supporting documents are required for new pools and spas:

  1. Residential Tier One Checklist.
  2. Elevation (height) of the fence (barrier) installed around your pool.
  3. Survey showing existing conditions of the property and proposed work. A supplemental survey may also be submitted to show the proposed work.

Submittal Instructions

To submit a pool or spa project via our Permit and Development Portal, follow the steps in our helpful online application guide. All application forms and supporting documents must be attached as PDFs. Applicants may add all relevant information and update plans and documents in the portal for the reviews to start quickly.

Project Review and Permitting

Applicants will be notified by email when a project is processed. Standard review times are available to view online. Plan review comments can be viewed any time via a registered account in the Permit and Development Portal.   

Plans that are ready for permit issuance but have incomplete contractor information will be kept at the Planning and Development Customer Service Center for up to six months. After six months, the plans will be considered invalid, and the application will be voided. An administrative fee may be incurred when projects are voided. 

Paying Fees

A Plan Review Fee is due prior to project review. All other permit fees are due when permits are ready for issuance. The Development Fee Guide provides a detailed list of specific development fees.

  • The Customer Service Center processes payments or you may pay via the Permit Portal
  • Payment types include: Cash, MasterCard, Visa, or check made payable to the City of Raleigh  

A  fee calculator  may be used to obtain an estimate of some building and trade permit fees.



Planning and Development
Customer Service Center



Lead Department:
Planning and Development
Service Categories:
Permits - Residential