As an experienced Vancouver swimming pool contractor, we are often asked if you need a permit to build a pool in B.C. and the short answer is: Yes. 

Before you can begin construction on your dream pool, you need to obtain a building permit from your city to ensure that your pool’s proposed design complies with your local Zoning and Building Bylaws. But how do you go about that and how long will the process take? 

Let us guide you through that…


How do I obtain a permit to build a pool?

So you want to build a pool in Vancouver? Here is how the process works:

  1. Book an appointment with a Vancouver swimming pool contractor for a site visit
  2. Review your city’s by-law requirements with your contractor to ensure that you are meeting local requirements
  3. Sign a contract with your contractor that details the fees for the project
  4. Allow 1 week for the site plan and permit application to be created
  5. Your contractor will submit your building permit to your city on your behalf 
  6. Municipal staff will review the application and inform you if there are any changes required to your plan


How long will it take to get a pool permit?

Usually, it takes anywhere from 1 week to 6 months, depending on your city. However, due to COVID-19, many cities are experiencing backlogs in their building permit review process, so at this time, it may take twice as long to receive approval. So if you want to build a pool, we suggest starting the process as soon as possible as you will experience delays. 

If you live in a planned community or heritage home, expect further permitting delays as those types of residences usually take much longer to gain approval for alterations to the property.


Why is it important to get a permit to build a pool?

If you do not hold a valid permit, you could face serious and potentially costly consequences, including:

  • A “work without permit” penalty, which is typically double the original permit fee
  • A Stop Work Order, which can delay your construction timeline
  • You may have to undo any work that was already commenced without a permit
  • Your original design may need to be altered to bring it in line with your local by-laws which could change how much your pool will cost to build (this could end up exceeding your budget)
  • This could cause you potential legal and/or financial issues when you go to sell your property or file for insurance

You would be responsible, as the homeowner, for paying these fees or penalties even if you hired a contractor who assured you that a permit was not needed.


This is why it is so important to work with a trusted Vancouver swimming pool contractor that will properly guide you through the permitting process so that you do not encounter any of the scenarios above. If you have any further questions about pool permits, please contact our team at 604-255-8551.