Is A Building Permit Required For A Swimming Pool?

by Donna
(Travese City, Michigan)

Do we need a building permit for a swimming pool even though this is not a permanent fixture? Land use permit?

Do we need to pay this every year or only a one time fee? We live in Michigan.

What are the State laws? We are finding it hard to find them.

Thanks for your help


Hi Donna

I am not a resident of Michigan and really don't know the laws pertaining to building either above ground or inground swimming pools for your state. I do know that many state and counties require a building permit for both kinds of pools. taxes are another issue.

I did some research and found some websites that you could use:

The last one is Section 6, sub-section 9. Check with your local building code office, building manager, look in the blue pages of the phone book for Travese City, or call a local swimming pool contractor.

They would probably have the answers for your situation. Hope this helps


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Not if you put an above ground mini pool in your garage and it's kept protected by a locked door
by: Anonymous

Not if you put an above ground mini pool in your garage and it's kept protected by a locked door only you can access and garage door shut is a way to keep neighbors and kids from being a problem and trying to sneak in to use a pool without permission people have had it with this in many lower class neighborhoods. And with the ordinances that make it impossible with harm far the pool has to be from house and from fence along with the lower class neighborhoods with wiring over the yard. Many are turning to a more unique approach especially if they have medical conditions because of the summer heat. Many are unable to put pool in the backyard. And there is a way around paying outrageous fees just to have a pool inspected and put up or in that's unpractical for those on disability, retired or living pay check to paycheck. This is especially when it comes to the fact not everyone is planning on getting a giant pool and not everyone is going to keep their pool up year round after draining it. The 'so called' permits are based on if you keep the pool up year round even if you drain it and we are talking large pools. However the way around these ridiculous permits and outlandish fees for many I've seem who are smart and feed up with outdated regulations trying to claim a polls need permits when not everyone is going to get an outlandish size pool and waste money putting it up in backyard. So many are now clearing out their garages and doing a foot of cement border from both sides and in back of garage then they put a pool tarp down and get an nice but affordable pool that is not the size of backyard pools but quite downsized and they use a saltwater tank for it and make sure there is plenty of space around the pool and the garage stays shut unless people cone over for a party and there is always supervision for the pool when in use. And then come autumn the mini pool that can fit into the garage is drained and stored till the next late spring to set it back up. This abuse of power by cities to try and force people with tiny none outlandish pools to pay fees and demand someone inspect it is ludicrous and they know not everyone can afford it. People with service dogs are discriminated against at city pools and they are told their Service Dog can not be at that pool with them. Then what if they need to stay cool because of medical conditions in Summer and city price gouges through DTE the Electricity Bill and add in inflation and harassment at beaches when you have a Service Dog and like others they are feed up with it and when the city doesn't care to help their neighborhoods out, and to keep out section 3 housing people that ruined the property values of homes in neighborhoods, when the city doesn't care about the disabled, the veterans and lower middle class and not help them with updating the infrastructure to prevent unacceptable power outages in summer and set up ways to keep people from being able to put a small cheap pool that can be easily drained and put away every year. People have had it with the overstepping for financial gain abusing those who want to put a cheap affordable pool up and not have to deal with the cities price gouging fees just to make it happen. So I don't blame those who've had it and put a pool in their garage regardless if it's detached or not. It's out of sight outta mind and not harming anyone, Plus nobody can get into the pool because the pool is being protected in the garage by a locked door and a garage door that can't be open from the outside it can only be open from the inside therefore I don't think it's any of our cities damn business well not people choose to put a garage pull up because we're fed up with how much they want to charge you just for getting a pool looked at that is not going to be kept up year round I pulled that is so small and insignificant yet they want a price gouge you just to have somebody come out and inspect it just to have it be put up is unreasonable and it's absurd this never happened in the 1970s or the '80s it's hypocrisy by our cities just trying to take more money out of the pockets of the impoverished people in their City by trying to charge fees just to have that happen so I honestly say more power to those who put a pool in their garage cuz it's none of our City's damn business anyways and if the city wants to try to charge hypocrisy fees which is price gouging with the inflation we already have in our country right now and these feet are basically based only on if you're going to keep that pull up and it's a giant freaking pool it's not one of those pools you can get at Walmart and set up and it's based on whether or not you have the money Financial ability to put stuff around it to put a barrier up and a fence and all that well guess what a garage is no different than the barrier but it's even more fortified so it's on person's property but it's in their garage which that's not boundaries where the city has any right to go and say that they can't have a pool in the garage and as far as I'm concerned from what I've seen it's only based on if it's out in your yard not in your garage therefore they have no reason to force anyone to comply and pay that ridiculous fee just to put a pool in the garage so I say if you want to do a pool do a small pool that you can afford to put in your garage and take down fold up during the the winter and Autumn and then take it back out and clean it up and get it back up and running so now the business of the damn cities who are trying to rip people off who want to put a pool in their yard.

Swimming Pool Guildeline Update
by: Donna

After checking with a swimming pool supply store in our town, we were told that the pool being a height of 48" is within the guidelines of the State of Michigan and we would not have to have a fence around the pool as long as we have a cover an the latter can either be locked or removed and the pool was at least 6 feet away from any structure that would allow someone to jump into the pool.

We found this information on one of the links that was provided which backed up what the pool supply company said. However if we want to take additional precautions building a fence around the pool would be our option.

The state guidelines says we would be within the above ground pool guidelines according to the above listed information but that each township can make amendments. We talked to our insurance agent to see if we needed additional coverage on our homeowners insurance and we were told we did not need any additional coverage for having an above ground pool.

The insurance agent suggested we call our township and find out what the guidelines are. After several conversations with our township: the first being we had to go in and pick up written guideline, they could not give them to us over the phone- It was 6 pages long.

We were within the guidelines. He was not sure if we needed a building permit and being Memorial weekend we could call back on Tuesday. We did. We were told that there were updated guidelines that he wasn?t aware of and yes we needed to build a fence with locking door around the pool and that we needed a building permit $135 and a land use permit $50 and that we will incur these fees yearly since we take it down and set it up. (to me that is ridiculous, if we built an addition it would be a one- time fee- if we pay the permits we for an item it should be a one-time fee)

We spent $369 for the pool. The other thing that is frustrating is that the township guy said most people don?t ask and they don?t go looking. (So because we wanted to do what was right and what our insurance man suggested, we are penalized)

Shouldn't an ordinance be either enforced or amended if they are not going to enforce it equally across the board or maybe they should just follow the state guidelines. We were looking for a little fun for a couple of years with a cheap-end above ground swimming pool. We were not looking to spend $1,200 or more.

We wanted to be safe and to be safe for those living around us. It got to be such a huge hassle and ridiculous local charges that we ended up taking the pool back.

Thanks for your comment Donna

I'm sure alot of people feel the same way. Welcome to the land of government bureaucracy. Hopefully you and your family can find a pool that's nearby for the Summer.

Have A Great Summer


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