Building an inground pool by myself, bad or good idea?

Jake

Well-known member
Oct 30, 2023
347
96
This summer I would like to build my own in-ground swimming pool, as it's always been a dream of mine to have one. What is needed in order to get the ball rolling? I know I need to make sure where I dig doesn't have any electrical in the way, along with any water pipes. I'm sure I will need to know where my property lines are and all that too. But what else should I be made aware of for the whole process? I'm sure I will need a permit to dig, for construction, building, etc. What exactly is required?
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Location
Wisconsin, United States
First thing you need to do is plan out your build, where you want to build it, how deep, etc. The next step is to look into the permitting process, and to do so, I suggest contacting your local building department to understand what steps you need to take next. This will include the permits you need, along with other rules on what the pool can be. I see in Wisconsin, it requires that the pool be at least 10 feet away from your home and property lines, as well, you can't be 20 feet from wells or septic systems as well. So there's a lot that goes into this. The pool will also require a fence, at least 4 feet tall or a pool cover that locks.

I know you said you want to do this all on your own, but I'd highly recommend hire contractors to do the work. They are often the best qualified and will do a much faster and more reliable job, no offense. The links below helped me find this info:

 
First thing you need to do is plan out your build, where you want to build it, how deep, etc. The next step is to look into the permitting process, and to do so, I suggest contacting your local building department to understand what steps you need to take next. This will include the permits you need, along with other rules on what the pool can be. I see in Wisconsin, it requires that the pool be at least 10 feet away from your home and property lines, as well, you can't be 20 feet from wells or septic systems as well. So there's a lot that goes into this. The pool will also require a fence, at least 4 feet tall or a pool cover that locks.

I know you said you want to do this all on your own, but I'd highly recommend hire contractors to do the work. They are often the best qualified and will do a much faster and more reliable job, no offense. The links below helped me find this info:

Appreciate the fast response. I will dig through those links soon. Bookmarking now! :)

I wonder if I could even put a pool in my yard with those rules. 10 feet away from the home/property line should be doable, but I don't know if I can get 20 feet away from my septic tank. I'd have to check where it's at and see if I have the space. Unless I go smaller, but I don't know if I can go small. Otherwise I might just get an above ground pool instead.
 
It is very necessary to obtain permit and ensure compliance with building codes and you must also put into consideration the safety standard because it is essential for a successful DIY pool project. I would also encourage you to hire professionals so that you can ensure quality and safety of your inground pool.
 
First thing you need to do is plan out your build, where you want to build it, how deep, etc. The next step is to look into the permitting process, and to do so, I suggest contacting your local building department to understand what steps you need to take next. This will include the permits you need, along with other rules on what the pool can be. I see in Wisconsin, it requires that the pool be at least 10 feet away from your home and property lines, as well, you can't be 20 feet from wells or septic systems as well. So there's a lot that goes into this. The pool will also require a fence, at least 4 feet tall or a pool cover that locks.

I know you said you want to do this all on your own, but I'd highly recommend hire contractors to do the work. They are often the best qualified and will do a much faster and more reliable job, no offense. The links below helped me find this info:

Great information, Winny.

@Jake, I definitely agree that you should hire contractors for this if at all possible. I assume you have experience with excavation equipment, though, and probably have some very real cost savings in mind (pool construction can't be cheap). I imagine what you're thinking should be very doable if you're trained to operate a Bobcat/skid steer and don't have high standards in terms of what the pool surfaces are composed of (e.g., just dirt or concrete instead of plaster or fiberglass).

If I were you my first step would absolutely be to figure out all the local permitting requirements, like the setback rules that Winny mentioned. You'll also want to have underground utilities marked to ensure that's not an issue. If you can't meet code requirements or there'd be water or gas lines in the way, then that pretty much answers it and you'll know to move on to other options, like your thought to just get an above ground pool instead.

Jake, since you're from the upper Midwest, I'm wondering if you remember Shiras swimming pool at all? It was located in Presque Isle State Park in Marquette, Michigan but closed down on 2006 (so possibly before your time). I'd go there on family vacations as a kid and always get a kick out of how rudimentary the whole thing was. The pool was just a huge concrete pit filled with water piped in from Lake Superior. But it was all I needed as a kid who loved to swim. Just some inspiration and encouragement for you...a swimming pool doesn't need to be complicated - though the permitting might be ;).
 
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