Can I Put a Pool in My Front Yard? (Is This Illegal to Do?)

Can I Put a Pool in My Front Yard

A pool in your front yard can add an impressive touch to your property if done right. But, before you start dreaming up the pool of your dreams, you need to find out if you can legally put a pool in your front yard.

Some cities do allow you to put a pool in your front yard if you have enough space. Typically, the pool has to be at least twenty feet away from your front yard property line to comply with local regulations. 

Well, this is good news! But, unfortunately, this is not always the case. Pool regulations differ between cities so it is important to consult with your city’s before dreaming up any pool plans.

In this article, we will discuss what these regulations are so you can decide if a front yard pool is a good idea for your property. 

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Here’s a Quick Pro Tip!

Thankfully, some areas of the United States allow you to have a front yard pool! Horray! But, you will need a fence to ensure you abide by safety regulations.

Here is a great pool fence from Amazon that will keep you in code so you can keep enjoying your awesome, new front yard pool.

The Laws on Pools in Your Front Yard

Before you get ahead of yourself and start drawing up the perfect pool design, let’s discuss some of the laws that apply to having a pool in your front yard.

Are You Allowed to Put a Pool in Your Front Yard?

Your city’s local ordinances will instruct you whether or not it is allowed to have a pool in your front yard. Each state makes its specific laws regarding this, and then cities are allowed to alter these laws. 

Therefore, it is important to check that your specific city and neighborhood allows you to have a pool in your front yard.

Just because you are not allowed to have a pool in your front yard in New York City, may not mean that you can’t have one in Los Angeles. 

Generally speaking, if you are thinking of putting in an above-ground pool in your front yard, most cities do not allow this for safety reasons. 

Is It Illegal to Put a Pool in My Front Yard?

If your county does not permit pools in your front yard, it is illegal to have one. Installing a pool requires that you receive a permit first, so it is unlikely that you’ll be able to install a front yard pool if it is illegal.

Therefore, if you managed to install a pool in your front yard in an area where it is illegal, you will likely get charged with a handful of offenses, including building without a permit.

However, it is highly unlikely that you would finish the construction of the pool before getting caught. In which case, you would still get charged.

Will I Get Charged for Having a Pool in My Front Yard?

You will definitely get charged for having a pool in your front yard if it is illegal. If your pool does not comply with local regulations, you will be opening yourself up to a world of fines.

It is possible that you will get fined up to $5,500 for not complying with pool safety regulations.

Additionally, you will likely get charged with building without a permit and likely some other laws that you don’t even know exist. 

It is legal to have a pool in your front yard if your local ordinances permit you to do so. Typically, the pool has to be a certain distance away from a property line in order to comply with regulations. 

Zoning officials at your local Department of Building and Safety work together with your city to create reasonable bylaws regarding pools.

If your zoning officials determine that it is legal to have a pool in your front yard, you are welcome to do so. 

However, keeping mind that typically your pool has to be at least 55 feet away from the front boundary line. This is more possible in larger lots and can be almost impossible if you live in the city. 

How Do I Find Out if I Can Have a Pool in My Front Yard?

To find out if you have a pool in your front yard, you should consult with your Department of Building and Safety. The zoning officials at that department will know what exactly the laws are for your area. 

The easiest way to find out this information is to call or send an email to the Department of Building and Safety. If you are allowed, you then need to check with your HOA, if you have one, to see if there are any other additional regulations. 

You might also enjoy our post on How to Keep Your Neighbors From Using Your Pool All The Time

Are Front Yard Pools Dangerous?

Front yard pools can be dangerous in the event of emergencies such as a fire. If a house fire ignites, fire officials may have a hard time accessing your house because of the pool. 

Apart from being dangerous, front yard pools are not typically desired. It is a much better decision to put your pool in your backyard so that you can have more privacy.

Because who wants to have a chat with the mailman when you’re trying to relax in your pool?

The Best Location For Your Pool

Now that we have determined that you may or may not be allowed to have a pool in your front yard, let’s discuss whether it’s a good idea in the first place.

Depending on your property, it could be a great idea, but, it could also be a terrible one. 

How Do I Decide Where to Put My Pool?

When it comes to deciding where to put your pool, you should consider what is most important to you. If you want a pool for enjoyment, you should put it in your backyard so you have lots of privacy. 

But, if you want a pool just to look at, you can think of placing it either in your side yard or your front yard. Just be sure that you follow your local regulations when it comes to where you can place your pool. 

Where Can I Put My Pool?

Where you are allowed to put your pool will depend on your local regulations.  Generally speaking, you are allowed to place your pool in your backyard and side yard but it may be more difficult to place it in your front yard. 

Most cities have strict regulations when it comes to putting a pool in your front yard mainly because of safety reasons.

Therefore, if you’re considering putting your pool in your front yard, ensure that you check with your local regulations to make sure this is legal. 

Additionally, if you choose to put your pool in your side or backyard, there may be certain regulations that determine how far away from a property line the pool can be. 

How Close to a House Can You Put a Pool?

Generally, you are allowed to put a pool at least five feet away from your house. There needs to be sufficient room to walk beside the pool and the house in case of an emergency.

You also need to consider how much space will be left once you install a fence around the pool, as well. To find the exact measurements, consult with your local regulations as they differ from city to city. 

Pool in Front Yard Ideas

Adding a pool to your front yard can offer a certain wow factor to visitors and even increase the value of your home. Many people who put in a pool in their front yard are solely doing it for the look and not necessarily the use.

Basically, pools in front yards are typically there to add aesthetic value to the property and not necessarily act as a practical solution.

So, if this is your goal, a smaller, rectangular wading pool is a great way to aesthetically elevate the look of your home. 

Swimming Pool in Front of House Feng Shui

It is believed that having a pool in front of your house favors the art of feng shui. This is because the positive energy coming from the body of water enters your home through the front door. 

Essentially, when you have a visitor entering your home, they will typically enjoy the look of the pool, therefore,  creating positive energy.

The positive energy now created from that body of water will enter the home when the front door is opened. 

Swimming Pool in Front Yard

Installing a swimming pool in your front yard can either make or break your property. If the pool is poorly placed, it can decrease the value of your home. However, if it is strategically placed, it will increase the value of your home. 

Therefore it is important to decide the purpose of the pool. If the pool is actually meant for swimming and enjoying, you should consider putting it somewhere that offers privacy. 

But if the pool is being built for only aesthetic reasons, you should design it with that in mind so that it is not confused for a pool that is actually meant to be used. 

The last thing you want is to install a pool in your front yard and be uncomfortable using it because the sound of traffic is too loud or kids constantly peak over your fence. 

Can I Put an Above Ground Pool in My Front Yard

Most areas do not allow above-ground pools in your front yard. This is because fences are not required for above-ground pools, therefore the pool becomes a safety hazard.

When it comes to above-ground pools, you only need a small gate on top of the pool to prevent toddlers and pets from falling in and drowning.

Since front yard pools are more accessible to people on the street, the chances of someone sneaking into the pool and drawing are much higher.

Can You Build a Pool Right Next to Your House?

Typically your pool has to be at least five feet away from your house. However, this may differ depending on where you live. But, in most cases, there needs to be enough room for someone to walk between the pool and your house. 

These laws are put into place for safety reasons. If there’s ever an emergency, someone needs to be able to run beside the pool and not around the pool in order to save time. 

When you begin to have your pool installed, you will have to first receive a permit. This permit will clearly identify how far away from your house your pool has to be.

You might also enjoy our post on If You Need a Permit to Regrade Your Yard

How Close to the Boundary Can a Pool Be?

There typically has to be at least five feet between a boundary line and the outer walls of a pool. For side yard boundary lines, five feet is generally the minimum. The length tends to be longer for front yard boundary lines if permitted.

To give you an example of boundary line regulations, here is a construction requirement document from Torrance, California, which is a municipality within the city of Los Angeles.

This document states the following regulations:

  • Front yard setback: 20 feet
  • Street side yard setback: 10 feet
  • Interior side yard setback: 5 feet
  • Rear side yard setback: 5 feet
  • From any building: 5 feet
  • Fence: 3 feet

How Close to the Property Line Can I Build a Pool?

Most cities require that your pool be set back at least five feet from a property line. However, this all depends on the property line. For a front yard property line, typically the length has to be much longer than the side yard property line.

Additionally, regulations will differ from city to city. To ensure that you are following code, a permit will be required that will clearly state how close to your property line you can build a pool.

But, as a general guideline, you can build a pool five feet from side yard property lines and twenty feet from front property lines.

How Far Does a Pool Need to Be Away From a Fence?

If your fence is on a property line, the pool needs to be at least five feet away from that fence. However, if the fence is on your property, your pool only has to be three feet away from the fence.

Keep in mind that these specific regulations differ between cities and municipalities. Therefore, it is important to check with your local zoning code to ensure that you plan to place your pool in the legal area. 

How Much Space Do You Need Around a Pool?

You need enough space around your pool that allows you to follow code and not cross any boundary lines. You additionally need space for pool furniture, such as chairs and umbrellas, if you plan on having some. 

Therefore, depending on where you are placing your pool, you need at least five feet of space on each side of the pool- and that is the bare minimum.

If you can only squeeze in five feet of space around your pool, you might not have enough room for the rest of your yard. 

Can I Put a Pool Beside My Driveway?

If you are permitted a front yard pool, you are likely allowed to put the pool beside your driveway. However, the pool will have to be fenced. Just ensure that you follow your local regulations before planning your pool. 

Chances are high that you can put a pool beside your driveway but only if you are permitted to put a pool in your front yard. If you are allowed, then great! 

You will then have to figure out an attractive way to add some privacy to your pool. Natural barriers such as bushes add a lovely touch, as well as aesthetic privacy barriers.

Pool Regulations

Apart from boundary lines, there are additional regulations that apply to front yard pools. Let’s dive in!

Do You Have to Have a Fence Around Your Yard if You Have a Pool?

If you have an inground pool, you will need to install a fence around the pool and not necessarily your whole yard. Above-ground pools don’t typically require a fence unless the pool is really deep.

Therefore, if you are planning on putting a pool in your front yard, you will also have to consider putting in a fence.

This is because most places do not allow above-ground pools in front yards, so you will definitely have to put in an inground pool. 

Do You Need a Gate Around a Pool?

For front yard pools, you need a fence since only inground pools are permitted in front yards. Gates are necessary for when you have an above-ground pool to keep toddlers and pets from climbing in the pool and drowning.

So, if you are installing a front yard pool, you only need a fence. But, if you are installing an above-ground pool (but not in your front yard) then you need to include a gate on top of the pool for safety reasons.

You might also enjoy our post on If You Need a Permit to Build a Treehouse

What Size Pool Can I Fit In My Yard?

To figure out what size pool you can fit in your yard, you need to determine how much space you need between boundary lines to abide by local code. Typically, you need at least five feet from all boundary lines, excluding front yard boundary lines, which require twenty feet.

Once you determine what your local regulations are, you can then decide how much of your yard you want to take up with your pool.

You also need to consider if there are any utility lines in your yard that you will have to avoid. 

As a basis, the average size of an inground pool is anything from ten by twenty feet to twenty by forty feet. 

Do You Need Planning Permission for a Swimming Pool?

Most cities do not require you to obtain planning permission before installing an outdoor swimming pool. However, this does not mean that you shouldn’t do your due diligence to ensure that you don’t get fined in the future. 

Consult with your local regulations to ensure you give enough space between your pool and specific boundary lines. Keep in mind that the front yard boundary lines will always require more space. 

You may also need to provide your pool contractor with documents that outline where your utility lines run through your yard so they are not intercepted while trying to build the pool.

How Much Does It Cost To Install an Inground Pool?

The average cost to install an inground pool in the United States is anywhere from $20,000 to $30,000. This will depend on how large and complex your pool is to who you hire to install it. 

But, thankfully, pools are a great investment since they will increase your property value exponentially. However, keep in mind that it will typically cost $2,000 – $3,000 a year to maintain your pool. 

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this article did not crush your front yard pool dreams and your area allows you to have one. If that is the case, hooray!

If not, we hope that you have ample room to put one either in your backyard or side yard so you can enjoy the pool of your dreams! 

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