Ready to Take the Plunge?

Want your own swimming pool? Hillsborough County can help you dive in.

Nothing takes the swelter out of hot summer days like leaping into your own swimming pool. But before deciding to build one, consider…

Will a pool fit on your property? Is there room to meet minimum setbacks from property lines, wetlands, and easements? Make sure it's possible to install a pool in your yard. Call Hillsborough County Development Services' site review staff, (813) 272-5600.

Selecting a contractor is the most important thing you'll do. Seek recommendations from friends, neighbors, and family members who had pools installed. Check the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation website to make sure a contractor is licensed and in good standing. Get bids from at least three qualified firms, and speak with a few of their past customers.

Average pools range in price from $20,000 to $50,000. Choose the size, shape, and features that make sense for your family, and your budget.

A swimming pool is a structure. It's not just a big hole in the ground, filled with water. On average, it takes 60-90 days to build a pool after obtaining a permit.

A permit is required for all in-ground and on-ground pools, hot tubs, and non-portable spas in unincorporated Hillsborough County. To begin the process, make an appointment with Development Services by calling (813) 272-5600, or visit either of two locations:

• The Center for Development Services on the 19th floor of County Center, 601 E. Kennedy Blvd. in downtown Tampa

• The SouthShore Regional Service Center, 410 30th St. S.E., Suite 104, in Ruskin

The application and accompanying documents, including a site plan, provide details such as the scope of work proposed, the pool's dimensions and type of surface finish, and the brand and size of pump(s).

After the County issues a permit and construction begins, inspectors will visit repeatedly to ensure the work is proceeding as planned. Safety is a primary consideration. Inspectors make sure measures are taken to prevent young children, non-swimmers, and other people from drowning, being electrocuted, or sustaining other injuries in or around a pool.

It's wise to await final inspection approval before making the last payment.

The Florida Swimming Pool Association is a good resource for residents who are thinking about installing pools, and for those who already have them. There's information about pool construction, licensed contractors, safety, and maintenance.


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