From the Desk of Daniel Mastrocco
Project Engineer

February 18, 2021

A person sitting at a desk with an open notebook, looking at the camera, with a computer monitor and various items in the background. The Environmental Scientist, Jim Ferraiuolo, is at his


Why does it actually take that long to obtain a pool construction permit?

Have you been thinking about constructing or renovating your commercial pool for the summer start? You are definitely not alone, the beginning of spring going into summer is an incredibly popular time for swimming pool construction. Even though summer is still a few months away there are requirements for commercial pools which can take weeks if not months to fulfill. Learning about the timeline can help you estimate when you will be able to take a dip in your new pool. Commercial projects beginning the permitting process in February 2021 can expect to have a finished and operational pool for the summer start of 2022.

Some might ask “Why does it actually take that long to obtain a pool construction permit”? I hope to provide some clarity to that question.

There are a few factors which impact a commercial pool’s construction timeline in the metro areas surrounding NYC. First, unlike residential pools, when constructing commercially a formal plan and application submission must be made to the local health department, and the local building department. Here they will be reviewed and then eventually approved for construction. These submissions include engineering plans which have to be signed and stamped by a Professional Engineer or Architect, permit application forms, and any other pertinent documentation such as Affidavits or letters of retention.

Next, after the plans and accompanying documents have been submitted to the local health department and building department, they will be reviewed for completeness and code compliance.  The plan review period varies depending on the local jurisdiction, but will typically take between 4 and 8-weeks. After their initial review, a round of comments will typically be issued, usually to request clarification, additional details, or revisions to the proposed design. Depending on the complexity or uniqueness of the proposed pool multiple rounds of comments may be issued, and this could extend the review process.

Lastly after a permit has been granted, inspections will be conducted during and after construction. The local health department and local building department will each conduct their own inspections. The pool contractor will typically schedule the building department inspections, and the retained engineer or architect will typically schedule and conduct health department inspections. This varies depending on jurisdiction but can be applied to most jurisdictions surrounding the NYC metro area. After a commercial pool passes the above process an operational permit will be required prior to opening the pool to the public. The operational permit typically requires a yearly renewal and is granted by the local health department.

For those looking to build a typical average backyard residential pool the above does not apply to you. The process for residential pools is usually less time consuming because the local health department does not have a role in the approval process. Your residential pool process may look something like the following. You hire a pool contractor; they file and submit all documentation to your local building department. Upon approval they begin construction and notify the building department when it is time for an inspection. After construction the owner should check with the local building department for final close out of the pool.

I hope you have found this useful in determining the time it may take for your new or renovated pool to be completed. If you have any questions, about pricing or applicability please don’t hesitate to contact us by phone at 631-234-2220, or by my email at [email protected]

Daniel Mastrocco
Project Engineer
J.R. Holzmacher P.E., LLC