How Close Can a Pool Be To a House? Understanding Setback Requirements

Written by Michael Dean
April 20, 2023

swimming pool setback from house

Swimming pools are a fun addition to any yard and act as an escape from the heat during sultry summer months. But when installing the pool, one of the first considerations is where precisely to place it. Should you put it close to your house or further away?

In this article, I will explain how close a pool can be to a house before diving into the factors that come into play when deciding where to place a pool and more.

Main Takeaways

  • The minimum distance required between a pool and your house may range from 5-25 feet, but it may need to be further depending on where you live and your local requirements.
  • When deciding where to place a pool in your backyard, consider local regulations, the size of your yard, ground, and soil conditions, sun exposure, utility lines, and privacy.
  • There should be a minimum of 4 feet of clear decking space around the pool’s perimeter.

How Close Can a Pool Be to a House?

The minimum required distance your pool should be from your house is typically intended for safety and to prevent potential hazards. Since no federal laws dictate this distance and how close a swimming pool can be to a house, you have to refer to local building regulations and zoning laws, which have specific regulations regarding where to place a pool.

On average, the distance required ranges from 5-25 feet or more, depending on the area. However, most have a minimum required distance of 10 feet. This ensures the pool is not too close to the house, which can be a safety hazard. Any closer, and you risk excessive pressure on the foundation or walls of the house, which can lead to cracks, leaks, or other damage.

Although some local laws may allow a pool to be installed as close as 5 to 10 feet to a house, as a general rule, it’s best to shoot for at least 15 to 25 feet to allow enough space for the decking and pool equipment.

Factors to Consider When Deciding Where to Place a Pool

Besides the regulations surrounding how close a pool can be to your house, you should also consider several other factors when deciding where to place your pool.

Local Regulations

You should already be checking local regulations regarding how close a pool can be to your house, but you should also check for other relevant regulations and laws. For example, zoning restrictions and building codes specific to your region may dictate the minimum distance between the pool, the property line, and any other structures. For example, some states or cities may require residents to place their pools as far as 75 feet from the front of the property line!

Size of the Yard

The size of your yard will naturally play a crucial role in determining the ideal location for your pool. You’ll need to consider the pool’s size, the surrounding deck or patio area, and any other features you may want to include, such as a pool house, outdoor kitchen, or fire pit.

Sun Exposure

The amount of sunlight a pool receives can impact the required maintenance, energy costs, and how enjoyable using the pool is. For example, a pool in a shaded area may be prone to algae growth, and the water will be cooler, while a pool in direct sunlight may require more chemicals to keep it clean and clear. Furthermore, a pool in a shaded area may require more energy to keep warm, making it less energy-efficient.


When deciding where to place a pool, it’s essential to consider the location of water lines, gas lines, and other utilities. These lines can impact the pool’s construction, placement, and even maintenance. Additionally, installing a pool may require permits that specify the required setbacks from these lines, so it’s important to research local regulations and consult a professional before deciding on a location.


Depending on your personal preferences and the location of your home, you might want to ensure that your pool is not visible to random passersby and your neighbors. You may need to install fencing or plant trees or shrubs strategically to achieve optimal privacy.

Ground and Soil Conditions

The ground and soil conditions in your yard will influence the ease and cost of installation. For instance, if your yard has a slope, you may consider additional retaining walls or drainage systems. Or if the soil is unstable and prone to shifting, it could cause the pool to shift or even collapse over time. Additionally, if the ground is rocky or filled with hard clay, it may require extra excavation and compaction to create a level surface for the pool. Consult a local professional for advice, or shoot me a message; I can help too.

Space for Other Backyard Features

If you plan on including other features in your backyard, such as a garden or outdoor seating area, you’ll need to ensure enough space for everything to fit comfortably. Consider how the pool will impact the overall layout of your yard.

Pros and Cons of Having a Pool Close to the House

Having a pool close to the house can have its upsides and downsides. Here are some pros and cons to consider:


  • Having a pool close to the house allows for easy access and convenience. You don’t have to travel far to get to the pool and can easily pop in and out for a quick swim.
  • A pool close to the house can be safer as it allows for easier supervision, especially for young children or inexperienced swimmers, whom you can keep an eye on from the kitchen or hall windows. Additionally, it may deter unwanted visitors or trespassers from accessing the pool area.
  • A pool close to the house enhances the overall aesthetic of your property and adds value to your home. It can also create a more cohesive look and feel to your backyard.


  • Having a pool close to the house may increase maintenance requirements, especially if the barriers are not constructed properly. Splashing water, humidity, and chemical exposure can cause damage to your home and surrounding property if poorly managed.
  • If your yard is small, having a pool close to the house may limit the available space for other backyard features, such as a play area or outdoor dining space.
  • The proximity of the pool to the house may also affect the cost of installation and the need for additional features, such as fencing or retaining walls, to comply with local regulations.

Ultimately, deciding whether to have a pool close to the house will depend on your specific needs, preferences, and property characteristics.

Need Help Building Your Pool?

I offer design consulting services to help you build your ideal pool. I'll work with your contractor, create build-ready designs and specs, and much more.

How Much Space Do You Need Around a Pool?

The amount of space required around a pool depends on various factors, such as the pool size, shape, local building codes, and personal preferences. Generally, there should be a minimum of 4 feet of clear and unobstructed decking around the perimeter of the pool. This space should be free of any obstacles, including trees, shrubs, rocks, or any other objects that could be dangerous.

In some cases, pool builders and experts may recommend even more space for decking, especially if you plan to have outdoor furniture or entertainment areas around the pool. The recommended decking area is typically 8 to 10 feet or more if you plan to include features like outdoor kitchens, fire pits, or seating areas.

Check with your local building department to determine the pool decking and spacing regulations in your area. Some cities or municipalities have specific requirements for pool deck size or setback distances from property lines. You could get fined if you build a pool that disregards local guidelines or rules, so please proceed with caution when planning pool construction.

Questions about installation requirements and spacing around your swimming pool? Drop me a line; always happy to help.

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