Do I need plans to build a swimming pool in Durban, South Africa?
Everyday I receive telephone calls from prospective swimming pool owners wanting a quote on a new swimming pool. I always ask them if they have had the pool approved by town planning, and 70% of the time, the response I get is: “Do I need plans to build a swimming pool!??”
The answer is yes, you not only need plans, you also need an engineer to sign the plans and you need approval (permission) from the local municipality before you can commence with the build. Building a swimming pool is adding a structure to your property. You are also changing the footprint of the land, so you need experts in both the drawing and building of your swimming pool.
Usually, a swimming pool is not too complicated to design and draw, but there are certain regulations that need to be adhered to in terms of building lines, safety fences, waste water disposal and in some cases structural support – in case the soil conditions aren’t favourable. If you don’t get permission from the authorities, and you build the pool regardless, the structure is an illegal one. You may not be able to sell your house, or even worse, you could be instructed to demolish your pool.
To safeguard yourself when building a swimming pool, make sure the builder is a registered member of the National Spa and Pool Institute of South Africa. There have recently been cases of companies lying about their membership, so don’t simply believe a company is a member because they say so. If their company is not listed on www.nspi.co.za then they are not members. Don’t even consider dealing with non-members, the problems you could encounter will make you never want a swimming pool again.
Please beware of pool companies that tell you plans are not required for swimming pools. Swimming pools of any shape and size must be approved by the authorities before the pool is built. In some cases, special permission can be given to commence before the plans go through the final stages of approval, and this is when it’s better to deal with an expert with regard to the drawing and submitting of your swimming pool plans.