Installing a new pool or spa

When installing a new pool or spa, you should engage a builder registered in an appropriate category or class to do the work.

You can choose to be an owner-builder; however, you will need to apply for a certificate of consent from the VBA for work over $16,000. For more information, visit Owner-builders.

Swimming pool, spa and barrier building permits

You will need a building permit before installing a pool, spa or safety barrier unless the work is exempt. The owner of the property will need to appoint a registered building surveyor (private or municipal) to issue the building permit. See Appointing a building surveyor.

You may also need a planning permit or other permit. You should check with your council about any relevant local laws that may apply.

Building permit application

The building permit application must include detailed drawings and specifications of the proposed pool, spa, safety barrier and water recirculation and filtration systems. These must show how the design complies with the relevant standards, including AS1926 Part 1 (Safety barriers for swimming pools), Part 2 (Location of safety barriers for swimming pools) and Part 3 (Water recirculation systems).

The building permit application must list the building practitioners who prepared documents for the permit.

After your permit is issued

Building work on new pools, spas and safety barriers must start within 12 months of the date the building permit was issued. After building work starts, it must be completed within six months, or if other work is being carried out at the same time on the property, within the period for completion of that other work.

If the pool, spa and safety barrier is being constructed at the same time as other building work on the same site, it must be completed in the same time frame as the other building work.

Extensions to permits

If the builder or property owner has started building work but don’t believe they’ll be able to finish within the set time frame, an extension to the permit period can be sought through the relevant building surveyor. Any extension is at the building surveyor’s discretion.

If the permit lapses

If a building permit lapses for a swimming pool, spa or barrier, building work must not continue.

If you wish to continue with construction, you may seek a new building permit from the same building surveyor. If construction has not begun, and you don’t want to go ahead with the work, you should notify the VBA and local council that the work has been terminated.