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Can a General Contractor build a Swimming Pool?

Can I hire a General Contractor to build my Swimming Pool? #

The permits and licensing for building a swimming pool vary from state to state. In most cases a general contractor will subcontract out the work for building a swimming pool to a professional pool builder. Hiring a Pool Contractor over a General Contractor is often advisable. Swimming pools have many different facets involved with construction that General Contractors simply aren’t aware or prepared to tackle on their own.

Can a general contractor build a swimming pool?
Can a general contractor build a swimming pool? Laws vary from state to state. Most General Contractors will subcontract out the work to skilled tradesmen that specialize in Plumbing, Electrical, Concrete, etc.

General Contractor Laws For Building a Pool Vary from State to State #

In certain states like California, there is a specific license required by the State Contractors licensing board (CSLB) in the field of work that needs to be performed for any specialty contracting job of $500 or more. Swimming Pools, spas, and hot tubs can only be built and installed by licensed contractors with a C-53 Swimming Pool Contractors license. In Texas however, you only need a general contractors license in order to build a pool. The laws vary from state to state, it’s advised to search the local laws for your city/town/municipality. It’s also advised to search the builders current license status as well as find out the status of their insurance coverage.

Hiring a GC Instead of a Pool Builder #

Many homeowners try to save money by choosing a general contractor instead of hiring a pool contractor. In the long run, this can wind up actually costing you thousands of dollars extra. Typically a general contractor will subcontract our the facets of construction they are inexperienced with and tack on a 30-40% upcharge for managing the project. Hiring a professional pool builder is always the best recourse.

Why General Contractors normally avoid Swimming Pools #

General contractors normally avoid this type of specialty work because they aware of the number of different elements and specialties involved with installing a pool. There are many skilled trades needed for swimming pool installation. A general contractor can provide project management and oversight of the entire project but will typically hire a skilled tradesman to perform specialty work on different phases of construction.

General Contractors Normally Subcontract Building a Swimming Pool #

Because most General Contractors have the resources to find subcontractors. If laws permit, a General Contractor can accept the project of building a swimming pool. Many will subcontract out the elements that require specialized skills or tools. Here are a few of the construction phases a General Contractor will normally subcontract out to other tradesmen.

  • Excavators – Digging out the pool area will require an excavation company with experience in swimming pools.
  • Rebar – If you are building a gunite or shotcrete concrete pool, the skeletal walls and floor of the pool will need to be formed with rebar.
  • Gunite / Shotcrete – For concrete pools, a professional concrete company that specializes in shooting gunite or shotcrete is needed.
  • Plumbers – Rough plumbing and laying pipes and trenching for pool plumbing will involved skilled plumbers with experience in swimming pools.
  • Electricians – Running the wiring and electrical work necessary to power all of the electrical components and equipment will require an experienced electrician.
  • Masons / Pavers / Landscapers – The surrounding pool deck and landscaping will require professional landscapers and experienced masons for a finished look.


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