# Thread: How close can a pool be to an exterior door?

1. ## How close can a pool be to an exterior door?

Hi Guys,

My search didn't turn up anything, so I thought I'd just ask.

The inspection today had a built-in pool. A door in the master bedroom leads to the pool area. However, there is only 5' 6" to the pools edge from the door opening. Beside the obvious "take care" type of comments, is there a major issue here? (notice I didn't say "code", but if one applies here, please share)

Thanks so much!
-Dave

2. ## Re: How close can a pool be to an exterior door?

Nothing special I can think of given that you have already considered doorway landing, walk-way width for egress, and effect on the foundation to have a pool that close.

3. ## Re: How close can a pool be to an exterior door?

I used to live in AZ and I think its 5 feet.

4. ## Re: How close can a pool be to an exterior door?

Some codes will (at least used to) address it as the bottom of the pool shell shall not be closer then a line at 45 degrees from the bottom of the footing.

An example would be: The bottom of the footing is 3 feet deep, the bottom of the pool is 6 feet deep, the shell of the pool must not be closer than 3 feet to the outside edge of the footing.

Another example, using slab on ground, the bottom of the footing is 1 foot deep, the bottom of the pool is 6 feet deep, the pool shell shall not be closer than 5 feet to the outside edge of the footing.

In both cases the 6 foot deep pool is outside the 45 degree angle of repose for the soil (without getting into the angle of repose for a particular soil), thus the load of the structure on the soil below the footing, being spread outward at a 45 degree angle, will not be intruded upon by the pool shell.

There are exceptions, of course, and they would all involve engineering, such as when the pool wall and the structure's wall is one and the same.

5. ## check other regs, too

Outdoor pool setbacks are usually covered in Zoning Ordinance setbacks in addtion to the Building Code. When pulling permits, they usually have to provide scale drawings of the lot showing the house and app. structures and lot lines, pool w/ deck, electrical disc. serving any pumps, heaters, or lighting, service GPFCI outlet min & max setback, bonding plan, etc.

In some areas, you have to show the Plat recorded at the courthouse so they can be reasonably assured the installation does not violate any easements. Then, your community may have Restrictive Covenants governing such matters. I suggest your report makes it clear you are not researching all these issues to state an opinion of compliance.
HTH,
Bob

6. ## Re: How close can a pool be to an exterior door?

As Jerry stated, the 45 degree comes from the plumbing code where it states that a trench/ditch shall not be dug within 45 degree angle of a footing.

8 foot deep pool end needs to be 8 feet away from the foundation footing.

P2604.4 Protection of footings.
Trenching installed parallel to
footings shall not extend below the 45-degree (0.79 rad) bearing
plane of the bottom edge of a wall or footing (seeFigureP2604.4).

7. ## Re: How close can a pool be to an exterior door?

Originally Posted by Wayne Carlisle
As Jerry stated, the 45 degree comes from the plumbing code where it states that a trench/ditch shall not be dug within 45 degree angle of a footing.

8 foot deep pool end needs to be 8 feet away from the foundation footing.

P2604.4 Protection of footings.
Trenching installed parallel to
footings shall not extend below the 45-degree (0.79 rad) bearing
plane of the bottom edge of a wall or footing (see Figure P2604.4).

"8 foot deep pool end needs to be 8 feet away from the foundation footing."

Unless the footing is 6 feet deep such as for a basement, then the pool only needs to be 2 feet away from the footing edge based on that 45 degree slope.

What it all comes down to is you do not want the pool within the soil which is be loaded by the structure above, and that is measured out and down at a 45 degree angle from the bottom of the footing.

Then, of course, you have to be concerned with the pool shell wall itself. Is it designed to be self-supporting or supported by earth? If self-supporting then it produces not lateral load against the basement wall. If self supported then it produces lateral load against the basement wall and the pool needs to be moved further from the house.

I've inspected some houses where the house wall and the pool wall were one and the same, and were engineered that wall.

I've inspected homes where there was a basement (down in Miami - actually in Coconut Grove where basements = indoor pools) and the basement served as a wine storage room with a large window to the pool on the other side of that wall through which you could watch swimmers in the pool, and the pool went from indoors to outdoors (you would float under the glass partition serving as the wall from the indoor pool area to the outdoor pool area -or swim underwater, either way).

Thus the answer is "It depends."

8. ## Re: How close can a pool be to an exterior door?

Originally Posted by Jerry Peck
"8 foot deep pool end needs to be 8 feet away from the foundation footing."

Unless the footing is 6 feet deep such as for a basement, then the pool only needs to be 2 feet away from the footing edge based on that 45 degree slope.

What it all comes down to is you do not want the pool within the soil which is be loaded by the structure above, and that is measured out and down at a 45 degree angle from the bottom of the footing.

Then, of course, you have to be concerned with the pool shell wall itself. Is it designed to be self-supporting or supported by earth? If self-supporting then it produces not lateral load against the basement wall. If self supported then it produces lateral load against the basement wall and the pool needs to be moved further from the house.

I've inspected some houses where the house wall and the pool wall were one and the same, and were engineered that wall.

I've inspected homes where there was a basement (down in Miami - actually in Coconut Grove where basements = indoor pools) and the basement served as a wine storage room with a large window to the pool on the other side of that wall through which you could watch swimmers in the pool, and the pool went from indoors to outdoors (you would float under the glass partition serving as the wall from the indoor pool area to the outdoor pool area -or swim underwater, either way).

Thus the answer is "It depends."
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It is usually 1 foot per one foot of pool depth from the home or lot line. My pool was 7 feet and I had to have 7 feet in all directions. That may change per city but that is pretty much the norm.

9. ## Re: How close can a pool be to an exterior door?

Originally Posted by Ted Menelly
It is usually 1 foot per one foot of pool depth from the home or lot line. My pool was 7 feet and I had to have 7 feet in all directions. That may change per city but that is pretty much the norm.

Ted,

That is based on the 45 degree line stated above.

Your house was probably slab on ground and they did not factor in that its footing was 1 foot deep (as is required minimum) or maybe they knew it was not 1 foot deep as required.

10. ## Re: How close can a pool be to an exterior door?

Originally Posted by Jerry Peck
Ted,

That is based on the 45 degree line stated above.

Your house was probably slab on ground and they did not factor in that its footing was 1 foot deep (as is required minimum) or maybe they knew it was not 1 foot deep as required.
Sorry Jerry

I was not talking specifics but just a general rule of thumb.

Neptune beach, then Jacksonville and then Carrolton where I have talked to pool companies they all just stated a general rule to figure was about a foot for a foot. I just inspected in Carrolton TX this morning and they gave me the same general rule and the grade beams here are approx 28 inches with about 8 inches out of the ground and the general rule was a foot for a foot from property line or home. Again, just general, not specifics or code. More than likely pretty safe concidering I do not measure the depth of any pool I inspect as I am sure most inspectors do not.

11. ## Re: How close can a pool be to an exterior door?

Originally Posted by Ted Menelly
I was not talking specifics but just a general rule of thumb.

... general rule was a foot for a foot from property line or home.
And that 45 degrees, foot for foot, is a good general rule as, unless you start measuring and knowing specifics likely unknown to us, we cannot adjust for those specifics.

12. ## Re: How close can a pool be to an exterior door?

How close can a pool be to an exterior door?

Usually that question pertains to the rear patio door?

Now here's another side of the story. How about the front entry door?

Nice cement pond you think? These cracker box homes are wearing me out.

rick

13. ## Re: How close can a pool be to an exterior door?

Originally Posted by Rick Hurst
How close can a pool be to an exterior door?

Usually that question pertains to the rear patio door?

Now here's another side of the story. How about the front entry door?
3 feet out from the door in the direction of travel.

From the 2006 IRC.
- R311.4.3 Landings at doors. There shall be a floor or landing on each side of each exterior door. The floor or landing at the exterior door shall not be more than 1.5 inches (38 mm) lower than the top of the threshold. The landing shall be permitted to have a slope not to exceed 0.25 unit vertical in 12 units horizontal (2-percent).
- - Exceptions:
- - - 1. Where a stairway of two or fewer risers is located on the exterior side of a door, other than the required exit door, a landing is not required for the exterior side of the door provided the door, other than an exterior storm or screen door does not swing over the stairway.
- - - 2. The exterior landing at an exterior doorway shall not be more than 7
3/4 inches (196 mm) below the top of the threshold, provided the door, other than an exterior storm or screen door does not swing over the landing.
- - - 3. The height of floors at exterior doors other than the exit door required by Section R311.4.1 shall not be more than 7
3/4 inches (186 mm) lower than the top of the threshold.
- - The width of each landing shall not be less than the door served. Every landing shall have a minimum dimension of 36 inches (914 mm) measured in the direction of travel.

Note, however, that if the pool is more than 3 feet deep at that location the pool would need to be the depth of the pool from the door as the door is in the wall of the house and the pool would need to be that far from the foundation of the house.

If the pool is 4 feet deep near the door, the pool would need to be at least 4 feet from the house.

If the pool had an entry step near the door, the pool would need to be at least 3 feet from the door.

14. ## Re: How close can a pool be to an exterior door?

Structural considerations aside, I recall something in the old BOCA code about a minimum 4' or 5' wide patio around the perimeter of the pool. The purpose was to provide an area for rescue. I don't recall if it was in the 1 and 2 family, or just in the basic code. I can't seem to find it in ICC, so either it was eliminated or I'm imagining things. It's not a bad idea, though.

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