Decks and porches are raised floors that are level with or below the first story of a house, supported by a structural frame and without a roof. The difference between them is that a porch provides access to a building's primary entrance. NYC Building Code §3300 governs construction safety and applies to decks and porches. If either is built with a roof, the structure may then be considered an additional room – and different zoning rules and NYC Construction Codes provisions could apply. Water can add substantial weight, so never place any pool on a deck or porch, unless it has been structurally engineered to support the extra load.
Construction may only begin after the Department approves construction plans and issues permits for a deck or porch. Only an NYS licensed professional engineer (PE) or registered architect (RA) may design them.
All pools installed in New York City must follow the City's safety and quality-of-life standards. The Construction Codes – specifically §3109 of the NYC Building Code – outline the construction requirements. Other City agencies may also regulate pools depending upon, for example, the property's location, landmark status or zoning.
The Department requires work permits to install a pool for any building or property. However, there are limited exceptions, such as for some above-ground pools and shallow wading pools, among others. To determine if a proposed pool must have a work permit, speak with a P.E. or R.A. or contact a Department borough office manager.
Once the Department has issued the permit, a contractor licensed by the Department of Consumer Affairs or the homeowner may perform the work. Contractors must meet the Department's and New York State Workers' Compensation Board's insurance requirements. Homeowners who construct their own pools must receive a waiver of the insurance requirements from the borough commissioner where the property is located before beginning work.
NYC Building Code §§3109.3 – 322.214.171.124 outline the technical requirements to construct pools, including: