Do I need an architect to install a swimming pool?

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Do I need an architect to install a swimming pool?

Where do you start with a swimming pool installation?

Detailed drawings and structural analysis is not usually the remit of swimming pool installation companies. 

Without detailed designs for your project, getting an accurate cost from swimming pool installers and builders will be very difficult. And, if you are building a swimming pool as part of an extension or new build, and you need to apply for a mortgage. Getting approval for one is going to be very difficult without some accurate costings.

So where do you start?

For a lot of swimming pool projects an architect will be the starting point. 

In this blog we look at whether you need an architect or not for your swimming pool installation. And what we recommend when it comes to hiring an architect for a pool installation. 

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Do I need an architect to install an outdoor swimming pool?

planning permissionFor an outdoor swimming pool installation it is unlikely that you will hire an architect.

You will need drawings and structural analysis as part of the building warrant application process. However these do not need to come from an architect. 

To be honest, we don’t build a lot of outdoor pools. As you can imagine they aren’t that big of a thing in Scotland. 

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Do I need an architect to install an indoor swimming pool?

Most of the swimming pool built in Scotland (as you can imagine) are indoor.

Do you need an architect to build an indoor swimming pool? And, should you hire an architect to build a swimming pool? Are two different questions with very different answers.

Do you need and architect to build a pool? No. You will need drawings and structural analysis. But you can cobble these together between a draughts person and/or structural engineer. You don’t necessarily need to have an architect employed.

However, should you hire an architect for your indoor pool project? Well that has a different answer.

We would always say yes. You should hire an architect to install an indoor swimming pool. 

Indoor swimming pools will usually involve the construction of an extension or new build. It’s not often you just have an already constructed building waiting to be converted into a pool room.

An architect, in our opinion, is an invaluable part of any construction project, including swimming pool installations. It’s always one of the things people thing they can do without. And one of the things that are cut if budgets are tight.

And you can do some of it yourself and hire the necessary skills when needed. But architects will help the entire process. And in our experience will result in a smoother building process, with less stress and overall less money spent. 


Benefits of employing an architect for an indoor swimming pool project

Employing an architect will mean that the project is considered in a lot more detail in the planning stages than it might be otherwise. 

This will undoubtedly save you money and hassle later on when the construction begins.

An Architect will be able to help you with the technical side of things such as:

  • Design & drawings
  • Planning permission
  • Building warrants
  • Structural analysis
  • Insulation specific and energy 
  • Groundwater analysis

Detailed plans are also essential for getting accurate quotes from builders, swimming pool contractors and all the other trades that might be working on the project. These quotes may be needed to plan estimates for mortgages or loans. And will help you manage cashflow for the entire project. 

In addition a good architect will also be able to help on the project planning side. Things that, down the line, will save you time, money and stress. Things like:

  • Outlining building schedule 
  • Liaising with contractors (including builders and swimming pool installers)
  • On-site supervision of the construction

Architects are one of those things that can get cut when budget gets tight. But in our experience hiring an architect is an upfront cost. That results in long term savings. 

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If you don’t take enough time on the planning stages. It may result in big changes being made in the construction stage. Every time you ask for a change to be made on site, hear £ signs. Every change you make on site will cost you money. Not just on the pool side, but on the entire construction project.

This can really add up during the project and we’ve seen it amount to more than an architect would have cost in the first place.
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How much does it cost to hire an architect?

The answer to this, like many things is difficult. 

How much an architect costs will will depend on a whole host of different factors including who you hire, the size of the project, the complexity of the project and how much you want them to be involved. 

It will also depend on whether they charge a % fee or a set fee. 

For a more detailed breakdown of how architects are priced. And what can alter that price. We recommend reading this article from Alan Corfield Architect:

In summary

In our opinion, an architect is the sensible starting point for any building project. Including swimming pools.

Not only will a good architect be able to help with the technical side including drawings and planning applications. But they will be able to liaise with subcontractors (including builders and swimming pool installation teams), develop planning schedules and help with on site supervision to ensure the project is running as expected.

Yes, they will add an extra professional fee. And with the high costs of installing a swimming pool, you might think you can save money by doing it yourself. But we’ve found, from experience, that in the long run, not working with an architect costs more money.

So do you need an architect. No. 

But should you have one. Well that is a whole different story.

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Debbie Ekins
Debbie Ekins
Eagle Leisure - Sales & Marketing Manager Mission = to arm you with the knowledge you need to make the best buying decisions. Fuelled by coffee (and naps). Explorer of Scotland and the world.
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