Spain Explained

Building your own swimming pool in Spain

Last updated on August 11th, 2022 at 08:34 am.

Perhaps one of the prime considerations when you have a property in Spain is how to keep cool. If you’re thinking of a swimming pool as the answer, we have some advice about how to build your own swimming pool in Spain.

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Reasons to build your own swimming pool in Spain

As we now start to feel the heat at night, the idea of plunging into a refreshing swimming pool when the fancy takes us is very tempting. However, it is important to find the right location and ensure you have the right licences.

Portable swimming pools and plunge pools can be seen as an option. But these temporary arrangements can present dangers of their own. Concerns have already been raised about the risks involved when placing inflatable pools on terraces and balconies where they may be unstable.

The Madrid Surveyors College has urged people to consider carefully the positioning of temporary pools and structures such as jacuzzis in positions that could potentially be dangerous. This is particularly the case for those living in flats above ground level who perhaps are considering installing pools on foundations that are insufficiently robust.

On occasions people may forget to account for not only the weight of the pool itself but the weight of the water and those using it. There is a particular risk with older buildings and those that may already have suffered some damage. For this reason it’s important that the installation of the pool is discussed with a professional.

However, what about if your property is on ground level and you do have some spare space to build a swimming pool?

Planning your swimming pool in Spain

1. Planning permission

First and foremost you should be aware that it is necessary to have a licence for a swimming pool in Spain, however small. You need planning permission to build one and if you don’t have this it can present problems when you wish to sell or bequeath your property.

Although retrospective planning permission can often be granted, there is no certainty of this. The exact requirements from one town to another differ and so you should obtain local and professional advice on what applies in your area.

2. Permission of the community of owners

You will also need to apply to the community of owners for permission. In most cases, your application will need to be supported and voted on at the next AGM (Annual General Meeting) or EGM (Extraordinary General Meeting).

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3. Architect

As building a swimming pool is considered to be an ‘Obra Mayor’ you will need an architect. The architect must prepare a drawing which illustrates your proposal and this will need to be presented to the town hall along with a fee. However, this is a small cost to bear in comparison to receiving a fine or even a demolition order.

4. Registering your swimming pool in Spain

Once permission is received and your pool has been built then you will need to register it on the property register and ‘catastro’. Again, professionals can help ensure that this is properly carried out and that your pool is legal.

Other considerations

The positioning of your pool is important.

  • You will need to consider factors such as the proximity to neighbours’ borders and the street.
  • The type of land your property is built on must be considered too. For example, if it is on rural land it is highly unlikely that a pool will be allowed.

Once you have your pool in place then here are some hints for keeping it in pristine condition:

  • Try and avoid people plastering on the sun tan lotion and then jumping in the pool – ask people to shower before they take a dip.
  • Watch out for small objects getting caught in the mechanical parts of the pool.  It is advisable to ban anything other than  large inflatables.
  • Keep glass and bottles well away from the pool. Broken glass is a dangerous hazard and if it’s in the pool it is very hard to spot. Your pool would probably need to be drained as a result.
  • Regularly check the PH levels and administer the appropriate chemicals to keep the water clean and bacteria free.

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So whether you are considering installing a splash pool or an olympic-sized swimming pool in Spain, we strongly recommend that you take the professional advice of an independent Spanish lawyer. They can apply for permission on your behalf when necessary and ensure that the correct procedures are taken. After all, you want to make sure that your latest little luxury is here to stay. 

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30 June, 2020 11:41 am

In England we have a process called the Building Regulations. Does Spain have something similar? If you do were can you obtain a copy. I am interested because I am an Architect looking to locate to Spain

Oscar Paoli

30 June, 2020 11:16 pm

Hi Wayne,
Yes we have something similar but this will depend on each town hall, so you would have to request for your particular area.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers


4 July, 2020 10:49 am

Is it a legal requirement to Have an outdoor shower next to the outdoor pool in Spain?

Oscar Paoli

9 July, 2020 9:46 am

If the pool is a private pool a exterior shower is not a requirement. If the pool is a public o community pool, the showers are compulsory.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers


25 August, 2020 9:37 am

I have purchased on property in Mijas, with a legal private pool.
Can I fill it in and replace it (same size) on a different part of my land?

Oscar Paoli

26 August, 2020 8:27 am

You will need permission and a license to do so.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers


14 February, 2021 2:41 pm

Are there restrictions on the size of the pool you can build?


Oscar Paoli

15 February, 2021 10:44 am

Hi Lynsey,

Hope this email finds you well.

Yes, there are restrictions on the measures of the pool that can be build in terms of the maximum occupancy of the plot. Each plot has a maximum buildable and occupancy square meters. It also has to comply with the minimum setbacks to the walls.

We highly recommend that you discuss this matter beforehand with an attorney or architect who can guide you on occupancy limitations and setbacks before planning the works. In any case, you will need an architect to draft the project in order to obtain the building license.

Should you need any assistance please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any furhter queries. You can contact us by phone at 0034 966 703 750 or by email at

With kind regards,

Ábaco Advisers


30 July, 2021 4:50 pm

Hi I have had a builder install a swimming pool which I paid 1000€ for planning and architect that was over 4 years ago
The pool has been built but I still don’t have the license.
Can I get my own architect and get my own license

Oscar Paoli

1 August, 2021 7:48 am

Hi Kevin,
Yes, you can surely speed up the process by getting your own architect to assist you with the matter.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

chris bennet

27 November, 2021 9:19 am

We have just had a swimming pool built but the builder has not installed a ladder at the deep end for access/ egress.

Is it a legal requirement to have a ladder installed?

Oscar Paoli

29 November, 2021 4:53 pm

If it is a private pool there is no legal requirement to have a ladder installed.


10 May, 2022 4:56 pm

Can you provide any guidance on how close I can build a pool to the boundary with my neighbour and also a community area? Does the 3m rule apply to swimming pools? This remakes to a property in the Valencia region
Many thanks

Oscar Paoli

11 May, 2022 12:07 pm

Hi Steve,

The setbacks apply to any building (including swimming pools). The minimum distance between any building and partition walls depends on the specific municipality and more specifically on the area. There may even be different types of setbacks if the wall faces a neighbour or a public road. The town hall itself or an architect could give you more information about the minimum distance between the swimming pool and the party walls.

We also recommend that you discuss this with your community of neighbours (president or administrator) should you have one.

We can also help you with a pre-check of the regulations applicable to your urbanisation should you be interested. You are more than welcome to contact us at

With kind regards,

Ábaco Advisers


29 July, 2022 6:25 pm

How about telling us how much we pay extra every year for water!