Anyone building a pool in Fairfax County, VA?

to-the-beachFebruary 16, 2010

This is my second pool build in this county. Permitting has changed drastically over the past two years. Anyone dealing with the nightmare of grading plans, rain gardens, infiltration trenches? Experiences, thoughts, comments?

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Sounds like they don't want any new pools.


    Bookmark   February 16, 2010 at 7:23PM
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Niki Friedman

Hi there...
We went through it last summer. Took us 4 months to get a permit and more money than we could imagine, but we got it done.

Happy to talk to you offline if you're looking for advice. Who is your builder?

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 3:12PM
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Well, now that all the snow has melted, the topo survey is complete and we are in the final phases of the grading plan. Looks like we are able to get a waiver on the rain garden and infiltration trench ($3-4K!). I'm waiting on the final waiver for the Chesapeake Bay runoff part, but it looks promising. When we built our first pool three years ago (in the county) we didn't have to go through any of this. I'm hoping the dig will begin before April. We are using NVBlu Pools. Who did you go with and are you pleased with the results? I will follow up with pictures as soon as the work begins.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 10:10PM
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to-the-beach we are also using NVBlu and they are digging as I type! Did they build your first pool? I am in Loudoun county though and have heard that Fairfax is now making it very difficult. Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2010 at 2:50PM
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Niki Friedman

We used Huston Pools (they have a retail store in Fairfax). We did consider NVBlu, Lewis Aquatec and Town&Country.

We got the waiver on the rain garden, but, now we are working on landscaping so that we can get our $6500 bond back from the county. Fun stuff!!!

    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 10:22AM
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...and still we wait. The rain garden waiver was denied because of soil problems. The engineer resubmitted the waiver due to a poor soil report. So, here we are, 80 degrees and sunny (if even for a few days) and not so much as an outline of a pool in our backyard. Thankfully, this will be our last pool build in Fairfax County! Hopefully, NVBlu will get moving quickly once all this permit stuff is taken care of so we can have a pool before fall.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 12:05PM
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Niki Friedman

So sorry, to-the-beach. We dealt with the exact same thing... we signed the contract in March, took about a month to draw up plans and didn't get underway until August. The summer just came and went without any action in our backyard.

I feel bad for the builders because it's costing them so much business. The permit process scares off so many people because it takes so long and is so expensive.

My advice is that, if your engineer and the county run into a brick wall, ask to meet with the county engineer yourself. I found that the county was more wlling to work with the homeowner vs. the engineer and pool builder.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 4:43PM
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Finally....two and a half months later and we have permits! The dig begins the beginning of next week. If I ever buy another house in Fairfax County, it will already have an existing pool even if I have to refurbish it. Photos coming soon!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 2:08PM
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I am afraid to ask but will anyway. How many permits and variances did you need and what did that cost?


    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 2:28PM
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Niki Friedman

Congrats!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Good luck on your build. Hope they are able to move quickly for you.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 5:08PM
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kziff1pool - Our first pool was built by Blue Haven. I'd rather drive spikes through my eyes than deal with that company again. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that NVBlu will do a good job for us. Their BBB rating is excellent and I can't find anyone with a complaint.

viennamommy19 - I feel your pain on the timeline! We contracted our first pool in Feb. and it wasn't complete til Sept. In this case, it was the pool builder, not the county. Three years ago you didn't have to jump through all the permitting hoops. Do you have any photos you can share? I'd love to see your pool! :) NVBlu is telling us that we will be swimming by mid-June. I'll let you know how that works out.

poolguynj - Get out your calculator!
Grading plan development: $2250
Soil test: $500
Full topo survey: $800
Grading plan review / permit: $1590
Rain garden / infiltration trench waiver: $160
Final pool permit: $185
Bond to FFX county to ensure landscaping compliance: $6100 (refundable after installation of required landscaping)
Required landscaping costs: $2000 - $2500

We got off easy because the county granted the waiver. If it would have been denied, we would have had to install a rain garden / infiltration trench at the cost of $3500 - $4000.

So....that's how you get a pool built in Fairfax County! Run for your life!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 12:23PM
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Niki Friedman

To the beach,
We paid very similar costs, though anything engineering/permit related was bundled into one fee so I'm not sure of our exact breakdown.

Just curious... we have a $6500 enviro bond with the county. Did you work with your engineer on the landscaping plan or did they just submit something for you? We were so desperate to get the pool in the ground that we didn't even look at what was submitted. When we finally realized it, we hated the plan and had to work with our site inspector to come up with a landscaping plan that we liked but also satisfied the county's requirements.

Also- hope you were told (we weren't) that you don't get the bond back immediately after you plant. Your site inspector will have to see a full season of growth and no dead plants. Yikes. Was really hoping to have that cash back sooner rather than later!

Good luck on the build. I think I recall another poster who used NVBlu had a pool built in 5 weeks or so. Was Alan Nobling your salesman? Very nice guy. We ended up going with Huston Pools because of great recommendations and we felt like we got a few more extras for our money but NVBlu is a very solid builder.

Will def post some pics soon. We just opened the pool Tues but I'm actually due to have our second baby in a few weeks so we've been kind of preocupied!!!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 4:19PM
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viennamommy19 - Our engineer didn't consult with us on the plantings. He just submitted the plan. I just found out yesterday what we are supposed to plant, but I may have to talk with the inspector as well. We have a bunch of shrubs in front of our house that I was hoping to move to the back to save some money. Here is another ridiculous county requirement....We had the silt fence installed yesterday. Our backyard has a slight downward slope toward the house. The county required that the silt fence be installed all the way around the back yard instead of just where the water and / or debris would run off. So, unless water is going to magically start running up hill, 3/4 of our yard has a completely unnecessary silt fence. What a waste!

    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 2:56PM
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We have a 25 yr old pool that is in need of extensive restoration. Would appreciate hearing from anyone who has built a pool or renovated one and had a good experience for their company. We are talking with NVBLU, if anyone can give us feedback on their experience with NVBLU that would also be very appreciated

    Bookmark   June 13, 2010 at 9:57PM
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greatfallspeople, we just used NVBlu for a new pool build. I would love to give you more insight. Overall, it was a very good experience. Please e-mail me directly at and I'll be happy to provide specifics.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2010 at 11:35PM
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We used Lewis Aquatech. Fantastic experience. They renovated our entire backyard to include new pool decks, tile & Coping, interior finish, landscaping, fireplace etc. VERY PROFESSIONAL and reasonably priced. We delt directly with one of the Owners Don Gwiz. here is there website Good luck with your project

    Bookmark   February 19, 2011 at 11:59AM
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