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Can You Put a Pool on Top of the Garage?
Not all pools are at ground level. Some are perched on roof tops. You have seen that in hotels, resorts and other high rise buildings. Large homes have them too sometimes. So you might wonder if you can put a pool on top of the garage?
Actually you can put a pool on top of your garage provided the structure can bear the load, the roof is flat and you get permission from the local building authorities.
There are a ton of benefits of having a swimming pool. Swimming is an excellent way of getting and staying fit as it is a low impact high intensity aerobic workout. You can unwind in or beside a pool after a hard day. Who does not love a cool dip in warm summer months!
While you may really want to install a pool on your property, sometimes it may be difficult to find the place for it. This is where the garage may come to your aid.
Most homes have two or three car garages. A standard two car garage is 24’X24’. Three car garages are even bigger. That is enough space for a personal pool on top of the garage.
How Big Can The Pool On Top Of My Garage Be?
There are two important factors to consider before deciding on the size of the pool that will be placed on top of your garage.
The size of the pool will also depend on how you intend to use it.
If the pool is primarily for your kids and their friends to splash around and have some fun then a circular pool with shallow depth will work better for you.
If you plan to use it mainly for keeping fit then you would need a long rectangular pool for doing laps.
You can do a whole range of exercises in a pool without actually swimming laps. If you are getting old, pregnant or are recovering from an injury, then there are pools which are designed for therapy.
Water aerobics and water biking are some workouts that can be done in fairly small pools. Check out “Try These 8 Pool Exercises for a Full-Body Workout” from HealthLine for more ideas.
The garage structure has to be strong enough to carry the load of the swimming pool. The load should include the weight of the swimming pool shell, accessories such as filtration system, weight of the water when the pool is full and the weight of the swimmers.
If you are planning to put the pool on top of an existing garage then you will need to call in a qualified structural engineer to ascertain the load bearing capacity of the garage.
In case you are planning to build a new garage then you can choose a pool that meets your requirement and ask your architect or contractor to factor in the load in the garage structural design.
Here is an examples of how to arrive at the load.
Data is for INTEX Ultra Frame Rectangular Pool Set with Sand Filter Pump, Ladder, Ground Cloth & Pool Cover.
|WATER CAPACITY (90%) (Gal)||4,545||8,403||14,364|
|NUMBER OF SWIMMERS||2||4||6|
|SWIMMERS WEIGHT (lbs)||300||600||900|
|TOTAL LOAD (lbs)||38,297||70,744||120,655|
|CLICK LINK FOR MORE DETAILS||INTEX SMALL||INTEX MEDIUM||INTEX LARGE|
As you can see the weight of the water, which depends on the pool dimensions, is the main component of the load.
NOTE: Typically above-ground pools require a deck to be made around them. So you need to factor in that weight too!
How Much Weight Can a Roof Take?
According to most local building codes a garage roof is required to hold 20 pounds per square foot at absolute minimum. So a 24’X24’, standard two car garage should be able to support a minimum of 11,520 pounds. This includes the weight of the roof itself.
In reality a garage is designed to hold a much higher load to accommodate additional load from roof storage or snow piled up on the roof. A load bearing capacity of 100 pounds per square foot is not uncommon.
Assuming a load bearing capacity of 100 pounds per square foot, you need garage dimensions as per table below:
|Number of Cars||Garage Size||Area (square foot)||Load Bearing Capacity (pounds)||Total Load of 18’X9’X52” Pool||Total Load of 18’X9’X52” Pool||Total Load of 18’X9’X52” Pool|
|2 Cars||24’X24’||576||57,600||38,297 (OK)||70,744 (NOT OK)||120,655 (NOT OK)|
|3 Cars||40’X24’||960||96,000||38,297 (OK)||70,744 (OK)||120,655 (NOT OK)|
|4 Cars||48’X30’||1,440||144,400||38,297 (OK)||70,744 (OK)||120,655 (OK)|
NOTE: The above is for general information. You must get a qualified structural engineer to assess the load bearing capacity of your garage.
Can You Build a Structure Over a Pool?
Yes. Not only is it possible, it is advisable to put a structure above the pool on top of your garage. The structure can be open on the sides so that you get enough breeze and can enjoy the outdoor feel.
Keep the structure light and yet strong. The roof should be made of UV reflective and UV resistant material so that the pool under it remains cool even under the blazing summer sun.
If you live in an area that gets high wind speeds then the structure should be retractable. It should be lowered or moved out of the fury of a storm or hurricane.
The roof of the structure should have a steep slope if you live in an area where you get a lot of snow. You want the snow to slide off the structure roof straight to the ground.
You certainly do not want the weight of the snow adding to the load on the garage that is already loaded with a pool. You should empty out the pool before winter sets in so that there is no risk of freezing.
Should You Waterproof the Flat Garage Roof?
Last but not the least, do make sure that the flat garage roof is waterproofed. The pool on top of your garage has thousands of gallons of water in it. Of course, there will be water splashing!
Worse, your garage rooftop pool could spring a leak. You certainly do not want all that water getting into and flooding your garage.
So play safe and install a heavy duty waterproofing membrane on the flat garage roof before you put the pool on it. Make sure that there are enough downspouts to carry away the water to the storm water drain.
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Thank you very much for reading the post. I do hope you found it informative and useful.