Knowing your impervious surface limits, septic field locations and setbacks is critical to the pool project planning process!


  1. Get a Survey! This will tell you a lot of what you want to know and reveal lots of potential surprises! Ensure you have the impervious surface limits and your septic field on the map.


  1. Get with a Pool builder that cares about your WHOLE pool project. Putting the pool in the wrong place without consideration for your patio, outdoor living and yard can turn a dream into a nightmare! Godfrey and Jones always considers the whole project -even if we aren’t the ones doing it.


  1. Now that you know what you can and can’t do work with your pool builder and other potential contractors for your project and design a project that maximizing what you can do with your dreams! Godfrey and Jones has turned many a project that a client was told was impossible into a project that was more incredible than a design that was more traditional. Sometimes an opportunity is a chance to challenge yourself to make something great.

Important information

Impervious Surface

In North Carolina we gets lots of water and it needs a place to go. Impervious surface is the % your property is allowed to have that doesn’t absorb water – think roofs, driveways, patios etc. Sometimes decks count, sometimes they only count 50% and sometimes they don’t count at all – same with artificial turf – It depends on where you live and how its installed.

The plus side is POOLS DON’T count against impervious surface! Pretty cool right? The pool may not count but the coping – the hardscape around the pool does count against you.


You can’t have a pool too close to a septic system field, some equipment OR a repair field. There are some details to know but the basic rule is stay 15 feet away from any septic anything and your probably ok.


It’s basically parts of your yard you can’t build in. These can vary all over the place and it depends on what kind of setback it is, normal property setbacks, drainage, Riparian, Building and many more. Some you can build in, some you can’t and some you can event look at! (Ok that last one isn’t a thing but you get the idea). Talk with your county or city to learn more and Pool Builders can often tell you what you probably can do with your local authoritative body being the final work.

Here is some information that may help you. Call Godfrey and Jones and we can help you plan the perfect project with your properties attributes. Some of our best projects were because we were forced to be creative to create a space that was legal AND awesome!

Maybe we can help you too!

Wake County

Generally, but not always has an upper limit is 30% impervious allotment. Depending on wetlands, development existing drainage, and other factors can range from 6% to 30% Check this link out for more info. click here.

City of Raleigh

For residential lots 1acre or less, maximum impervious limits are determined by your residential zoning:

  • R-1 = 20%
  • R-2 = 25%
  • R-4 = 38%
  • R-6 = 51%
  • R-10 and all other zoning districts = 65%

You can check the IMAPS link to find out what your zoning designation is.

Decks count 50% generally but can depend on what’s below the deck as well.

Town of Cary

Cary can be all over the place from incredibly tough to no limit at all. Cary almost always asks for an ‘As Built Survey’ as well just to make sure everything is how they want it so consider this in your plans. The Town of Cary has their own rules and is on balance considered a strict area to build. Check for specific requirements for swimming pool locations, pool decking, and pool barriers. Click here.

Town of Apex

The Town of Apex regulates the measurements for setbacks, lot sizes, and other specifications for buildings. Pools can be located no closer than 5′ from the side or rear property line. Want more info? Click here.

Town of Holly Springs

Contact either the town planning department for Holly Springs or Wake County to find out what the impervious surface limits are for your subdivision.

Orange County

Orange County is similar to many of the counties or cities above but permits can generally take a while at the time of this article so give yourself a little while longer for your permit to be approved.

Ready to Get Started?

By choosing Godfrey and Jones, you can rest assured that your pool installation will be of the highest quality, whether you opt for a top-notch fiberglass design or a stunning concrete masterpiece.

Start planning your dream pool today and create memories that will last a lifetime.

More Posts

September 21, 2023

Consider your indoors when designing your outdoors

Read More

July 18, 2023

Fiberglass vs. Concrete Pools – Which One Should You Choose?

Read More