Owner Builder Liabilities

Apr 17, 2017
We are almost ready to sign the contract on a new Gunite Pool in Phoenix AZ with a local Pool builder. He was asking us to get the City permit as a owner builder. Now we are not managing the whole process like a true Owner builder. He mentioned that It was cheaper to do so and if need be, He is ready to do it but the tax would be more. The other bids we had would all get the permits themselves and sure enough their tax was higher than this PB. I am not sure if there are liability concerns I should be aware of if I get the permit as a owner builder. He mentioned this was not the case as He would be listed as the Pool Contractor on the permit. Anyone have any experience with this? Thanks for your help in advance.


Active member
Dec 31, 2014
Apple Valley, MN
I'm not an AZ lawyer, but... Liability shouldn't be determined by who pulls the permit. Liability should be spelled out in your contract with the PB. Whatever requirements and coverages you want should be in the contract. The PB should supply you with a certificate of insurance to prove the coverages and limits. Read any indemnification clauses carefully. Consult a lawyer and/or your insurance agent.

Umbrella coverage policies aren't terribly expensive, if you have concerns.


TFP Expert
Apr 19, 2013
Sacramento, CA
I'm not an Arizona lawyer either, nor do I play one on TV. He is probably correct there may be some additional fees if he gets the permit.

But I don't understand why he is not pulling the permit himself. Have you checked his license? Is it current?

Does he hire subs ? With an owner builder you hire the subs. You can do it and have the general be a consultant but you should get a substantial savings. What is the warranty? Do you have a written warranty?
Apr 17, 2017
He is licenced and bonded and no complains on BBB. He hires the Subs which is why I was confused when He asked me to pull the Permit. The warranty is lifetime on the Shell and the 10 year on the Mini Pebble. I am going to go over the coverage, limits and indemnification clauses carefully when we have the Contract in had before We sign.

Thanks for the answers - helps a lot !!


Well-known member
Sep 19, 2015
Austin, TX
I don't know how it is in your city, but in mine it is a pain to pull permits and deal with all that. I think I would have gladly paid someone $200 to deal with the city for me and go down to the permit office a few times. (Also, there's no difference in my city in cost depending on who pulls the permit).


LifeTime Supporter
Sep 6, 2013
Nashville, TN
I would think they should pull it and should price their bid accordingly. I do know that a pool is being built in our neighborhood and they had the homeowner pull the permit.