New Licensing Requirements for South Carolina Residential Pool Contractors

June 29, 2024
Amy Thayer

Bill H4115, recently ratified and signed by the Governor, introduces significant changes to Chapter 11 of Title 40 of the South Carolina Code concerning the construction of residential pools. This new legislation mandates that individuals and entities involved in the construction, service, or repair of residential pools must possess either a General Contractor license with the Swimming Pools subclassification or a Residential Builder license from the Residential Builders Commission when the total cost of construction meets the statutory cost threshold for licensure.

Key Changes and Compliance Requirements

1. General Contractor License with Swimming Pools Subclassification: No further action is needed for current General Contractor licensees authorized to work in this subclassification.

2. Residential Builder License: Actively licensed Residential Builders can continue to install residential swimming pools without needing a General Contractor license with the Swimming Pools subclassification. However, these licensees will remain under the jurisdiction of the Residential Builders Commission for pool construction activities.

3. New Licenses Required: Individuals and entities not currently licensed as either a General Contractor with the Swimming Pools subclassification or as a Residential Builder must obtain the appropriate license before engaging in the construction, service, or repair of residential pools that meet the cost threshold for licensure. Information on licensure requirements and application procedures can be found here.

Board's Efforts and Local Building Departments

The Contractor’s Licensing Board acknowledges the impact of this new requirement on unlicensed individuals and entities. To ensure compliance, the Board is actively providing local building departments with pertinent information to disseminate to impacted parties. The Board is committed to expediting the application process to help affected parties comply with the new licensure requirement promptly.

Temporary Licenses and Compliance Deadline

In response to the rapid implementation of this law, the state has issued temporary licenses to qualified builders. Between August 1, 2023, and September 30, 2023, the South Carolina Contractor’s Licensing Board issued 162 temporary licenses. As of now, 109 temporary licenses remain, with an expiration date of June 30, 2024.

Steps to Obtain a License

To legally build pools in South Carolina, applicants must:

1. Pass Two Required Open-Book Exams:  PSI Business, Management, and Law Exam and Swimming Pools Exam.

2. Two Years of Applicable Experience: Provide evidence of experience related to pool construction, service, or repair.

3. Financial Statement or Bond: Submit appropriate financial documentation to prove financial stability.

4. Register with the South Carolina Secretary of State: Ensure business legitimacy and compliance with state regulations.

5. Pay a Fee: Cover the costs associated with the licensure process.

6. No Outstanding Monetary Judgments: Confirm that there are no unresolved financial disputes related to construction activities.


Bill H4115 marks a significant shift in the regulation of residential pool construction in South Carolina. Contractors must now adhere to stricter licensing requirements, ensuring higher standards of safety and quality in the industry. For further details, visit the Board’s website or contact the Board directly at PO Box 11329, Columbia, SC 29211.

For expert guidance and resources, including books and exam prep courses for the South Carolina Business and Swimming Pools exams, as well as our top-tier South Carolina license application services, contact us today! Let us help you succeed and streamline your path to licensure.