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Do You Need a Permit to Build a Storage Shed?

It’s possible that you’ll need a permit to build a storage shed, depending on the zoning and permit requirements where you live. Before you proceed with your shed build, it’s important to contact your local county or city zoning department to determine code requirements you must follow for sheds. Building codes vary by location, and it is the responsibility of a homeowner to obtain any necessary building permits prior to installation of a new shed.

Permit Requirements for Sheds Vary by Location

In most areas, you generally do not need a building permit for a small shed, such as a 6×8 or an 8×10. However, larger storage buildings may challenge local zoning restrictions. Many areas will only allow sheds to be installed in backyards. In addition, some areas mandate that the shed footprint can’t exceed a certain percentage of the lot size. If you install a shed that is in violation of your local building code, you can be faced with a penalty and the cost of relocation or removal. Here are some instances when a permit may be required for a shed—but be sure to check with your local county or city zoning department to determine all the codes you must follow in your area.

  • Electricity. If you want to wire your shed for electricity, you will probably need a permit.
  • Intended use. If you plan on using your shed to conduct business or as a living space, you will need to let the local zoning department know so the structure can be properly permitted and inspected. 
  • Placement. Some local codes mandate how close a shed can be to fences, trees, property lines and other buildings. Some areas do not allow a shed to be attached to a home.
  • Size. You may face size and height restrictions on a shed. You may also be required to use a certain type of shed foundation. If you have questions about materials, such as plastic or other pre-built structures, the decision usually comes down to size. Be sure to check with your neighborhood to verify the maximum size shed you can have on your lot without a permit.
  • Homeowners’ associations. Your local neighborhood may have its own regulations about outdoor buildings. If you live in an HOA-regulated home, be sure to verify community rules and covenants.

What Happens If I Don’t Get a Permit for My Backyard Shed?

Doing your homework when it comes to backyard shed permits can help you avoid potential issues down the road, such as government and homeowners’ association fines or even removal of your shed. You can help ensure your hard work doesn’t go to waste by researching the requirements for your county, city and state before you build. Each area’s codes differ, but all are based on the International Building Code (IBC). It’s also valuable to research whether the guidelines differ depending on how you’ll use your shed (storage vs. living space, for example). 

Should You Hire a Shed Professional to Build Your Shed?

Remember, building and zoning permit requirements will vary from one location to another. Always verify city and county requirements before building (or buying) a shed. Hiring a professional to help with the permit application process and advise you on shed options can make your project a breeze. Find a shed dealer in your area who stocks LP® Outdoor Building Solutions® products that you can use for your shed.

If you’re not sure whether building or buying a shed is the right fit for you, check out more information on the process. You can also take advantage of the LP Shed Visualizer to explore sizes, looks and more.

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