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Do You Need a Building Permit for a Storage Shed?

by Trisha Diewald, May 25, 2017

Do You Need a Building Permit for a Storage Shed?

You’ve long been anticipating the many benefits of having a new storage shed on your property, so it’s exciting when the time finally comes to plan it. Before you proceed, 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 will likely 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Should You Hire a Shed Professional?

Remember, building and zoning permit requirements will vary from one location to another. Always verify city and county requirements before buying or building 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.  

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