Do I Need a Permit to Build a Shed in My Backyard

By Mike

February 24, 2021

A backyard shed provides you with extra space that is easily accessible right out your back door. Many people are turning to sheds to use as office space as an extension of their home while others just want more space. You can buy a shed premade or build one yourself, but both have rules and regulations that must be followed. Before building a shed you may wonder if you need a permit to build a shed in your backyard and it truly varies. 

Typically, unless the shed is absurdly big(over 200 sq ft), tall, or needing electricity, you will not need a building permit to have a shed in your backyard. When it comes down to it there are various rules and regulations per county that you should always check before moving forward and building anything in your backyard. 

We will break down what sheds will require you to have a permit as well as ones that you will likely not need a permit for. We will also explain just what happens if you decide to not get a permit and what is required to obtain a permit. 

Do I Need a Permit to Build a Shed in My Backyard

A shed in your backyard is a great spot for storage and to use to keep all of the supplies for your yards such as a lawnmower and weedeater. When you are thinking about building a shed, there are a few factors to consider. 

In most counties, you can build a shed as long as it is not more than one story and super tall. If you are wanting to build a two-story shed in your backyard or it’s over 200 square feet, you will likely need to obtain building permits before you move forward. 

How tall of a shed you can build, where you can place your shed, and more will come down to rules in your specific county. For example, a suburban neighborhood will have far stricter laws than a more rural town 

Some other factors that may impact whether or not you need a permit are electricity, and intended use. If you are wanting to run electricity to your shed, most counties require you to obtain a permit beforehand. Also, if you want to use your shed for an office or living space there are specific permits you will need to get before you start building. 

Many HOA or homeowners associations in urban towns have oftentimes very strict rules so if you live in a suburban neighborhood you will also need to check these rules. 

How to Obtain a Permit for A Backyard Shed

If you are wanting to build a shed that is over fifteen-foot tall or two stories in a suburban neighborhood, you will likely need to obtain a building permit. 

There are a few things you will need in order to submit a successful application and ensure you can build a backyard shed without any consequences. You will need to fill out a permit form that will include your contact information. A site plan will also be a requirement that shows your land and where exactly you want to place your shed. Lastly, you will need to pay the permit fee that changes from county to county. 

What Happens if You Don’t Get A Permit For A Shed

If you know ahead of time that your specific area must have a building permit for a backyard shed and you decide to build one anyway, you can face serious consequences. 

Building in an area that must have a building permit will likely result in you having to demolish your shed and pay a fine-too the city. That is why it is imperative to call your county before you begin building, at least to double-check what is required. 

How Big of Shed Can I Build Without A Permit

If you are looking at a smaller shed such as a 6×8 or 8×10, you will likely not need a building permit and can build one without any issue. The difference comes when you want to build a significantly larger shed that takes up more room and requires more space to build. 

Also, depending on where you live in the country you could be required to have anchor points for your shed. That means if you live somewhere where there are frequent hurricanes or tornados your building will have to comply with the rules required to make sure your shed is properly secured to the ground. 

How Close Can A Shed Be to A House 

While the distance varies from county to county, many counties recommend placing your shed at least 40 feet away from your home for safety reasons. If your home catches fire, your shed will not be within distance of burning and allows firefighters to focus on your home.

Also, concerning your home and shed, certain HOAs have more rules. In certain towns, you may be required to use the same material as your house or match the same paint color as your house for your shed. 

How Far Does A Shed Have to Be From A Fence

While there are no rules that blatantly say how far you must have a shed away from your fence there are various recommendations. . The main problem is that if you build your shed too close to your fence, there will be moisture that builds up. Moisture in between your shed and fence can add to mold growth as well as make both decays quicker than usual. 

When deciding how close to put your shed to your fence, you should also consider your neighbors. Putting a shed too close can affect their backyard and could ruin their fence over time. It is recommended to have enough space on all sides of your fence so you can inspect each side and repair them as needed. 

Conclusion

A shed is a great addition to any backyard space, providing convenience and storage. Before building a shed you should always ask whether or not you need to obtain a permit before you build a shed. 

Most likely, if your installing or building a smaller shed under 8×10 you should be good to go, but you should always check with your county. Suburban areas are far more stricter with rules than rural counties as well. 

As she-sheds and shed offices are becoming more popular, you may be wanting to build a shed so you can have a designated office space. If you are using your shed for work and needing electricity you will absolutely need a permit from your county.

Also, if you are wanting to build a large shed or a two-story shed, you will definitely need to get a permit from your county.

In order to get a permit, you simply need to apply, explain what purpose you are using the shed for, as well as explain where you are putting the shed. You will then need to pay a small fee. If you decide to go ahead and build in an area where you must have a permit, they will require you to demolish the building and pay a fine. 

About the author

Hi I'm Mike! I'm the owner, writer, and sometimes editor of Foundedproject.com. Being a new homeowner can be a little daunting, which is why I created this blog. I write about problems that a new home owner might run into. 

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