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Do I Need a Permit to Build a Shed? What You Need To Know!

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You’ve done it. You’re finally ready to pull the trigger on that backyard project that you’ve been putting off for a while—a new shed to store all your tools or toys. Before you even get in the truck to go to your building center, though, ask yourself this question: do I need a permit for this shed? The short answer is no. However, it depends on the size of shed you want to build and where you live. In most cases, even if you don’t need a permit, it’s still a good idea to get one so there are no problems or extra costs.

Below, we will lay out some general rules of thumb to guide you in determining whether you need a permit or not. If there is any doubt regarding your local regulations, then it’s best to consult with whichever authority is responsible for building permits in your area.

divider 5Size Matters

One of the main factors in whether you need a permit to build a shed is its size. As a general rule, a shed under 30 square meters does not require a permit. However, each municipality governs this separately, and it will vary depending on where you live.

There are a couple of things that bypass size as a determining factor. If you plan on hooking the shed up to electricity or plumbing it in, then you will require a permit no matter what size the shed is. In either of these situations, you will likely need a professional contractor as well. In most cases, a professional contractor will take care of getting the permit.

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Image Credit: Pixabay

The Cost of Not Getting a Permit

Some people might think that permits are just a cash grab. Whether you believe that or not, the penalty for not getting a permit when it is required can be very steep. The possible fines can get as high as $100,000 in some municipalities! In other places, the fines might not be as high, but you can actually get jail time too.

All it takes is a nosy neighbor to report your shed if they don’t like where you put it or the color of the siding. If you haven’t got a permit, then the trouble begins.

There is Already a Shed

There are a few scenarios where a shed is already on your property when you think about a permit. Maybe you just moved into a new home, and there is a shed, or perhaps you just went ahead and built one and thought about a permit afterward.

Even if a shed is already built, it is possible to get a permit. Generally speaking, it will have to be inspected to ensure it is up to the local building codes as far as the construction, electrical, or plumbing are concerned. As long as it passes this inspection, you will be able to pay the fee, and a permit will be applied, thus making it a legal addition to your property.

shed construction
Image Credit: Piqsels

divider 5Conclusion

Even if it’s not required, you can still get a permit to build a shed, and in most cases, this is the wisest choice. It can save your bacon in the long run. For example, having a building permit could alleviate potential insurance problems if there was ever a need for a claim. So, even if it’s simply for liabilities sake, the small cost of getting a permit could pay off bigtime long term.


Featured Image Credit: Castleski, Shutterstock

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