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How to Get a Building Permit for a Shed

Getting a storage shed for your backyard can be exciting. It’s like buying a small house, only most people do not live in a shed. Even though a shed may only take up 300 to 700 cubic feet of space, many areas require a building permit prior to the installation. Not all areas require a building permit, however you need to read this article in case your area requires a building permit for sheds.

building permit for a shedIn most areas installing an 8×8 or 6×8 shed would meet most building code requirements. However, installing larger sheds may challenge local zoning restrictions. Before we go on, it’s important to contact your local building inspector to see if your storage building is up to code. It is up to the homeowner to obtain a building permit prior to installation! Each county has different building codes so it is crucial for you to make sure you get accurate information. If a shed is installed on your property and is then found to be in violation of local building codes, it will have to be removed which can be an unnecessary additional cost.

Will My Shed Meet the Building Code Requirements to Obtain a Permit?

As previously mentioned, each counties building codes varies. Here are a few aspects you need to be aware of that may determine whether your shed will meet the building requirements for your area.

Most Common Zoning Restrictions:

1. Electricity: Many areas place restrictions on adding electrical wiring inside a shed.

2. Size: Many areas restrict larger sized buildings.

3. Extreme Weather: Some areas that experience frequent hurricanes and tornadoes will require all storage buildings to be anchored to the ground to withstand heavy winds. In addition, areas below freezing point will require specific methods for building foundations.

4. Placement: Many areas will only allow sheds to be installed in backyards. In addition some areas mandate that sheds cannot occupy more than 20% of the backyard area.

5. Purpose: Some areas may restrict the amount of “stories” inside a shed. Sheds should have a principle use. For example, if you plan on doing business or using your shed as a workplace, you will need to let your building inspector know.

6. Attachments: Many areas may restrict whether storage buildings are attached to homes.

foundations for building codes7. Type of Foundation: Some areas will restrict the type of foundation used.

8. Away from fences and other objects: Some areas will require sheds to be a certain distance from objects such as fences, trees, property lines and pools.

How to Get a Building Permit for My Shed

Building permits are required by our shed installers. Make sure your building permit is up to date. To avoid wasting time and money, call your county or city building codes department to get a building permit for your shed.

building codes to install sheds

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  1. nancy says:

    I’m interested in 8×10 solar building.I live in Houston within harris county.Would it be possible if the store locator in Houston can check about building permit for this size of the shed.

    • bdeitsch says:

      Hi Nancy,

      That is a great question. Building codes can vary from neighborhood to neighborhood. For instance, a 10×16 building might meet building code requirements in a town, but no more than 5 miles down the road, it may not meet the requirements. It is in your best interest to contact the local building inspector directly. The Harris County Building permit Office in Houston, Texas should be able to help you. Click here to visit the site. Please let me know if there is anything else I can help you with.

      Online Customer Service

  2. sofia reyes says:

    I l live in new york Queens county Ozone Park I already order a Shed size 10X12 it’s going to be installed August 21sth Do I need a permit for this size?

    • bdeitsch says:

      Good Morning Sofia,

      Thank you for visiting our blog. I apologize for getting back to you so late. Our corporate office is located in Monroe, Michigan, so I am not familiar with your building codes. Building permits can vary for every county. I would suggest reaching out to your local building inspector to determine what type of permit you might need. If you have any other questions, feel free to give us a call. Have a great day!


      Brennan Deitsch
      Online Marketing Manager

  3. Joan Lockwood says:

    I am considering having Sears build a shed 10×12 in the back of the house which is all open. Do I need to have a permit? I sure hope not. Please respond.

    • bdeitsch says:

      Good Afternoon Joan,

      I am out of Monroe, Michigan and every counties building codes/restrictions vary, so I do not know if you would need a permit for sure. I would give your local building inspector a call to verify this. I am sorry I can not give you a definite answer. I would try Googling “building codes in [insert your city]”. From there you can email or call someone at the office. Have a great day!

      Brennan Deitsch
      Online Marketing Manager

      Brennan Deitsch

  4. Bob says:

    I want to build a,20 x 20 shed / garage in my back yard. Dies anybody know if you need a permit in tracy california. It will be on a slab. Thanks

  5. Reggie says:

    I live in San Diego and I’m at a loss trying to understand all the different sections of San Diego’s permit requirement for building a 10X12 shed in m backyard. I have measured my area and gave 3′ of space between the fence. My issue is that I went to several businesses tha advertise sheds and their reply is that “we can sell you the shed” but, the permit is on you. If they were to make plans that I have already made they will charge over $1000 plus $800 to apply for the permit. I don’t want to do this but, it is easier to have it built by the seller and wait for the city to find out… If you know someone that has performed the process of obtaining a permit, no matter what city I would like to know. I would tailor their process to fit mine. I just need a laymans process so that I could understand.

  6. KURT MARTIN says:


    • Brennan says:

      Good Afternoon Kurt,

      I would suggest reading reviews of customers that have had a metal shed for a few years. I would also share the sheds specifications with people who understand architecture. We manufacture wooden sheds, so I can’t offer you a lot of information on this topic. Feel free to give us a call at 855.853.8558 if you have other questions about your shed. I wish you best of luck in your search for the perfect shed.

      Brennan Deitsch
      Online Marketing Manager

  7. George a Nelson says:

    Would like to build 10×20 foot shed on our lake property in mahtowa, Carlton county

    • bdeitsch says:

      Good Morning George,

      Thank you for visiting our blog. Each county’s building code varies for sheds. Please check with your local building inspector and or HOA to see if there are any special requirements in your area. If you have any other questions, feel free to give us a call at 855.853.8558. Have a great day!


      Brennan Deitsch
      Online Marketing Manager

  8. SMM says:

    We started building a shed, the floor is pretty much done. It’s not a slab of concrete, but on block.we decided to go W12″xL14″. Should we obtain a permit? And if so how much would it cost? We live in Dartmouth, Mass

    • bdeitsch says:

      Good Morning SMM,

      We always recommend contacting your local building inspector/HOA to before you begin to build your shed and foundation. It might save you time and money in the long run. Good luck!

      Brennan Deitsch
      Online Marketing Manager
      Backyard Buildings and More

  9. Pingback: Building A Backyard Shed |

  10. Pingback: Building A Shed Codes |

  11. Brennan says:

    I am building an 8×10 shed in my backyard. I have 2 acres of property. The shed will not have electricity. The floor is already up. Should I really attempt to obtain a permit? I’m not really in the best place money wise, does it cost money for a permit? What are the requirements to get a permit? Does someone have to see the area, do they have to know the plans for using it?

    • bdeitsch says:

      Good Morning Brennan,

      The costs for obtaining a permit can vary for each region, so I can’t really tell you for sure. I would try calling your local building inspector and basically tell them you building a 8×10 shed and they might be able to tell you yes or no right over the phone. I hope that helps a little.
      Thanks for visiting our blog.


      Brennan Deitsch
      Online Marketing Manager
      Backyard Buildings and More

  12. Julio says:

    Hello I live in spring tx I want to build a shed. If I want to build it my self what should I have when I go get a permit.

    • bdeitsch says:

      Good Morning Julio,

      Well, I am working from our corporate office in Monroe, Michigan and the requirements for obtaining a permit varies by each county. Our blog summarizes the general things to know to obtain a permit. Hopefully, that can get you started. I would suggest giving your local building inspector a call. They should be able to help you out!

      Have a great day!

      Brennan Deitsch
      Online Marketing Manager
      Backyard Buildings and More

  13. mike schneidewent says:

    Can I put up a 10×20 metel arrow brand shed in. Pewaukee Wisconsin. It’s a kit shed all painted metel wood floor laying on the grass

    • bdeitsch says:

      Good Morning Mike,

      Unfortunately we are located in Monroe, Michigan and are not familiar with the build permit codes/restrictions. Each county’s building codes are different. I would suggest contacting your local building inspector or HOA. Have a great day!

  14. billy says:

    Why is it so difficult to read not even half the article that tells you geniuses to contact your local building inspector for the answers to your specific questions.

  15. Brent Tingley says:

    Here is a good question. Is there really restrictions on how many sheds you can own? I want to buy 2 of them and my code inspector is questioning us because we are only allowed to have 1, though we already have 3 and taking down 1 soon. I live in a small town.

    • bdeitsch says:

      Good Morning Brent,

      Well that is interesting that you already have three sheds and they only allow one shed. Every county has different building restrictions, so I cannot comment on your counties shed restrictions. Good luck!

  16. chris says:

    can anyone tell me if i buy a lot can i put a big shed on to live in??????????

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