Do I Need a Permit to Build a Shed?

Do I Need a Permit to Build a Shed
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There are a variety of reasons why you might choose to build your own shed instead of buying a premade one, or a shed kit. For one, if you build your own shed, you can build one to suit your needs to a “T.”

This allows you to totally customize every last aspect of the shed, from the size and height, to the roof and the walls, and everything in between. There’s also the fact that building your own shed is usually much more cost-effective than simply buying one. Let’s not forget that any DIY project like this also brings you a great sense of accomplishment when you finish.

That being said, you may be faced with some rules and restrictions when it comes to building a shed on your property. For an average and basic storage shed, for a small one, you probably won’t need any kind of permit or inspections at all. However, there are a variety of factors to consider. So, do I need to a permit to build a shed? Let’s tackle this issue.

Factors That Will Determine Whether or Not You Need a Permit 

Before we even get into talking about the factors which will determine whether or not you need a permit to build a shed, what you need to know is that this is all going to depend on your location. Some cities and towns are far stricter than others when it comes to rules and regulations surrounding the building of a shed.

We can provide you with a rough guide as to whether or not a permit is required for you shed, but at the end of the day, it’s all going to come down to specific local laws and regulations. Therefore, before you get started with building your shed, always check your local building regulations in this regard. At any rate, let’s take a look at the variety of factors which will decide whether or not a permit is required.


One of the biggest deciding factors here is going to be the size of the shed. In most places, if you just want to build a small and basic storage shed, like a 6’ x 8’ or 8’ x 10’ foot shed, you should not be required to get a permit to do so.

However, in many places, if your shed is going to exceed 12’ x 12’, chances are fairly high that you will need a permit. Once again, this will depend on exactly where you reside. Related to this, keep in mind that depending on the size of your shed, a large one may require you to use some sort of special foundation to ensure a high level of safety.

Do I Need a Permit to Build a Shed?


The next factor which can influence whether or not you need a permit to build your shed, and in fact whether you can build a shed at all, has to do with the placement of the shed. Some cities and towns, depending on their laws, may not allow you to build a shed within a certain distance of a fence, sidewalk, or property lines, or to the home (you may require a special permit if you wish to do so).

It is key that you do some research in this regard, because if you build a shed too close to a sidewalk, which the law prohibits, you might have to tear it down.

The Intended Use

Another important factor which will determine whether or not you require a permit to build you shed is what the intended use of the shed is. If you just want to build a small shed to store some garden supplies and similar things, you probably won’t need a permit.

However, if you plan on using it for more than that, such as for living, conducting business, or anything else of the sort, you may very well need a permit.


One of the factors which will most likely lead you to requiring a permit for your shed is electricity. If you plan on wiring your shed for light and other power needs, chances are almost 100% that you will need a permit.

Homeowner’s Associations

Yes, homeowner’s associations are pesky entities that dictate many facets of life if you live in neighborhood regulated by one. Homeowner’s associations can have their own rules and regulations surrounding this sort of thing, so be sure to check with them first.


The bottom line is that if you just want to build a small and basic shed for storage, one without power, you most likely won’t need any sort of permit. That said, it is always better to check first before you get started.