• Jeremy Horning

Shed Regulations in Atlanta and Georgia

Starting your shed project can be a really exciting task. Sheds are sometimes just accessory structures, other times they are erected because as storage buildings because of the additional space it brings.

However, you need to be sure of the building codes in your state before building your shed, so you're not at risk of getting fined by the state authorities.

What is a shed building permit?

A shed permit is a document that permits you or your contractor to legally proceed with an accessory building. Property owners usually need to do building permit applications if they intend to erect sheds in their backyard.

Not all sheds require permits, there are certain special exceptions depending on location and structure of shed as well.

Do you need a permit to build a shed in Atlanta, GA?

You don't necessary need to go through the building permit application process if the shed you intend to build is less than 120 square footage.

Also, when you are building a one story shed, you don't need a building permit. However, anything larger than that and more than 120 feet of floor area will require a shed permit.

What size shed can I build without a permit in Georgia?

If you decide to build a shed without a permit, then you have to follow the building spacing requirements. The minimum yard requirement for a shed without a permit is less than 120 sq. ft, and height limitations is set at one story.

Exceeding the maximum height or spacing requirement means you'll need to apply for a permit.

What Factors Determine if You Need a Permit?

Not all sheds in residential structures attract a permit fee, and depending on what you want to do, you might not need one. Let's go over a few additional requirements that'll give you insight into whether you need a permit or not.


As we stated earlier, if the floor area of your shed is more than 120 sq. ft, then you'll need a permit. However, anything lesser than that doesn't require it, so make your choice wisely.

If you are unsure of your shed plan review, you can always ask a professional contractor of your specific floor area ratio.

Intended Purpose

Some homeowners use sheds as residential structures, and if that's the case with you, then you'll most likely be subjected to getting a permit.

If you need to use your shed for a business, then contact the local zoning department before initial development starts.

Electricity and Wiring

As with commercial properties, doing electricity works like solar panels for your shed will require you to get a permit before starting.


There are city limits for each city, and it varies. In Atlanta, there's a specific street space that needs to be adhered to when building a shed. If your shed goes beyond that, then you'll need a permit.

There are certain landmark buildings you can't build your shed close to, also you might not be able to erect your shed to a property line depending on the mandate of the state. As a matter of fact, in some states, you cannot erect your shed in a public space, except in your rear yard.

Severe weather

In case you are staying in a place with frequent heavy winds, you'll need to erect a shed with a solid foundation. To do this, you might need to contact the building department to provide you with information on how to go about shed foundations.

And, usually when this happens, you might need residential development permits. If you are unsure, contact the building office and the bureau of planning shall get in touch.

Homeowners Association (HOA)

Some historic districts don't approve outdoor or commercial buildings in their area, and you might need to get a permit to build your shed there.

They usually have specific feet in height and construction plan that you might need to follow, and an alternative design might not be approved. In that case, you might need a design professional to help you with an accurate site plan.

Foundation type

Some foundation types might require special use permits before it can be developed. Most times your shed's feet in height shall determine the type of foundation to be used.

For instance, if your shed is more than one story, you can use a concrete slab foundation. However, you need to get information from the Atlanta city hall on the preferred foundation type.

How To Get a Shed Permit in Atlanta, GA?

Permit requirements are different, and the permit process for every residential project including sheds are different.

The type of permit you'll need depends on what you intend on building. There's the plumbing permits, electrical permits, roofing permits, and other special permits.

In general, if you want to go through the building permit process for your shed, you'll need to follow the listed steps;

  • Make proper research on where your building is located, as some additional permits might be needed before requesting for a building permit.

  • Submit your application. There are different ways to do this, just pick the one that applies to you.

  • The DCF staff will check your submitted application, and notify you if you meet the code requirements. And if you didn't, you'll be instructed on the next step. After you have been cleared, you'll make payment.

  • Zoning review will be done to make sure you meet all zoning codes.

  • After zoning review has been signed off, DCF staff will transfer the application to other agencies to review, such as the Site Development or Building and Arborist reviewers.

  • The submitted application will be reviewed in accordance to code compliance, and this can take anywhere from 10 days to 2 weeks.

  • After reviewing has been done, you'll be notified via mail on the total building permit fees you'll need to pay for building a shed. You can then proceed to make this payment online.

  • Your permit will be issued and uploaded to the permitting portal. It's advisable to download it, so you can have hard copies.

How much is a building permit in Atlanta?

The building permit in Atlanta is $7 per $1000 of the cost of construction.

How long does it take to get a building permit in Georgia?

You can get this permit in 10 days to 2 weeks after application. In some cases, you'll be required to make certain revisions and adjustments before the final sign-off is issued.


Building sheds is like most commercial projects, and in Atlanta, you'll need a permit before proceeding with construction projects.

To ensure you aren't hassled by the authorities while in the process of erecting a shed, you need to adhere to Atlanta city code and requirements. So it's important to have your shed inspected and approved before you start building.

As one of the most trusted shed building contractors in Atlanta, you won't have to worry about getting penalties when working with Urban Sheds. All sheds built are in line with the zonal requirements. Plus, you get to have sheds of different styles and sizes that suit your preference and needs.


1. What happens if you build a shed without a permit Georgia?

If your shed required building permit in advance of construction, and you fail to get one, a lien might be placed on your property. Also, you'll have to pay a fine as well and your shed will be removed.

2. How close to the property line can I build a shed in Georgia?

Your shed should be placed 5 to 10 feet away from any property line or commercial structure.

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