• Jeremy Horning

Shed Building Permits & Regulations in Los Angeles

Sheds are usually considered as extra storage in so many homes. Some property owners tend to erect a shed in their building to increase its resell value, and others just for aesthetic benefits.

Regardless of why you need a shed, you must be certain if the state laws permit it or not. You may be wondering why you need permits for sheds, after all, it's your property. However, these laws are put in place because some sheds require plumbing and electrical installations.

What is a shed building permit?

A shed building permit is a document that gives you the right to a building project. In some states, you can't erect a shed without building permits.

It's most likely you'll need a permit for your storage sheds, so make sure all you are in line with the current building code requirements.

Do you need a building permit for a shed in Los Angeles, CA?

The City of Los Angeles has certain width and height requirements when it comes to shed permits. For instance, if your shed is smaller than 120 square feet, then you most definitely do not need a shed permit.

But that's not all, this rule only applies if there is no electrical equipment to be installed or plumbing work to be done. In most cases, you might need a different type of permit, like an electrical permit.

However, according to the City of Los Angeles residential requirement, if the shed you plan to build is more than 120 square feet, and needs electrical and plumbing work, then a building permit is required before you can proceed.

There are certain instances when you need a shed permit to build even on rental properties. Some include;

  • If the shed is more than 12 feet in height

  • If you need to do plumbing or electrical installation

  • When the height of fences is more than 24 inches

  • If you are installing a mechanical equipment

  • If the region you live in has specific zonal permit requirements that make shed permits compulsory

  • If the floor space is larger than 120 sq. ft

How to Get a Shed Permit in Los Angeles?

Building requirements in the City of Los Angeles is a walk in the park, if you can follow through with the building rules, you'll get your permit in less than an hour.

There are two major types of permit you might need before you commence on your building plans; the counter plan check and express permit.

Let's look at where you can get these permits in the City of Los Angeles;

Building and Safety District Office

Getting a shed permit in Los Angeles is easy. Building permit applications can be obtained from the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works Building and Safety Division.

There are separate permits for whatever different reasons you have for getting a permit.

For instance, if you need a shed permit because you intend to build a shed that exceeds the maximum size of 120 sq. ft or maximum roof projection of 24 inches, then you'll need to apply for the "counter plan check."

This type of permit takes about 45-60 minutes to be reviewed, and if everything checks, you'll be permitted to start the type of construction you intend to. You can get this permit at Van Nuys offices, Metro, and West LA.

Apply Online

If your shed requires mechanical or electrical installation, then you'll need to apply for the "express permit". The best part about the express entry permit is that you can apply for it online, in the comfort of your home, and it's a 15-30 minute process.

How much does a shed building permit cost in Los Angeles?

The average cost for a building permit in Los Angeles is $1200, but this can change depending on the property in question. It can cost anywhere from $40 to $2000, including the fee for the building inspector.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Shed Building Permit in Los Angeles?

Typically, a building permit in the City of Los Angeles takes about two weeks to get approved; however, shed permits are different.

If you are applying for a counter plan check permit for your shed, it takes 45-60 minutes to get reviewed and approved.

Can You Build a Shed Without Planning Permission?

Usually, you do not need planning permission to build a shed on your property, but there'll always be a few exceptions.

Certain states require shed permits regardless of how small or large it is.

What size shed can you build without a permit in Los Angeles?

In the City of Los Angeles, if your shed size is more than 120 sq. ft, then you'll need a shed permit. If it exceeds, 12 feet in height, you'll also need a permit. Plus, if you need to do electrical work, then an electrical permit will be required.

So, if you want to build a shed without a permit, you need to stay within the requirements listed; that's a shed smaller than 120 sq. ft (11 square meters) without electrical and plumbing installation, and a lesser roof projection than 24 inches.

How tall can my shed be?

Your shed can be as tall as you need it to be, but when it exceeds 12 ft in height, you'll attract building permit fees. So, make sure you communicate with your real estate agent on this.

What happens if you build a shed without a permit in Los Angeles?

If you go ahead to build your shed without permits, it can result in the removal of the shed

  • You might attract penalties and fines

  • A lien can be placed on your property

More zoning rules

There are other zoning rules in L.A. city that you might need to watch out for;


The City of Los Angeles has practices setbacks from property lines. There must be a rear yard setback of 15ft, a side yard setback of 5ft and a front yard setback of 15-25 ft. This means that no building can be erected between the property line and setbacks.


You can decide to build your shed on easements, but if you value your peace of mind, that might not be the best option. That's because the dominant owner of the easement may need access to it.


Starting your shed building plans without a shed permit will result in penalties, and you should avoid that.

As one of the most trusted shed building contractors in Los Angeles, 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. How close to the property line can I build a shed in Los Angeles County?

There needs to be enough space between you and your next neighbor. So, your shed shouldn't be built within 15 ft from a side property line and 10 ft from a rear property line.

2. What's the biggest shed I can build without a permit in LA and California?

The biggest shed you can build without a permit in the City of Los Angeles is 120 feet square.

3. Does a shed increase property tax in Los Angeles?

Yes, they might affect property tax, but they do not add any substantial financial value.

4. How long do building permits last in Los Angeles?

If work doesn't commence after 180 days of getting a permit, the permit becomes null.

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