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  • Jeremy Horning

Shed Building Permits and Regulations in Charlotte NC

Updated: Dec 7, 2022

Garden sheds are beautiful and aesthetically pleasing to the eyes, it's no wonder most homeowners want one on their property.

With the fines that come with disobeying laws, citizens are becoming more concerned and wary about acts that'll get them in trouble, building sheds being one of them.

Ideally, there should be code requirements and zoning permits applicable to individuals that want to build sheds in a state. However, not every country requires you to have a permit before erecting sheds on a residential property.

It's very important to find out if you need to go through any permitting process before building a shed. For some states, there are also additional requirements attached to shed permits, so be sure to check that as well.

What is a Shed Building Permit?

A shed building permit is more like an authorization you get from the state authorities to build a shed on your property. Usually, before the complete application for a shed permit, you need to be certain that all the shed plans are in place already, because you'll be required to submit them.

However, the need for a shed building permit will vary depending on what you intend to use your shed for, and the size of shed you want to build.

Do you need a building permit for a shed in Charlotte, NC?

Depending on the structural requirements of your storage sheds, you may or may not need any building permit when erecting your shed.

Let's look at the instances where shed permits are required;

  • If your detached shed is 120 sq. ft or less than that, you do not need a shed permit. However, you are still required to get a zoning review, but this does not involve you sending your shed floor plans.

  • Sheds with more than 120 sq. ft require building permits. Also, before you are eligible for a shed permit, you'll need to have done a zoning review and building plans review.

  • When your shed is plastic or rubber, and also less than 68 sq. ft, you'll get an exception permit. But there's a catch; these rubber sheds must comply with the zoning codes and setback requirements. If the shed is in a position where it's in danger of storms, then it needs to be moved to a more secure place.

How to Get a Shed Permit in Charlotte?

As a property owner, getting a shed permit before you start your construction project in Charlotte is important; although it might be a hassle, it's still a necessity.

Here's a detailed rundown of what shed permit applications are;

1. Submitting Documents

You'll first begin with the application for a construction permit, which is usually a 1-page form, and you'll have to attach one original and copy. Proceed to submit two copies of your shed plan.

There's a document called the "owner-builder disclosure statement", and it's necessary if you intend to build your shed by yourself. This document will be filled and signed by you, plus not that you cannot lease out your property for one year after you have completed the shed permit requirements. And you'll have to submit one original.

You'll need to submit a tree permit application (1 original and 1 copy) if you intend on clearing out trees in your yard. Also, 1 original and 1 copy of the "no tree removal affidavit for improvements" will be submitted too, that's if you have no plans of removing any tree.

An affidavit for the accessory structure will be submitted, and lastly, drawings/plans/ engineering for both DCA-approved and non-approved sheds will be put in the application (2 copies)

2. Required Form for Prior Inspection

A copy of the notice of commencement is needed, and it has to be tendered before the first inspection is made.

3. Required Form for Final Inspection

A certificate from a professional and registered surveyor will be required for sheds that are over 250 square footage and are located in hazard areas. This form has to be approved before final inspections can be carried out by the building department.

How much does a shed building permit cost in Charlotte?

Remember that permit charges may vary in different zoning districts because every zone has its additional charge for any accessory building.

However, for shed permits in Charlotte, you'll be charged in two stages;

Application submittal - $94

Permit Issuance - $112

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

Different factors can influence the time duration of your permit process and issuance. Sometimes it can take up to 2 weeks, and other times, you can get instant online permits in a day.

If your shed is close to septic lines, the Health Department in your local area might need to step in for more detailed observation. The plan is to make sure that even if your shed is located in a residential district, it doesn't affect the people around it.

Can You Build a Shed Without Planning Permission?

If your shed isn't above the maximum height set by the state in the building code, then you'll most likely not need planning permission.

For any rubber shed that isn't a permanent structure, you don't need to be a permit holder to have that on your property.

What size shed can you build without a permit in Charlotte?

The biggest size of shed you can build without a permit is 120 square feet in floor area. The essence of this permit is to make sure it isn't close to any rear property lines or adjacent property lines.

How tall can my shed be?

If your storage shed has a maximum fence height greater than 12 feet in height, you need to obtain a building permit before proceeding. You can build a shed as high as 15 feet, but be sure that it's at least 10 feet away from any property line subject, both sides and rear.

What happens if you build a shed without a permit in Charlotte?

Sheds are considered storage buildings, and hence you'll need permits as they are residential projects.

There are certain consequences you'll incur when you build a shed without a permit, especially if it's more than the state's code limitations.

  • When you don't get a permit, you'll likely be fined by the planning and zoning department

  • Failure to obtain a permit can result in the demolition of your shed

  • You might incur additional costs to comply with applicable codes

More zoning rules

When it comes to the application process for a shed permit, you'll be surprised at how little things can cause you to get in trouble with the law. Other zoning rules to look out for include;


Typically, rear setbacks are determined by the zoning jurisdiction and planning division. In Charlotte, your shed or accessory dwelling unit must be at least 3 feet away from adjacent and rear property lines. You can do a quick scan through your plot plan to be sure your shed won't be positioned too close to any utility building or outdoor buildings.


You cannot build permanent sheds on easements even if you are the sole property owner. Yes, you'll retain full ownership of your property, but you'll be fined by the building inspections department if you disregard this requirement.


Sheds create additional functionality, especially if you want to use them for more than just storing tools. Naturally, yard structures that have wirings, electricity, and air conditioning units require permits, so why should your shed be any different?

If you are looking to build a shed without all of these features, then it's best to comply with the zoning codes and build sheds that don't need a planning permit.

You're not alone if you are uncertain about what type and size of shed you need, and that's why Urban shed is your best option.

At Urban Sheds Charlotte, we work with your preference and budget to make sure you get the shed of your dream at an affordable price.


1. How close to the property line can I build a shed in Charlotte County?

You can place your shed in the rear yard, but it must be at least 3 feet away from property lines. If it's above 15 feet in height, it should be at least 10 feet away from property lines.

2. What's the biggest shed I can build without a permit in Charlotte, NC?

120 square feet, although you may need a zoning permit.

3. Does a shed increase property tax in Charlotte?

Sheds are not taxable, and shouldn't have any effect on property tax.

4. How long do building permits last in Charlotte?

Your shed permit is valid for 6 months.

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