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  • Jeremy Horning

SHED PLANNING 101: HOW TO NAVIGATE TOWN REGULATIONS, PERMITS AND ZONING REQUIREMENTS

Updated: Dec 12, 2022

Whether you’re looking for more storage, a new workspace or anything in between, a shed or outdoor structure can be the perfect addition to your property. Unfortunately, in most cases you can’t simply commission the project and start building right away—you’ll likely need to navigate your way through some local town or zoning regulations first. These regulations are very localized and vary by city/town, region or state—so it’s important to understand exactly what rules and requirements apply to you. If you don’t do the proper research beforehand, you might face some steep fines or penalties down the line; you might even end up having to relocate or modify your new shed if it doesn’t meet the right specifications.


When Will I Need a Permit?

Shed building permit

Here’s a look at some common factors that can impact whether you’ll need a permit before building a shed: Shed Size and Location - in most places, you’ll need a permit if your shed will exceed a certain size or height. This information may be published online, and is also likely available from your local town or city hall. It’s a good idea to get this information before you start designing your new shed to ensure you’ll be able to complete the build exactly the way you’d like. In addition to the size itself, the location or placement of your shed can also play a role in the permit and approval process. Whether this will matter might be dictated by the location of your property, proximity to other structures or other concerns. Pro Tip: Depending on the project, you may find that your local municipality will require either a building or zoning permit (or both!) before you can begin. Take the time to understand exactly what’s required and make sure you’re able to obtain it before construction starts. Set Back Requirements - There are often restrictions regarding the amount of required distance between your shed and your property line, your home or any other nearby or adjacent structures. Make sure to learn what these requirements are for your property and stick to them when deciding where to place your new shed. Building Code Standards - Different locations can have very different building code requirements. An area that regularly suffers from heavy rainfall and flooding, for instance, will require a different build than a property that’s warm and sunny year-round. Part of the permit process will involve ensuring your new shed will be built to last and won’t be at risk of significant damage due to improper construction or materials. Electrical and Other Modifications - Any type of wiring, electricity or other utility-based modification will often require a permit and some additional approval. Depending on what you’re hoping to build or run inside of your new shed, you’ll want to do some research here to understand how it will impact the permit process.

Applying For Your Permit(s)


Once you’ve reviewed the information above and have planned out your new dream shed, it’s time to get in touch with the appropriate local office(s) to apply for any relevant permits! In order to request a permit and receive approval, you’ll likely need to include some relevant information and documentation as part of the submission process.


This can include building plans and architectural drawings, information about the builder or contractor who’s completing the work, and other items. Make sure you have any of these required documents available when completing a permit application.

Working with Urban Sheds

Working with Urban Sheds

At Urban Sheds, we put our clients in total control of the shed-design process—and we’ll work with you to understand and navigate any of the unique zoning, building and regulatory requirements in your location. Our local craftsmen and builders are experts in both their field and in the local communities we serve. Our team has the experience and knowledge needed to build your dream shed and ensure it adheres to any and all requirements in your town or city. Looking for more information about shed-building requirements, considerations and best practices? Download the Urban Sheds Buyer’s Guide or check our shed buying guide article today!


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