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Do I Need a Permit for My Pre-built Shed?

by Dakota Storage Buildings, on February 16, 2023

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Often, you cannot purchase a shed and have it delivered to your property without a permit. Many people need to remember that cities and Homeowners Associations have regulations about backyard sheds, and you can be fined if they are not followed. Do not play guessing games when it comes to building permits. Instead, it should be one of the first things you look into in the shed buying process. If you are considering purchasing a pre-built storage shed, we have all the information you need to do so properly and legally. Keep reading our pre-built storage sheds permit checklist below. 

Check City Ordinances

You cannot assume that you do or do not need a permit for pre-built sheds. Each city has its own set of zoning laws and restrictions that must be followed. Contacting your local government can provide insight into their specific requirements and next steps to obtain a permit if one is necessary. Your city hall or websites will have all of the information you need. 

How To Get a Permit

Obtaining a shed permit is a little more complicated than you would expect. However, it does not have to be overwhelming. Before you officially purchase a shed, choose one you like and map out a plan of your lot. When you apply for a permit, they will want to see the dimensions of your lot and the shed. Having a layout of your property can be beneficial and help the reviewer visualize your plan. You will need to note the distance between structures and property lines and the locations of drainage and sewer. 

Additionally, having a detailed outline of how the shed will be installed is essential. When a shed is delivered, it must be installed over a foundation. Knowing which kind of foundation you will use and its dimensions is important information to note on your permit application. With the foundation plans, you will also want to give a detailed description of the shed. If there is electrical wiring or plumbing, point out where that will be. Create a floor plan that notes walls, beams, and doors. 

The last thing to add to your permit application is a financial breakdown. List what your lot is currently worth and any shed costs. This includes the price of the shed, foundation, and labor. Once that is done, calculate the estimated value of the lot once the shed has been installed. This detailed application may seem overkill, but it is essential for a smooth application process. 

A small application fee will be required when you apply for a permit. This is typically anywhere from $50 to $145. These fees are decided based on the square foot or construction value. Sometimes, they are standard flat rates. Once you have submitted the application and paid the fee, an inspector may schedule a time to come out to your property to examine it in person. Be sure you are ready for any questions and have a backup copy of your application information. This will help the inspection go by quickly and efficiently. 

What If I Don’t Get a Permit?

Local ordinances are enforceable laws, and if you break them by purchasing and installing a shed without a permit, you can be fined. The specific city determines the fine. It can range from a couple of hundred dollars to a couple of thousand. Some cities may even force you to spend time in jail

The city may put a lien on your home if the situation escalates. Let’s say that the city tried to contact you about a permitless shed, and you accidentally or purposefully did not take the necessary actions. They can implement consequences by owning a part of your property through a lien. Typically, you can pay a specific amount and regain property ownership. However, going through the hassle of applying for a permit and paying the application fee may be frustrating, but it will save you money and time in the long run. 

When Do You Need One?

Once again, when you should obtain a permit may vary based on your city. Some cities require a permit before purchasing the shed. However, a good rule of thumb is always to get a permit before you purchase the shed. Not before it is delivered or after it is installed. This is a foolproof way to ensure that you do not run into any hiccups with your permit application and face charges for having already purchased the shed. 

Small Sheds May Follow Different Rules

Many cities do not typically regulate small sheds smaller than 8 by 8 feet. These can be installed without a formal permit, and you may not need to inform your local government about your purchase. However, keep in mind that this is not true across the board. Some cities may differ on this rule and require a permit regardless of a shed’s size. This is why you must contact your local city hall to ensure you are doing everything by the book. 

Homeowners Association Regulations

Homeowners associations (HOA) can determine the color of materials, fencing, landscaping, visitor parking, and any additions to your property. If you are under an HOA, they can give you additional fines that are separate from the city if your shed placement is on your property without their approval. It must meet their specific HOA requirements. Checking with your HOA supervisor or president before you install pre-built sheds can prevent headaches from dealing with your HOA. 

Obtaining the proper permits can streamline your shed buying experience. Following all of the rules and regulations about purchasing pre-built storage sheds, you can enjoy yours worry-free once it arrives. 

Take the First Step in the Shed Buying Process

Obtaining a permit requires a lot of specific information about the shed you want to buy. Before beginning that process, you must browse sheds and find one that fits your needs. Are you ready to begin looking for your outdoor shed? Check out our pre-built sheds so you can get a head start on planning and outlining your permit application!

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