How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
site-built, mobile/manufactured and modular homes
Do I need a building permit for a backyard shed?
Friday, August 10, 2018
Regulations vary according to local ordinances. Many jurisdictions require a building permit for any shed, no matter what the size, and prefab kits are not exempt. However, it is worthwhile to check with your local building department first. In the City of Gainesville, Florida, for example, a prefab kit shed of less than 100 square feet that is constructed within the property setbacks does not require a building permit.
If you live in a neighborhood with a Home Owner’s Association (HOA), there may be additional restrictions to comply with. But, whether you obtain a building permit or not, it’s important to build your shed on a sturdy foundation, either a wood platform or concrete slab. Many shed kits come with floor panels that look like they might be sufficient, but they do not provide an adequate tie-down or stability from minor soil movement beneath the shed. Also, it is difficult to square and level a kit shed to get the components to fit together correctly when it is built directly on the ground.
Also, see our blog post What are the most common problems when a homeowner encloses a porch without a building permit?
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