Building a shed in the backyard is becoming a popular practice among homeowners. A shed is a very functional structure that could be used for different purposes, such as for storage of garden tools and supplies, a small getaway when the house becomes too crowded and noisy, or simply a great do-it-yourself construction opportunity to boost your skills and experience.
With the advent of online tutorials and plans, more and more people are turning to DIY projects instead of hiring jobs out. There are several things to consider before one orders a shed plan and proceeds with buying construction materials, however. You should first check with the appropriate city government department to see if there is a need for a building permit. Most cities do not require permits for shed construction as long as certain criteria are met. These basic requirements may include the following:
- The total footprint, or area, of the roof of the shed should not be more than a certain measurement, which in many cities equals 120 square feet.
- The shed must be a single-story building.
- The shed must sit on the soil, a pier, or a concrete block.
- The shed must not be attached to the house.
- The shed must not be located on or near an environmentally critical area, such as a wetland or steep slope.
If the shed does not meet the city’s standard shed criteria, you may need to get a permit before commencing construction. Along with the permit, you will probably need to schedule an inspection from the city government to get approval for your project.
Whether your city requires a permit for shed construction or not, you will need to apply for new service or a service change before installing electrical lines to the shed. Your construction must comply with city codes, such as electrical and building codes. It must meet the government requirements for land use, grading, storm water, and environmentally critical areas codes.