How Far Does Your Shed Have to Be from Your Fence?

Shed beside a Fence

If you wish to construct a shed in your backyard, right beside your fence, you are making a good decision. As optional house installations, sheds are pulling their way into the real estate market. The best part is, building a shed will not cause you any trouble if you follow the right steps.

You normally cannot build a shed within 10 feet of your property line, and 15 feet from the side of your property line. Indeed, there should be enough space between your shed and your neighbor’s yard. If there are any confusing parts, go through your permit, check up on your HOA, or get in contact with your municipality.

There is a common misunderstanding according to which you only need a building permit for sheds larger than 100 square feet. This is not, in any way, true. You are indeed entitled to apply for a building permit regardless of the size of your shed. Other applicable restrictions on the permit could be based on the color and placement of the shed.


How Far Does Your Shed Have to Be from Your Fence?

For instance, it is required in the U.S. that a storage facility that lacks power and water be at least a minimum of 40 feet from any other building. This might have been ordered by an insurance company or the municipality. Normally, it seems to be a safe distance, especially if flammable chemicals are being stored in the shed, such as propane tanks, lawn chemicals, and fuel.

Go through your permit and check the state restrictions. If there are no restrictions applied, here are two main things to consider before building your shed: Can all the doors of the shed fully open? Will your neighbors mind the close range?

You also must ensure that your building is not set up right on top of buried power lines and other utilities.

Owning a shed is gradually becoming popular for people who look for having the independence of living on their own, without the burden of finance. They are particularly great for fresh college graduates or people who need to get back on track. The nice thing about building a shed is that it’s easy to obtain a building permit in most cities. Besides, construction timing is minimal, mostly rising under 24 hours.

Can a shed can be turned into a tiny house?

The answer is yes, you can turn a shed into a tiny house. For most people, a house is not a home without a front porch. Luckily, with the right construction company, a shed can be upgraded into a small version of a million-dollar mansion. For instance, you can build customized porches, windows, and doors. A standard shed will be large enough to contain a single bed, small table, television, and even a toilet if you wish for the addition.

Electricity can also be installed in a shed with the correct access ports, as can be plumbing via septic attachments or a composting toilet. A composting toilet channels excretions and turns them into compost, which is essential for gardens and flowerbeds. The only hindrance here is that the commodes should be emptied often.

To pinpoint the perfect location for a shed, first consider what you wish to use it for. For instance, if its primary purpose is to serve as a garden shed, you should keep it close to your garden and a water source. If you wish to use your shed to keep a lawnmower, ensure that the doors can open fully, the ramp can be fully extended, and the lawnmower can have a smooth in and out passage without any restrictions.

Also, if you wish to use your shed to store lawn care supplies, tools, and regularly used equipment like sports gear, camping equipment, and so on, ensure it is close to your house.

Being out of the way might be looking quite nice, but it is not convenient enough. Having to constantly run across your yard every time you want to get a tool is not just annoying but can drastically affect your organization. If these tools cannot be returned to the shed easily, you might start considering dropping them wherever you see fit.

If you wish to work in your shed, you will need natural light and windows to get fresh air in. Although, you might not want your shed to be directly under a tree that can hinder breeze and light.

As soon as you get your permit, read it thoroughly. It might list unexpected limitations that you don’t want to miss. These limitations could include how far a shed is to be placed from your property lines, how far away it should be from a resident, color-based restrictions, and potential placements.

Also, beware of delivery access. Will a portion of your fence need to be removed? Is the side of your yard large enough to fit the shed? Is there any other available place where you can build your shed, which does not require additional effort? If not, most shed builders will be able to construct the shed of your choice in your backyard.


Legal Issues for Building a Shed

A building permit is a legal document given by the organization in charge of enforcing the Building Codes of a particular state. This permit is essentially needed when you want to build, revamp, get rid of, or change the current use of a building.

Enforcement of Building Codes, granting building permits, is commonly known to be executed by the municipal building departments. Despite the issue of on-site sewage systems, enforcement in many areas is carried out by the board of health authorities.

Building permits enable your municipality to guard the interest of people and the community at large. By issuing and granting building permit requests before any work is carried out, the municipality will make sure that buildings comply with these terms:

The Building Code sets the basic design and plan of the building to meet up the expectations of health, fire protection, safety, and resource conservations.

It also sets the local by-laws of the zone and other planning regulations on the building.

Finally, it sets other considerable legislations, which include conservation authority approvals and other requirements applicable by the Environmental Protection Act.


State Shed Distance Requirements

In the U.S., all shed construction laws are the same. Citizens are only permitted to construct rear yards.

If you’re considering building a shed that differs from regular U.S. sheds, you’d have to seek legal advice and request a permit before starting construction.

The general law also states that:

Homeowners may not need to submit work plans to the Department of Buildings or secure work permits to install a backyard shed – unless it will be within three feet of the property line. If so, the work plans must show the shed is built with non-flammable materials and meets size requirements.

The Rules of the City of New York §101-14 requires that backyard sheds meet the following requirements:

Size: Up to 120 square feet – no permits needed.  Above 121 square feet – plans, approval, and permits required.

Height: Maximum 7 feet 6 inches.

Materials: Sheds made of flammable materials must be at least 3 feet from the property line.

Installation: Sheds may not be permanently affixed to the land.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission must give approval and/or issue permits for work on landmarked properties. Visit the Landmarks Preservation Commission for more information.

I recommend that you get in contact with your municipality if you have further questions concerning the necessity of a building permit.

You can easily apply for a building permit from either your municipal or the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housings. You should know that building permit requests are submitted to your municipality rather than the provincial government. In your application, you will have to submit drawings, plans, and other necessary documents. You might also be required to pay a fee.

It is advisable to have a chat with a staff member at your municipality before applying. They will be able to tell you the necessary information, drawings, and plans that you will have to attach to your application, and whether or not you will need any other permits or approvals.

The staff in your municipality will analyze your request to be certain that the proposed work complies with the Building Code and other various applicable laws mapped out in the Building Code, like local zoning bylaws. Your request might be sent out to other local municipal officials for their comments.

Requests for a simple addition can be quickly processed, but high complex requests might take longer. The Building Code states that a municipality should review a complete permit request within a given timeframe where the request meets the criteria displayed in the code. For instance, the given timeframe in a permit request for a house is a minimum of 10 days. For a more complex building, like a hospital, the given minimum timeframe is 30 days. Within this given timeframe, a municipality must have either issued the permit or denied it with clearly stated reasons for rejection.

To be granted a permit, the applied construction must sync with the Building Code and other considerable laws displayed in the Building Code. If you need a zoning change or request something that slightly differs from the zoning bylaw, municipal zoning is known to applicate the law. Or, if the proposed construction does not comply with the Building Code, a permit will not be granted until the zoning change or minor difference has been acquired, or the proposed construction abides by the Building Code.

If your proposed property is covered by a site plan control bylaw, your permit may not be granted until the plans and drawings are approved by the municipality. When your request is rejected or your municipality refuses your building permit request, you will be told why it was denied. If you still cannot solve the problem with the municipality, you will be left with a few available options for appealing their decision.

If the problem is a technical-related issue displayed in the Building Code, you will have to appeal to the Building Code Commission, a tribunal of the provincial government whose aim is to hear cases related to the compliance of technical requirements of the Building Code. If the problem is related to compliance with other laws, such as interpreting the zoning bylaw, you will be able to appeal to a judge who will resolve the matter. In this case, you might want to talk to a lawyer first.

The Building Code displays the different stages of construction when buildings must go through a thorough inspection. The owner of the permit must contact the municipality for them to come to carry out their inspection when the building is at the stage of construction, as displayed in the Building Code. The officials are required to execute the inspection within a space of two working days of being notified. For a sewage system construction, the official is left with 5 working days to execute the inspection. During this phase, an inspector will analyze the building to make sure that it is being built according to the Building Code standards, your building permits, and approved plans.



In addition to the planning approvals and building permits necessary for a building project, other permits and approvals, like Conservation Authority and Ministry of Transportation Approvals, might be required in some certain cases. These approvals are known to be the applicable law. Normally, applicable laws displayed in the Building Code must comply with the building permit that is being granted.

If there is available space in your yard, with all legal issues approved, legally living in a shed is not a problem. Although, you should not limit your shed to a tool store or a home. A shed is also great as a pool house, office, home, or even as a getaway room. Besides, it is gentle on the budget and easily customizable as there are endless available possibilities!

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