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Do I Need a Permit for My Shed/Portable Building?

Sheds and portable buildings provide homeowners with the extra storage and space they need without having to build a permanent structure. However, it can be confusing to know whether or not you need to obtain a permit to install one on your property. In Alabama & Tennessee, building codes and regulations vary by county and city, making it important to do your research before making a purchase. In this blog post, we will explore the rules and regulations surrounding sheds and portable buildings, to help you determine if a permit is needed for your structure.

Building Codes: Understanding the Rules

Building codes and regulations vary depending on where you live in Alabama or Tennessee. Counties throughout the state have adopted the International Building Code (IBC) or International Residential Code (IRC), codes that ensure safe construction and maintenance of buildings and structures. It is essential to determine which code your county follows to make sure you comply with regulations before you build or install a shed.

Do You Need a Permit for Your Shed?

In Alabama or Tennessee, you may need a permit for your shed or portable building, depending on the size of your structure. For instance, in Nashville, sheds and other detached accessory structures that are over 120 square feet require a permit. Meanwhile, in Shelby County, the limit goes up to 200 square feet. Similarly, in Madison, Alabama, a portable building or shed, whether prefabricated or built-on-site, that is larger than 200 square feet requires a building permit.

In most cases, if your structure is less than 200 square feet and doesn’t serve as a dwelling or living space, a permit might not be required. Still, it’s highly recommended that you check with your local county/city to find out the rules for your area and ensure you’re in compliance before building your shed.

How Many Sheds Can I Put on My Property?

In Alabama and Tennessee, zoning laws regulate the number of sheds you can have on your property. Property owners are typically allowed to have one shed or other accessory building per residential lot, as long as it meets the county or city requirements. If the accessory building or shed has living quarters, it can be counted as a secondary dwelling unit. The number of sheds you can have on your property may also depend on the size of your property, so be sure to check with your local county/ city zoning regulations to find out more.

Can You Put a Shed Anywhere on Your Property?

Location is key when it comes to placing your shed or portable building on your property. There may be specific rules on the placement of your shed or accessory building depending on your location, zoning regulations, and your subdivision’s covenants. For example, sheds and accessory structures must be placed a specific distance from the property line in Nashville. Similarly, you may be required to install your shed on a foundation to ensure its stability and conformity with local building codes.

In Madison, Alabama you must reach out to the Planning Department for specific setback requirements or other restrictions. In the city of Huntsville, Alabama, guidelines dictate that shed or portable buildings must be in the backyard, a minimum of five feet from the side and rear property line, as well as 10 feet from the primary residence.  It is also important to contact your homeowners’ association to see if they have any other guidelines.

What Happens if You Don’t Obtain a Permit for Your Shed?

If you’re thinking of building a shed on your property in Alabama or Tennessee, it’s important to know that obtaining a permit is mandatory. Not doing so can result in a range of consequences, including hefty fines and having to tear down the structure entirely. The reason for this requirement is to ensure that your shed meets safety and building code standards, and does not cause any harm to your property, your neighbors’ property, or the environment. Plus, getting a permit is a straightforward process that can ultimately protect you and your investment. Don’t take any chances–obtain a permit for your shed in Tennessee and have peace of mind knowing that your property is safe and up to code.

What is the Process for Obtaining a Shed Permit?

If you’re thinking about adding a shed to your property, here are the steps involved in obtaining a shed permit in Alabama or Tennessee, so you’ll know exactly what to expect:

Step 1: Contact Your Local Building Department

The first step in obtaining a shed permit is to contact your local building department or code enforcement office. They will be able to provide you with the necessary application forms and let you know what the requirements are in your specific area. In Tennessee, building permits are typically issued at the county level, so be sure to contact your county building department. In Alabama, permits must be obtained from the city, but the process remains similar.

Step 2: Submit Your Application and Plans

Once you have your application forms, you’ll need to submit them along with detailed plans for your shed. Your plans should include information about the size, style, and materials you plan to use, as well as a detailed site plan showing the location of the shed on your property. Be sure to include all necessary dimensions, elevations, and other specifications required by your local building department.

Step 3: Wait for Approval

After submitting your application and plans, you’ll need to wait for approval from your local building department. This process can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks, depending on your specific area and the complexity of your plans. If your plans are approved, you will receive a permit to begin construction. If there are any issues with your plans, your building department will provide feedback on what changes need to be made before your permit can be issued.

Step 4: Construction and Final Inspection

Once you have your permit, you can begin construction on your shed. Be sure to follow all guidelines and requirements set forth by your local building department, so your shed meets all necessary safety standards. After construction is complete, you’ll need to schedule a final inspection with your building department to ensure that everything is up to code. If your inspection is successful, you’ll be issued a certificate of occupancy, which means you’re free to start using your new shed.

Visit Rocket City Metal & Portable Buildings for Help with Shed Permitting Questions

At Rocket City Metal & Portable Buildings, we have a team of experts dedicated to helping our customers navigate building codes and obtaining permits for their sheds and portable buildings. We offer a variety of building options to choose from, and our team can help you determine the option that best fits your needs and complies with your specific zoning and building regulations. Contact us today to learn more about our sheds and portable buildings.

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