Many people assume that the only things you need to worry about when buying a storage shed are picking out the shed, paying for it, and having it delivered. But depending on where you live, there may be more to your story.
Did you know that many Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) require a building permit for a storage shed?
You may have just felt a sinking feeling in your stomach from that sentence, but don’t worry! This guide will help you maneuver the building permit process when buying your own backyard storage shed.
Do you need a building permit?
The first thing you need to determine is whether or not you actually need a building permit, because not all AHJs require it. Some AHJs don’t require any building permit for storage sheds, some require it for sheds with a certain square footage, and some only require it when used for a specific purpose (like an office).
The best process is to call your local building authority, which is most likely the city/village or township that you live in. If they do not handle building permits, they will be able to give you the contact information for the correct agency.
Ask for the town clerk or the building inspector, and let them know that you are thinking of purchasing a storage shed. Make sure you have general dimensions and the purpose for the shed available if they ask for the details. They should be able to quickly tell you if you need a building permit or not.
If you don’t need one, then great, you are free to go! If you do need one, keep reading…
Get the correct application.
Many AHJs have their building permit applications on a website or online portal, but sometimes they are poorly organized or there are multiple versions or options.
Before you fill out an application, make sure you have the correct form! Submitting an incorrect form usually leads to delays and possible confusion.
The best method is to pick up the form at your AHJ’s building. This has 2 benefits: You get to talk in-person to the inspector or town clerk, and you can make sure you walk out with the correct form.
Have the correct paperwork.
Most permit applications have a generic section that asks your name, address, and other general information. They also will ask more specific questions such as the shed size and structure, and they may also request a set of blueprints.
Ask your shed company if they have drawings or blueprints that you might need. Not all shed companies have these available, and some may charge a fee for the prints.
A building permit may also ask for the value of the work being done. In this case, you can simply provide the purchase price of your storage barn.
Submit everything required.
Don’t try to avoid required paperwork or forms just to save yourself some time. Sadly, AHJs deal with many applicants who try to cut corners, and you will only delay your project, and possibly give yourself a bad name, if you try the same.
Be thorough in your paperwork, prompt with the application fee (if one is required), and you will save yourself some potential headaches by establishing a good reputation with your AHJ.
Wait until you have your permit to purchase your shed!
Too many stories already exist of people who either purchased or placed their storage shed, only to have to remove them or pay a fee because they didn’t have their building permit first.
Don’t join the club! Wait until you have your permit before you purchase and deliver your storage shed.
If you need a building permit, the shed company you are working with should understand if you need to wait a few weeks before you can actually purchase your storage shed and have it delivered.
Building permits and AHJs often seem as scary, but they don’t have to be. Follow these guidelines, don’t try to cut corners, and you will be well on your way to a stress-free building permit! Get a quote today to start your story!