Toronto, Ontario

Do I Need a Permit for a Pre-Built Shed?

January 3, 2024

Often, people must show their permits for various additions to the house they might have made. To know which additions or constructions might require permits, a good rule of thumb is to check the addition size and its potential effects on neighbors, the environment, or even your own safety. In that case, local governments usually require a permit confirming the status of the addition/ construction as safe; safety, in short, is a major consideration, and sheds, given their size and construction, might merit the issuance of a permit. But is that the case; are permits required for pre-built sheds?

In the case of constructing a shed, many states require that a permit be applied for beforehand. However, in that particular case, size was a major determinant; anything bigger than 160 feet, for instance, according to the Ontario Building Code, has to have a permit against it that assures its safety for occupants and ensures its presence isn’t an issue for your neighbors or the local homeowners association (HOA).

Let’s now look at whether permits are required for pre-built sheds. 

Pre-built shed: do you need a permit?

In the case of pre-built sheds, the answer to whether or not you need a permit depends much on the state or province you live in and what your HOA requirements are if your area has one. There is no specific legislation on a national scale over the issuance of permits for pre-built sheds. This job falls on the local government, and they must devise a threshold on which a permit for a backyard shed might be required. 

What are the factors determining the need for a permit?

Many major factors determine whether the backyard shed that you have purchased will require a permit. Let us take a detailed look at them. 


As explained briefly beforehand, location will be the primary factor in determining the need for a permit for your backyard pre-built shed. Many constituencies and states do not require a permit for backyard sheds, provided they are below a certain size level. Beyond that, a permit becomes necessary, as it involves safety inspections to ensure any occupiers of the shed do not face a dangerous situation. By getting a permit, you can also ensure that your shed does not become an issue for the neighborhood or any other installations like electric wires, underground water and sewage lines, etc. By getting a permit for a pre-built shed, you’ll free yourself of these headaches later on. 

HOA guidelines

In places where state legislature does not concern itself with such requisites, the authority and decision may fall within the ambit of the local homeowners association (HOA), as they are considered more ‘qualified’ to set the permit requirements for sheds. Many HOAs are very lenient with their requirements, and you can easily have a pre-built shed delivered to your house and installed in your backyard without any hassle or permits. Both the house and the shed are your property, and you can do whatever you want as you see fit. However, some HOAs might not be all that lax, and will ensure compliance with the rules and guidelines they set. For instance, one of the most common HOA requirements for pre-built sheds and their installation is their size and impact on any lines passing through your backyard. If that is the case, a permit is imperative before the shed can be installed. 


Size is another major factor in determining the need for a permit. Size is directly proportional to occupant capacity, and the more occupants a shed might have, the safer it needs to be, especially if the shed has connections like electrical or water. Based on their construction, Sheds can serve as storage units, and to ensure that nothing illegal or dangerous is stored there, the sheds need to be routinely inspected. For smaller sheds, this might be fine. But just like the Ontario Building Code, sheds beyond a specific size will require permits, including routine inspections from local authorities to ensure the neighborhood's safety and security. This will also have inspections from the local utilities officials to ensure the connections are correctly made. 

Why is a permit required for pre-built sheds?

Sheds, whether they are used for storage, office work, or any other purpose, take up a lot of space. Depending on their size, they affect local power transmission cables, and since they require large concrete slabs and gravel to be installed correctly, they also affect the environment. In some instances, things like protected trees and plants get in the way of installing sheds in the backyard, which makes it very important that due research be done before ordering your pre-built shed and having it delivered to your home. 

Having a permit for pre-built sheds will save you a lot of trouble and headaches later on. By ensuring that your shed conforms to all local regulations and requirements, does not intrude on your neighbor’s property, and is not harmful to the environment around it, you can get a permit issued at your earliest before the shed is delivered to your address. 

The process is usually simple, although some finer details may vary from location to location. You apply a pre-built shed, specify its dimensions and other particulars, and the location where it will be installed. Again, depending on the local rules and regulations, authorities may or may not inspect the backyard, but once the permit is issued, you can place your pre-built shed down. 

The bottom line

It is safe to assume that your local government has a permit requirement for a backyard shed, and even if it doesn’t, getting a permit shouldn’t be avoided. This is because a permit might save you a lot of headaches and from other bureaucratic processes later on. The process is simple: permitting the HOA or local government. Therefore, before you order a backyard shed, it's better to check your local requirements and apply for a permit as soon as possible. This way, by the time you’re ready to deliver your shed, you will have a permit. 

Backyard Escape Studios: pre-built sheds for all applications

From simple, rustic storage sheds to intricately designed office sheds that boast both form and function, Backyard Escape Studios has them all. Check out our newest designs for some of the best sheds that will revitalize your backyard with incredible looks. But don’t compromise on usability: storage sheds will have all the amenities you might be looking for, and if it's an office shed, expect all the office-like trademarks you will need from the shed. What’s the wait for? Revolutionize your backyard and enjoy the great utility that is pre-built sheds from Backyard Escape Studios. 

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