Introduction: Understanding the Importance of Permit:
Before you embark on building a shed in your backyard, it’s crucial to understand that obtaining the necessary permits and adhering to local regulations is not just a formality; it’s designed to ensure safety and compliance with zoning laws. Failure to do so can result in fines, delays, or even the removal of your shed. Carolina Yard Barns can guide you through the process and in most cases can obtain the building permit for you.
The first step in the process would be to find out if you need Home Owner’s Association approval to build a shed. Many subdivisions in the Raleigh-Durham area are part of an Home Owner’s Association. The HOA sets rules and guidelines for the type, size, style, siding and color you can have on a shed. It is always best to obtain their approval prior to starting the permit process. Typically HOA approval is free but the permit process comes with fees. If you need to change the location after the permit is approved there may be additional fees. Carolina Yard Barns can help guide you through the HOA process for your shed by providing you with a detailed proposal on the size and style shed you propose to have built. After you have the HOA approval it is time to start the permit process.
1. Local Regulations:
- Zoning Laws: The first step is to check your local zoning laws and regulations. Zoning laws dictate how land in a particular area can be used and may specify the size, location, and appearance of structures like sheds. Every county and town in Central NC is slightly different. Carolina Yard Barns has built in most areas and if familiar with the zoning regulations in most areas. We can guide you through what would be required for your particular zone.
- Setbacks and Location: Determine the required setbacks, which are the minimum distances your shed must be from property lines, fences, septic systems, wells and other structures. Different zones may have different setback requirements. For example a shed larger than 12 x 12 in Johnston County, NC is required to be 10ft from your side and rear property lines however a shed built in Wake County, NC is only required to be 5ft from your side and rear property lines in most cases. Some properties have easements and typically a shed cannot be built in an easement. Carolina Yard Barns has extensive expertise on setback requirements for most zoning districts and we help you know what is required for your area.
- Size and Height Restrictions: Find out if there are any limitations on the size and height of sheds allowed in your area. This can vary significantly from one jurisdiction to another. In most of North Carolina a true building permit is only required when a shed has a dimension that exceeds 12ft. However some areas such as the City of Raleigh and Town of Fuquay Varina require permits on all size sheds. These permits are more in line with a zoning permit because structural plans are not required to be submitted but we do have to submit a site plan showing where the proposed shed will be located.
- Design and Appearance: Some localities have specific rules about the design and appearance of sheds, such as the materials used, color, and roofing type. This is typically required on a property that is in an HOA or a historic district. A home in Raleigh that is zoned historic district must first receive the approval from the historic commission that the shed meets that standards in that community. Every historic area in Raleigh and Durham has slightly different requirements.
2. Prepare Your Site Plan:
- In order to obtain a building permit in almost all of North Carolina a site plan is required. The easiest way to provide a site plan is to have your property surveyed. Most people have a property survey done when they purchase a home. We strongly encourage anyone in the process of purchasing a new home to have the property surveyed as part of your closing. If you live in the City of Raleigh and do not have a property survey you will have to get the property surveyed prior to obtaining a building permit. Contact us for information on other areas of Durham, Johnston and Wake Counties and we can let you know the requirements. Once we have a copy of your site plan we can draw the shed to scale on the site plan.
3. Structural Plans:
- Structural plans are required for sheds that have a dimension that exceeds 12ft. Carolina Yard Barns has plans for all of their various model sheds that we provide to the permit department. If you are in an area where we don’t pull the building permit we would provide you with the structural plans necessary for the building permit. We do pull permits in most of the Raleigh-Durham area for our customers.
4. Permit Application:
- The majority of the permit departments in the Raleigh-Durham area now have permit portals. These portals are used to apply for and schedule all necessary building inspections. If the area you live in has a permit portal we can apply for the building permit for you and then schedule all inspections through the portal. Building permits can take anywhere from 7-21 days to be processed. It just depends on how you are zoned and how busy the building permit department is. Once the permit is loaded to the permit portal it will tell us an expected date for review. Once we have that date we can schedule you for construction after the expected review date.
5. Permit Fees:
- When you receive an estimate from Carolina Yard Barns and have provided us with your address we will add the approximate fee for the building permit onto your estimate. Each permit department sets it’s own fees. A building permit in the Town of Fuquay Varina for a shed is typically only $80 whereas a building permit in the City of Raleigh for a shed is approximately $600. Most areas charge the permit fees when the permit has been approved. Durham and the City of Raleigh charge a plan review fee prior to reviewing the permit.
6. Permit Approval:
- Once we have final approval for your shed we can start construction. At this time we will have an exact fee for the building permit and will add it to your invoice. Most permits are no longer printed but are available for viewing in your building departments permit portal. Some areas such as Johnston County and the Town of Fuquay Varina still issue printed permits.
7. Post-Construction Inspection:
- After completing your shed you will need to ensure that the shed is painted. Notify Carolina Yard Barns when the shed is painted and we will schedule the necessary inspections. In most areas only a one inspection is needed. The City of Raleigh does require multiple inspections and we try to have most of those inspections completed while the shed is under construction.
Conclusion: Compliance and Peace of Mind
Carolina Yard Barns will help you navigate local regulations and obtaining the necessary permits for your shed . This may seem daunting and time consuming, but it’s a critical step in ensuring your shed is legal, safe, and compliant with local laws. If you decide to sell your home in the future you will have peace of mind that your shed was built to local building standards and will not cause issues with the sale of your home.