Prebuilt sheds require building permit from countywide DCD

A prebuilt shed may not require the labor that it takes to build one from scratch, but both structures have something in common: they both require a building permit.

This spring, the Huntington Countywide Department of Community Development has observed homeowners who have purchased prebuilt sheds, but not obtained building permits.

While it might be confusing to a homeowner why they would have to obtain a building permit for a shed that is already built, DCD Executive Director Mandy Woods explains that it has to do with where a shed is placed on a property.

“We are not just a building department; we also are a zoning department in a sense, (a) planning department,” she says. “So, we have to check zoning standards. We have to check setbacks from property lines. We have to check for floodplain, if there’s any issues there.

“And without that permit process, we really have no way of knowing where that prebuilt shed is going to be placed and then we can’t check for those kinds of things.”

In contrast to sheds built from scratch, Woods says that her department typically only performs a final inspection on the prebuilt variety.

“We’ll check to see if it’s anchored, if it’s over 200 square feet, because that’s one of our requirements,” she says of prebuilt sheds. “But other than that, it’s not terribly difficult as far as inspections go.”

Aside from sheds, Woods says that other things homeowners should be mindful to obtain permits for this spring are fences, decks and pergolas.

“Our kind of general rule of thumb is, if an adult can stand in it, it’s probably going to need a permit from our department,” she says.

Building permits can be obtained at the DCD office, which is located on the second floor of the Huntington County Courthouse, 201 N. Jefferson St, Huntington.