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Do I need a building permit for a shed?

do you need a building permit for a shed

What you need to know about storage sheds, garages, and outbuildings in Quebec

Thinking about installing a shed or prefab garage? Apart from offering storage convenience, these outbuildings often add value and marketability to your home. Of course, every upgrade comes with a price tag, so you may be asking yourself, “do I need a permit to build a shed in Quebec?” To help you budget wisely and make an informed decision, we’re breaking down the many factors that determine whether or not storage sheds need permits in Quebec.

Do storage sheds need permits in Quebec?

So, do you need a building permit for a shed? It depends on a lot of factors. Provincially, you rarely require a permit for building a shed on your property, provided the lot belongs to you or your family. However, there are some exceptions. In Quebec, projects are required to be undertaken by a licensed contractor if the structure includes:

  • Electrical installation
  • Installations designed to use or distribute gas
  • Petroleum equipment installations

Also, if the structure is attached to your property, it is considered an addition (not a shed!) and will require one or more permits. To help you determine the appropriate contractor and license for the job, the province’s website put together a handy guide. You can read it here.

Do you need a building permit for a shed in your municipality?

While there may not be many provincial requirements for building a shed or prefab garage, your city or borough is another story. All Quebec municipalities have shed construction criteria related to size, location, and a slew of other factors. Some municipalities require a permit under certain circumstances, while others require a construction permit for all cases.

Here’s a general overview of what to consider when asking, “do I need a permit to build a shed?”:

  • Understand your lot’s construction density. Just because you have the space doesn’t mean it’s accessible to you. For instance, say you have a lot measuring 1,000 m2, and your borough’s construction density is set at 50%. It would follow that if your home measures 480 m2, then your combined outbuildings cannot exceed an area of 20 m2.
  • Keep property lines in consideration. For instance, if your shed has an inclined roof, you must ensure that rainwater and snow don’t spill over onto neighbouring property. For this reason, there are often minimum distance requirements from the property line.
  • Consider location. There are also likely restrictions related to your shed’s distance from your home, street, and, in some municipalities, nearby bodies of water prone to flooding. For instance, it is prohibited to install outbuildings at the front of your property in most municipalities.
  • Account for height and area requirements. These vary from city to city and sometimes depend on your lot size.
  • Know your siding materials. Sometimes, the use of certain siding materials requires a permit or is outright prohibited. These materials may include:
    • Tarred, mineralized, or vinyl paper
    • Material not designed for exterior use or material that appears unfinished
    • Reflective materials that exceed specific reflection rates
    • Asphalt shingles
    • Panels constructed of plastic, acrylic, polycarbonate, PVC, etc.
  • As for fire resistance, there are usually minimum specifications. Though, provided you purchase your shed from a reliable supplier, the structure should be up to code.

Just be sure to ask your sales rep. A trusted supplier will often help you select a garden shed or prefab garage that ticks off all the boxes. At Cabanons Mirabel, we ensure that your shed selection meshes with your municipality’s guidelines.

Acquiring a permit for your shed or prefab garage

If you’re still scratching your head wondering, “can I build a shed without a permit?” your first step is to head over to your municipality’s website. In most cases, you’ll find all the info you need with a quick search. And if it turns out that you do need a building permit for a shed, here’s a brief overview of what to expect:

What will a shed permit cost? Many municipalities price their permits based on every $1,000 of work. Often, these cities or boroughs also have a minimum fee, which generally ranges from $100 to $300.

How long does it take to acquire a shed permit? This depends on your municipality and the time of year you’re applying. It can take anywhere from a week to over a month. The important thing is to be as prepared as possible when submitting your application to prevent unnecessary delays. Generally, permits expire anywhere from half a year to a year after being issued, so schedule smart!

What documents must I submit when applying for my shed permit? Your city or borough will likely request the following:

  • A certificate of location
  • A site plan indicating the proposed location and scale
  • A construction plan:
    • The manufacturer’s description, if prefabricated
    • The general construction plan, if building
  • A cost estimate and description of work or tender

We again underscore how important it is to have all the Ts crossed and Is dotted. In fact, one of the benefits of opting for a prefabricated shed or garage like those at Cabanons Mirabel is that the construction plans are already prepared, and the cost estimate is accurate.

To learn more about how to save time and, perhaps, altogether avoid the need for a building permit, our experts are happy to help you select a prefabricated shed or garage that cuts costs, looks beautiful, and lasts a lifetime.