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While building a shed might seem as easy as hiring professionals to lay the slab and assemble the structure, it’s not as simple as you might think.

Local and state governments have their own requirements - and the rules might catch you out if you fail to plan. In this article, we’ll provide tips on obtaining a building permit* for your shed. We’ll cover some of the requirements you need to consider, and the documents you might need to apply for building approval.

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Building permit requirements for different states


If you are building a shed in Victoria*, you will need a building permit for a shed with a floor area greater than 10 square metres or more than three metres high.

You will also need a building permit if the shed will be located within one metre of a boundary and greater than 2.4 metres high, if the shed extends beyond the front wall of the property’s main building, or if the shed will be built from masonry. 

New South Wales

Want to build a shed in New South Wales*? Contact your local council first - as each can have its own regulations.

You will need a construction certificate for your shed if there are more than two structures on the property, or if the structure will be larger than 50 square metres and located in a rural area. 

You also need a construction certificate when:

  • The “shed” will be a shipping container
  • The structure will be higher than three metres above the ground
  • The shed will be closer than 900 millimetres from any boundary
  • The structure will interfere with the entry, exit, or fire safety measures of another building
  • The structure will be built with combustible materials and located in a fire-prone area
  • The water runoff from the shed will impact neighbouring property


Building a shed in Queensland*? You can get building approval (or a building permit) from your local council or an approved building certifier.

You will need a building permit if:

  • The structure will have an area greater than 10 square metres
  • The structure will be more than 2.4 metres high (or have an average mean height greater than 2.1 metres)
  • The walls of the structure will be longer than 5 metres on any side

South Australia

If you are building a shed in South Australia*, speak to your local council to confirm what’s required. The requirements are not as straightforward as other states.

In most cases, you will need building consent:

  • If your shed will be used for any purpose other than as an extension of a home
  • If the structure’s area will be larger than 15 square metres, the width will be greater than 3 metres, or if the structure will be raised 2.5 metres off the ground
  • If the shed will be located on heritage land
  • If the structure will be located closer to the street than the main building, located more than 900 millimetres away from a boundary with a second street, or located more than six metres away from a corner boundary 

Australian Capital Territory

Building your new shed in the Australian Capital Territory*? You will require a building permit if:

  • The structure will be located ahead of the building line
  • The shed will be raised more than three metres above the ground

Obtaining a building permit

Getting a building permit for your shed from your local council may seem intimidating, but it’s not as complicated as you might think. The best thing to do is ask upfront about the documentation required to apply for a permit. Your council might ask for:

  • A building permit application
  • A statement confirming how the shed will be used
  • Detailed shed design plans, to confirm the structure will meet the requirements for approval
  • Site plans, to confirm the structure will meet the requirements for approval
  • A copy of the Title and Plan of Subdivision that is less than 3 months old
  • Confirmation of the cost of the project

We can also do a preliminary investigation into what permits will be required for you during the quotation stage if required. In most cases, you may be able to engage a private building surveyor to issue a building permit rather than going through your local Council. 

Planning permits

A planning permit is a type of approval that allows you to use or develop land in a particular way. It is often confused with building permits, which as we know, are required for the construction of new structures.

In most cases, you won’t need a planning permit unless the property has overlays, the location of the shed does not meet required setbacks, or your intended use for the shed is not an approved use of the land. 

Obtaining a planning permit can be complex and time-consuming, so it is advisable to seek advice from your local council before beginning the process.

Compliant from the outset

Obtaining a building permit for your shed is a crucial step in the construction process. With a clear understanding of the specific requirements of your local and state government, you can ensure your shed project is compliant from the outset.

Other permits that may be required before a shed can be built are:
  • Asset protection permits
  • Demolition permits if any existing structure needs to be removed
  • Vegetation removal permits if any vegetation removal controls are applicable to the property
  • Report and consent approvals

With a clear understanding of building permit requirements, you can now confidently begin the shed-building process. With over 40 years in the industry, we have built a reputation for designing and building high-quality, long-lasting sheds. 

*Make sure to check the regulations set in your state or local council area. If you need help and guidance, our building permit coordinator and sales consultants can help and guide you with your building permit requirements. Contact us today.

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