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Shed Permits in NY: The Ultimate Guide

a shed with a building permit in NY

Are you concerned about getting a shed permit in NY? No need to fear! This article provides some basic answers to your permit questions. Furthermore, we’ve created a table of links to large counties and cities within New York, empowering you to gain any additional shed permit answers from your local government’s website. 

Maybe you’re searching for the perfect shed. At Shed’s Unlimited, we craft quality sheds built to withstand the test of time. Additionally, through our 3D Builder, you can custom design the shed of your dreams. 

Ready to conquer your shed permit questions? We are, too. 

Do I need a permit to build a shed in NY state?

Yes, if your shed is larger than 144 square feet, a building permit is required. However, if you plan to use your shed as a detached accessory building (i.e. playhouse or storage building) and it is less than 144 square feet, a shed permit is not needed. 

While these are the general guidelines for sheds in New York, there can be variations across the state. For example, in Ithaca, NY, a shed under 144 square feet is exempt from a building permit as long as plumbing, electrical, and heating services are not needed. We recommend that you always refer to your local government to gain clarity about shed permits within your jurisdiction (see our table of links).

a shed with a shed permit in ny

Do I need a zoning permit for my shed in NY? 

Zoning requirements for sheds in New York vary according to your direct jurisdiction. For example, in Mt Vernon, NY, a zoning permit is required if your shed is larger than 60 square feet. 

As always, refer to your local government for complete zoning regulations (see our table of links). 

Do I need a shed permit in NYC?

Yes, if your shed is larger than 120 square feet, you will need to submit building plans, have them approved, and receive a building permit. However, there are a few things to know when planning to build a shed in NYC. First, a shed can have a maximum height of 7’ 6”; they must not be permanently attached to your land. Additionally, if crafted from flammable materials, sheds must be at least three feet away from the property line. 

For more information, refer to NYC’s government website

a shed with a building permit in ny

Do I need a shed permit in Rochester, NY?

Yes. In Rochester City, NY, a shed permit is required if you are building or purchasing a shed larger than 144 square feet. To access a building permit, visit their local government website (see our table of links).

Where do I get a shed permit in NY? 

Typically, a shed permit in NY can be found on your local government website and submitted online. Additionally, in Albany, NY, shed permits can be dropped off in person at the Building Department office. In some areas, like North Tonawanda, NY, permits are submitted by completing the application on the website and then emailing it to the head of the Building Office

To ensure that you receive the correct information, check in with your local government (refer to our table of links). 

What is the penalty if you don’t get a shed permit in NY?

If you do not receive a building permit before constructing or building your shed, you will receive a fine. In Albany, NY, those who violate building regulations receive a “Stop Work Order” and are fined $300. However, New York City fines a minimum of $600 for not receiving building permits before constructing a shed. 

For local answers, refer to our table of county and city links. 

a shed with a building permit in ny

How much is a shed permit in NY?

Generally, the cost of a shed permit is based on the cost of construction. On average, a shed permit will cost $100 for the first projected $1,000 of construction costs plus $10 per additional $1,000. 

In contrast, some areas of New York charge a flat fee. For example, a shed permit in Rome, NY, costs $25. 

For local pricing answers, check out our table of links to local government websites

How long does a building permit last in NY? 

In New York, construction must begin within the first six months of receiving a building permit. After one year, a building permit is no longer valid, and you must reapply for a new one. 

How long does it take to get a permit in NY? 

Generally, a building permit will be approved 7-10 business days after you have submitted all relevant documentation. Keep in mind that this timeline can vary extensively; check with your local government to find out the average wait time for building permits. 

a shed with a building permit in ny

Can a homeowner pull a building permit in NY? 

Typically, the person who is doing the renovation/construction pulls the building permit. If a contractor is building your shed, you should ask them for three kinds of insurance: liability, worker’s compensation, and disability. While it is the contractor’s responsibility to pull the building permits, you must confirm that all permits have been successfully pulled before beginning the construction process. 

For information on garage permits in NY, read our article.

How close to the property line can I build a shed in NY?

Generally, sheds are to be placed five feet from the side property line and five feet from the rear property line. In Lockport, NY, sheds smaller than 168 square feet must be five feet from the property line, while sheds larger than 168 square feet must be ten feet from the property line. 

What is the maximum shed size without a permit in NY?

In most cities, counties, and townships within NY, the maximum size shed built without a permit is 144 square feet. Check your local jurisdiction to determine your local maximum shed size. 

a shed with a building permit in NY

What do you need for a shed permit in NY?

While this list can vary depending on your local government, below are a few things needed for a shed permit in NY:

  1. Insurance coverage from your contractor, including all of the following: disability, liability, and worker’s compensation insurance 
  2. Description of work to be completed
  3. Property owner’s name/contact
  4. Contractor’s name/contact
  5. Foundation type
  6. Roof type
  7. Property use
  8. Size of building 
  9. Location of windows and doors
  10. Plot plan
  11. Check with your local government for the most comprehensive and up-to-date list of requirements 
a shed with a building permit in ny

What work is exempt from building permits in New York?

We’re all looking for simple projects that do not require a building code. Below you will find a few construction jobs that are exempt from building permits in the state of New York:

1. Swings and playground sets

2. Fences (excluding those designated for swimming pools)

3. Temporary movie theaters

4. Painting

5. Wallpapering 

6. Carpeting

7. Installation of systems for heating, electricity, plumbing, ventilation, and cooling

8. Retaining walls less than 4 feet tall

9. For a full list, refer to your local government 

*This list is not comprehensive. 

a shed with a building permit in ny

If you need local information, you’re in the right place! Our table provides links to counties in New York, allowing you to access more information regarding building codes. 

Albany, NYhttps://www.albanyny.gov/165/Buildings-Regulatory-Compliance
Broome, NYhttps://www.binghamton-ny.gov/government/departments/building-construction-code-enforcement
Cayuga,  NYhttps://www.cayugacounty.us/1560/Code-Enforcement-Office
Dutchess,  NYhttps://www.dutchessny.gov/Departments/DBCH/Building-Permits-Certificates-Occupancy-Lot-Approval.htm
Onondaga,  NYhttps://www.townofonondaga.gov/departments/buildingandcodes
Otsego,  NYhttps://www.otsegocounty.com/departments/code_enforcement/frequently_asked_questions_(faqs).php#:~:text=Percolation%20Tests-,Permits,-Photographs
Rensselaer,  NYhttps://rensselaerny.gov/City-Departments/planning-building-and-zoning/building-department
Saratoga,  NYhttps://www.saratoga-springs.org/160/Building-Department
Schenectady,  NYhttps://cityofschenectady.com/179/Building-Permits#:~:text=Obtaining%20a%20Permit,cost%20estimate%20of%20the%20construction
Sullivan,  NYhttps://www.townofsullivanny.gov/building-planning-and-zoning/pages/building-permits
Tompkins,  NYhttps://www.cityofithaca.org/135/Codes-Standards
Ulster,  NYhttps://www.townofulster.ny.gov/departments/building-planning-zoning/
Warren,  NYhttps://www.warrencountyny.gov/fpbc/permit
Washington,  NYhttps://www.washingtoncountyny.gov/268/Code-Enforcement

Shed Permit Requirements by Cities in New York

Use our table of links to cities and townships within New York, to get specific answers to your questions regarding shed permits. 

Albany, NYhttps://www.albanyny.gov/165/Buildings-Regulatory-Compliance
Amsterdam, NYwww.amsterdamny.gov/DocumentCenter/View/131/When-Do-I-Need-a-Permit-PDF
Auburn, NYhttps://www.auburnny.gov/code-enforcement-office/pages/general-requirements-construction
Buffalo, NYhttps://www.buffalony.gov/516/City-of-Buffalo-Charter-Building-Permits#:~:text=Construction%20or%20installation%20of%20one%20story%20detached%20structures%20associated%20with%20one%2Dor%20two%2Dfamily%20dwellings%20or%20multiple%20single%2Dfamily%20dwellings%20(townhouses)%20which%20are%20used%20for%20tool%20and%20storage%20sheds%2C%20playhouses%20or%20similar%20uses%2C%20provided%20the%20gross%20floor%20area%20does%20not%20exceed%20144%20square%20feet
Freeport, NYhttps://www.freeportny.gov/742/Building-Permits
Garden City, NYhttps://www.gardencityny.net/168/Building-Department
Glen Cove, NYhttps://glencoveny.gov/building-department/
Harrison, NYhttps://www.harrison-ny.gov/building-department
Hempstead, NYhttps://hempsteadny.gov/191/Building-Department
Ithaca, NYhttps://www.cityofithaca.org/130/Building-Division
Kiryas Joel, NYhttps://www.orangecountygov.com/413/Kiryas-Joel-Village
Lackawanna, NYhttps://lackawannany.gov/government/code-enforcement/
Lindenhurst, NYhttps://villageoflindenhurstny.gov/planning-board-business-meeting/building-department/building-permits/
Lockport, NYhttps://elockport.com/government/building-department/#3-sheds
Long Beach, NYhttps://www.longbeachny.gov/index.asp?SEC=C83C757E-C2A2-414A-B9AD-48EB351A5F47
Mamaroneck, NYhttps://www.townofmamaroneckny.org/173/Building-Code-Enforcement
Mineola, NYhttps://www.mineola-ny.gov/building-department
Mt. Vernon, NYhttps://www.cmvny.com/Faq.aspx?QID=69#:~:text=I%20intend%20to%20put%20a%20shed%20on%20my%20property%2C%20do%20I%20need%20permit%3F
North Tonawanda, NYhttps://www.northtonawanda.org/building-inspector
Peekskill, NYhttps://www.cityofpeekskill.com/199/Building-Department
Plattsburgh, NYhttps://www.cityofplattsburgh-ny.gov/department/building-inspector
Port Chester, NYhttps://www.portchesterny.gov/158/Building-Department
Riverhead, NYhttps://www.townofriverheadny.gov/faqs.aspx?fid=389#:~:text=Do%20I%20Need%20a%20Permit%20for%20my%20Shed%3F
Rochester, NYhttps://www.cityofrochester.gov/article.aspx?id=8589939746
Saratoga Springs, NYhttps://www.saratoga-springs.org/160/Building-Department
Schenectady, NYhttps://cityofschenectady.com/179/Building-Permits
Spring Valley, NYhttps://villagespringvalley.org/village-departments/building-department/
Syracuse, NYhttps://www.syr.gov/Departments/Central-Permit-Office
Troy, NYhttps://www.troyny.gov/176/Building-Permits
Utica, NYhttps://www.cityofutica.com/departments/codes/permits/building-permit/index
Valley Stream, NYhttps://www.orangecountygov.com/413/Kiryas-Joel-Village
White Plains, NYhttps://www.cityofwhiteplains.com/115/Building-Permits-Applications
Yonkers, NYhttps://www.yonkersny.gov/government/departments/housing-buildings/forms-permits
a shed with a building permit in ny

In Conclusion

There you have it: everything you need to know about shed permits in NY. Before we part ways, here are two key things to remember:

  1. If your shed is larger than 144 square feet, you will need a building permit in New York. 
  2. Always refer to your local government for the most comprehensive list of building permit requirements. 

Are you looking for more inspiration and sheducation? Refer to our in-depth shed-buying guide! Or, you may want to do some more research by reading about slant-roof sheds and exploring the differences between plastic and wooden sheds

Best wishes on your dream shed!   

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