Steps to Add a Fence or Shed
First, we need to define what qualifies as a fence or shed and the building requirements:
Fences may be built of chain link, vinyl, wood, concrete block, brick or stone. The maximum height of the fence is dependent on where it is to be placed. In the back and side yards, maximum height is 6 feet. Fences installed in the front yard have a maximum height of 4 feet. Fence and Shed permit checklist: Shed, Fence, Driveway Checklist.Permit Process and Services
A shed is defined as a building separate from the residence and must be built on the same lot as the residence. A shed can't be built on a vacant lot or placed in the front yard. Sheds can be located on the side of the home, provided it meets the zoning area setbacks and is screened from view on the front and side by a 6 foot wood privacy fence or masonry wall. In the backyard, a shed must be at least 5 feet from the rear lot line or one half the side yard setback, whichever is greater. A maximum of 3 sheds can exist on one residential lot.
- The first step is to obtain a permit. If the property owner pulls the permit, an Owner/Builder Disclosure must also be completed, which explains and acknowledges the responsibilities of the property owner acting as the contractor. Both forms are available online, by clicking the underlined form name above. The forms are also available at the Community-Development-Department, including complimentary notarization for the Owner/Builder Disclosure form.
- Along with the permit, a site plan of the property showing the location of all structures (existing sheds, pool, house, detached garage, etc.) must be submitted. The size of the proposed home improvement (i.e., fence height, shed size) and the location must also be shown. For sheds, the plan should also include the required property line setbacks. On fence plans, perimeter property lines should be included.
- For sheds, besides a site plan showing location, construction plans need to be submitted to show how the structure will meet the Florida Building Code wind load requirements. If the shed is purchased off-site the seller should provide documents to show compliance with the Florida Building Code wind load requirements. If the shed is constructed on-site the plans must be designed, signed and sealed by an architect or engineer registered in Florida, who also certifies compliance with the Florida Building Code.
- As building permit fees are calculated on the cost of the job, a copy of the sales contract or work contract needs to be submitted with the permit package. Typically, permit fees start at a minimum of $120.00 or a 1.25% permit fee for the entire project to help cover the cost of building inspections. While permits and inspections might be thought as unnecessary, the peace of mind knowing the new addition is in compliance is worth it!