It is the homeowner’s responsibility to make sure their project meets Homeowners Association and Restrictive or Protective Covenants requirements, as these regulations can be stricter than city ordinances. The term “shed” includes any one-story detached residential accessory building or structure used as tool shed, workshop, playhouse, or other similar use. Please contact the Building Department at 515-309-9461 for more information about accessory building ordinances.
Permit fees are based on the valuation per square foot of shed. All sheds, regardless of foundation style and/or portability require a building permit, unless one of the following applies:
Permits should be accompanied by a sketch showing the proposed location of the shed; distances from lot lines, primary structure and deck; existing sheds; shed dimensions; and easements.
The maximum number of sheds is dependent on the zoning and use of the lot (Table 1). This number could be less depending rear yard size and total square footage of all existing sheds, sheds under 40ft2 included. The maximum total square footage cannot exceed 30% of total rear yard area or the square footage as listed in Table 2.
A shed cannot be built on a lot until construction of the primary residence is completed or if the primary residence has been vacant for 6 months or longer. Sheds are to be built using materials similar to the “look and feel” of the residence and surrounding neighborhood. Fabric exteriors are only allowed if the shed will be up for 6 months or less.
The maximum height allowed for most residential lots is 18 feet. This is measured from foundation to the peak of the roof. However, these maximums do vary based on zoning and lot size (Table 3).
Sheds can only be constructed in rear yards. Corner lots have streets bordering more than one side of the lot, giving the lot multiple front yards (frontages). Front yard regulations apply to each street side of the corner lot.
Sheds need to be constructed in a sturdy manner and kept in a good state of repair, including the replacement of defective parts, painting, and other maintenance tasks. Existing sheds are required to be brought up to current regulations when one or both of the following are needed:
All sheds, regardless of size, are to be built outside of any easements, with a minimum distance of 5ft. from any lot lines and 10ft. from the primary structure. A deck is considered part of the primary structure and the 10ft. setback rule applies to any portion of the deck and stairs.