Understanding the world of building permits and regulations can be confusing and frustrating. The information out there sometimes seems contradictory and hard to understand. Sometimes the rules change, leaving you more confused than ever.
We’d like to bring some clarity to this topic, specifically to the rules around shed permits in Oregon. In this article, we cover various topics and questions related to shed permits in Oregon. Hopefully, we’ll bring some clarity to a somewhat confusing topic and make your life just a little easier. Keep in mind that the rules around shed permits often change in different localities, so checking with your local government is always a good idea.
What is a Shed Permit?
A shed permit is similar to a building permit. It’s essentially permission from your local government to build or place a shed on your property. There are various factors a government’s permit office will consider before issuing a permit, such as shed location, size, and intended use. If your shed plans are approved, you will be issued a permit.
Do I Need A Shed Permit in Oregon?
In most locations in Oregon, a shed permit is only required if a shed is over 200 square feet and over 10 feet high (measured from finished floor to top of wall plate). This means that a 10×12 shed (120 sq. ft.) would be exempt, but a 14×20 (280 sq. ft.) would require a permit.
Different municipalities may have their own regulations beyond what the state of Oregon requires, so check with your local permit office. However, even if your shed is under 200 square feet, there may be other regulations you’ll have to follow to make your shed legal.
Other Rules for Shed Permits in Oregon
Size and Height– Again, for a majority of locations in Oregon, a shed under 200 square feet and under 10 ft. is exempt from needing a shed permit to build.
Location– Placement of your shed may be regulated in some regions, especially more densely populated areas. You may be required to keep your shed a certain distance away from property lines. If you live in a historical neighborhood, there may be additional restrictions or even an outright ban on backyard sheds.
Electrical and Plumbing– Adding electrical or plumbing to a shed will likely require you to get a permit. This could be a separate permit from your shed permit or may be included with your shed permit.
Intended Use– If you plan to create a living space out of your shed, you’ll probably need a permit to do so. Some localities do not have specific regulations around using sheds as living spaces, so it’s best to talk to your permit office in person.
How Do I Get a Shed Permit in Oregon?
Many government websites have online applications for shed permits or forms you can download, print, and mail to the permit office. If there are no resources available online, call the office or visit in person. Below is a list of government building permit pages for various cities and counties in Oregon.
Local Shed Permit Resources
Links to Websites of 10 Largest Cities in Western Oregon
Links to Websites of 5 Largest Cities in Eastern Oregon
Links to Websites of the 8 Counties in Eastern Oregon
How long does it take to get a shed permit in Oregon?
The length of the process of getting a shed permit can vary quite a lot, depending on how quickly the permit office gets all the information they need and how busy the office is. Expect the process to take a minimum of 1-2 weeks.
How much do shed permits in Oregon cost?
The cost of a shed permit in Oregon can vary as well depending on location, but expect to pay 1-2% of the cost of the total project in fees and permits. There may be additional costs for electrical and plumbing permits as well.
Is it legal to live in a shed in Oregon?
If you convert a shed into a living space in Oregon, it will likely be classified and regulated as a tiny home. Many places in Oregon do allow tiny homes; therefore, it would probably be legal to use a shed as a living space. However, It’s important to check with local zoning laws before you attempt to convert a shed into a living quarters.
If you’re intent is to convert your shed into a home office or home gym, you most likely can do it without extra permitting unless you’re adding electric and/or plumbing. For more information on tiny home laws in Oregon, check out this article on tiny house rules in Oregon.
When you buy a shed, don’t make the mistake of assuming you don’t need a permit. Make sure you check with your local government office for all rules around shed permits. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out!