Building permits needed for detached garage?


Well-known member
Oct 30, 2023
Found another interesting questions while checking out Reddit the other day, and felt it would be a great idea to post here. The post is about a person who wants to build a new detached garage that is said to be about 30x60 feet, right next to their property in Somerset County. They would like to know what the process and requirements are for obtaining a permit to construct such a garage. They are mostly curious about what to expect, and if there could be any issues they face along the way. Especially if they may be required to tear down the structure they build. The reason why, is because they would like to handle most of the construction themselves, and were seeking advice on the steps involved.

What do you think? You can check out the discussion here: Reddit
Somerset County, Pennsylvania, United States


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That sounds like a pretty big garage at 30x60. The best thing you can do in this scenario, is to contact your local codes or building department about any required permits before starting anything. The next steps would be to submit a building permit application along with any construction plans you have. They will review for compliance with their local zoning and building codes. You may also need to check for and zoning approvals, as there could be different requirements and or restrictions based on where your property is located.

As an example, there could be requirements that set you back, like how far the garage needs to be from the property lines or other structures on said property. And there may also be a limit to how many detached structures you have on your property.

If any submitted plans do not meet the requirements, a variance may need to be applied for. In turn, that in itself could be costly to the whole process, and eat up more time. So the best option, is to reach out to your local township or municipality about what the best steps are to take when it comes to this project and others like it.

I hope that helps. :)