Would a permit be required to build a playhouse out of a shed?

Jake

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My niece is currently 5 years old and I was thinking how cool it would be to team up with the family to build a small playhouse for her. She loves playing house and I think she would be so happy to get her own little playhouse. I remember my neighbor having made a playhouse out of an old shed, and he never got a permit to do so. Would you need to provide a permit if you re-purposed an old shed for it? Or would you still need to provide a permit no matter what? I doubt we will go all out and wire it up, or add plumbing, because I know for sure you'd need to apply for a few permits. But this would just be an old shed re-purposed as a little playhouse.

I was thinking for lighting I can add those LED lights that take solar power, so no wiring would need to be done.

Are there any requirements I need to be aware of?
 
Location
United States
I think it depends on a few things. First, you will need to obtain a building permit if the shed is more than 120 square feet in floor area. If it's less than that, you might not need to obtain a permit at all. But that still depends on where you live, so checking with your local permit offices would be the best step. You might also need to take into account the zoning laws and land use codes in your area. Some structures can't exceed a certain height as well.

These links helped me find this info:
Building Code forum - Details on sheds at least 120 square feet
In California
In New York
Freestanding Accessory Structure Location
 
That sounds like a fun project to put together. You should be okay without a permit, unless you're planning to jazz it up with electrical work. In that case, you'd need to apply for an electrical permit. I hope your niece enjoys her playhouse for many years to come!
 
I don't believe you'll need a permit to convert it, unless you're going to do a major expansion like adding another story. However, if you're going to move it over the road, you might have to apply for an Oversize and Overweight Permit to do so.
 
I think it depends on a few things. First, you will need to obtain a building permit if the shed is more than 120 square feet in floor area. If it's less than that, you might not need to obtain a permit at all. But that still depends on where you live, so checking with your local permit offices would be the best step. You might also need to take into account the zoning laws and land use codes in your area. Some structures can't exceed a certain height as well.

These links helped me find this info:
Building Code forum - Details on sheds at least 120 square feet
In California
In New York
Freestanding Accessory Structure Location
Thank you so much, I will read through those sites. Much appreciated! :)
That sounds like a fun project to put together. You should be okay without a permit, unless you're planning to jazz it up with electrical work. In that case, you'd need to apply for an electrical permit. I hope your niece enjoys her playhouse for many years to come!
Right? I think a simple shed with some work done to it, would be perfect for a little play house. The one our neighbor had back in the day didn't have any electrical work or anything, was just one room, with a small cut out window that was just open. I want to install actual windows in my nieces one.

Good to know I likely won't need a permit for that.
I don't believe you'll need a permit to convert it, unless you're going to do a major expansion like adding another story. However, if you're going to move it over the road, you might have to apply for an Oversize and Overweight Permit to do so.
Thanks, I'll keep that all in mind. I don't think we're going to go too overboard on the project. It's just going to be the modified shed, no additions, no electrical, no plumbing.

Would a permit be needed if we were to buy a new shed and have it installed on their land for this purpose?
 
I think it depends on a few things. First, you will need to obtain a building permit if the shed is more than 120 square feet in floor area. If it's less than that, you might not need to obtain a permit at all. But that still depends on where you live, so checking with your local permit offices would be the best step. You might also need to take into account the zoning laws and land use codes in your area. Some structures can't exceed a certain height as well.

These links helped me find this info:
Building Code forum - Details on sheds at least 120 square feet
In California
In New York
Freestanding Accessory Structure Location
Per the IRC it's 200 sqft as long as it's not attached to another structure. It's 120 for commercial structures. If you do not need a permit, other zoning rules may apply, for example setbacks and distances between structures on your property.
 
This will depend entirely on your location. In my jurisdiction (Washington State) you would possibly need a planning permit, as setbacks would need to be complied with, but no other permits would be required as long as there was no wiring, plumbing or mechanical installed. If you are in a high wind area, it might be prudent to install ground anchors for her safety.
 

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