- General Information
A new accessory structure, such as a detached shed or garage, must be built to meet minimum public health, fire and structural safety and property protection standards. Permits and inspections are required to review for compliance with these standards which provide a safe and healthy environment.
A shed is typically a simple, single-story roofed structure in a side or rear yard or on an allotment that is used for storage, hobbies, or as a workshop. A residential garage is a walled, roofed structure for storing a vehicle or vehicles.
Before beginning a project, its important that to become familiar with current codes and regulations. Energy Code requirements may apply if the building is equipped to be heated.
The size of the structure, location on the property, and height of an accessory building are also governed by the Land Use By-Law for your area.
ExploreHRM is an interactive map that can be a helpful tool to learn more about a property.
- When is a Permit Required
A Building Permit is required to construct an accessory building (i.e.: shed or garage) that is:
- 20 m2 (215 square feet) or larger, or more than one story.
A single story structure is less than 20 m2 (215ft² ), does not require a Building Permit, but a Development Permit is required, as the requirements of the Land Use By-Law governing location on the property and the height of the building are applicable.
For more information, see the Sheds, Detached garages & Accessory Buildings Guide.
- Required Documents
Supporting documents are always required as part of making a permit application.
A Floor Plan shall show the interior layout of each floor including:
- footing, foundation and wall locations
- label with proposed uses with full dimensions
- location of plumbing and electrical fixtures, drains, heating and ventilation appliances all smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
- size, space and span of all framing members, including decks, steps and stairs
- total area by floor, and the total area of the proposed building
A Roof Plan shall include:
- layout showing of roof structure, roof slopes, hips/valleys/peaks and ventilation outlets
- detailed information about beams and columns supporting loads
A Cross Section shall be through an exterior wall from the footing to the roof and show:
- footing and foundation wall size, and exterior grade above basement floor
- all floor, roof, and wall assemblies
Construction Details and Notes such as all sources of heating, ventilation or other mechanical systems shall be included.
- dimensions of all sides of the structure and include finished grade, overall height to the highest point of the roof and the slope of the roof.
- exterior finishes, window and door type, sizes and locations, including the height of window sills above floor level.
- total area of each exposed building face, the area of window, door and hood openings, and required limiting distance if known.
- location and dimension of exterior decks, stairs, guards and handrails.
Must include lot dimensions and the footprint of the building and any projections such as decks, roof overhangs and doorsteps.
It must also indicate the proposed building’s distance from all property boundaries, the location and dimensions of the driveway, existing buildings and setbacks to existing buildings.
Include watercourse buffer and coastal area information (calculated in accordance with the applicable land use by law), when required.
Automated workflows have been built to expedite the application process when customers use the document naming convention.
If these Document names are not used during the application phase, the applicant will be required to manually assign the correct document type to each document so the system will know what document has been submitted.
- Required Inspections
Building Code Inspections
Every permit holder is responsible for requesting inspections at specific stages of construction. Required building inspections are included in the permit cost. Once a permit has been issued, required inspections for the project can be viewed by signing into their Customer Portal account.
These inspections review construction for compliance with requirements set out in the Nova Scotia Building Code Regulations, Halifax Regional Municipality By-law B-201 Respecting the Building Code and other relevant Codes and Standards.
Although required inspections may vary by the size and scope of the project, Building Code inspections may include:
Footing Inspection: conducted when the footings are placed and the forms have been removed. Depending on the size of the structure, not all accessory buildings will require footings.*
Prior to Backfill Inspection: conducted after foundation is installed.
Framing Inspection: conducted when all of the mechanical, and electrical is installed. The building must be weather tight.
Final Building Inspection: review of the structure as a whole. Depending of the size of the structure, a final inspection may be all that is required.
*Foundation Design Considerations:
Accessory structures up to 55m² (592ft²) may be supported by a mud sill or floating slab on grade.
Structures over 55m2 (592 ft2) are required to have a strip footing and minimum 4ft foundation wall below the frost line or an acceptable independently engineered foundation.
For full details of permit fee calculation and a complete list of fee rates, please see the Permit Fees page.
Full payment for the permit must be made at the time of application submission.
Payment can be made online during the application process. Online permit applications must be paid for online using either Visa, MasterCard, Visa Debit, MasterCard Debit or Amex. Only one method of payment type is accepted via our online payment system.
Currently our office's remain closed due to COVID-19 protocols.
- Apply online
Apply for a Permit online today.