If you live in Dallas, Texas, you should know that the city has quite strict building and planning permission laws. In fact, there are even regulations for building sheds on your property. So let’s find out: Can you build a shed in Dallas, Texas, without a permit?

While you can build a shed in Dallas, Texas, without a permit, it must be less than 200 square feet and less than 15 feet tall. Otherwise, it will require a permit. The shed cannot be used as a living space, have electricity or plumbing, or be used for a business unless you get a specific permit. 

In this article, we are going to dig into the details of building a shed in Dallas, Texas, including how big it can be and what kind of shed you can build without needing a permit, and even what will happen if you break the regulations and build a shed that requires a permit without one. 

How Big Can a Shed Be in Dallas, Texas Without a Permit?

One very important aspect to be aware of when building a shed in Dallas, Texas, is how big the structure will be. 

According to the law in Dallas, any detached shed that is less than 200 square feet and under 15 feet tall, does not need a permit, whereas any shed larger than these measurements does. 

So, the easiest way to get away with building a shed in Texas without a permit is to ensure it’s within the size guidelines for permit-less structures. 

However, the size is not the only determining factor as to whether or not you will need a permit to build a shed in Dallas. 

What Types of Sheds in Dallas, Texas, Need Permits?

When building a shed in Texas, you also need to understand what parameters the structure needs to meet in order to be legally built without a permit. 

Even if your shed is smaller than 200 square feet, it will still need a building permit if it has one or more of the following characteristics:

  • Utilities: Any electricity or plumbing in the shed will mean you need a permit. 
  • Multiple-stories: Only one-story sheds that are less than 15 feet tall can be built without a permit. 
  • Living Quarters: If someone plans to live or sleep in the shed, it does require a permit. 
  • Business Operation: You will need a permit if the shed will be used as a part of a business. 

Now, if your shed does not check any of these boxes, you are good to go and do not need a permit to build. 

However, you should know that if you ignore the regulations and build a shed without a permit even though it technically needs one, you could get into quite a bit of trouble. 

What Happens if You Build a Shed in Dallas Without a Permit?

Compared to many other states in the country, Texas’ permit laws are considered extremely strict. 

While exactly what happens will depend on your situation, if you attempt to build a shed without the proper permits in Dallas, here’s what you could face:

  • All construction must stop until the proper permits are granted. This can be especially frustrating if you hired a contractor and need to pay them to not do anything while they wait for the permit!
  • You can be fined thousands of dollars. Often, the charge is $500 per day until you get the proper permits. However, sometimes homeowners get a $1,000 fine as the first warning and a several thousand dollar fine if they do not get the permit immediately. 
  • Illegal construction can also take a toll on the value of your home. So even if you get away with building without a permit, if you ever plan to sell, it could be a big problem. 

At the end of the day, if the shed you want to build needs a permit in Dallas, Texas, you absolutely should do the paperwork before you start construction to avoid huge fines and a lot of future frustration. 

How to Get a Permit for a Shed in Dallas

Now, if your proposed shed does not fit the guidelines for a permit-less shed in Dallas, Texas, you will likely want to know how to get the permit you need! 

In order to get the permit you need, you must navigate to Dallas Sustainable Development site.

From there, you can submit an online application with your building plans, and wait for the city’s response. 

Then you will have to have an inspector come to see the proposed building site and get the go ahead before construction begins. 

While it may seem like a lot of extra steps, it is worth it as you do not want to get in trouble with the development department in Dallas!

Final Thoughts 

If you are planning to build a shed or detached structure on your property in Dallas, Texas, you should know that you may or may not need a permit depending on the size and uses of the shed. 

But now you have all the information to not only figure out if your proposed shed needs a permit or not, and how to go about getting one if it does.