You can build a shed on your property for so many different reasons. Oftentimes people need extra storage, but you could also turn it into a workout room, a garden shed, a craft shed, or even a backyard studio. 

Building a shed on your property sounds a lot simpler than the reality, so we’ve put together some advice from the pros for building a shed on your residential property. We’ll cover,

  • Florida permit requirements
  • How to obtain a building permit for your shed
  • Common reasons permits get denied
  • What can happen if you’re building without a permit
  • Essential preparation tips for building your shed
  • The comparison of buying a shed, hiring a contractor, and building yourself

Taking on a D.I.Y building project can be a lot, but with the proper research and preparation, you can save money and create a custom shed to suit your specific purpose. 

Florida Permit Requirements For Building A Shed

If you plan to use your shed strictly for storage and it’s under the size requirement for your area, you actually don’t need a permit to build. In Pinellas County, specifically, you will not need a permit if your shed is under 100 square feet. FL Gardening offers links to permitting rules and regulations for each county in Florida. So check in with your specific county to see if you’re eligible for building without a permit. 

These websites can be hard to navigate, so if you’re taking on a project requiring a permit, there will be a lot of fine print. The legality of building your shed can be hard to navigate, and that’s why many end up relying on an experienced contractor familiar with the changing building code and permit requirements. But you can always call your local building departments with specific questions so you don’t get lost in all the information on the department’s website. 

How To Obtain A Building Permit

Of course, it’s going to vary from county to county, so follow the link above to see your specific requirements. But to get a general idea, you’ll need to fill out forms with information like your name, address, if you own the home, building plans, size, location, and other questions regarding your home and shed. 

There’s typically a fee to obtain a building permit, and the cost widely varies. It’s generally around a couple of hundred dollars, but it depends on where you’re at and what you’re building. 

Common Reasons Building Permits Get Denied 

It’s inconvenient, but it does happen. Building permits usually get denied for the same few reasons, and the main reason they get rejected is because of incomplete planning and documents. Create a detailed plan that explains your project from start to finish, with very specific instructions, as if the person reading could build it themselves. 

Permits can take a few days, weeks, or months to process, so expect to be patient once you submit your permit request. If you’re denied, don’t worry, you’re more than likely able to apply again. Every city will differ, but most of the time, you can re-submit your permit request and address the points of error. 

Consequences Of Building A Shed Without A Permit

Be so careful if you’re considering building without a permit because you don’t meet the necessary requirements or don’t want to go through the process. Maybe your friend got away with it, or you know somebody who did, but all it takes is one neighbor calling the city, and all your work was for nothing. Not only did you waste a lot of time and money, but you can also be issued fees, among other legal repercussions. 

Safety is also a concern when you’re building without a permit. A permit is what ensures you’re following the building codes. This is especially important in Florida because we get so many hurricanes. 

Essential Preparation Tips For Building A Shed 

You want to enjoy your shed for as long as possible and have it be a functional space, regardless of its purpose. Whether it’s for storing tools or you’ve crafted an outdoor fun zone, you want to be able to use it as intended. We’ve put together a few great tips so you can get the most out of your shed and avoid common mistakes that can really make or break your project. 

Pick An Adequate Spot

Picking a spot that looks good and flows with your backyard is important, but you also want to make sure you’re not building your shed in a wet, low-lying area or on a downward slope. An unstable structure will only last for a short time on a poor foundation. If your shed is in a wet area, the wood is susceptible to rot, and any metal components are susceptible to rust.

Choose A Style That Functions With Your Sheds Purpose

The first step to choosing a shed style is narrowing down the use for your shed. Some other considerations to make when choosing a style are, 

  • How the style fits with the environment
  • Whether or not the shed coordinates with the style of your home
  • The level of privacy the shed style offers 
  • Weather conditions in your area
  • Accessibility 

Personal preference also plays a huge role in the style of your shed, but different shed styles offer very different functions. Your options would significantly differ whether you’re using the shed for storage or a pool house. For some shed style inspiration, Pinterest has some really fun examples. 

Avoid Underestimating Or Overestimating Size 

Now that you have a spot, you can start thinking about size. A common mistake homeowners make is going too big or too small with their shed. To figure out an accurate size for your shed, a great idea is to make a list of everything that will be in the shed. Of course, this depends on how you plan to use your shed, so make sure you nail down its purpose before you start planning!

Choose Durable Materials When Building A Shed

Durable materials with low maintenance costs are the goal. With wood being the most popular shed material option, you’ll want to go with a treated wood that can better resist rot and pest infestations. If you can afford to get high-quality materials, we definitely recommend that you do. They may be more expensive, but they will be worth it in the long run because they’ll last longer. 

When choosing a material for the roof of your shed, shingles are typically preferred, but metal will be the most durable option. If you’re looking for something quick and easy, roll roofing is an option, and you can cover large areas quickly and just nail it down. 

Don’t Forget About Lighting

If you’re using your shed for a purpose requiring a lot of natural light, ensure you’re installing large windows or even a skylight. One thing to keep in mind, though, living in Florida is cooling costs. We have some hot summers, so make sure you’re also installing curtains to help cut back the light and cool down the space on hotter days. 

Buying Vs. Building

You can, of course, build a shed on your property. But you can also purchase a pre-built one or hire a contractor to build one for you. We’ll cover some advantages and disadvantages of these options so you can decipher what’s going to work best for your unique circumstances.

Building Your Shed

A lot goes into building your own shed. The process can be physically very laborious and does require some experience. So if you’re not the handy type and believe it to be pretty straightforward, you may be in for a surprise. If you’re up for the job, though, building your shed offers many benefits, we just want to make you aware of what you’re getting into. 


Creative freedom is one of the most significant benefits of building yourself. You can specifically design your structure to serve your purpose for it rather than trying to find something that works.

You may also save money building the shed by yourself because you can skip out on labor costs. This is obviously a significant motivator for everyone interested in building their own shed.


Time is one of the disadvantages of building your own shed. The building process can take a while, and if you’re busy with work, kids, and life, this might not work for you.

Saving money doing it yourself could also backfire if you don’t know what you’re doing. Not only can this be unsafe, but if you make mistakes and have to replace damaged materials, you could end up exceeding your budget.

A D.I.Y approach can be very time-consuming and physically laborious. If you aren’t in the best health or just don’t have the time, consider a pre-built shed or hire a contractor to build a custom shed for you.

Pre-Built Sheds

Pre-built sheds and even pre-built tiny homes are quickly gaining popularity. The cost and convenience are something you just can’t beat compared to other options. Below are some advantages and disadvantages of purchasing a pre-built shed. 


Time is money, and if it’s more functional for you to spend money than spend time building a shed, a pre-built shed may work better for you. Saving time is one of the main reasons to buy a pre-built structure. 

A lot of pre-built sheds also come with a warranty. If anything goes wrong with your shed, you have peace of mind that your investment is protected and that security is not available when building your own shed.

If you’re not the handy type and don’t have the equipment on hand to build a shed, pre-built sheds come ready to go. So you won’t have to spend money buying tools or materials for your shed.


Having to choose a design that doesn’t coordinate with the use of your shed is a big disadvantage of something pre-built. You can add additional shelving or counter space to your shed, but this can get costly, and if you’re looking for something already built, we doubt you want to take on a project to renovate your shed.

You also have to ensure the shed you’re building is in compliance with the building codes and other requirements that ensure it’s legal to have the shed on your property. 

Hiring A Contractor To Build Your Shed

A lot of people are apprehensive about hiring help because it’s typically associated with high costs. If you’re working on a budget, doing it yourself is usually the best way to save money. However, this may not always be the case when building a shed. 


Quality craftsmanship that still adheres to custom design elements is what’s great about having a contractor build a shed for you. You still get that creative freedom to personalize your shed, but you also are paying for a professional skillset that ensures a high-quality product.

You won’t have to worry about the legality of building a shed with a contractor. The company should already be familiar with the building codes in your area and won’t have to go through the lengthy process you would’ve in order to get permits.


The high cost of hiring a contractor is why many people prefer to do it themselves or buy a pre-built shed where they only have to pay for delivery and installation.

Time is another reason why many opt to choose a different route. You’re on the contractor’s time, not your own, so if they’re busy with a lot of other clients and projects, it could be a while before you get to enjoy your new shed.

Choose West Shore Construction

We have your back if you’re ditching the D.I.Y approach and are looking for an experienced contractor to build a custom shed on your property. Contact us online or give us a call at 727-488-8182.