A shed is a small, single-story building used to store tools or other items.
You don't need a permit to build a shed if it meets all of these criteria:
You may need to apply for electrical service changes or new services from Seattle City Light.
Whether or not you need a permit, you must meet all code requirements when building your shed, including the building, land use, stormwater, grading, and environmentally critical areas codes.
Our Seattle Municipal Code (SMC) limits the size and location of your shed. The combined footprint of all structures (including your house, garage, shed, and decks 36 inches or more above the ground) can’t exceed a certain percentage of your lot size. That percentage varies by zoning. For single-family zones, the total coverage is limited to 35 percent of the lot (on lots 5,000 square feet or larger) or 1,000 square feet plus 15 percent of the lot area (on lots smaller than 5,000 square feet).
You usually can’t put the shed within 20 feet of the front property line or within five feet of the side property lines. You can put the shed in your backyard (the rear 25 feet or the rear 20 percent of the lot depth, whichever is less), but there are limits on the shed size and height. Read the Land Use Code for the complete requirements, use our Land Use Question and Answer Service, or visit our Applicant Services Center for land use coaching for more information.
Shed drawings rarely require a professional stamp indicating the shed was designed by an architect or engineer. You may prepare the drawings yourself or hire a professional to help you. If you plan to build a shed in or near an ECA, you need to follow specific rules for that ECA. You may want the help of a professional to prepare documents for your application and construction permit.