How Close to the Boundary Can I Build a Shed?

25 October

Need to Know:

  • The allowed distance from the boundary in Victoria varies depending on how high your shed is.
  • If your residential shed is no more than 3.2m in height, you can build on the boundary.
  • Farm sheds fall under a different building class, with different rules – farm sheds need to be spaced appropriately in relation to the surrounding features of the site. Farm sheds generally need to be 5m off the property boundary in Victoria.
  • The advice here is general – always check with your shed builder and local council for regulations that relate to your specific situation.
Picture of Ross Barker
Ross Barker

Managing Director, Buffalo Built

In this Article:

Building a Shed on a Boundary

If you’re building a shed close to a boundary there are several requirements you need to meet to avoid having to get an additional permit (a planning permit). Almost every shed will need a building permit in Victoria, but bigger, unusually shaped sheds or sites that have overlays may also require a planning permit.

Note that the rules and regulations can differ between councils so it’s always a good idea to contact your local council about what is involved in building a shed on a boundary line.

The way the structure is classed according to the Building Code comes into play too: small garage-type sheds have different requirements than hay sheds, workshops and other farm buildings. That means the first thing to understand is what type of building class your shed is, then we can look at the specific rules for that type of shed.

Garage Shed Wangaratta 1 Michael Raison

Small, Low Residential Sheds: Can Generally be Built on the Boundary, No Permits Required.

In Victoria, a building permit is generally required for sheds greater than 10 sqm in floor area. If your shed is under this size, you don’t need a permit as long as your shed is:

  • No more than 3.2m in height, or if within 1m of a boundary, not more than 2.4 metres in height
  • Associated with a building of a different class on the same allotment, i.e. a dwelling, office building, etc.
  • Located no further forward on the allotment than the front wall of the associated building; and
  • Not constructed of masonry.
"So, if your shed is made from steel, doesn’t stick out past the front of your house, and it's 3.2m or less in height – you can usually position your shed on the boundary."
Ross Barker
Ross Barker

Bigger Farm Sheds: Generally 5m Off the Boundary. Building Permit Required, No Planning Permit Required.

In Victoria, a structure classified as a farm shed will need a building permit, but you can avoid the extra complexity of a planning permit if you comply with a series of setbacks.

These are stipulations that allow ‘breathing space’ between the shed, surrounding buildings, roads and waterways.

Large hay sheds, machinery sheds, and other buildings used in connection with farming purposes that are under 3,500 sqm are subject to the following setback requirements in order to stay within the confines of your building permit. Some fire regulations also stipulate your shed needs to be close to a dam or large water supply.

Farm sheds need to be:

  • 20m off a local council road or 100m off a main road
  • 5m off a property boundary
  • 100m away from a dwelling in a different ownership
  • 100m away from a waterway

So, in general, if your shed isn’t right on a creek line, butting up close to your neighbours, or very close to the road, you can position it up to 5m off your fence line.

For Everything Else: You’ll Probably Need a Planning Permit!

These regulations don’t mean you’re confined to a specific size of shed – if you’ve got the space on your property your shed can be as big as you like, it just means you’ll need that additional planning permission as well.

No matter what kind of shed you need, the Buffalo Built team is here to work with you and help you comply with council and Building Code requirements regarding your shed’s position, size and distance from the boundary. 

Picture of Ross Barker

Ross Barker

Managing Director, Buffalo Built

Get Advice from Buffalo Built Sheds

Every property is different, so it’s a good idea to get in touch with our team and discuss your unique requirements if you’re building a shed on the boundary.