Site Coverage for Your Garage Shed

13 May

Site coverage refers to the area covered by buildings on a property. There’s a limit to how much of your land you can build on to prevent overdevelopment and maintain outdoor space.

In this article, Buffalo Built’s Managing Director guides property owners through the garage shed design and permit process including the key aspect of managing site coverage requirements.

Picture of Ross Barker
Ross Barker

Managing Director, Buffalo Built

In this Article:

What is Site Coverage?

When looking at potential sites for your new garage shed, it’s good to understand the concept of ‘site coverage’.

You cannot build on 100% of the land so your planning and design processes need to factor in limitations on the size and shape of structures in relation to the land area itself.

Site coverage is defined by the area covered by any existing or proposed buildings, with ‘building’ defined as a dwelling, carport or garage, verandah, or any other roofed building (such as a garage shed).

Site coverage takes into account the proportion of site area covered by buildings vs the area of free space. Zoning regulations in the local area determine the maximum site cover permissible on a piece of land. However, because each lot is different, the permissible coverage is different for each site.

Some factors that influence site coverage include patios, carports and other overhangs, as well as garages and sheds.

What is the Purpose of Restricting Site Coverage?

Managing the total site coverage of residential areas stops sites from becoming too overdeveloped. It also ensures adequate space is provided for landscaping, stormwater runoff and open space, and minimises the impact that your property has on your neighbours.

Having this building standard in place limits the proportion of any lot that can be built on, ensuring plenty of outdoor space for residents and protecting the amenity and character of your neighbourhood.

"Any non-permeable land (such as outdoor paving, driveways, pathways or building eaves) is not included when calculating the amount of site coverage."
Ross Barker
Ross Barker
Garage Shed Wangaratta 4 Michael Raison

What You Need to Know When Designing Your Shed

Site coverage is expressed as a percentage of the overall lot size, and this percentage will create a constraint that your building designer needs to work with. This is determined by the zoning and by your local Council legislation, although if no maximum site coverage is specified in the zone documents, 60% is typically the maximum coverage.

Note that any non-permeable land (such as outdoor paving, driveways, pathways or building eaves) is not included when calculating the amount of site coverage.

Once your shed design team has reviewed these requirements, they will be able to design an appropriate shed that fits your needs and maximises the usable space on your block of land.

How Big Can My Garage Shed Be?

Depending on your property size and location, different laws may apply. It’s always best to check with your local council or ask your Buffalo Built team for guidance.

In general however, a building permit is required for sheds greater than 10 sqm in floor area. In Victoria, a class 10a building (which includes sheds, garages and carports) that is over this threshold needs to be approved by a building surveyor to ensure the proposed site and design are up to scratch.

If your shed is small – under 10m2 and no more than 3m high (or no more than 2.4m high within 1m of the boundary of your property), you can skip the permit process, and you don’t need to worry about site coverage or non-permeable land.

For most of the farm and residential garage shed projects that Buffalo Built gets involved in, permits are part of our standard process.

We’re here to help guide you through the design process – give the Buffalo Built team a call to find out more about how we can manage your shed build for total peace of mind.

Picture of Ross Barker

Ross Barker

Managing Director, Buffalo Built

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Choosing a shed from Buffalo Built ensures you invest in a modern, practical, durable, and long-lasting design.

We specialise in steel garage sheds, serving the Wangaratta, Mansfield and Dandenong regions. Our team is ready to help you get a garage shed that’s built to last, looks great, and meets your unique needs.