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Shed Permits in Iowa – A Complete Guide

Jordan Slabaugh - August 10, 2023

As a shed builder who has been in the industry for years, we understand the challenge it can be to figure out all the rules and regulations about placing a shed on your property. In this article, we will delve into the topic of shed permits in Iowa, providing you with the knowledge you need to ensure a smooth and hassle-free process.

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What is a Shed Permit?

A shed permit is a legal requirement designed to ensure that construction projects comply with local zoning laws, safety codes, and property restrictions. Permits help to safeguard your investment by ensuring that your shed is built to code and poses no risks to neighboring properties or the environment.


Shed Permits in Iowa: Do I need one?

The short answer is that it depends on the city or area you live in. The requirements for shed permits in Iowa vary a lot depending on your specific city. A lot of areas don’t require permits as long as your shed is under a specific size, often 120 square feet or less.

Best practice is to always check with your local city hall to determine the permitting requirements specific to your area. Shed permits are not generally costly and should not be difficult to obtain. 

Setbacks for Sheds in Iowa

An important detail to consider when planning for a new shed are the setback requirements in most areas. A setback is the distance away from your property line to your new building. This is often three to five feet. Corner lots may have even larger setback requirements.

As always, it’s best to confirm this with your local city hall or township. We want to be able to set the shed in the correct location the first time and not have the customer incur extra costs by needing to have the shed relocated.


Shed Permits in Iowa: How to Get A Permit?

Obtaining a building permit for your shed construction is a crucial step in the process. This process will vary depending on your location and the size of the shed. Check out this list of the larger cities in Iowa and the permitting requirements for each city. You can also contact your local city hall or township for more information. 

Kauffman Structures delivers sheds over a large area, so it is not possible for us to keep up with all the permitting requirements. We encourage you to find out the specific requirements for your area before you get your new shed delivered.


Shed Permits in Iowa: Local Shed Permit Requirements

Here is a list of the major towns and cities in Iowa with a link to their shed or building permit information.

City/TownBuilding Code Information
Des Moineshttps://www.dsm.city/departments/development_services/permit_and_development_center/residential_building_information.php#outer-2938
Cedar Rapidshttps://www.cedar-rapids.org/local_government/departments_a_-_f/building_services/building_and_trades/
Davenporthttps://www.davenportiowa.com/our_community/building_land_development/what_requires_a_permit__
Sioux Cityhttps://www.sioux-city.org/government/departments-a-f/community-development/inspection-services/building-permit-faq
Iowa Cityhttps://www.icgov.org/business/permit-information-and-fees
Ankenyhttps://www.ankenyiowa.gov/373/Permit-Applications-Guidelines
West Des Moineshttps://www.wdm.iowa.gov/government/development-services/building-inspection
Ameshttps://www.cityofames.org/government/departments-divisions-i-z/inspections/building-permits
Waterloohttps://www.cityofwaterlooiowa.com/departments/building_inspections/when_permit_is_needed.php
Council Bluffshttps://www.councilbluffs-ia.gov/2279/Permit-Applications
Dubuquehttps://www.cityofdubuque.org/428/Permit-Applications-and-Fees
Urbandalehttps://www.urbandale.org/478/Permits
Marionhttps://www.cityofmarion.org/government/community-development/building-services/building-permit-information
Cedar Fallshttps://www.cedarfalls.com/1165/Permit-System-Notification
Bettendorfhttps://www.bettendorf.org/departments/community_development/building_division/permit_applications/shed_requirements.php

Sheds in Iowa by Kauffman Structures


Gable Utility Shed

The Gable Shed is our tried and true workhorse. A simple design, reasonably priced, and has lots of storage. Built with the same incredible quality and craftsmanship that you’ll find in every Kauffman Structure. 

  • Standard 5 ft. wide double doors
  • 76” sidewalls on 10’ wide buildings and 81” sidewalls on large sheds
  • Lots of additional options, including roll-up doors, windows, and more.

Cottage Storage Shed

This Cottage Shed is one of the favorites in our line of sheds. This premium structure is built with the highest quality craftsmanship. The steeper roof pitch gives this building a luxury feel and makes for the ideal upgrade to your backyard landscape. 

  • Standard 5 ft. wide double doors
  • Steeper roof pitch than other sheds
  • Lots of additional options, including windows, ramps, and more. 

Portable Garages

Portable garage sheds provide the ideal space to keep your lawn equipment, motorcycles, ATVs and other small equipment out of the weather. Built with extra reinforcement in the floor to accommodate your equipment. 

  • Extra heavy floor joists, 12” on center, with ¾ Tongue-n-groove flooring
  • 8 ft. wide x 7 ft. tall roll-up door. 
  • 8 ft. high sidewalls to accommodate larger items

Loafing Shed

Our loafing shed is the perfect solution for those livestock in your pasture that need some additional protection from the elements. The three-sided design allows your animals to come and go as they please. 

  • Built on 6×6 pressure-treated runners to make it easy to move. 
  • Wood interior with a metal panel exterior for improved protection
  • 2×6 kickboards to keep your animals safe and your building in good condition

Shed Permits in Iowa: Conclusion

In conclusion, navigating the world of shed permits in Iowa may seem like a confusing and complex process, but it’s an important step in your shed-buying process.

A simple visit or call to your local government will give you a great place to start. And by following local regulations, obtaining the necessary permits, and ensuring legal compliance, you ensure that your building will be in the right place and set properly, making sure it will last for years. It also eliminates the hassle and expense of having someone come back and move your shed if it’s not been installed properly. 

A great place to start is by browsing our selection of sheds and other outdoor buildings. Your dream shed is truly within reach – seize the opportunity and make it a reality! You can browse the buildings we offer or start designing your ideal shed with our powerful 3D Design tool.



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