How Close Can a Shed Be to a Fence? Important Things to Consider

The addition of a shed to your garden can be the cherry on the cake for homeowners who take pride in their back yard. If you’ve been searching for an outdoor storage solution for a long time, the eventual installation of a garden shed can be a massive sigh of relief. Given the benefits that can be reaped from the ownership of a garden shed (it looks great, amongst loads of other things!), it’s no wonder they remain immensely popular, this many years after invention. But how close can a shed be to a fence?

gbd-best-storage-sheds-4-billyoh-storer-overlap-apex
This shed has a visible foundation and is not too close to any boundaries.

If you’ve decided to plunge in and invest in a shed, be it for storage purposes or a home extension, there are a few things that needs to be considered. One of these is the distance between a shed and the fence line.

A fence line may not seem a big deal at first. If not taken into consideration, though, the position of your shed in relation to your fence can cause numerous problems. Your neighbours, planning regulations and shed security should all be taken into account when choosing where to put your shed and how close it is to your fence.

At Garden Buildings Direct, we want to make sure the installation of your building goes smoothly and to plan. So we’ve put together this guide to help you place your shed perfectly.

UK Planning Permissions

A common concern of many homeowners when they’re choosing a shed or cabin is whether or not it will require planning permission to install.

Along with other garden buildings, sheds can be subject to planning permission regulations. Generally, sheds are considered outbuildings that do not require planning permission, but this doesn’t mean there are no restrictions.

The limitations depend largely on the size of the building and its location. One restriction stipulates it cannot be more than 50% of the size of the garden.

Make sure you check out your local council’s legislations on outbuildings before buying a shed.

Before deciding on a new shed, do your research about the necessary planning provisions and building regulations in your area beforehand. This way, you can be 100% sure if you’re able to install a shed without a permit.

Shed and Fence Line Distance: How Close Can a Shed Be to a Fence?

When it comes to the proximity of your shed to your home, most local governments do stipulate restrictions. These may be affected by the fence line and any pre-existing structures in your garden.

When a shed is placed too close to a fence, the structure won’t be able to breathe, causing a potential build up of damp. The same goes for the fence. Thus, it is best to leave a gap to allow both to breathe.

If you’re concerned about the potential issues that could arise from this, or can’t afford to place it far enough away from a fence, then it may be wise to opt for a pressure treated shed, to help it suffer less from the effects of damp.

Other than the aforementioned points, here are some aspects to consider when it comes to shed and fence line distance:

– The Amount of Space You Need Around Your Shed

– How Close to the Property Line Can You Build Your Shed?

– Should You Raise Your Garden Shed?

– Materials and Dimensions

– Foundation

– The Access

– Your Neighbours

The Amount of Space You Need Around Your Shed

It’s always a good idea to leave some space around the outer perimeter of your shed. For one, this’ll allow you to keep your shed good condition throughout its lifespan. 

Imagine you’re completing some repair to your outdoor building, and you don’t have enough space to operate in. Maybe your shed is too close to the fence, leaving you with no room to get around it. Sounds dreadful, right?

How Close Can a Shed Be to a Fence
As is visible in this photo, the back and sides of the shed are easily accessible.

As a result, experts recommend leaving at least 24 inches (2 feet) of space around the perimeter of your garden shed. With 2 feet to spare, it’ll be easy to make any changes or do anything with the shed in the future.

Shed and Fence Line Distance: How Close to the Property Line Can You Build Your Shed?

As referenced earlier, a consultation from your Local Planning Authority (LPA) is a must to get the necessary code requirements for your outbuilding.

The exact distance you can put your shed to your house may vary depending on the city you live in. In some areas, you are allowed to build as close as four feet away from your property line. In other places, your LPA may ask you to keep your shed 10-15 feet away from your fence.

Should You Raise Your Garden Shed?

Unlike the mandated minimum distance between your shed and your fence, there are no legal requirements or restrictions when it comes to how high off the ground your shed needs to be.

This means you do have some freedom when it comes to personal preference regarding shed bases – but it doesn’t mean you should disregard thinking about it at all.

In fact, considering how high off the ground you want your shed to be is something that most shed experts would recommend homeowners do.

Why?

Because raised sheds tend to have much better air circulation than ones that sit directly on the ground.

If good ventilation is important to you, you know what to do!

Not only does air circulation prevent mould from growing in your shed, but raising your shed off the ground can also protect the structure from harsh weather conditions.

Raised bases are especially important for those living in an area where rain is a common occurrence. Overall, raising your shed guarantees that its foundation does not deteriorate over time due to water ingress and more.

Materials and Dimensions

Some housing estates are strict when it comes to what materials are used for cladding on additional structures. This is due to the uniformity they covet within the estate. If you live in a gated community, for example, you may want to seek an estate agent’s confirmation first of what you can and can’t do.

Foundation

A foundation is not a necessity for a garden shed, especially if the ground you’re putting it on is level. But for sheds that are larger than 6×8 feet, we’d recommend adding a foundation.

garden-shed-base-tips-1-why-shed-foundations-are-important
Putting your shed on a concrete base like this is usually the best option for a foundation.

Wood is not the best material for a foundation as it will absorb moisture from the ground, which will cause rot and decay over time. Ideally, look for a solid, impermeable concrete or plastic base. Make sure the surface you place your shed on is flat.

This will ensure that the shed remains stable and the doors will be able to open and close properly. With the right base, it’ll be much easier to get your shed level, than if you place it directly on the ground.

The Access

The ideal place for a garden shed is next to a paved path as this will ensure easy access. It’ll also mean the shed is not too close to areas in which rainwater is likely to collect.

Other than distancing it from the fence, you’ll also want to make sure that your shed is away from large trees. Growing tree roots could cause the floor to buckle, ruining the foundation of your shed over a long period of time.

shed near fence and trees
Positioning a shed near trees can be problematic.

Your Neighbours

It’s useful to always consider how any new addition to your property might bother your neighbours. Current neighbours may be fine with the new shed, but future ones may not.

When deciding how close to place your shed to the fence, it’s best to avoid placing it too close to any boundary lines. Whether it’s your current neighbours or potential your future ones, be sure to not use the shed as a replacement for a section of fencing. 

As with all this advice, we recommend contacting your local authority to get the specific measurements as well the council requirements. Your LPA can also provide you with their particular regulations and all the paperwork and necessary permits you will need for your shed, including the distance required between your shed and the fence line.

With this guide, you hopefully have a better idea of how close you should position your shed to your fence with relation to the rules around it and also the practicalities of it.