IStock / City Presse

A mower and its collection box, rakes, pruning shears, a sprayer, a wheelbarrow… In any garden shed, there is enough to make a long inventory.

Hence its crucial importance.

The construction or installation of a garden shed is subject to strict legislation, defined by article R-421.2 (and following) of the Town planning code.

On land recognized as being constructible, garden sheds with a footprint of less than 5 m2 do not require any declarative formality.

Shelters with a surface area of ​​between 5 m2 and 19.99 m2 must be the subject of a simple prior declaration of work to the town hall.

As for those occupying 20 m2 and more, they are subject to the filing of a building permit.

Whatever its surface, any construction exceeding twelve meters in height must be the subject of a building permit, which is, we agree, rarely the case for a garden shed.

No approach but local constraints

To this national legislation are added the local rules which, from PLU to POS, regulate the situation in a more or less strict way.

Installation distances from the perimeters of the land, height, type of materials are elements that can be taken into account.

Likewise, the internal regulations of subdivisions may involve constraints.

This is why, even within the framework of the installation of a shelter of less than 5 m2 which does not require any authorization, it is recommended to contact the town planning services of your town hall beforehand to know the local legislation.

What about the tax?

Created in 2010, a development tax, intended to finance public collective facilities, was introduced on all new constructions, including of course garden sheds of more than 5 m2, when their height reaches 1.80 meters or more.

And it doesn't matter whether they have foundations or whether they are removable.

The result of a complex calculation and very variable depending on the departments and municipalities, it costs between 2 and 80 euros per square meter.

This one-off tax is paid one year after the issuance of the building permit, in one go if it is less than 1,500 euros or in two if it exceeds this threshold.

It is flat-rate and does not take income into account.

However, it only applies to surfaces with a floor height exceeding 180 cm.


On reading this article, some might believe that it is enough to install four shelters of 5 m2 rather than one of 20 m2 to avoid the application for a building permit as well as the development tax.

They are wrong, because surfaces add up and such an operation would immediately outlaw them.

For information, the tax penalty is set at 80% of the amount of the tax, in addition to the tax itself which will remain to be paid.

In addition, the development tax does not apply in the context of the replacement or reconstruction of an existing shelter.


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