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Shed or garage, which to choose ?

26 Dec

Shed or garage, which to choose ?

The choice between shed or garage doesn’t have to be complicated. In reality, the construction of one or the other depends on what you need, although sometimes the decision may be determined by certain legal details or aspects of the land where the main building is located. It’s best to think carefully about your needs and find out about the requirements that determine the construction of these accessory buildings in order to make the right decision. Here are some important details about the construction of sheds and garages that will help you make a better decision.

Although garages are generally considered versatile and sheds are considered single-use, they are not always, but it is up to you to give them their intended use. Thus, the choice between shed or garage for your storage or workspace needs depends on the requirements of your environment and home; however, the construction of these is governed by municipal regulations that you should be aware of and that may influence your choice of one or the other. First, know the definition of each of them.

What’s a shed?

The shed is a small building used for purposes other than primary use, such as the storage of tools, materials, items and equipment for gardening and soil maintenance and recreational vehicles, excluding passenger vehicles and commercial vehicles.

What’s a garage?

A garage can be defined as a protected space, not commercially exploited and arranged in such a way as to permit the storage of cars used by the occupants of the main building. This accessory building can be located adjacent, integrated or isolated from the main building.

General considerations

First of all, you must consider that in order to build a secondary structure completely separate from your residence and erected on the same property you must obtain a building permit issued by the municipality.

In that sense, any complementary building, whether a shed or garage, must meet certain standards in terms of location, dimensions, field location and the materials used for its exterior cladding.

Therefore, before starting the plans of the shed or garage, I recommend that you consult the regulations in your municipality to determine the authorized locations and dimensions (height, width, depth and surface) for the construction.

In general, the shed or garage must match certain characteristics of your residence to allow you to obtain the necessary permits from your municipality.

Mostly the total area of accessory buildings may not exceed the total area of the main building or 10% of the land area. No living space may be built above or inside an accessory building, except when a shed or garage is located inside or connected to the main building. In addition, the presence of a main building on site is mandatory to allow for the installation of a complementary building and the latter must be separate from the main building.

These requirements, however, may vary depending on the municipality. It is best to consult the local regulations as there are always other specific obligations that must be met. In Mascouche, for example, it is necessary to comply with the following details.

Construction of a shed

  • 1 m from any land line
  • 5 m from the main building
  • 5 m from any other complementary building

A shed must not be used to park a passenger or commercial vehicle or for any purpose other than the storage of equipment or goods necessary for the primary use. In addition, only one isolated shed on the same land is permitted.

Exception: On a plot with an in-ground or above-ground pool, building an insulated shed with a maximum area of 5 m2 may be allowed to house the pool filtration equipment.

On the other hand, it is prohibited to build an integrated shed or adjacent to a separate single-family dwelling.

Any part of a main building used as a shed must at least comply with these measures:

  • 5 m from the rear line of the lot
  • 1 m from the side line of the lot

It is also an obligation that the outer cover of the roof and the walls of the shed are identical color and material to that of the main building.

Construction of a garage

All insulated garages must be in the back or side yard and meet the following conditions:

  • 2 m from the side lines
  • 5 m from the rear line
  • 5 m from the main building
  • 5 m from any other complementary building

Please note that the location of the insulated garage must allow free access with a minimum width of 2.5 m from any obstacle from the street and that only one garage per plot is allowed.

In addition, the garage may not be used as a dwelling. In that sense, it is forbidden to have a bedroom, a living room, a study or a kitchen on top of or inside an insulated garage. It is also forbidden to build a basement or cellar for an insulated garage.

Finally, with prior authorization, the area of an isolated garage may be used for personal recreational purposes (e.g., gymnasium or art workshop), but not for residential purposes or complementary sales. In any case, it is best to consult with a city inspector for further details.

On the other hand, don’t forget that the total height of the insulated garage cannot exceed one floor or the height of the main building and that the free space inside your garage must be at least 5 m deep when measured perpendicular to the garage door.

Of course, all these regulations vary from municipality to municipality. Therefore, it is best to consult your city’s specific requirements for a more accurate picture of the construction of a shed or garage.

However, you can also contact professionals in the construction of sheds and garages for advice and a wide variety of models, materials and finishes to customize your shed according to your tastes and budget.

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