Garden house building permit: What do I have to consider?

Almost every garden owner has a tool shed or a small gazebo in his garden. However, cleaning plant leaves with coconut oil many hobby gardeners are unsure whether it is even allowed to erect a building in the garden without a building permit. The question arises again and again, does my garden house need a permit? However, this question cannot be answered in general. Whether an approval process is required for a summerhouse depends on several factors. In order to avoid later trouble, every interested party should therefore inform himself as a precaution about the legal provisions.

Depending on the federal state, type of land and the size of the planned garden house, there are restrictions that must be observed during construction. For some of the garden houses you absolutely need a permit, otherwise it can lead to trouble.

In Germany, there is the Building Code, which is valid nationwide. Among other things, this also enshrines the planning law for all construction projects. In principle, it is therefore necessary to have every construction project approved. But that sounds much more complicated than it basically is. Fortunately, there is still a so-called state building code in every federal state. Although the state building regulations must largely comply with the building code, the individual state governments can stipulate deviating provisions by law.

Do you need a building permit?

Whether you need a building permit for a garden house depends primarily on three factors.

How big should the garden house be?

Where should the garden house be located and what is the property like?

How should the garden house be used?

The state-specific approval regulations

Anyone who wants to set up a garden house should deal with state building regulations. In some federal states, for example, buildings with a volume of up to 75 cubic meters are exempt from approval. In other federal states, the limit is already 30 cubic meters. However, these limits only apply to buildings that are not to be understood as living spaces in the narrower sense. Buildings that do not serve as living space from a legal point of view do not have water, electricity or sewage connections. Living in such garden houses is therefore not possible at all.

Whether you need a permit for the construction of a garden house can be read in the respective state building regulations. In the case of a construction project that does not require a building permit, one also speaks of a ‘non-procedural project’. If you are unsure, you should visit the appropriate authority and inform yourself about the eligibility for approval. Once this point has been clarified, an architect or a civil engineer can be commissioned to prepare a building application. In most federal states, this may only be created by a qualified person with an official building template authorization.

The state building regulations

It should be noted that if no development is planned for the property, as is often the case outside of villages, it is referred to as an outdoor area. If this is the case, then the requirements are even stricter and you have to submit a building application for almost everything. In a built-up district there are subdivided areas. For some there is a development plan and for others there is not. If there is no development plan, then the planned project must comply with § 34 BauGB. With a development plan, exactly what is allowed and what is not. The development plans are drawn up by the responsible municipality and specify exactly where what may be built and where the outdoor area begins. Below is a list of what it looks like in the individual federal states.

The border development

When it comes to construction, it depends not only on the size and the equipment, but also on the location. If you plan to build the garden house on the border of your own garden, then caution is advised. According to the building ordinance, only buildings with a maximum height of 3 meters on the border are possible. In most cases, the total length must not exceed 9 meters.

The development plan

If your own house is located in a residential area, which was built in the last 80 years, there is certainly a development plan here. There are regulations on the so-called ancillary facilities, such as a garden house. In addition to these regulations, there are usually other restrictions that affect the construction of the garden house. Here you should ask the municipality.

Ask the neighbors

Even if everything is regulated according to the state building code and development plan, there are other factors that can affect the construction of a garden house. We are talking here about the neighbors. Not infrequently, it comes just because of a garden house to dispute.

Therefore, one should talk to the neighbors before buying or building a summerhouse. As a rule, there is usually a compromise that is right for both sides.

The garden house in the allotment garden colony

If you plan to build a garden house in the allotment colony, then the Federal Allotment Garden Act with § 3 applies here. The garden house may have a maximum floor area of 24 square meters. The covered seating area or terrace is included here. If this is exceeded, a building permit must be applied for. In addition, the garden shed may not serve as a permanent residence. It only serves protect against bad weather and to store garden tools and garden furniture. Only one wooden garden house may be built per garden plot.

Local regulations must be observed

If a garden house meets the requirements of the state building code, the local building law must also be observed before construction. The building law is determined by the city or local governments. The core of the building law is the development plan. If the garden plot is outside the defined development plan, a permit must be applied for in any case. But here, too, there are big differences. In some municipalities, a simple building notice is sufficient. This means that the property owner only has to report the planned construction of a garden house to the local building authority. This then decides whether a building permit is required or not. However, other regulations are also anchored in construction law. For example, a certain distance to neighboring properties must always be maintained. As a rule, a building cannot be erected directly on the property line. Sometimes a declaration of consent of the respective neighbor is required.

By setting up a gazebo, neighbors must, of course, not be hindered or bothered in any way. This applies both to the impairment of the view and to the shading of neighboring property. If the garden house casts a large shadow in the neighbor’s garden, this represents a considerable nuisance for him. Almost all tool sheds and garden sheds are now bought as a kit in the hardware store. Often the sellers already give information about whether the garden house needs a permit or not.

In some cases, the DIY store also hands over the necessary documents for the building authority. If this is not the case, the interested party can inquire about a building permit directly from the building authority with a brochure or other information materials of the garden house.

A garden house in the allotment garden

There are special regulations for tenants of allotment gardens. These are anchored in the Federal Allotment Garden Act. best fertilizers for indoor plants according to this, a garden house with a floor area of 24 square meters may be set up in each allotment. Neither a building notice nor a building permit is required. In each allotment, however, only one gazebo may be built. However, the use as an apartment is not allowed. From a legal point of view, however, there are no objections to overnight stays on weekends.


Even if you are the owner of a property, you can’t just build a garden house on it as you please. You have to adhere to the building regulations of the respective federal state. Therefore, it is advisable to talk to the community about the project before building a garden house and clarify everything else. The building law provides for strict regulations that must be observed.

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