Farm shed permits cost

How Much Do Farm Shed Permits Cost?

If you are planning or budgeting for a shed project, you are probably aware that council permits are required for nearly all new farm shed builds and will be an additional cost. (To find out if your shed project will require permits, read our article; Do I Need Permits For My Shed?)

A new farm shed is often a significant investment and permits can sometimes seem like an unnecessary expense – but how much do shed permits actually cost?

You might also be asking; Can I get an exemption for my shed? Does it cost less to apply for permits myself? Do private surveyors charge more than my local council?

If you have been asking any of these questions, read on to find out approximately how much the permits for your shed will cost, and what can influence the price of shed permits.

So, first things first.

How much does a farm shed permit cost?

It depends.

The variations between council shires, the application processes (which we discuss in more detail further on in this article) and shed projects mean that we can’t provide an exact answer. However, given the number of permit applications we process on behalf of clients every day (lots!), we can provide a fairly accurate range of permit costs for various shed types – based on Action Steel managing the application process.

The average cost of permits for farm sheds is $2,600.00*.

*Farm sheds built in 2021 by Action Steel

Farm shed permit examples

To give you a better idea of permits costs and how they can vary, below are a few examples of building permit costs. Note these estimates don’t include the cost of planning permits, which are required for some projects.

Farm shed permits cost

Why do farm shed permits cost so much?

You might be wondering, how can a permit – essentially just a piece of paper – be so expensive?

Allan Crick, one of our project managers here at Action Steel, says there are four main factors that determine the cost of permits for sheds.

  1. Council versus Private Surveyor
  2. Shed location
  3. Overall value of the shed or project
  4. Complexity of the project.

We discuss each of these points in detail below.

1. Local Council versus Private Surveyor

Do private surveyors charge more than councils for permits?

Generally, yes, a private surveyor will charge more than a local council does to process and approve a permit.

Here at Action Steel, we apply for permits via private surveyors, who provide an efficient building and town planning consulting service.

With a private surveyor you are essentially paying extra for a convenient and timely permit process and to avoid any project hold-ups due to permit issues or red tape. While you can certainly apply for permits via your local council, for projects with a tight deadline this may not be a feasible option.

We choose to use a private surveyor as most of our shed builds are time-bound e.g., a hay shed that needs to be completed for hay season, a shearing shed that needs to be completed in time for shearing or a ram sale shed that needs to be completed in time for the sale.

2. Shed Location

The site location for your shed will influence the amount of money you are required to spend on permits.

This is primarily because the location of your site is often what determines if you will require a planning permit as well as a building permit. A planning permit (known as a development approval in NSW and SA) is an approval issued by the local council to allow the development of a rural shed on your property.

In most cases in Victoria, a planning permit is not required to construct a shed on farmland. Generally, a planning permit is only required if there are particular overlays on the property (such as Aboriginal Heritage or Land Subject to Inundation etc.) or if the location of the shed does not comply with the required setbacks listed below:

  • 20 metres off a local council road
  • 100 metres off a main road e.g., a highway
  • 5 metres off a property boundary
  • 100 metres away from a dwelling in a different ownership
  • 100 metres away from a waterway

As well as being an additional cost, planning permits are the time-consuming ones, on some occasions they can take up to three months to be processed.

3. Shed Project Value

While there are government fees and council fees that will be the same for every shed project regardless of the shed value, the pricing structure for some sections of the permit is based on a percentage of the total shed cost.

4. Project Complexity

Usually, the more complex a shed project is, the more complex the permit requirements and process. For example, a large farm machinery workshop will have significantly different permit requirements compared to a 1,000-bale hay shed. A shearing shed will be different again.

Some of these differences could include fire design, or a toilet installed in the vicinity or allowances for disabled access which will all require extra resources in drawings and paperwork. 

These differences will largely be determined by the size of the shed, the shed use and the classification of the shed.

A 45m x 24m x 8.5m machinery workshop shed with canopy

Some other factors that can influence the cost of your shed permits include:

  • The shire that you are in. 

Unfortunately, council permit costs are not standardized across councils, meaning some councils will charge more for permits than other councils.

  • Applying for the permits yourself as an owner builder.

Will it cost less to apply for permits myself? 

Yes, and no. While on paper, applying for shed permits yourself appears more cost-effective, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Applying for a permit is quite time consuming if you have not done it before and if you don’t have easy access to the required documents and permit lodgment sites – and time is money! You will still be charged for your permit by the council and the savings may not justify the headaches.

Additionally, applying as an owner builder rather than using a Registered Builder like Action Steel, will mean that greater responsibility falls on you the owner if anything goes wrong. You can learn more about these obligations and responsibilities on the following sites Victorian Building AuthorityNSW Fair Trading or Australian Owner Builders (SA).

So, applying for the permits yourself may only be beneficial if you are working to a strict budget, or if your project completion is not time-bound.

  • Some councils offer reduced rates for areas affected by natural disaster events such as bushfire, floods and drought. If this is relevant to your area, it would be worth checking with your local council – or asking our building consultants to check with your local council – to see if reduced permit charges are available for your shed.
Permit costs for sheds

So, that’s permit prices discussed!

A few other questions we are commonly asked, include:

Can I get a permit exemption for my shed?

Maybe! Some shires offer permit exemptions for certain size sheds. For example, the shires below offer a building permit exemption for sheds under 500m² – providing certain conditions are met.

If your proposed shed build is located in any of these shires, please feel free to call us to find out if this exemption can be applied to your project.

Can Action Steel apply for shed permits on my behalf?

Yes, absolutely! As Registered Builders we are able to apply for permits on your behalf, including supplying and submitting all of the required documentation such as drawings and engineering.

We apply for the permits for the majority of the shed projects that we build – which can often include planning permits or fire design documentation – to help create a stress-free shed build for our clients.

If you are wondering exactly how we manage the shed permit applications and what the process looks like, watch the video below  which explains the differences between permit types, and more.

We hope these permit price ranges and explanations help you work out how much farm shed permits cost and help you with your farm shed project budgeting. For a more accurate costing, or to discuss permit management for your project, please feel free to call us on 1800 68 78 88.

Disclaimer: Information and examples are general only. Council permit requirements vary from state to state, and shire to shire. Contact your local council or talk to one of our building consultants for more information on shed permits.

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