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Accessory Buildings -- General Information

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Please refer to PERMITS for an overview of the permit process. If you have questions about the information on this page, please contact Building Inspection at (303) 651-8332 or


The minimum setback distance for accessory structures such as detached garages, storage sheds, play houses and other similar structures is:

  • 5 feet from the rear and side property lines.


Buildings shall not be located within any easement of record unless all approvals have been obtained from the appropriate utilities; check your recorded deed or subdivision record for any and all easements.


  • one story structures less than 120 square feet in floor area: No permit is required but securing the structure to insure that it cannot be damaged by wind with proper tie downs or anchorage is recommended.
  • one story structures greater than 120 square feet in floor area:
    All foundations must be designed by an engineer based on the type of soil under the structure. The drawings must be stamped and sealed by an engineer licensed in Colorado. This is because of Footing/Foundations which support large loads, or that are constructed on poor soils may require different foundation designs.


ANCHOR BOLTS Anchor bolts are required to attach the mud sill to the foundation. The minimum size for anchor bolts is ½" diam x 10" long. Anchor bolts must be embedded in the wet concrete a minimum of 7", they shall be a maximum of 4' apart and be located within 1'-0 of each end of each individual piece. A minimum of 2 bolts per piece of mud sill is required.

The bottom plate or mud sill is attached to the foundation with anchor bolts. Pressure treated wood or Redwood must be used.

The minimum stud size is 2" x 4" placed a maximum of 24" apart in all exterior walls.

All exterior walls are required to be laterally braced, to resist wind and seismic forces. Typical sway bracing would be let-in 1 X 4 or metal T brace, 4 X 8 exterior plywood sheathing at all corners.

Note: Regardless of square footage, the structure must still comply with the room-member-to-wall-tie requirements of the International Residential Code, Chapter R802.11. 


TOP PLATES A double top plate is required, for exceptions see International Residential Code, Chapter R602.3.2.

Rafter ceiling joist sizes are determined by a 30 psf live load and a 10 psf dead load in combination with span lengths and spacing. Because there are many combinations of span and floor area, this pamphlet will not attempt to address all of these. The reader is referred to the International Residential Code. The minimum sizes will be verified by the Building Inspection office upon review of your project. Engineered trusses may also be used. Truss engineering drawings must be submitted for review and approval at time of framing inspection.

Please refer to the International Residential Code for information on plywood, particleboard sheathing and roofing. Asphalt shingles shall be installed fastened with 6 nails and hand or self sealed.

Electric meter height must remain at 5'6" above grade including finished floor of deck. Proper height of overhead service drop must be maintained at a minimum of 10' above grade and above roofs dependent upon the roof slope and amount of overhang. The meter may need to be moved in some instances, such as if the accessory building is built under an overhead electrical service drop. The meter may not be located in an enclosed room.





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