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Shedding Light on a Home Improvement Project

What do we need to know before we start building a storage shed?

February 16, 2012
Josh Jerman R(B) - Real Estate Columnist • The Wailea Group LLC , The Maui Weekly

Dear Josh:

We want to build a storage shed on our property. The 80-square-foot shed is vinyl and needs a level foundation, which we also plan to install. We would like the shed to serve a multi-purpose by positioning it close to the property line to serve as a barrier to block out our noisy neighbors. How close can we go to the property line, legally, and do we need a permit for the structure?

This is a great question, as many homeowners on Maui likely face some degree of uncertainty when it comes to installing or building an additional structure, such as a storage shed, on their property--especially when the desired location happens to be close to a shared property line.

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According to the county's Building Code (and I'd recommend reviewing it--you can find a link, as well as other permitting policies and procedures, at, you will not need to secure a building permit for the project you've described. The current code mandates that building permits are not required for structures that do not exceed 120 square feet. However, if you plan on outfitting your storage shed with plumbing or electricity, separate permits will be required (unless otherwise exempted by appropriate plumbing or electrical codes).

As for the proximity to your neighbor's property, make sure you are in compliance with the county's setback requirements, which are based on the zoning designation(s) of your property. For instance, in residential districts, the side and rear yard setbacks for a single-story structure is 6 feet; in rural and agricultural districts, it is 15 feet. And of course, if your neighborhood has a homeowners' association, always check to see if there are any rules, regulations or restrictions before taking on this (or any) kind of endeavor.

Do you have a similar question about owning Maui real estate or buying a home on Maui? If so, I'm ready to answer it. Email me at or visit

And, just a reminder: if you are (or, happen to be the parent of) a college-bound high school senior in Maui County, the deadline to apply for the 2012 Josh Jerman Maui Nui Scholarship is Monday, Feb. 20. To learn more about this scholarship program, visit


Josh Jerman is a REALTOR/Broker with The Wailea Group LLC, located in The Shops at Wailea at 3750 Wailea Alanui Drive, Ste. 5EW. He serves on the Realtors Association of Maui (RAM) Board of Directors, RAM Education Committee a



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