Sheds and outbuildings

Whether you want to install a pergola, a garden pavilion or a spa shelter, there are standards that must be met. Learn more.

Outbuildings are accessory buildings that are separated from your home.

In addition to sheds, other types of outbuildings can be installed on your property, such as:

  • Permanent car shelters
  • Shelter for firewood
  • Shelter for a swimming pool
  • Shelter for a spa
  • Separated garage
  • Gazebo
  • Garden pavilion
  • Pergola
  • Private greenhouse

All boroughs require that some basic rules be followed when installing an outbuilding. Depending on the type or dimensions, a permit may also be necessary. 

Contact your borough to find out more before buying and installing an outbuilding.


Construction density on a lot

The total area of your home and its outbuildings cannot surpass the limits set by your borough.

For a lot with an area of 1,000 m2 for which 50% construction density is permitted with a main building that measures 490 m2, the maximum allowable area for an outbuilding would be only 10 m2.

Fire resistance

The outbuilding’s walls must be minimally resistant to fire. The Construction Code and Safety Code standards must be met.


Rainwater and snow from an outbuilding’s inclined roof cannot spill over to neighbouring property. Plan for a margin of safety, and check the Civil Code of Québec if you need to.

Siding materials

Materials that are not designated for use as exterior siding, such as tar paper or chipboard panels, are prohibited. In many boroughs, they must be the same as those used for the main building.



You cannot install an outbuilding in front of your house, with some exceptions. If your house is on a street corner and certain conditions are met, you may be allowed to do so. For more information, contact your permits counter.


The maximum height for outbuildings is set out in each borough’s urban planning by-law.


In all cases, your outbuilding must be a minimum distance from your home, your property line and the street.

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