How Close to My Neighbor’s Boundary Can I Build?

In some states, you can build a home up to certain distances from your neighbor’s property line. How close is too close? What are the implications of building closer than allowed?

The “building too close to property line” is a question that many people ask. The answer, according to the bible, is 16 feet.

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When you’re seeking to construct a new garage, shed, or fence near your neighbor’s property, property boundaries might be a pain to navigate. Depending on where you reside in the nation and what sort of populous region you live in, from city to rural, the ability to construct on your land will have varying criteria. 

The maximum construction distance varies depending on the structure you wish to construct. It normally measures five to fifteen feet in length. Due to the potential of township or county fines, it is critical to discuss property borders with your neighbor before undertaking any permanent or semi-permanent improvements. 




The property boundary restrictions varies depending on the sort of permanent fixture you intend to create, such as sheds, pools, fences, and other structures or fixtures. Legal requirements establish the range of how far you may go with these sorts of initiatives, depending to your local government. Continue reading to find out more about the laws and regulations that govern how near you may construct to your neighbor’s property line.

Contents Table of Contents

  • What You Should Know Before Constructing a Structure
  • Requirements for Construction
  • Which Projects Will Necessitate Permits?
  • Penalties and Disputes in the Construction Industry
  • Conclusion


What You Should Know Before Constructing a Structure

There are a few phrases and scenarios to be aware of before building on to your house whether you are new to home ownership or learning about property regulations for the first time. When talking about construction permits, there are a few crucial phrases to remember:

  • Setbacks
  • Easements
  • Deeds of quitclaim

It will be simpler to traverse your alternatives when it comes time to negotiate a deal with your neighbor or the local authorities if you use these terminology. The last tip to remember is to communicate with everyone engaged in the construction process, as well as to do thorough research to minimize snags along the road.


The gap between the new construction and the property line is referred to as setbacks. Setbacks can refer to the distance between two structures, such as your home and the new garage you intend to construct.


The distance between the new construction and the home, sidewalk, or river is determined by the town or county administration.


If your property lines do not offer adequate room for your intended expansion or new structure, you may want to talk to your neighbor about a property arrangement. Easements enable you to utilize a certain portion of your neighbor’s land, and they may be implied or legally obligatory. 

If a disagreement arises after the easement agreement is made, the easement might be brought up in the property dispute. In such a circumstance, having a type of paperwork that verifies the agreement on an easement between neighbors is highly advised.

Deeds of quitclaim

Deeds of quitclaim are legal agreements set by neighbors who do not know where their property lines end or want to transfer property to one another to make the property line even.

Deeds of quitclaim require an attorney to be present to authorize the changes made to the original property deeds so that future homeowners know where the property lines begin and end. 

Research and communication

The bottom message is to contact with your neighbors and local government officials if you wish to develop near a property border. The greatest approach to perhaps minimize future conflict and issues is to talk about your strategy with individuals who it may directly effect. 

The first step in this procedure is to figure out where to begin and who to speak with. Before making any construction plans, find out who your local government leaders are and who is in charge of approving building permits in your region. The permission might be the most time-consuming component of any project, therefore the sooner you apply for one, the better. 

You will be unable to move into the construction phase if your building permit is not approved, and you will risk fines if you do. If your permission is refused, you may be able to appeal the judgment and have the zoning board in your state reconsider your permit requirements. 

Permits take time to get.

The first part of the permitting procedure is submitting a permit, with the second half being permission. Before you can start working on your project, you’ll need to have all of your building permits approved, which may take anywhere from a few days to a few months. It’s a good idea to file a construction permit after you’ve had your property surveyed, but be mindful of the timing.

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Permits may be time-sensitive, meaning they are only valid for a certain period of time, ranging from six months to a year, depending on state legislation. Once your permission has been approved, begin building as soon as feasible, since certain permits may become invalid if work does not begin or is not finished within a certain length of time. 

Requirements for Construction

The majority of construction projects begin with the acquisition of a building permit. There may be variances in construction rules depending on your state, county, and township, which you should be able to see on the state website. If not, you should contact the legal authorities of your county or township, since you will need to submit a construction permit via them anyhow. 

The distance between the property line and where you may erect buildings ranges between five and fifteen feet. The most difficult aspect of this range is determining where your property line stops and your neighbor’s starts.

Because not all properties are cut in straight lines, making line identification difficult, it’s advisable to consult property papers like the deed or hire a surveyor to determine the property boundaries. 

Which Projects Will Necessitate Permits?

A construction permit would almost certainly be required for any substantial renovations or structural additions to your home. Interior improvements do not need permits since they seldom cross other property boundaries or obstruct your neighbor’s access to and from their home. However, if you want to remodel the external walls, a porch, or a patio, you may require a permission. 

The following are the most typical significant projects that need construction permits:

  • Decks or patios/patio covers
  • Gazebos
  • Swimming pools are a popular recreational activity.
  • Garages
  • Sheds
  • Additions to the floor

Building permits are not just necessary for exterior designs; they are also required for projects requiring load-bearing buildings, utility alterations, and projects costing more than $5,000. Utilities have changed in the following ways:

  • Plumbing
  • Electrical
  • Heating & cooling
  • Structural, such as Additions to the floor or extensive repairs

You may require a permit if any portion of your project meets these criteria. When it comes to dubious initiatives, it’s better to call and inquire than to risk having to pay penalties afterwards.

Penalties and Disputes in the Construction Industry

If the relevant permits are not authorized, building any form of permanent or difficult-to-remove construction near to the line that separates your land and your neighbor’s property might result in a legal penalty. Fines are often imposed for this infraction, and the structure may be ordered to be removed before a deadline, or the authority may order the structure’s removal and then penalize you.

A zoning violation is a sort of infraction that may result in penalties or criminal charges, depending on the findings of an inquiry. To ensure that safety rules are fulfilled, each new construction or addition to a property must be inspected many times after completion. If there is a problem, penalties for poor quality may be imposed.  

Other penalties, such as the inability to request for future licenses, might be long-term. If a property does not comply with current zoning restrictions, it may sell for less than market value or not at all. In the event of a violation, you may appeal the claims in the hopes of settling the problem. 


The long process of acquiring a permit, determining one’s property borders, and the lengthy building process may be exhausting for some, particularly if it is your first time filing for a permit. The final result, with the advantage of long-awaited joy and enthusiasm, is one of the greatest pleasures in the world of homeownership. 

You can also be seeking for a new project, so check out our collection of deck to patio transition ideas, which will ensure that your backyard looks its best!


The “how close can you build a garage to property line” is a question that people ask themselves when they are building a new home. This is because the law states that there must be at least 10 feet between the boundary and the house.

Frequently Asked Questions

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