Australian Building Codes and Sheds

Is a Garden Shed a Class 10a building?

The BCA (Building Code of Australia) classifies a Class 10a building as a non-habitable building being a private garage, carport, or shed.

A Class 1 building is defined as one or more buildings, which together constitute:

(a) Class 1a — a single dwelling being—
(i) a detached house; or
(ii) one of a group of two or more attached dwellings, each being a building, separated by a fire resisting wall,including a row house, terrace house, town house or villa unit;

So the classification of a building revolves around the definition of Habitable and Non-Habitable rooms.
If you have a room in your shed or if you use you shed as one of the following (even if the shed contains only a single room)

 

  •  Bedroom
  • Dining Room  

  • Living Room
  • Sewing Room
  •  Lounge Room
  • Study
  •  Music Room
  • Playroom  

  •  Television Room
  • Family Room

  •  Kitchen
  • Sun Room

 

Then your shed will be classified as a class 1 building. It will then have to comply with the building codes that relate to class 1 buildings and your local council will more than likely require building permits and DA applications prior to you erecting your “shed”.

Class 10a building Classification
And if all of your rooms in your shed contain only

  • Bathroom
  • Laundry  

  • Water closet
  • Pantry
  • Walk-in robe
  • Corridor

  •  Hallway
  • Lobby
  • Photographic darkroom
  •  Clothes-drying room

Then your shed will be classified as a Class 10a building.

A Little Vague
The BCA definition of Habitable and Non-Habitable revolves around Rooms or “Spaces that are not occupied frequently or for extended periods” are Non-Habitable.
There is room for interpretation here. So if you intend to use your shed for things other than storage you should probably seek guidance from your local council prior to beginning your build.

Can I change a Class 10a Garden Shed into a Class 1 Building to live in Easily?
The key word here is “easily”. You can apply to have the building reclassified, but you will be required to prove that it complies with the standards required for a Class 1 classification.

Here is a list of things you will have to consider if you want to convert from a Class 10a (shed) non habitable building to a habitable building.

To change the use of your building to a dwelling you will need to ensure that the structure meets all the requirements of the Regulations and the Building Code of Australia. This will include the preparation of plans of the building and a plans of the site, The provision of a number of reports such as a Bassix assessment, energy rating, geotechnical (soil) report and structural engineering designs. Construction elements that you will need to comply with include:

  • Energy efficiency requirements;
  • Structural construction requirements for footings/slab on ground, soil tests, wall and roof framing; Slabs for dwellings have different specifications to those used for sheds.
  • Termite protection;
  • Facilities for cooking, laundry, bathroom, toilet and damp proofing of
    floors and walls;
  • Minimum ceiling heights:
  • Bushfire construction requirements for the site;
  • Minimum window sizes;
  • Certificates of compliance for electrical, plumbing and glazing;
  • Septic Tank system;
  • Damp proofing under concrete floors;
  • Complying steps, landings, balustrades and hard wired smoke alarms.


It is likely that the costs involved in altering an existing garden shed to comply with the class 1 building requirements will exceed demolition and starting from scratch.

If you just want to purchase a great quality garden shed that is classified as a class 10A building then:

Browse Garden Sheds For Sale Now