Sheds, guest houses need TLC

By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal

This is part 3 in a weekly series featuring tips from the Development Services Department on maintaining and improving properties. Previous stories featured swimming pools, home businesses/occupations and SNAP grants.

By Emily Le Coz
Daily Journal
TUPELO – Before you put up that shed or guest house in the yard, check with the city’s Development Services Department to find the best spot for it.
The department offers free placement assistance so accessory structures comply with city codes. Codes require the structures sit at least 15 feet from the back of the house and 5 feet from the rear property line.
Most residents can handle the measurements themselves, but it’s sometimes tricky with small yards and corner lots that leave little room for error, said Tupelo code enforcement officer Debra Byrd.
Accessory structures include sheds, pool houses, guest houses and any unit that’s fixed to the ground. Tupelo residents must obtain a permit from the Development Services Department before placing such a structure in their yard.
Not included in the definition are dog houses, chicken coops, or any structure that can be easily moved, such as a toy playhouse.
Property owners also should know that the city requires proper maintenance of accessory structures just as it does a house or a commercial building.
“What we see a lot of times is that accessory structures are kind of an oh-by-the-way thing and they don’t necessarily get the same TLC as the home,” Byrd said. “But it needs it.”
Byrd recommends property owners check their accessory structures as they would their homes. If they notice paint peeling on the house, check the paint on the shed or guest house. If the house shingles need replacing, check the shingles on the accessory structure, too.
She also advised people to invest in a good accessory structure that will maintain its appearance over several decades.

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