Car port - 3 sided / open"garage" - permission required?

Hello, your help please.

I need to build a wooden shelter for my tractor.

I know that if I build a fully enclosed shed / garage up to 20 square metres I’ll need to notify the local Mairie. If over 20 square metres then full permission required.

However, a friend (in France) tells me that if it’s not fully enclosed I don’t need to notify / apply for permission. By that I mean it has only 3 walls and a roof - is completely open at one end. Effectively a car port with 3 walls.

So my question is are there different rules applicable to open structures as my friend suggests?

Many thanks

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Yes, there are different rules.

Firstly, you need to speak with someone at your Mairie… tell them what you would like to do… and ask how this can be achieved.

Anyone thinking that "advising after the event is OK… " is WRONG

Things should be sorted at the Mairie first… no matter what the size…

Be guided by your Mairie… they know what forms you need for whatever your project, large or small.

Hi Stella, thanks for your help.
Yes indeed the Mairie is absolutely where I’d be for a shed / garage build (large or small) so as to comply with the necessary paperwork.

What my friend says is that something like a car port (large or small) that is not fully enclosed (whereas a garage for example is fully enclosed) never needs notice or permission nor any forms submitted. The rules are different apparently because the car port / open structure is not deemed habitable. So it’s not an “apply after the event” or “size” question I’m raising.

I appreciate the final arbiter is the Mairie but I just wondered whether there was any truth is my friends suggestion.

A declaration prealable is what you need, very simple


Mark has given you the link to the basic form…

complete the form and take it to the Mairie… hopefully they will sign it and you can go ahead.

In some rare cases… nothing… is allowed.

but, fingers crossed… let’s hope your situation is not one of those…

and no…there is no truth in your friend’s suggestion… :crazy_face:

I was always under the impression that a car port was four uprights and a roof, no sides. Anything attached to the side of a property with three other sides open to the elements was a lean-to.

Maybe I’m living in the 1940s still :confused:

Thanks everyone. Off to the Mairie it will be then. :relaxed:

Once you fill the relevant parts of the form in, include all and any drawings of the installation, print photos and draw on them, the more the better.

Thanks Peter. Ordinarily I’d say you are spot on. In my case though it’s a totally stand alone structure some distance from the house. To be honest I’m not sure what best to call it (maybe the all encompassing “abris”). One end of my “car port” will be totally open to the world, the other 3 sides will have a wall of some sort to keep out the elements. So it’s not a lean to, it’s not what we all expect a car port to be…it’s a standalone garage with only three walls. Actually I might just have 2 walls as that’ll provide sufficient protection!
Hey ho, whats in a name any way :joy:

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Thanks Mark, yes I think I’ll need to set aside a large chunk of time for that part, seems more involved than the actual construction part :grimacing:
Anyway, needs must, thanks for your help :grinning:

Abris/shelter sound a good compromise, Adrian.

It occured to me that, if the panelled walls of a three sided structure were built short of the roofline by 50cm or so, and with an extended roof eave/hangover to prevent ingress of rainwater, it might be judged appropriate for storage of your tractor without fuss. Just an idea to toy with… :thinking:

I would suggest printing out the forms, then completing the easy part, name, address etc. Then go to the mairie and go with the " aaargh, I don’t know which parts to complete" approach. They are hugely helpful and I have found that invariably there is a lot of stuff that doesn’t apply. And if the Mairie looks through it with you, I’ve always found their approach to be " oh that’s not really necessary " “here are the drawings you do need” etc etc. Simplifies the process hugely.
Good luck!


My (British) neighbour had the same “problem”. He went to the Mairie and the reply of the maire was that if he intended to place a wood storage, it would be fine. Apparantly there was no permit neede for a wood storage…?
My neighbour went back to the UK, so I cannot verify this further.

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ha ha… quite often the Maire might say… yes, yes, get it done…

but the paperwork would still need to be prepared and signed-off… before work could commence…

and many a Secretaire was later fuming to find that Monsieur le Mairie had NOT made it clear to the person… and thus… work was sometimes done WITHOUT filing a form and obtaining the appropriate written permission… :upside_down_face: :zipper_mouth_face:

and sometimes the property owner came unstuck with backdated taxes… depending on the situation…

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Nudge, nudge… a nod and a wink…that’s for some to know, and others to find out… Stella knows, y’know… :joy::hugs::person_shrugging:

Ha ha… Peter… I’ve been here so long, that I have a deal of personal experience, working through the good, bad and indifferent…

and I’ve witnessed others going through some really difficult times…

Here on the forum… all I can do is warn folk… after that, it’s up to them…

:thinking: :relaxed: :relaxed:

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I checked the french regs very carefully about constructing a small greenhouse (just under 5m2 footprint) using recycled materials from a porch (the porch demolition is part of a wider scope of works to the house for which we had to obtain full permissions).
I was advised that sticking within the 5m2 square footprint would not add to our calculable area for tax.
I went to the Mairie, and had a very helpful discussion with the administrator, who advised me that although I could get away with it, it was much better to be open about it, lodge a “déclaration préalable” and wait a month for deemed permission.
The catch 22 mistake that I am told that many make it seems is to fill in the last section, entitled “Déclaration des éléments nécessaires au calcul des impositions pour les déclarations préalables”. If you put a changed area into that part of the form, you are likely to be pursued later for additional tax.
I double checked this at the Mairie when I took the forms back in. So for the first page of the “calcul des impositions” I left the area statements 1.2 unfilled, completed: section 1.2.2 about receipt of grant aid; 1.4 about no archaeological works; 1.5 about no particular circumstances; and signed and dated at the bottom.
Clearly if it is a structure that actually does add to the overall area for calculating tax obligations it should be declared under 1.2!
The bit that I think is more involved (and hassle for such a small structure, in the middle of our plot - screened by an orchard,) was preparing the: location plan (DP1); dimensioned plan including heights (DP2); a contextual image (DP6); and marked up photos from each neighbours viewpoint and the road - I took photos from each boundary, printed them and marked them up with the sketched in structure, showing on the same page the viewpoint on plan, the before image, and the sketched in image (DP7).


Thanks Hans, yes I can understand, there seems to be a mist of confusion out there about whats “allowed” or not! :slightly_smiling_face:

Hello John, your last paragraph in particular summarises my fears about the amount of admin’ needed just to get the form submitted, whereas the build itself will be very simple. Then again your earlier paragraphs about possible property tax ramifications sends shivers up my spine. Thanks for the heads up. Regards Adrian