Do I Need A Permit For A Shipping Container Home?

Example of building permits needed to build a shipping container home

Do you want to build a shipping container home but don’t know if you need a permit? A lot of individuals are interested in purchasing shipping container homes. Shipping container structures are becoming more popular due to their affordability and design flexibility. 

Unfortunately, many people are deterred from purchasing a shipping container home because of permit requirements. This article will answer all your questions to begin building your pod home.

Here are some of the criteria you need to consider to pass the permit:

Ground Stability 

The Council will check whether your site is stable enough to support a shipping container home. The ground needs to hold the weight of the house without any risk of sinking or sliding. If you have uneven land, it can pose a challenge for your building permit application.

Structural Strength 

Shipping containers are made for shipping purposes, not housing. Therefore, you need to make sure that it suits your local building requirements. If you live in an area that often experiences strong wind and storms, you will need to strengthen the container’s structure accordingly. 

Community Presence

The third step is to check the location of your property and if it complies with the local zoning regulations. The location can affect the cost of building your home and its ease of accessibility. In some areas, you may have to change your plan to get the permit. Therefore, you must research your area before anything else.

Neighborhood and Location of Shipping Container

You may need to inform your neighbors about your plan since some may complain about it, especially if they are not aware of it ahead of time. You need to consider this factor when choosing a location for your shipping container home.

3 Tips to help you get a Shipping Container:

  • Permit

The initial thing that you need to do when selecting a shipping container is to consider whether your local government allows it. Some governments prohibit people from having these containers in their areas. Therefore, before buying a shipping container, ensure that it will be permitted in your city or state

  • Duration

You will also be required to consider the duration that you need the container. It is because some will rent out these containers while others sell them. Therefore, renting is the best option if you only want to use it for a short period. 

  • Choose the right size

Shipping containers come in all different sizes. The most common size is forty feet long by eight feet wide by nine feet high. However, when shopping around for your new container, ensure that you get what’s right for your needs.


If you’re building a house or in the process of getting your permit, make sure you understand the laws of your jurisdiction fully well. There is no hard and fast rule about shipping container homes since each state is free to make its own rules regarding them. It means that you should contact the authorities regarding your area and clarify what they expect from you before you move forward with your plans.

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