The Legality of Shipping Container Homes in California

shipping container home in California

If you want to enjoy the thrilling prospect of owning a home from the envy of your friends, it’s essential to understand the basics of building a shipping container. There are some rules you need to follow when building your California-based container home, including what type of building codes you need to obey. There are a couple of general things you should know before you get started. Some cities and counties require permits for a shipping container home. Your local building department can inform you what documents you need.

However, as with most things in California, there is a process involved before you obtain these permits. You will need to apply for permits from your local government; these documents are not issued until you can prove your containers meet all legal safety standards. The majority of cities will require your local builder or architect to draw up a set of plans based on the building codes in your area.

An architect creating plans for a container home

If the shipping container home is built in an enclosed space, like a garage or cabin, you will need to hire a licensed contractor. Some cities may require building permits, which may include an inspector’s visit or inspections at different stages during construction. The state requires certain inspections during construction. However, local building codes may differ.

What permits are needed to build a shipping container home in California?

When seeking to construct a shipping container home in California, it’s essential you have all of the necessary permits. Additionally, you need to comply with building codes. As we discussed previously, California has planning standards for shipping container homes. However, you may wish to get additional permits and inspections to make sure there are no issues. Here are the permits you will need:
Building Permit
Building Use Permit
Electrical permit
Plumbing permit
Mechanical permit
Zoning Permit

Building and drawing permits

When applying for a permit, the zoning agency will conduct a site inspection. In some cases, they may also require a structural or mechanical inspection. These inspections make sure the home complies with your local building codes. Before an inspection, the zoning agency may require work to be completed beforehand. In this case, they must approve the submitted plans before any construction can begin. Make sure the home gets approved for insurance before you begin construction. California requires your home to be fully insured. Insurance is required for any home worth more than $300,000. If your shipping container home costs more than $300,000, you must have a minimum of $300,000 in insurance.

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