Can You Have a Shipping Container in the Backyard? Everything You Need to Know

Are you considering having a shipping container in the backyard? Well, you have landed on the right page, where you’ll find the detailed answer to your question.

But before that, you need to know what shipping containers are if you aren’t aware of this.

Shipping containers are giant boxes with molded PVC, metal, and polymers. These are essentially used on cargo ships and utilized like containers, so these need to be crash-proof, healthy, and firm.

Shipping containers are ideal for different sorts of projects. However, you need to understand that it is not at all legal in some places to have a shipping container in the backyard.

It doesn’t matter how difficult you try. Some areas don’t permit having shipping containers in the backyard.

The Charisma of Shipping Containers

shipping container in backyard

Less expensive metal containers, the shipping containers in the backyard are huge enough to store many things that will make your backyard more attractive.

These are not only used for such purposes but also amazing for emergency use.

Public toilets, modular housing, or shipping containers can be transformed into public toilets.

You can use a shipping container as it can be transformed into a home or detached office space, as per your state or nation’s rules and regulations, assisting you in creating more private space.

Apart from just emergency utilization, you can use shipping containers as office space or transform them into commercial or public structures.

You can make use of shipping containers even beyond your imagination. For example, in Hong Kong, some hotels ship containers.

Shipping containers can prove to be a great hit when organizing parties here, as these can provide a cozy and warm feeling.

The only major disadvantage is that in some regions, having a shipping container is not legal, leading to restrictions on the backyard’s charm.

So, in this article, you will get all the tips if you want to include a shipping container in your backyard.

You will also get to know whether it is legal to bring in these containers or not.

Can You Have a Shipping Container in Backyard?

It will help if you become aware of all the laws of your place before you get a shipping container for your backyard.

You will be on the right side and can’t do anything illegal if you know all your region’s rules and regulations.

The rules and regulations of the law of possessing a shipping container in your backyard commonly rely on how you will use it.

Is the shipping container for housing or storage purposes? You will be on the right side of the law when you can answer the above questions.

But, you need to be very clear on the kind of architectural styles you are thinking of having if you want a shipping container for housing.

In addition to this, ensure that a shipping container is for a rental home, vacation house, or primary dwelling.

Legality of Having a Shipping Container in the Backyard

Shipping Container

1. Property Zoning

To handle or manage the buildings’ density, zoning plays a role in their growth planning.

Zoning decides at which place commercial and residential buildings are localized.

Have you ever observed how residential or industrial buildings are localized in one region? This is because of the effect of zoning.

The majority of the United States cities have zoning laws, with some different cases in cities like Houston.

Shipping containers also come under zoning regulations because these are considered accessory structures.

Some states don’t allow having a shipping container in residential regions.

On the other hand, these are just permitted for a month in residential property.

2. Building Codes and Licenses

The building laws determine the establishment of the building. An individual has to get approval before beginning any development.

Building codes in most nations are according to the International Building Code, International Residential Code, and International Code Council.

But, some states in the United States, such as Massachusetts, possess building codes.

You must present all the gathered building codes and licenses when applying for a shipping container permit.

  • There are building codes for manufactured, modular, and mobile. This rule of law is for homes that are set up in factories. After this, these are transported to their destinations for installation purposes.
  • Deed Restrictions and HOA rules. The restrictions of the deed are obtained from the Deed of the property. It is the responsibility of the landlord for the law’s inclusion.
  • The government is not responsible for enforcing deeds but can restrict many things.
  • Before you bring a shipping container into your Backyard, you have to stick to the laws of your city. You can lose your container if you don’t follow any law.
  • The rules and regulations will be more straightforward if you want a shipping container in the backyard for storage purposes and a shorter duration. It is a possibility that there isn’t any requirement for a permit, but various states grant permission for a temporary license.
  • The laws can be strict in the event the region is densely populated. But, there are fewer restrictions in rural regions.
  • You have to consult a professional if the conditions are complicated or severe. The professional is commonly referred to by the name permit expeditor.

Hazards of Having a Shipping Container in Backyard

Green Shipping Container in Backyard

While shipping containers offer a unique and versatile solution for space needs.

Addressing the potential hazards associated with their use is crucial, especially if you are looking to inhabit them is crucial:

  • Ventilation and Insulation: Shipping containers are designed to be airtight, which can pose significant ventilation issues. Without proper airflow, the risk of suffocation or buildup of harmful gases increases. To mitigate this, it’s essential to install adequate ventilation systems. Insulation is also crucial for comfort and preventing condensation, which can lead to mold and mildew.
  • Structural Integrity: Its structural integrity can be compromised when modifying a shipping container, such as cutting windows or doors. Consulting with a structural engineer is advisable to ensure that any modifications do not adversely affect its stability and safety.
  • Electrical and Plumbing Safety: It must comply with local codes and regulations if you plan to install electrical wiring or plumbing. Hiring licensed professionals to handle these installations is the safest approach.
  • Hazardous Materials: Used shipping containers might have been exposed to toxic chemicals or hazardous materials during shipping. It’s vital to ensure the container is thoroughly cleaned and, if necessary, treated to remove any harmful substances before habitation.
  • Temperature Control: Shipping containers can become extremely hot or cold, depending on the weather conditions. An effective heating and cooling system is essential for creating a comfortable and safe living environment.
  • Fire Safety: Like any dwelling, fire safety is a concern. Ensure that smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and emergency exits are in place.
  • Building Codes and Permits: Adhering to local building codes and obtaining the necessary permits is not just a legal requirement but a safety measure.

These regulations ensure that your container home is safe and habitable.

Places to Buy a Shipping Container for Your Backyard

If you want to buy a shipping container, there are numerous ways. The first step is to know the size.

There are different sizes of shipping containers. So consider the size you desire as these are frequently hard to transport if they are bigger.

Now consider the grade that you desire. You must consider the distinction between the grades and select the perfect one for your project.

If you are done with size, search for dealers in your region that also sell according to your desired grade.

You will find various dealers; some will sell you used shipping containers, and some will send new containers directly from the maker.

Now it’s your turn to determine what sort you want.

It’s time to know about shipping. Mostly, makers or dealers ship these for you.

You need to sort the transportation things on your own if you buy the shipping container from an individual who is not a dealer.

You can pay some amount to the company for its transportation or use a huge tow truck.

However, paying some extra money for the brand-new shipping containers for delivery purposes would be good.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, you have got your answer to whether you can get a shipping container in your backyard, no matter the purpose for which you want to use it.

If the shipping container is legal in your region, it is an excellent addition to your backyard.

It would help if you considered all your shipping container project’s rules, regulations, safety, and legality.

If you do not do so, you may end up indulging yourself and others in danger who are taking advantage of the shipping container.

You can enjoy fantastic by having a shipping container in your backyard if it is legal and your project is safe and secure.

You can go beyond your imagination and construct a clubhouse, an office space, a guest house, or a home.

Luke Hernandez

With a Bachelor’s in Architecture from UCLA, Luke Hernandez has been transforming spaces and providing home improvement advice for over 17 years. He also ran his remodeling firm and contributed to various home improvement magazines. He became a part of various websites in 2016, offering practical, hands-on advice for DIY enthusiasts and homeowners. He is passionate about sustainable building practices and is a weekend rock climber. His previous experience includes managing large-scale construction projects. He also enjoys woodworking and volunteering in community rebuilding projects.

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