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Can I have a shipping container in my backyard? This was one of the main questions I had after purchasing my new home.
Have you ever wondered why many of your friends and neighbors have shipping containers in their backyards?
Well, the reason is due to the many benefits it offers. Shipping containers are affordable and flexible in that they can be transformed to fit any project.
Their large size makes it perfect for holding a lot of things and also for emergencies.
Shipping containers can be used to set up an emergency hospital, a public toilet, office space, or even building a home. The containers are also used for commercial purposes as a public structure.
Some people also use containers as rooms for holding parties.
If you are considering bringing a shipping container in your yard, there are a few things you need to consider. The things are:
- Whether it is legal to have the shipping containers in your backyard,
- The hazards that come with putting them in your yard
- The process of getting the container
Is it Legal to Have the Shipping Container in Your Backyard?
Before bringing a shipping container in your backyard, you need to familiarize yourself with the laws of your area. Having this in mind will put you on the right side of the law.
The law on having a shipping container on your yard mostly depends on how you plan on using the container.
Is it for storage or housing?
When you answer these questions, you will be at an advantage of being on the right side of the law.
However, if it is housing, you must be clear on what type of architectural designs you plan on having.
You should also make it clear whether it’s going to be a primary dwelling, vacation house, or rental home.
Check my article on backyard fire pit laws.
The Legality of Shipping Containers in the Backyard
Zoning is about planning the growth of a city to control the density of buildings.
Zoning determines where residential and commercial buildings are localized.
Have you noticed how industrial buildings or residential homes are situated in one area? That’s due to the zoning effect.
In the US, most cities have zoning laws with an exemption of cities such as Houston.
Shipping containers are considered accessory structures. Therefore, they are subject to zoning regulations.
Some states do not permit having a shipping container in residential areas.
In some states, storage containers are only allowed in a residential property for only a month.
Building Codes and Licenses.
The building laws determine the construction of the building. Before embarking on any development, a person must get these approvals.
Building codes in most countries are per the international code council, international residential code, and also the international building code.
However, some US states like Massachusetts have their building codes.
When applying for a shipping container permit, you must show that you have fully complied with the building codes and licenses.
- The Mobile, manufactured, and modular building codes. This law applies to homes that are constructed in factories then shipped to its locations for installation.
- HOA rules and Deed Restrictions. Deed restrictions are found on the property’s deed. The landlord is responsible for the addition of the law.
The government does not enforce the deeds; however, they have the power to restrict a lot of things.
You need to note that you must follow your city’s laws before having a shipping container in your yard. If you don’t, you risk losing the container.
If you plan on having a container for storage for a short time, the laws won’t be that restrictive.
You may not even need a permit; however, some states allow for a temporary license.
In a densely populated area, the rules may be more severe. However, rural areas don’t have too many restrictions.
In situations that are severe and complicated, you may have to hire an expert, usually referred to as permit expeditor.
The Hazards of Having a Shipping Container in Your Backyard
You need to consider the hazards that come with having a shipping container in your backyard.
First of all, the design of the shipping container makes it hard for air circulation.
If the door is closed, one can quickly suffocate because there are no windows or even gaps that let in air.
If you intend to have a container as a house, you will need to have the door open all the time, which is not safe.
Some containers are not safe, especially those bought from an untrusted dealer.
They may container dangerous paint on the walls and also the wooden flooring.
These paints may cause you and your family some serious health concerns.
Therefore, it is best to buy the shipping container directly from the manufacturer.
However, if you have already purchased a hazardous container, you can fix it by following a few guidelines.
How Can You Get a Shipping Container?
Getting a shipping container to your backyard is not hard only if you know what you need.
You need to know your preferred container size before purchasing.
Understand everything there is to know about the container from its structure to the shipping container market.
The means and ease of transportation will depend on the size of the container.
The bigger the container, the harder it is to transport.
You also need to consider the grade of the shipping container before getting one. Some are proofed against wind and water, the trip only, and those that have been used for a while.
Once you are aware of this, you can start looking for the right dealer of the shipping containers. You can also find a dealer near your area.
Before sending money or making any payment, ensure you see the container that you intend to buy.
Also, make sure the person you buy from will provide shipments, most manufacturers and dealers do.
Nonetheless, if you purchase the container from someone other than a dealer, you will cater for your transportation.
Check my article on can i shoot squirrels in backyard?
Final thoughts on Shipping Container in the Backyard
The answer “Can I have a Shipping Container in My Backyard” highly depends on the zoning laws in your country or the state you live in. (Source)
If they are legal in your area of residence, they can be an excellent addition to your backyard.
You can transform a shipping container into a minimalistic home office, a guest house, clubhouse, a mancave, or anything else that amazes you.