Starting from scratch? Here are the right questions to ask:
What rules exist in my area that could affect my shipping container homes?
What parts of my container designs might those rules affect?
Who makes those rules in my area so I can learn more about compliance?
Before you buy your land, it’s important to thoroughly research whether building within your city limits has any strange zoning restrictions. By searching : “[your state] official zoning district charts”} on the internet, you should discover an official copy of your your state’s planning and zoning codes!
In most cases, you won’t find claims saying “no container homes”, but you may need to modify some of you your initial designs to meet regulations.
If your land is already purchased, start by looking through the saved information from your purchase for any deed restrictions on your property. Otherwise, work with a title company to locate any restrictions!
Contacting your local government
You’ll be reaching out to everyone at a local level to navigate building permit resources and approval since all zoning and the majority of code-related rules are made at the local level.
For cities: you’ll need to work with the zoning office and building permit office.
For counties: you'll likely just need to contact the building permit office (if that).
Insider note: if you can develop a decent relationship with the people in charge, they will be willing to help you jump through the hoops of becoming a permit holder and getting approved for your container home community.
When you start talking to permitting offices and builders, they may recommend against it or talk you out of it -- this is only because you’re proposing something unique. However, once everyone grasps container construction, they'll realize it's not too far from traditional construction. You’re just building everything inside the steel shell and outfitting it's exterior to match the surrounding area.
Questions? Reach out to our team of professionals for guidance and building tips!