Looking to invest in a CargoHome, but not sure if your state or local zoning board will approve?
Unfortunately, there isn’t any clear-cut system for building a container home in the United States. However, there are some things to consider before you dive head first into building a container home.
First off, for those new to building any type of home, a building code is a set of rules, or minimum standards that every building must meet or exceed in order to receive an occupancy permit. Its important, though not to confuse building codes and zoning, as they are two separate things. Zoning regulations state where a house can be built and help keep similar buildings near each other.
On the surface, it may seem that a container home is more structurally sound than a traditional manufactured home (ie: trailer home). The corner posts are heavier than a manufactured house, it can withstand a greater load and is all steel construction as opposed to wood or aluminum 2×4’s. However, building inspectors really aren’t familiar with this type of construction, and the neighbors might object to anything different in fear that it may affect their property value.
First, communicate with the local authorities about your plans, explain the designs and benefits, and bring examples of other container homes especially if they’re in your area, can greatly affect your plans getting a positive reaction. Along with shipping container homes, research other types of “non-traditional” building such as earthships or ferro-cement domes. Even though these types of building aren’t the norm, they are becoming more and more accepted in many areas.
Second, research areas that are friendlier to alternative type buildings. If the area is a little more remote, there might be a better chance of having your designs accepted and ultimately approved. Just note that if you’re trying to receive permitting in New York City, you might find more trouble than applying in Waco Texas. You can also begin your research by looking for areas with no building codes or zoning regulations. They’re getting fewer and further between, but they do exist.
Finally, while there aren’t any set rules concerning shipping container homes, all electrical, plumbing and mechanical on the CargoHome is done to code under licensed tradesmen.
CargoHome manufactures container-based structures using our own code-compliant shipping container modules. ESR 4163 confirms that the containers we use in structures meet the strict inspection, quality and known material requirements set by the international Code Council. But that’s a topic for another blog article. Stay tuned!