Can I Have a Shipping Container in My Backyard is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

It’s a question that you may have asked yourself at some point. Can I put a shipping container in my backyard? If you are considering the idea of putting one in your backyard. It is important to consider where you live and what kind of zoning laws there are for architectural structures. There are many different regulations on this topic, so if you want to find out more information. About whether or not it is possible for you, let’s discover in our blog post.

You may be surprised to learn that it is perfectly legal to have a shipping container in your backyard. You can even turn the metal box into an office or guest house, essentially transforming this storage unit into any number of structures for different purposes, and regulations on building codes will most likely not apply as they do with traditional construction projects.

While that is the quick and simple answer let’s dig a little deeper into the subject to make sure we get everything right.

The Benefits of Shipping Containers

Shipping containers have been around for a long time as they are used to transport goods all over the world. For this reason, when you buy one and put it in your backyard. You can be sure that it’s going to last a very long time because of how durable they are. They’re made from heavy-duty steel so there is no rust. You can’t dent it and if rained on there is no leaking.

They can make an outdoor room, storage for your tools, a place to grow vegetables or food, and much more. They are very versatile in the way that they can be used so therefore you’re going to get the most use out of them if you put one in your backyard.

The second benefit is cost-effectiveness because they are both affordable when buying as well as inexpensive to maintain. You can also get a custom design to match your house and they look great in any yard or space.


The big question comes when it comes to the legality of this plan. 

The short answer is you will need to contact your local municipality in order to find out their rules. On the containers and how they may or may not be able to use one. As a backyard structure if there are any restrictions at all.

Depending on where you live, it might make more sense instead of building something from scratch. Or hiring a company to build you something in your backyard.

It’s very important to contact the municipality before purchasing anything because it will dictate everything for you. Including where and how big of an area they will allow the container to be placed. On as well as what type of structure can go up around it (if any). 

This is also where you will find out if there are any restrictions in regards to height, noise level, and/or sightline.

Do I Need A Permit To Put A Shipping Container On My Property?

Shipping containers are becoming more and more popular as a way to increase the size of living spaces. You might not realize that you can put one on your property! But before you do, make sure it’s legal in your area – then check if there are any restrictions or neighborhood agreements against doing so too.

As a result of its industrial nature, your neighbors may not like the look and idea of seeing shipping containers. On your property, if you have any nosy or opinionated neighbors that are always looking for things to complain about. They’ll do their best in order to get rid of them as soon as possible.

Obtaining a permit to get a shipping container can be tedious. You’ll most likely need the following details:

  • Location
  • Condition of the container
  • The time you plan to have the container on your property
  • How it will affect your neighbors 

Do I Need A Permit For A Shipping Container?

Shipping containers are a great way to maximize space and enjoy the benefits of a home office. Before purchasing one, it is important that you know what sort of permits will be needed in your area depending on where the container will sit.

A permit for large structures needs to include: an engineering plan detailing how it was constructed.

Proof from local authorities such as building inspectors or fire marshals (as applicable) verifying compliance with their code requirements. 

Drawings showing design details including type, size, location(s), usage(s).

Proposed use changes if any planned within 30 days after the issuance date. 

Name/address of contractor who built structure and legal address at which contractor carries out business normally.

Some of these things may vary depending on where you are in the country but these should give you an idea of what may be asked of you.

Do I Need A Building Permit For A Shipping Container?

While some cities do require a building permit for containers, the purpose of these permits is not simply to make sure you’re abiding by regulations. 

These requirements are in place because foundation work needs to be done before your container can stand on its own, and that’s no small feat! 

In order to purchase or rent a container without knowing this information beforehand could result in legal ramifications down the road. So it pays off big time if you start with an understanding of what your city requires first.

Most people know that you can’t just have a shipping container on your property without the proper permits, but some cities or states are more lenient with their rules.

Can I Put Shipping Containers On My Land?

Shipping containers can be a great way to get your foot in the door of the shipping industry. While permits for high-traffic areas are difficult to obtain, you might have a chance. If you’re located in low-traffic communities with plenty of lands on which to place them. If this is something that interests you then know that lot size will influence approval rates. Whereas lots less than two acres should not accommodate more than one container and those over 2 acres could house up to four or five!

If you have more than two acres of land, then it is time to apply for rezoning so that we can put up multiple shipping containers on your property!

Hazards They Bring

While shipping containers can be a great way to save money, it does come with its own set of hazards.

The first is the lack of insulation which can lead to higher heating and cooling costs. As well as be more susceptible to mold or mildew when not properly ventilated.

Shipping containers are airtight which means that no air can get into the container which can lead to air quality issues. But worse than this is safety issues with an air-tight container.

The container is not able to be properly ventilated which means that any moisture or smoke from a fire could lead to suffocation.

You also need to be aware of what has been carried in the container before you buy it. Hazarded waste is transported all around the world and if you find a container that has been used to transport hazardous materials. Then you might want to reconsider your purchase.

If you want to avoid any of these issues I would contact a company that sells containers. A company will be able to inspect the container before selling it and ensure that it is in a good condition.

How to Get a Shipping Container In Your Backyard

There are many ways to get a shipping container in your backyard you need to first consider the size, condition, and cost. When someone first comes to buy a container they are shocked at the many different sizes available. 

Then we need to think about the condition of the container. If someone is looking to buy an old used shipping container. Then they will need to make sure that it has not been in any accidents or had anything spilled on it. 

Once you have the size you want and the condition it will be much easier to talk to a company about the cost. 

Shipping container sellers will be able to get you new or old, large or small, and an assortment of different prices.

The great thing about going with a company that deals with selling shipping containers is they will organize the transportation. Getting the container into the backyard is no mean feat and they can also offer advice on how to get the container into position.


Shipping containers are a convenient and cost-effective way of storing things. They’re also used as backyards, garages, shops, or offices – the sky’s the limit! However, before you get too excited about having your own shipping container in your backyard. Just know that there are certain rules to follow so that you can legally have one on private property.