Main Blog Do You Need a Permit to Put Shipping Containers on Your Property?

Do You Need a Permit to Put Shipping Containers on Your Property?

November 17, 2020
Coast Containers

As modified shipping containers continue to grow in popularity for their versatility and affordability, we have seen them transform into home offices, pop-up shops, tiny homes and more. If you have considered purchasing a shipping container for your own property or worksite, it is important that you find out if you need a permit to put a shipping container on the property. Every city or municipality has their own building codes and regulations that will determine if you are able to put a shipping container on your property. With proper planning and research, you can avoid any building code violations or fines, this article outlines some standard factors and rules that might affect your ability to get a permit to put a shipping container on the property.

 

Do Property Owners Need Permission to Put A Container on Land?

Whether you’re looking for extended living space or more storage, you should find out if your local Building Division requires you to obtain permission to put a container on land, before you purchase your shipping container. The regulatory requirements to get a permit to put a shipping container on the property vary from city to city, and typically requires a city-certified building inspector to verify that the structure will not violate any building codes or local zoning by-laws and ensure that there are no safety or health concerns. Getting a building permit for shipping container will often consider things such as:

  • Ground Stability: before you are granted permission for portable storage container construction, it must be confirmed that the ground won’t collapse under the weight of your shipping container.
  • Structural Strength: Getting permission for portable storage container structures will require that your structure meets requirements with wind and snow loads and has adequate structural reinforcements.
  • Community Presence: permission to put a container on land in your neighbourhood may be affected by your container’s appearance. Your chances of getting a permit could be affected by the externally viewable parts of the container, such as: colour, condition of the container, and materials used for walls and roof.
  • Neighbourhood and Location of Shipping Container: If you live in a neighbourhood that is residential or high-traffic, getting a building permit for shipping container structures may have more restrictions than if you lived in a low-traffic or rural area. In some cases, local residents may put pressure on city governments to influence their zoning laws because they are concerned with how a structure may affect their property value.

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Getting Your Permit for Portable Storage Container Construction:

Each city or municipality may have different rules and regulations that will determine if you are granted permission to put a portable container on the yard of your property. It can often take anywhere from ten to twenty days to get your permit to put a shipping container on the property and it is imperative that you obtain it before you begin. Generally, the building codes and permits of most developed countries are influenced by the International Building Code and the International Residential Code, which are updated every couple of years. These codes set the standards of construction to determine how residential shelters and homes are built.

Property zoning is another type of building regulation that you may encounter in the process of getting a permit for portable storage container structures. Zoning is determined by city governments and may change with rezoning laws depending on their plan for a city’s growth and development. Zoning is a process that breaks up large sections of urban land to determine what can be built there, which means that the likelihood of getting a permit for storage container construction will be dependent on the zone and neighbourhood in which your property is located.

 

Temporary vs. Permanent Permits for Storage Container Structures

Can you place a shipping container on the property without a permit if it is only for a short period of time? It depends on the specific rules and regulations of your city. The good news is that there is a chance you may not need one, or if you do, you will likely have fewer requirements to comply with. If you’re seeking permission to put a container on land permanently, you will likely need to provide evidence that your shipping container is compliant with your local zoning and building regulations.

 

Conclusion

Adding a shipping container to your property is an exciting endeavour and is a great way to make your property more functional. It’s easy to want to immediately begin planning the layout and design of your new shipping container structure, but before you begin the fun part of planning, you must find out if you will be able to get a permit to put a shipping container on the property or else you risk the chance of unknowingly violating your city’s building codes and regulations. At Coast Containers we have industry experts in our locations across Canada who can help you navigate your city’s building codes and regulations as they relate to shipping container structures.

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