Find Out What States Allow Shipping Container Homes in 2024! (2024)

If you are thinking of building a house, a shipping container home is a great option. But what actually is it? Well, you all know that shipping containers are used for storage.

So the simplest way to put it is, making a shipping container into a tiny home which you can also strap it on your trucks with a trailer chassis.

Shipping container homes have become quite a trend in recent years, with its popularity growing in huge numbers due to its unique outside the box approach.

In this post, we will give you some ideas, factors, guidelines, specifications, and much more with reference to shipping container homes and how you can turn a storage into a wonderful family cabin.

If it’s already striking up an interest, look through this page till the end to get an idea about which neighborhoods stand the chance to be your next house or even office!

Table of Contents hide

1 What to Know about Building a Shipping Container Home

2 Things That are Covered by Restrictions

3 So, which states allow shipping container homes?

3.1 California container homes

3.3 Tennessee

3.4 Missouri

3.5 Louisiana

3.6 Alaska

3.7 Oregon

3.8 Minnesota

3.9 Massachusetts

3.10 Montana

3.11 Mississippi

3.12 Michigan container homes

What to Know about Building a Shipping Container Home

Find Out What States Allow Shipping Container Homes in 2024! (1)

First things first, you should know what states allow shipping container homes because you can’t build one in many areas. And before you build one, there are certain things to consider first.

Such projects require you to check with the building department in your area if they allow such shipments. So you need to have prior permission before proceeding with it.

You may also want to check the nature of living standards, the size of the box, the companies that deal with this type of housing and the property values.

You can further check whether you will require insulation, your land rights, privacy, distance of travel, amount of time required, whether there is snow in winter and the variety of available products you will need.

We recommend that you do a little research on these, it will help you a lot.

Another point to keep in mind is that you should decide on what kind of shipping container home you want to build.

Many people consider shipping containers homes as a simple cabin-like house or tiny square foot house, while some people see them as a customizable home or local building to suit their needs.

There are more rules like the building codes, zoning regulations, building materials, zoning requirements, property line, building space and building permits that can restrict your building plans.

So you have to ensure that it abides by all the standard construction rules, including the type of materials you can use, size, shape, and more.

In the U.S., the International Residential Code and the International Building Code governs all the building codes. And the National Fire Protection Association also regulates the safety of buildings.

So make sure you have all the right knowledge; go through all information to avoid any problems while getting on with the project of building your container houses.

There is another point to remember when it comes to shipping container houses. You should know the difference between modular homes, mobile homes, and manufactured homes because each of them is governed by different building norms.

So, if you want a mobile container home, the building norm will be different from a manufactured home. And the costs for each also vary depending on the design like the number of windows and doors, material, different styles of insulation and how much money you have for the project. Builders also stack them up and make roofs depending on the spaces available.

In addition to that, there are also important aspects like zoning codes where the urban land is broken up into different parts, which serve as the basis for the locality to choose the structures that can be constructed.

And this is mostly done by the government in order to prioritize the growth and give rise to more development of the place.It is worth noting that they vary from one country to the other.

Things That are Covered by Restrictions

Before you start your work, the locality will check the materials, color, style and sizes of the shipping container homes you are building so that you don’t face any problem.

This would, in majority, also include things like the number of rooms, the maximum height allowed, the square feet, floor space, wall thickness, deed restrictions, zoning code, and more. You will be allowed to build your house once all these checks are done and then sign the relevant documents.

The next thing is checking the information regarding the site offsite with the neighbor’s property and how far it is from it. And they will check whether the ground level depth and height is safe from environmental hazards like floods and other natural disasters.

All other details for example, like the type of plants you can have on your property, fire protection, flooding, wind protection, the number of trees, electrical and plumbing details, and more, are checked as per the building standards. So only after checking all those, you get the green signal.

Most small houses are typically built as eco-friendly homes. So the locality will also check if the container home follows the energy conservation codes. They will also check if the structure is in compliance with the climate of the area so that other structural changes can be constructed.

Once all these are complete, anyone can start with the manufactured home construction, and there will be nothing to stop them from doing so.

So, which states allow shipping container homes?

Find Out What States Allow Shipping Container Homes in 2024! (2)

So now that you know some of the important things to check before building a shipping container home, the next step is to find out the states that allow shipping container homes.

Based on relevant data and information, here is the answer to the question about which are the states that you can choose from for shipping containers.

Californiacontainer homes

Although the state of California has strict housing and land rules, California does allow building permits for shipping container homes. And one of the reasons is because it is a progressing state, it welcomes and value alternative housing options.

So you can safely build shipping containers in the state of California, and the best locations are towards the north, or you can build it inland off the coast. These areas have structures that are priced reasonably and not strictly restrictive.

<<< Find shipping containers for sale in Los Angeles >>>

Texascontainer homes

The state of Texas has fewer building and environmental restrictions regulations, and it makes the perfect place to set up your container home. But, it is worth mentioning that the regulations are strict in the larger vicinities and cities such as Houston. You’ll also find that the regulations of one county may be slightly different from another county. So, the best option when building a container home in Texas is to pick a location in the suburban or rural areas.


Tennessee is perhaps the state with the least local interference when it comes to building regulations. And this is because many areas have access to clean water and forests, and farming is the primary occupation of many. And most of them cannot afford high-priced real estate in the cities, so the best option is building shipping container homes.

This is why Tennessee is the perfect city if you want a hassle-free house building experience. But you should note that the shipping container homes are pricier at the Blue Ridge Mountains, so you might want to avoid that.


Missouri has a great climate with warm, cool summers and winters that are not extremely cold. With such a perfect weather, it is an ideal place to build a shipping container home because you will not need a lot of other reinforcements while building your home. And you can save up on the additional building cost for buying goods.

The best thing about this state is the local zoning codes also welcome the use of shipping container homes because they are affordable alternatives for a home. And because of the excellent climate and environment, this reason makes it the best location for those who like to live in a recreational abode by building one.

Missouri is also one of the few states that allow building shipping container homes without a permit. So it saves a lot of other problems for you like running from one place to the other just to get all your building permits regulations checked etc.

For example, if you are looking for a tiny home or single family homes in the United States, you might want to take this neighborhood into consideration.


Louisiana is the state where people enjoy land freedom. And the only thing important before building a shipping container home is measuring the local land and then approaching the local land use regulatory and climate for approval.

It is also a very liberal state when it comes to shipping container homes. So you should not worry about strict regulations, checks, and the construction process. There are many shipping container homes spread across the state, and you have the freedom to design and construct your home based on your preferences and experience.


Alaska is a state with a low population, but the terrain is very expensive. But this makes it an ideal place to build your shipping container home because the state favors low-cost housing. And in Alaska, you can find lots of them spread across different parts of the state.


In the state of Oregon, many shipping container homes are recognized by the locals as single-family homes. The only criteria, however, is that the population should be less than 10,000.

There is a place called the Three Rivers Recreational Area, which is about 4,000 acres. It has over 600 residents in the area, and many of them live in a container home. The environment is ideal and has some breathtaking scenery.


Minnesota is another place where you can built one of these cabins. As long as you comply with the building codes get prior permission from the concerned authorities, you are good to go. But it is advisable that you check the different zones where you can build one.

The government also support tiny house projects and most of the building regulations are liberal. And it is a great destination for an outdoor cabin. There are some great locations to set up yours. You can also build one in Minneapolis provided that you take prior permission from the different municipalities for approvals.


Massachusetts is excellent if you want to egress to a populous location. Compared to others, the laws are more relaxed and it follows a different system of its own. You can have a look at the available places and properties for housing options on your browser or approach an owner directly. It is a friendly city the welcomes this innovative idea of container homes.


Montana is another great option for building these houses. Compared to others, you can expect ease of living and zoning requirements. You can also find some great container homes built by professional architects. There are some awesome towns you can visit to decide where you want to set it up.


Mississippi also allows you to build a container home. It has one of the best climates in the US with some great coastal locations that you can choose from to set up your container home. The towns have some great localities as well. But there are certain things you need to be aware of before you start your work. So you can check more information about it by visiting the government’s website.

Michigan container homes

Michigan is another region in the US that share the idea of innovative container homes. It has an extensive area of the Mississippi River towards the east. It also ranks 11th in terms of the largest states in the US so there are plenty of available sites that you can set up a tiny home for you and your family.

But like always, do get more information regarding the things like the building standards and the systems so that so that you don’t receive a court order.

Find Out What States Allow Shipping Container Homes in 2024! (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Arline Emard IV

Last Updated:

Views: 6443

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (72 voted)

Reviews: 95% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Arline Emard IV

Birthday: 1996-07-10

Address: 8912 Hintz Shore, West Louie, AZ 69363-0747

Phone: +13454700762376

Job: Administration Technician

Hobby: Paintball, Horseback riding, Cycling, Running, Macrame, Playing musical instruments, Soapmaking

Introduction: My name is Arline Emard IV, I am a cheerful, gorgeous, colorful, joyous, excited, super, inquisitive person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.