Container homes are all the rage in frugal and minimal living now, given that they’re affordable and can withstand most weather. It is especially ideal for individuals who aren’t keen on the traditional lifestyles of living in brick and mortar homes.
However, it’s important to note that not all states are agreeable to container homes. From zoning laws to building restrictions, it can be difficult to know where the best place to build a container home is. With that in mind, how would you know where to build a container home if you’re interested in this lifestyle?
You may want to find out whether the state of your choice allows for shipping container homes for starters. While most states are not against shipping container homes for residential use, they may come with a strict set of rules. Second, consider which climates best suit the container home living.
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5 of the Best States to Build a Container Home
Considering that environmentally sustainable homes could be the future of home industries, you’ll be surprised to find that many states are less than welcome to container homes.
Below, you’ll find 5 of the best states to build your container home with the least restrictions. Please note that zoning is largely up to the counties, and therefore regulations can vary significantly within the same state.
If you’re keen to have all the land freedom in your shipping container home lifestyle, then Louisiana makes the best state for you. Known for its relaxed zoning rules and regulations, it’s easy to see why so many people who wish to live in shipping container homes move to Louisiana.
The Louisiana state authorities often allow you to build your home as you like, with the only rule in place being that they measure local land following a local land use regulatory. In most counties, you’re free to build your shipping home to your best design desires with little to no authority interference.
For anyone living on a budget, building your shipping container home in Alaska is the best choice from an affordability perspective. This is as Alaska zoning authorities do not zone low-cost housing, which mirrors the exact reason why many would want to move into a container home.
Alaska also has zero zoning regulations when it comes to building shipping container homes, making it easier for you to control how you would like to settle down. All in all, Alaska makes for a great state to move your container home to as land is cheap to buy and own, and you don’t have to deal with zoning laws.
Boasting a very pleasant climate of mild summers and warm winters, Florida is a great state for you to build a container home with minimal need for insulation.
Thanks to reasonably liberal zoning regulations, the Florida authorities typically treat container homes as good alternatives for low-cost housing. You will need a building permit to build your container home in Florida, but the process should be quite uncomplicated.
Florida also features scenic views and access to the ocean. The state has a very high population density, so if you enjoy access to modern amenities this could be a great place to build your home. But perhaps not if you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.
Tennessee is regarded as a state that enjoys more land freedom than most areas nationwide. This makes Tennessee a highly recommended state to bring your container home to, as you won’t have to worry much about authorities meddling in your way of building your container home.
Thanks to its easy access to clean fresh water, most Tennessee residents find it easy to farm and grow their crops for over 250 days annually. If you’re looking to start a new homesteading life, then the state of Tennessee should ride high on your list of states to move to.
Despite its stringent zoning laws, California is overall friendly towards alternative housing options. This allows you to apply for permits to build and stay in container homes in many California counties.
As such, if you don’t mind having to go through the necessary paperwork, California may be the right state for you to move to. Getting your zoning regulations and land permits is important before you begin, but they can be relatively simple if you choose the right county.
The Best Climate to Build Containers Homes
Shipping containers are great for many uses as they can withstand even the harshest of temperatures and weather conditions. While this may be true to a point, the same cannot be said when it becomes a home.
So, yes, you may build a container home in any climate of your choice, but the best climate is to have your unit in a dry climate. This is to keep your shipping containers rust-free, especially as they are made of rust-prone Corten steel.
Corrosion occurs in steel when it is constantly exposed to water, which can soon hurt the aesthetics of your container home. While rust usually is not an immediate cause for concern, it should still be something to consider when choosing the best climate to build your container home.
On the flip side, you’ll also want to ensure you don’t place your container home in an overly cold or hot climate. As we know, shipping containers conduct heat well as they are made from steel. By building your container home in a hot climate, you may have to spend more energy and money trying to cool down your home continuously.
The same could be noted in cold climates, as you’ll have to insulate well. This is to ensure your shipping container home remains warm and comfortable for living. As a result, you may notice higher power consumption when building a container home in cold climates. Besides, insulation will make your walls thicker and take up precious space.
Although you may also use special sealants to help retain the heat, this would mean you have to fork out extra money to protect you and your family from the cold when you’re in your home.
In short, a mild climate is a great place to build container homes. This will ensure a comfortable home that will remain in good shape for a long time. Just make sure not to build too close to the ocean as salt is highly corrosive to steel.
What to Consider When Choosing a Spot for Your Container Home
Knowing the right states and climate to build your container home may not always be enough. Here are some extra details that you’ll want to consider when choosing a spot to build your container home:
Learn about the different price markets
Despite some states having relatively relaxed zoning laws, you may find building container homes in separate areas of a single state to be cheaper or more expensive than the other.
For instance, it may be cheaper to purchase land in West Tennessee than anywhere else in the state. Some counties in California are also very restrictive, while others are much more open to alternative housing.
Is a Container Home the Right Choice?
Container homes have many upsides, but they are not suitable for all locations and all needs. Other alternative homes are better suited for certain purposes. Below are a few articles comparing container homes to other building types: