Shipping Container Home UK: Cost, Planning, Permits, and Regulations

  • By: Promise
  • Time to read: 5 min.
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Shipping container homes are homes built out of shipping containers. It is a home built using cargo containers made for carrying goods from one place to another. It is an innovation that is getting wide acceptance by several countries as well as states/cities.

The benefit of building a home out of shipping containers are immeasurable that is why many States allow shipping container homes. If not for anything, for the fact that it is cheaper than the normal brick house.

Shipping containers homes give people the opportunity to own a home of their own, to save many people from paying huge rent.

However, in the UK, there are several shipping container homes. Both standard and luxurious shipping container homes; including those that were built for temporal usage and those that were built for permanent usage.

In the UK, you can also find shipping container homes that were built for renting purposes. And if you search well, you might even find a shipping container community in the UK.

If these shipping container homes are already in existence in the UK, the question is, what is the planning process of building such homes in the UK? What are the regulations guiding the use of shipping containers as homes in the UK? Do you need a permit? And how much does it cost to build or buy such a home in the UK?

Shipping container homes are legal in the UK and is allowed by the UK government. The UK government has approved the use of shipping containers as homes which makes it legal to build a shipping container home in the UK.

Can I Build a Shipping Container Home in the UK?

You can build a shipping container home in the UK as long as you comply with the UK building regulations while building the container home.

The fact that you can build such a home doesn’t give you the edge to wake up one morning and decide to build a death trap in the name of shipping container home. No, it is not done that way. There are procedures that need to be followed which if you do not follow, will land you into a very serious problem.

The way building a brick or block house has procedures and rules/codes that guide it, that is also how shipping container homes have their own procedures. Most times, these rules/codes are the same. A building remains a building as long as it is made for both human and animal (pet) inhabitation.

UK Shipping Container Home Regulations

Regulation in the UK is very straightforward. You are required by law to follow all the UK building codes while building the shipping container home.

Ensure to comply with the fire control. UK building code mandates you to ensure that there is an escape in case of fire and there is a way to control the fire if possible. Ensure that an inspector inspects the house when and after the building is completed to ensure you did the right work.

Be that as it may, it is important to contact a certified or licensed shipping container home builder in the UK and have them build the house for you. This is to ensure you build a house that follows the UK building code. Trust me, you don’t want to finish building a container home only for you to be told that you cannot live in the house because of one small thing you failed to do.

Because of this, we have assembled the 8 best shipping container home builders in the UK for you. All you have to do is to pick the one that suits your taste and have them do the construction work for you.

It is important to ensure that the container home builder doing the work for you is located in the UK. This will make it easier for them to do a good job for you since they are already aware of the whole codes and regulations.

Do You Need Planning Permission for a Shipping Container Home UK?

You don’t need a planning permit to build a shipping container home in the UK because container homes are not considered to be permanent in the UK. However, if the shipping container home is a listed building, you will need a permit to build such a container home.

What this means is that you are not often required to obtain planning permission before erecting such a house unlike in the United States where you need to obtain a permit to build a shipping container home in Florida.

This is because the UK does not consider shipping container homes as permanent structures. They see it as a structure built for some period of time, therefore does not require planning permission where you have to submit the plan of the type of homes you wish to build to the building department for approval.

Nevertheless, it is important to note that the fact that the UK does not consider shipping containers as a permanent structure doesn’t mean you cannot build one with the intention of living there for a long time. You are allowed to build a shipping container home as long as you follow the UK building regulations.

The rule has IT that if a building is a listed building or national park, irrespective of how and what the building is built with, planning permission is required for such building. So the question you need to ask yourself now is, can the shipping container home you wish to build be categorized as one of the listed buildings?

Sometimes, the location where you wish to build the container home may require you to obtain planning permission before commencing the work. In this case, the only way to find out is by contacting your Local Planning Authority. They are in the best position to tell you what you need to know.

How Much Does it Cost to Build a Shipping Container Home in the UK?

It cost between £15,000 to £25,000 to buy a 20′ x 8′ fully fitted container home for temporary accommodation in the UK and between £40,000 to £80,000 to purchase a 40′ x 12′ shipping container home for a permanent dwelling in the UK.

Where Can I Put a Shipping Container Home in the UK?

It is better to put a shipping container home in a spare land next to or behind houses in the UK. Ensure that the container home is hidden behind walls or fences to harmonize the street sense especially if it is a temporary container home.

Where to Buy Shipping Container Home in the UK

The best place to buy a shipping container home in the UK is from MAC Container Houses. They have innovative, modular, and portable shipping container buildings suited for many lifestyles and needs and are excellent value for money.

Final Thoughts

Building a shipping container home in the UK involves several regulations such as obtaining planning permission before commencing the construction work and ensuring that the container home meets the UK building regulations. Please contact your Local Planning Authority (LPA) for more information concerning the permit and other regulations you need to know.

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