If you’re considering building a container home in Ohio, you might wonder if it’s legal to use them as a building.
A Shipping container home can be an excellent opportunity to create the house of your dreams. If you can design your own home, you can ensure that all of life’s necessities are provided for your family. You can also make it to match your taste, to make your home a reflection of you.
This guide has provided everything you need to know about building a container home in Ohio. Knowing what the process is like and what you can expect will give you a good shot at success!
Table of Contents
What is a Shipping Container Home
You can construct container shipping homes using rectangular metal shipping containers instead of traditional home framing.
Stacking containers and using creative designs can create home interiors like any others you have seen.
Additionally, traditional homeowners require a lot of structural work because they build their homes on cement foundations. You can do your structure much more quickly and for less money because container homes don’t need such a foundation.
Are Shipping Container Homes Legal in Ohio?
Yes, shipping containers in Ohio are legal as long as they meet all your local code needs. These consist of the state’s Building Codes and Residential codes of Ohio. Inspectors must also do a thorough inspection before you occupy your shipping container home.
Ohio has no state rules specifically addressing shipping containers and their use in homes. However, shipping containers are considered mobile homes by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and must meet HUD standards for mobile homes.
The approval by the government is a green light for people who dream of having a shipping container home. It means you don’t have to rely only on available models but can also build one according to your specifications.
However, although the Ohio state government has given people the opportunity to own a house made out of shipping containers, it doesn’t mean that anyone can just wake up one morning and start building their home. There are guidelines put in place that the authorities need you to follow to the latter.
Just as you can follow procedures while building traditional houses, building a freight container home also has instructions that direct its construction. The first step is to determine whether you have permission to build on your desired land.
Do You Need a Permit to Build Ohio Shipping Container Homes?
Yes, an individual who wants to build a home out of shipping containers must first obtain the necessary permits from the Ohio Building Department. However, it is important to note that sometimes these bodies do not grant building permits. In such cases, they will communicate their reason for refusal.
It is also important to note that the process of getting a permit can sometimes take longer than expected. It might be 3-4 months before you get your hands on the building permit.
Because of that, you should meet with a good shipping container home builder in Ohio and let them help get the permit for you.
Because they are companies popular for building container homes, it might be easier for them to get the permit. Plus, there is a chance that the Building Department knows them, so speeding up their application process should not be an issue.
Another reason to use a shipping container home builder is that they already know how to apply for them. This will speed up the process more than if you were doing it yourself.
How Much Are Ohio Shipping Container Homes?
A basic container home costs between $10,000 to $35,000. A larger or more luxurious house made with multiple shipping containers can cost anywhere from $100,000 to $175,000 though most are closer to the lower end of that range.
Shipping container homes, in some cases, can cost almost half as much per square foot as traditional stick building. However, it is difficult to compare the two options because many other factors should also feature when choosing a home.
So what will increase the cost of building Ohio shipping container homes? Land costs and climate requirements are significant considerations, but another factor is how many amenities you want in your home and what type of materials to use.
The more features you want in your container home, the higher its price tag will be. This is because of the Size, layout, Welding, fabrication requirements, Cleaning cost, Flooring, Kitchen and bathroom finish, Plumbing, and electrical, among others.
Advantages of Shipping Container Homes in Ohio
They’re Quick to Construct
The modular nature of shipping containers allows you to assemble them quickly with minimal tools or specialized skills. This means less time spent on construction, which results in lower costs for homeowners who don’t have much experience with DIY projects or who don’t want to spend weeks or months working on their new home.
Additionally, you can stack shipping containers vertically or horizontally to create multi-story structures that take up less space than traditional buildings but provide more living space overall
They Require Less Maintenance
Because they consist of metal rather than wood or brick, shipping container homes require little maintenance over time. You may need to change some screws or bolts after a few years, depending on how well you maintain them, but overall, they won’t cost you more than other types of houses.
They are More Cost Effective Than Traditional Housing
You can own a container home for as low as $10,000. Container homes are typically more cost-effective than conventional housing because they require fewer building materials and labor to construct. You can save money by renovating your container dwelling yourself.
They can be Mobile
You can also move shipping container homes around easily if you wish to, making them ideal for people who want to travel with their homes or move them around regularly.
If you are planning on moving to another location in the near future, this might be an excellent option for you!
Because shipping containers consist of high-grade steel, they don’t need frequent repairs and replacements. In addition, they can withstand strong winds and heavy rain without any problems at all.
These containers were initially intended to be used as cargo on ships, so they had to be strong enough to withstand the rigors of travel over rough seas and frequent handling by dockers.
Disadvantages of Shipping Container Homes in Ohio?
Obtaining Building Permits can be Difficult
Because building containers is a new idea, the process of obtaining permits for a container house in Ohio can be a bit of a headache and challenging in some regions.
It’s best to ask your local city planning office about building codes, zoning restrictions, and permitting requirements related explicitly to container housing.
Modern Appliances can be Difficult to Install
Unless you plan to live off-grid, find a licensed electrician who is familiar with shipping container architecture and has previously designed electrical setups.
It’s also necessary to hire a plumber who will install all the plumbing work, and if your location doesn’t have access to electricity, you may need to get a contractor who can mount solar panels onto the roof.
Read More: Cost to build a good net-zero energy home
They Often Need Reinforcements
While storage containers come from durable steel, you can compromise their structural integrity by cutting holes in them for windows and doors.
With adequate support, a shipping container can withstand heavy snow. However, poor castings in the corners of the roof may cause it to bow under severe conditions; you’ll need to hire a contractor if you want roofs that will hold up during blizzards.
Shipping Container Homes in Ohio are not Completely Eco-Friendly
Shipping container homes in Ohio are eco-friendly only if old containers are used for housing. If the containers have been damaged or were once used to carry chemicals, they cease to have the qualities of making a good container home.
It Needs Insulation
Shipping containers do not have any insulating properties, so you must add insulation to the container based on the site conditions and the required R-value for the occupant.
Issues With Permits and Building Codes
Container homes are not popular in some regions, so building codes and permits do not yet exist. However, regulations for shipping container housing in the U.S. states of Texas, Ohio, and California, among others, have been established by law.
Before planning for shipping container homes, the resident should contact local authorities regarding building codes and zoning restrictions.
How to Prepare for Your Shipping Container Home in Ohio
Be Ready for the Costs
When people first start thinking about building with a shipping container, they often assume that the project will be cheap, which is not the same.
While it is true that a used shipping container costs thousands of dollars, there are many additional expenses for materials and labor when customizing its conversion into an off-grid home or other structure.
Designing and building a high-end shipping container home or larger house can cost as much money as traditional construction. Before shopping for container home designs, keep your budget in mind.
Contact Your Ohio City Planning Office
While many local governments have zoning regulations and building codes in place for traditional homes, they may not have set rules governing container home construction.
Contact your city planning office and ask about regulations for non-traditional homes. Find out if there are any special considerations you need to make when designing container home plans and how much freedom you have.
Design With Natural Light in Mind
Consider installing glass doors or skylights in your steel shipping container to add brightness to the interior space.
If the space is not enough for your plans, consider purchasing a high-cube container. These containers are slightly taller than traditional shipping containers.
Inspect Your Container Before Purchase
Before you purchase a shipping container , be sure to view it in person. Look for dents and rust on the exterior of containers. These can become expensive problems while constructing your container home in Ohio.
Consider the Limitations
Shipping container structures are manufactured from heavy steel, so they don’t contain many accommodations like traditional homes.
Door holes, window holes, and snow on your roof can all affect the structural integrity of a container. Before you make an investment, understand what those limitations are.
How Long Does a Shipping Container Home Last?
If a shipping container home is adequately maintained, it should last at least 50 years. However, if you apply siding to protect the exterior of your home, that number could increase significantly.
Rust is the leading cause of premature deterioration in shipping container homes. It’s essential to inspect your home for rust spots and repair any areas that have been compromised by corrosion so you can avoid further damage.
Most importantly, painting your Ohio shipping container home can also aid in increasing its durability, this is because metal paints form a layer of protection that prevents corrosion.
Do Shipping Container Homes Rust?
Since shipping container homes are made out of metal, there is the possibility that they may rust.
Since shipping containers are usually made from steel, they develop a thin layer of rust during manufacture. This layer helps prevent further corrosion by blocking the flow of oxygen through the metal.
Where a shipping container is located affects how likely it is to rust, as climates with high or low amounts of humidity pose different risks to the shipping containers.
Read More: How to Remove Rust From a Shipping Container
Shipping container homes in Ohio are great alternatives to traditional housing. They can be cost-effective, provide a unique look, and are easy to build on almost any lot or location.
While there may be challenges in having one approved in your city or neighborhood, it is still 100% possible to build a shipping container home. The real trick is finding an agreeable place to do it.
Before you go forward with building your dream home out of steel, it’s best to double-check with a building attorney to ensure that you’re in compliance with local regulations.