Skip to Content

Are Container Homes Legal In Philadelphia? Easy Guide

There is a growing number of people who are choosing to live in shipping container homes in Philadelphia. This offer more benefits than a traditional stick-built house with the flexibility and low cost of prefabricated construction.

They’re also relatively affordable, making them an excellent option for first-time homebuyers. If you are considering building with shipping containers in Philadelphia, there are a few things to know. Here is a guide to what you need to know about shipping containers in Philadelphia and whether they are legal.

Shipping container homes are legal in Philadelphia, but like any other building project, they must comply with rules and regulations. There are two sets that apply here: one governing land use, the other focused on quality construction standards.

If you want to understand the zoning laws of an area, start by learning what categories of land are permitted in that place. If you intend to build a container home in Philadelphia, first confirm that the zoning laws permit this type of home. Once you’ve met all the zoning regulations, it’s time to focus on acquiring building permits.

Does Philadelphia Allow Shipping Container Homes

Philadelphia allows shipping container homes, but you must ensure that you follow all the procedures for obtaining a permit. You must also ensure that your plans conform to Philadelphia’s zoning laws before you begin constructing shipping What You Need To Know If You Want To Build A Container Home In Philadelphia.

If you must do something, it is important that you do it the right way to avoid problems. Suppose you live in Philadelphia and wish to build a shipping container home for yourself, then be sure to follow all proper procedures so as not to create any issues later on in life.

See also  How Do You Prevent Mold In Shipping Containers? Easy

When planning on building a shipping container home, you should ask the appropriate authority what they expect of you.

Read More: 11 mistakes to avoid while building a container home

Permit for Shipping Container Homes in Philadelphia

In Philadelphia, you may need a permit from the authorities to build a shipping container home. To get a permit for your shipping container home, you must submit a detailed plan to the Philadelphia authorities.

However, it is essential to know that not every municipality requires you to get a permit. Some may do some may not, it all depends on where you live. If you are planning to construct a container home, contact local authorities to learn more about the regulations

Ensuring you approve your permit before you begin work is important to avoid inconvenience suppose they reject your permit. If you live in an area where it is legal to build container homes without permits, ensure your design meets the safety regulations.

Besides proving your building’s legitimacy, adhering to these regulations will come in handy later. If you need to insure your home, a permit will prove your container house is structurally sound house. 

With such an assurance, insurance companies offer better premiums on homes with permits than those without. If you decide to sell your container home later, the permit will make it easier for potential buyers to be sure that the structure has been built correctly. That will probably increase its value.

Read More: Amazing cost to build a shipping container home

Cost of Building a Shipping Container Home

The cost of constructing a shipping container house in Philadelphia is primarily determined by the price of the container, what materials you need to make it, and how complicated your design is.

A prefabricated shipping container house in Philadelphia can cost between $15,000 and $50,000. The price may change depending on the size of the structure and the design specifications. Some big shipping houses produced by manufacturers can go for as much as $250K!

It will cost more to convert it into a shipping container home in Philadelphia if you hire a builder. However, if you buy one of the prefabricated models designed by manufacturers, you can save a lot on hiring local contractors.

See also  Container Home Builders Tampa Florida: Here Are The Best

If you hire a building contractor to oversee the construction of your container house, labor costs may range from $50-$200. Material and equipment expenses will also add significantly to the overall price tag. In some cases, this can reach as high as $15,000 or more.

The cost of building your own shipping container house in Philadelphia can vary greatly depending on your skills and the quality of work you want. Some homeowners with construction experience can make their container houses for around $4,000 to $10,000. But you also need to consider delivery costs; it could run from about $250 up to about half a thousand dollars for transport by truck over short distances (within 20 miles).

Read More: Building Shipping Container Homes in Pennsylvania: What You Need to Know

Building a Shipping Container Home in Philadelphia

Check With Your Local Zoning Laws

Before you begin to build a shipping container home in Philadelphia, check with your local zoning department to determine if there are any restrictions.

Shipping container homes are not permitted by law in some areas, so you should research whether they are permitted in your area before you move forward with your plans.

Get The Necessary Permits

If shipping container homes are allowed in your area, you must obtain the necessary permits before beginning construction. This process can be lengthy and tiresome, so it is advisable to be very well prepared.

Read More: Which States Allow Shipping Container Homes In The US?

Find a Quality Contractor

Once you have all the necessary permits, hiring a qualified contractor to build your shipping container home should be your next step.

This is essential in building your home, as you want to ensure it’s constructed correctly and up to code. Do your research by getting quotes from several different contractors before making a final decision about who will build it for you.

See also  Shipping Container Roof - Do You Need One?

Choose the Right Location

For aesthetic and practical reasons, carefully choose the location of your shipping container home.

You want to ensure your home is in a spot that’s convenient for you and looks good. Consider things like sun exposure, amenities nearby, and views when selecting the perfect location for your future house.

Read More: Florida Shipping Container Home Laws: Ultimate Guide

Prepare the Site

Once you decide where to place the shipping container on which you plan to build, it’s time to prepare that space.

This involves clearing any debris, leveling the ground, and compacting the soil. This is important so that your home will be stable and secure.

Advantages of Building Shipping Container Homes In Philadelphia

They’re strong and durable: Shipping containers are durable and can withstand a lot of wear and tear. Therefore, they can make great homes in Philadelphia.

They’re weatherproof: You don’t have to worry about shipping containers rusting or the damage by the elements since they are designed to withstand harsh weather conditions.

Easy to transport: Because they are designed to be transported on ships, shipping containers can quickly be taken from one place to another. You can be sure to move your container home in Philadelphia with ease.

They’re affordable: Shipping containers are relatively cheap and can be purchased for a lower price as compared to traditional homes.

Shipping container homes are eco-friendly: Recycled steel is used to make shipping containers. This makes them a perfect option for people who want to be more environmentally friendly.

Read More: How to get permits for container homes in Florida


Philadelphia has embraced the new trend of shipping container homes because they are cost-effective and durable. These are the two qualities that appeal to Philadelphians. This means you can legally build a home from shipping containers within city limits.

Before building your shipping container home, make sure you follow all the necessary zoning laws and codes. If need be, get a permit from your local government.

%d bloggers like this: