Outside view of a home Bedroom designed by Connex Custom Builds

Are Shipping Container Homes Legal In Georgia? Find Out Why

If you’re wondering whether container homes are legal in Georgia, we cover that and more. But first, let’s start with the basics, in particular, sea containers. These are metal boxes carrying cargo from one place to another — usually on bord ships.

They have been used as a building material in the past few years. And some people have even built entire homes out of them.

And so, are container homes legal in Georgia? Yes, it is legal to use shipping containers as residential housing in Georgia under certain conditions.

Are Shipping Container Homes Allowed in Georgia?

Container homes are allowed in Georgia. However, the local and state building codes regulate container buildings’ construction, placement, and use.

If a container home is treated as a single-family residence, it is subject to the statewide building code. In this case, you can use concrete and metal containers for construction.

If your container home is classified as a commercial unit (such as an office), it must adhere to the International Building Code (IBC). In this case, you can only build with steel containers.

Bedroom designed by Connex Custom Builds
Bedroom designed by Connex Custom Builds

Single-Family Residence Container Homes in Georgia

If a container home is treated as a single-family residence in Georgia, it is subject to the statewide building code. However, if it is treated as a commercial unit and does not meet the definition of an accessory building, it must adhere to the International Building Code. The difference between these two types of buildings has everything to do with zoning laws.

Container homes classified as single-family residences will be subject to all relevant zoning ordinances and Georgia’s statewide building code requirements.

This means that if your container home doesn’t have adequate parking or challenges from property lines, you’ll need to make changes before moving forward with construction.

Container Homes Classified as Commercial Units in Georgia

The container home must adhere to the International Building Code if it is classified as commercial. If your container home is used for commercial purposes, it’s considered a “commercial unit.”

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Commercial units must adhere to codes that ensure construction safety and quality. Without this, you will not receive a certificate of occupancy from your local building department.

Container homes are classified as commercial units if they are being used for commercial purposes by someone other than an owner-occupant or an immediate family member of an owner-occupant.

This means that if you want to build a container home in Georgia for yourself or family members, but plan on renting out space inside the unit (such as using one small room in your house), then this would be considered residential usage.

As a result, therefore, wouldn’t have any effect on whether or not your structure was able to meet code requirements. We’ll discuss more on this below.

Shipping Container Homes

Shipping container homes are legal in Georgia to be used as single-family residences or commercial units. However, a shipping container home is not a legal option for all property owners.

The primary requirement for building a shipping container home must be treated as a single-family residence or commercial unit on your property.

This means that if you live in an area where only the property owner can build their own home, then building with shipping containers will not be an option. There may also be restrictions against this type of construction from local authorities and planning departments.

Read More: How to Get permits for Container Homes in Florida

Inside a large kitchen in a container home
Beautiful kitchen in Australia Courtesy: Container Build Group

Container Homes in Georgia

Are shipping container homes legal in Georgia? They’re allowed by the state’s Department of Community Affairs. But there are some important things to keep in mind.

Most importantly, if the container home is treated as a single-family residence, it is subject to the statewide building code.

This means that any container home used as permanent housing must be built according to specific standards set forth by state law. Laws which are enforced by your local government.

The International Building Code also applies if you’re using your container for commercial purposes or renting it out. This includes using it as an office or storage space.

Shipping Container Homes in Georgia

Shipping and storage containers are legal in Georgia. They can be used to build homes but must meet state building code standards and local zoning ordinances.

The statewide building code is called the International Building Code, or IBC for short. The IBC covers everything from structural design to energy efficiency to accessibility for people with disabilities.

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In addition to the statewide building codes like the IBC, local zoning ordinances may restrict shipping container homes from being built in your area. Not only you area, but also in proximity zones around your community (for example, within a certain distance of schools).

To find out about these laws in your town or city of residence, contact city hall. Ask who you need to talk to about permitting these structures on your land if you’d like one built there.

Read More: 10 Shipping Container Homes you Can Order Right now

Can you own a Container Home in Georgia?

You can legally own a shipping container home in Georgia, but some restrictions exist. You first need to know that each city and county will have regulations regarding shipping container homes. And so you should always check with the applicable jurisdiction before buying one.

However, in general, it’s legal to have a shipping container home if it meets two conditions:

  • If your container home is treated as a single-family residence. (e.g., with no more than two stories), then it won’t require any special permits or approvals from the city or county authorities.
  • Suppose your container home is treated as a commercial unit (e.g., with more than two stories).

In that case, you’ll need a go ahead from the local government. This is so that they can inspect the property before issuing any certificates or licenses necessary for operation.

Eco-cabin container home
Photo courtesy: Eco-cabin

More on Legality of Container Homes in Georgia

Shipping container homes are legal in Georgia. This means you have the right to build one for yourself and your family. This is true as long as the local building department approves it.

This is can also happen even if the shipping container home does not have a permanent foundation, and is not connected to public utilities.

You must also ensure that your shipping container home complies with all applicable codes and laws. These include fire safety, sanitation, and ventilation requirements.

If you plan on living in it full-time or intend on renting or selling it out later (and if so), you should pay extra attention when gathering information about local building regulations concerning zoning laws.

Requirements to Build Your Container Home

In order to build your shipping container home, you must get the proper permits. On top of that, you must follow zoning regulations to ensure this type of building will be allowed on your property.

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Furthermore, if you decide to build with containers in Georgia (or anywhere else), you’ll need to ensure that they meet local building codes. This means that each container must be structurally sound enough for its intended purpose.

In other words, if you’re going to live inside one or use it as part of your business operations (like an office), the container will have to pass inspection. Inspections are done by an engineer or architect who specializes in this area of expertise.

Read More: How much does it cost to build a shipping container home in Australia?

Georgia Container Home Laws

We’ve already established that container homes are legal in Georgia, subject to certain conditions. Let’s take a in-depth look at that law and condition.

First, there are many benefits related with living in a shipping container, including its flexibility and ease of movement. However, there are also some restrictions on their use as housing.

Under Georgia law (O.C.G.A § 44-14-160), containers may be used as “single-family residences” or for commercial purposes. This is only if they have been approved by local zoning officials.

On top of that, it is registered with the county tax assessor’s office before construction is completed on them. Chiefly, this means that approval is required before building begins.

If you plan on using your container to house multiple families or individuals not related by blood or marriage—such as college students sharing an apartment—you will need approval from the local government before doing so.

Otherwise, it will not be considered legal under state law. Not unless your home meets all other required guidelines regarding size restrictions, etc.

Read More: Tips and Ideas for Building a Low-Cost House.

Conclusion

So the answer to the question “Are shipping container homes legal in Georgia?” is yes, under certain conditions.

Contact us today if you are looking for a way to add some extra space to your home. Or if you want to start an entirely new one using shipping containers.

We can help guide you through the process of building your custom container house with proper permits and licenses.

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