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Four Things to Consider Before Buying a Shipping Container

When purchasing a shipping container, there are some things about the containers and planning that need to be taken into consideration. Some of these need to be researched before purchasing your container, to ensure a smooth purchase and setup. Here are four things you need to know about buying your shipping container.

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1. Do I need permission to put a shipping container on my property?

This answer varies depending on what you are using your storage container for. If you are using it to build a home, garage, storage shed, or other structure that will remain permanently on your property, make sure you look into your local laws. Some areas require you to obtain a permit before adding this structure to your property, so look into your city and county laws before you buy your container, to make sure you do or do not need one.

You also need to make sure that if there is a Homeowner’s Association (HOA) in your neighborhood, that you obtain permission from them since many HOAs do not allow metal structures on the property.

Failure to check into these laws can result in authorities forcing you to remove the structure completely.

If your property is outside of your city’s zoning laws, you may be able to construct your container building without permission from local authorities, but you still have to make sure an HOA is not going to block you.

2. What do I need to do to prepare the building site for the shipping container?

Determine how much clear space you need for your shipping container and have it cleared and ready to go. You need a firm, smooth, level ground to put your container on. For preparing your space for the container, think about rainfall. If you live in an area that may be prone to flooding, you may want to put your storage container on a concrete slab instead of directly on the ground.

If your container is not going to be there permanently, you do not need to do as much work to smooth everything out, just do enough to make sure it is evenly on firm ground, so you can move it when you are ready to.

For delivery, you will need about 60 feet of space for a 20-foot container, and 100 feet of space for a 40-foot shipping container.

3. What security features do I need for my shipping container?

This largely depends on what you are using your container for. If this is for residential use, a door with a lock is a good route to take, whereas, for a commercial use, you may want something more secure, like a lockbox or something that requires a keycard or passcode. If you are using a padlock for your door, the lockbox can help prevent it from being tampered with.

4. Will my insurance cover shipping containers?

Depending on what you are using it for is the biggest factor here. If it is a home or some sort of commercial building, you should be able to get insurance coverage on your shipping containers. In areas prone to hurricanes, you may even get a discount on your rate because these are so much sturdier than buildings made from traditional materials.

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