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Can You Build a Shipping Container Home in Nevada?

Alexander is a professional engineer who specializes in the construction of affordable houses and structures using recycled materials.

Legality of Container Homes in Nevada

Many homeowners are looking for the answer to the question, are shipping container homes legal in Nevada? Well, the answer is right here with this guide. If you want to build a container home in Nevada, this guide is for you. Here you will learn all you need to know about these shipping container homes in Nevada. It takes strong willpower to construct a container home in this state, and you need information about these homes.

Shipping container homes are gaining recognition in more and more states in the US as these states become aware of the numerous benefits of these container homes. These homes as easy to build, do not waste many resources and require a small workforce. It also takes minimal time to complete. Be sure that these homes are sustainable and conserve the environment as no wood is used in most of these homes.

To answer the big question of the legality of shipping container homes in Nevada, they are legal in the state. Shipping container homes in Nevada are legal, meaning it is not against the law to build your dream container home. Nevada is fully aware of the benefits that come along with these container homes. In a few days or weeks, the homeowner already has a place they can call home.

It is also cheaper to construct a container home than building a brick house, which solved many financial constraints for the residents. These homes give Nevada leverage to remain firm while allowing homeowners to own a home in a few days or weeks. At least the container homes save homeowners the monthly rent, which could accumulate to massive amounts the entire year.

Las Vegas Nevada

Las Vegas Nevada

Shipping Container Home in Nevada

Yes, you can. Shipping container homes are legal in the state of Nevada. No law hinders homeowners from building their ideal container homes. The only laws about these homes prohibit people from misusing these containers. The laws also ensure that homeowners do not interfere with other people's lives in their endeavors.

For example, there are places in Nevada where you are not allowed to exceed 30 days after being granted permission to place temporary residential storage containers on private property. Even people who wish to place these containers on public streets or other public places have to secure an encroachment permit from the relevant authorities before doing it.

However, even with these laws in place, Nevada allows people to build shipping container homes, saying that they can have these temporary storage containers for homes and exceed the limit of 30 days as long as they have a permit.

Do I Require a Permit to Build a Shipping Container Home in Nevada?

To set up container homes in Nevada, you need to have a permit. Ensure you look for Nevada building permits before you commence construction to be on the safe side of the law. Save your precious time and effort by getting this permit to avoid harassment by the Nevada authorities.

Acquiring the permit is not a complicated process. The authorities will need first to see a well-laid out plan of the shipping container house you want to build. The house should follow all the zoning laws and building codes in Nevada. You have to look for a qualified architect that you will draw the container home plan for you.

Ensure that the architect is based in Nevada to follow the building code stipulated by the state. Once they are done with the plan, submit it to the authorities for approval. If the authorities are contented with the plan, they will grant you the permit to carry on with the construction of the container home.

Understand that obtaining the permit may not be as fast as you may want. Securing the permit could take even four months. That may be due to minor mistakes in the plan. Make sure the plan is perfect with no flaws. In case the permit takes time before it is issued, the authorities will inform you why that is so. Probably there are some corrections to be made to your plan. The faster you correct the issues, the faster the permit will come.

At times it becomes hectic to do it on your own. You could consider looking for a shipping container builder to get the permit for you. Working with a registered company could secure your building permit much faster than if you decide to do it on your own. Building companies already know what is required and the entire process. It makes it easier for you and much faster.

Shipping Container Apartment

Shipping Container Apartment

Quick Tips on Container Homes

Building a Shipping Container Home

Probably you have been weighing options of owning a shipping container home. You have determined it is comfortable, affordable, and friendly to the environment, but what does it take?

Pick The Appropriate Shipping Container

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When picking the container for your dream home, ensure it has sufficient room for anyone to move about. This home will be a long-term one, so you don't want to make any mistakes in the container selection. The shipping container home ought to accommodate everything you own and should not be too compact. Assess all the items you own, and then get a professional who will help you with the right size that will fit all your property.

Also, check out the quality of the container. A high-quality one will stay for a long time before you discover any defects. Going for low-quality containers because they are cheap is a recipe for disaster. They can easily be broken into and other issues such as having holes at the bottom or even rainwater leaking in.

Zoning Permits

It is unfortunate that some areas or states will still not allow the construction of shipping container homes. Some of these states have stringent standards and regulations, meaning if you dream of a container home, you will have to look somewhere else to build it. In states where these houses are permitted, such as Nevada, you have to follow the standard procedure.

Some rules and regulations must be followed. Look for the requisite zoning permits and every other requirement before you start your construction endeavors.

Planning The Budget

Everything must have a plan before you roll it out. The plan must include the budget you intend to spend on that particular project. Layout a realistic budget of how much you would wish to spend on the shipping container home. Many people often think they have it all sorted with a small amount. You will be shocked at the cost of permits and supplies.

Do your due diligence to determine the costs and prices of everything, then budget appropriately. Never underestimate any cost involved in the construction process, as it could derail your efforts. The ideal budget should include around 20% of the money as a contingency allowance. These are funds that make you flexible as you build the home. In case of any excess money on supplies, you can source from the contingency funds.


Building a home is not an easy task. It takes a lot of resources, money, and commitment to have a place you can call home. The situation even becomes dire when considering the legality of shipping container homes in Nevada. One of the crucial things to think about when building a shipping container home is insulation.

Insulation is ideal for a container home as it regulates the temperature in the room. The outside environment cannot penetrate the home and vice versa. A majority of container homes in Nevada pay high electricity costs just because they do not have proper insulation. As you plan to build your dream container home, ensure that you consider the proper insulation to save on power costs.

Stacked up shipping container homes

Stacked up shipping container homes

Container Home Items That Face Regulation

There is variability regarding container home buildings and who regulates them. The following are different things that might be regulated as you look to build your container home in Nevada.

  • Appearance – the style, color, roof, the material used, and any other visible parts of the building
  • Size – number of bedrooms, square footage, maximum height, etc.
  • Accessibility – these are regulations on how these homes will be accessible to everyone, including people living with disabilities
  • Site offsets – these are regulations on the distance from the house's edge to the property line. It also includes distance from other nearby structures.
  • Foundation – depth, height, type of foundation, height above ground, etc.
  • Smoke and fire protection – includes regulations on the type, number, and location of carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors
  • Landscaping – number of trees to be cut to pave way for the construction, types of plants in the area
  • Plumbing, mechanical and electrical – these are details around design, materials, and how these systems will be installed
  • Conservation of energy-specific requirements on things like insulation, windows, appliances, sealing around penetrations, etc.
  • Structure – compliance with snow and wind loads, structural reinforcements, etc.

More on Shipping Container Homes

40 ft Container apartments

40 ft Container apartments

Scope of Container Homes Regulations

It is also crucial to understand the scope of these container homes. Even though we talk of container homes in Nevada, some people plan to use these containers for permanent or temporary storage.

Storage Containers

It is pretty common to have some people asking the authorities if they can have some extra storage on their property to store things. They wish to have a shipping container in their compound for storage. This type of storage means a shipping container for storing materials, equipment, and tools but not for use as a home. These shipping containers are not used for habitation, which means they have different rules and regulations that govern them.

Even though the container is not for building a home, you need to understand that it also comes with a separate set of rules. Reach out to the relevant authorities in Nevada to see and understand the regulations regarding these types of containers.

Container Homes

A container home could categorically mean different things as it is open-ended. At times you may have had a tough time describing your ideal container home to your family members or friends. Some people think of a simple cabin when a container home is mentioned, while others think of a custom-built masterpiece made of containers.

But why is their distinction relevant? When speaking of container home regulations, the first impressions are crucial. They anchor the thinking of your audience, and overcoming this is not easy. When you mention to a friend that you want to construct a container home, you want them to have a vivid picture on their mind of what you are thinking of.

You have to be more specific and give more insights for the other party to comprehend what you want to mean. That means describing the size of the ideal house you want to build. You could also speak about the occupancy of the house. Will this be a weekend home, short-term rental, or a dwelling house?

The usage of the house and occupancy may affect the regulations. That is why it is crucial to be more specific for the regulators to know which rules apply to the home you want to build.

shipping container home floor plan

shipping container home floor plan

Future of Container Homes Regulations

Container homes are becoming more popular, and consumers seem to be familiarized with the relevant authorities to understand what they need to jump into the world of container homes. The more the industry becomes dynamic, the more authorities seem to accept these homes. One of the main issues with these houses is the incorporation of the building works into applicable regulations and codes. Relevant authorities seem to be working towards giving consumers all the information they need. The ICC is releasing nonmandatory documents that give recommendations and information on container homes.

These, among many other documents, help home builders ensure they have met all regulations when building container homes. These are qualifications such as the type and size of structural steel members. With time, Nevada will keep loosening the laws and regulations as these homes are becoming more prominent due to their advantages over conventional houses.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Alexander Okelo

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