Shipping Container on Your Property – Pros & Cons

Shipping containers have become increasingly popular in recent years as a means of affordable and flexible storage solutions.

They are a great way to store goods, equipment, and personal belongings, and they can also be used as a workshop or living space and also great for off the grid homes.

However, before you decide to put a shipping container on your property in the UK, it’s important to understand the pros and cons, as well as the best types of containers to use and the associated costs.

Is it Legal to have a shipping container on my property?

In the UK, the legality of having a shipping container on your property can depend on various factors such as your location, zoning laws, and building codes.

If the shipping container is intended for use as a permanent dwelling or as an extension to an existing dwelling, then it may require planning permission from the local authority. 

If the shipping container is intended for temporary use or as a storage unit, then it may not require planning permission but may still be subject to other regulations such as building regulations.

It is recommended to check with your local planning authority to find out the specific regulations in your area regarding the use of shipping containers on residential properties.

They can provide you with the necessary information and help you understand any requirements that you may need to comply with.

In general, it is important to ensure that the shipping container is structurally sound, secure, and does not pose any safety risks to yourself or others.

Additionally, if the shipping container is visible from a public area, it should be visually appealing and not detract from the appearance of the surrounding area.

Cost of Shipping Containers?

The cost of a shipping container will depend on several factors, including size, condition, and location. 

On average, a standard 20ft shipping container in the UK can cost between £1,500 and £5,000. 

High cube containers tend to be more expensive.

Additional costs may include delivery and installation, which can cost anywhere from £100 to £500 depending on the distance and location. 

You may also need to factor in the cost of modifications, such as windows, doors, and insulation.

Pros of Using a Shipping Container

  1. Affordability: Shipping containers are generally more affordable than traditional brick and mortar buildings, making them a cost-effective solution for storage or living spaces.
  2. Durability: Shipping containers are designed to withstand extreme weather conditions, and they are built to last. They are made from heavy-duty steel and are resistant to fire, water, and pests.
  3. Flexibility: Shipping containers can be easily modified and customized to suit a variety of needs. They can be cut, welded, and fitted with windows, doors, and insulation to create the perfect space.
  4. Mobility: Shipping containers can be easily transported from one location to another, making them ideal for those who need a temporary or mobile storage solution.
  5. Security: Shipping containers are highly secure and are difficult to break into. They are fitted with locking mechanisms and can also be fitted with additional security features such as CCTV and alarms.

Cons of Using a Shipping Container

  1. Planning Permission: In the UK, you may need planning permission before you can put a shipping container in your garden. This will depend on your location and the intended use of the container.
  2. Size and Space: Shipping containers come in standard sizes, which may not be suitable for everyone. They are also large and may take up a significant amount of space on your property.
  3. Maintenance: While shipping containers are durable, they do require some maintenance to keep them in good condition. They may need to be repainted, repaired, or resealed over time.
  4. Temperature Control: Shipping containers are made from steel, which means they can become very hot or very cold depending on the weather. Additional insulation may be required to regulate the temperature inside the container.
  5. Aesthetics: Shipping containers may not be suitable for everyone’s taste, and they may not blend in well with the surrounding environment.


Putting a shipping container on your property in the UK can be a cost-effective and flexible solution for storage or living space.

However, it’s important to consider the pros and cons before making a decision.

It’s also important to research the best type of container for your needs and to factor in the associated costs, including delivery, installation, and modifications.

If you’re considering putting a shipping container in your backyard, it’s important to check with your local council to determine whether you need planning permission.

Planning permission may be required if the container is being used as a permanent structure, if it’s visible from the road or public footpath, or if it’s being used for a commercial purpose.

When choosing a shipping container, it’s important to consider the intended use and to select a container that is the right size and type for your needs.

Modifications may be required to make the container suitable for your needs, such as adding windows, doors, or insulation.

Overall, shipping containers can be a great way to add extra storage or living space to your property in the UK.

They are affordable, durable, and flexible, and they can be customized to suit a variety of needs.

By weighing up the pros and cons and doing your research, you can make an informed decision about whether a shipping container is right for you.


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