The Tiny house Blog

Can I Put a Boxabl in My Backyard? (Read This First!)

Updated on:
August 11, 2023
A backyard Boxabl Casita

Boxabl has revolutionized prefabricated, stackable, and highly modular building systems. The Boxabl homes can be easily unpacked on-site and have all basic utilities and amenities pre-installed. The best thing is that you can get one installed in your backyard in hours.   

Every city has different zoning laws regarding additional dwelling units or ADUs that you can install as an accessory to your primary home. Many people like to use these units as guest houses for visiting family. 

If you want to build an addition to your existing home, Boxabl can be a great option. Boxabl homes are highly modular and customizable and cost significantly less than traditional construction. You can get them installed within hours and start using them right away. 

In this article, we will learn more about Boxable homes and how you can put them in your backyard. So, if you are excited to explore the world of customizable home that comes in a box, let’s get going!

What is a Boxabl home?

Boxabl is a start-up that designs and manufactures stackable, modular, pre-fabricated homes. The Boxabl building system comes in various designs, from modern to traditional. The biggest advantage of the Boxabl system is that each accessory dwelling unit, as it is called, is cost. 

Boxabl homes are legal in all states and have modular approval rather than being classified as tiny homes. As zoning laws can significantly differ from city to city, you should check with the corresponding authorities before making up your mind. 

Boxabl has collaborated with permits.com to help you find out how to apply for permits and other legal permissions to build an additional dwelling unit on your property. 

Boxabl homes are made using the same material used to make traditional houses- steel, concrete, and EPS foam. Consequently, they are as safe as conventional homes. The roof and walls of Boxabl home are constructed as structurally laminated panels, which add additional stability and strength. 

Boxabl homes are rated for hurricane-speed winds and can handle the worst hurricanes that might hit North America. Besides, these homes can also be constructed with flat or pitched roofs. It is especially important for areas receiving heavy snowfall. 

The internal and external claddings are made from fire-retardant material, and as they don’t use standard lumber or sheetrock, they are much more resistant to water and mold damage. 

Boxabl is truly becoming a great modular pre-fabricated home alternative for many families in the United States. 

Can I use a Boxable as a permanent living space?

With the tiny home movement going strong, modular and prefabricated homes like Boxabl are becoming a great option for people who don't want to go the traditional route of building their houses and paying a mortgage for years to come. You can use a Boxabl home as a permanent living space. 

The first model of Boxabl homes, called the Casita, is a 361 square feet pre-fabricated home. It is roughly the same size as a studio apartment built by converting a double-car garage. The Boxabl home also has a full-size bathroom and all basic kitchen appliances, including a fridge, dishwasher, oven, microwave, and a modern breakfast bar for two.   

The Boxabl homes are also stackable, which means you can place multiple units side by side or even on top of each other if you need the additional room and have the space and permission from your city's zoning board.

The advantages of using a pre-fabricated home like the Boxable Casita go well beyond the cost savings, as they have a smaller environmental impact, a highly sustainable design, and higher energy efficiency compared to traditionally constructed homes

Boxabl homes are made using high-quality materials and offer the same degree of protection from weather elements as traditional homes so they can be used as permanent living spaces. 

Do you need a permit to put a Boxabl in your backyard?

You will need permits from your city to put a Boxabl in your backyard. It is a good idea to go through the local zoning codes and talk to your city’s residential permitting department before considering modular homes like Boxabl for your backyard. 

Once you start the project, it is crucial to ensure no legal trouble for your prospective ADU. You can also use a contractor to get through the process of gaining permits from your city. 

Here is a brief guide on how to go about getting permission to put a Boxabl in your backyard.

1. Call your city

Call your city to know the legal status of your prospective Boxabl unit. The rules and regulations regarding the ADUs can differ greatly between cities, so it is crucial to get the right information directly from the source. 

Begin by asking the three very important questions below.

  • Can you put a secondary home on your lot?
  • What are the ADU size regulations and liveable setbacks?
  • Can you put a pre-fabricated guest house in your backyard?

Make sure you understand the liveable setback regulations correctly. A setback is a distance from your existing property where building ADUs is prohibited. With setback laws, the city ensures enough space between houses to avoid overcrowding. 

Your city might also require your new ADU to have certain exterior design features. 

Most cities won’t allow fully factory-built prefabricated homes to be installed in your backyard. However, as Boxable is assembled on-site, most cities will allow you to build it on your property without much fuss. 

You should call your city and ask these important questions before considering a Boxabl unit for your backyard. Ensuring that you have the right information will prevent any legal trouble on the way. 

2. Read your local zoning code 

Ensure that you read through the local zoning codes. You can get this information by visiting your city’s website. Look for rules that apply to additional dwelling units. Some of the information your should be looking for in these documents include the following-

  • Will you need an extra parking space for the Boxabl in your backyard?
  • Can the additional Boxabl unit be attached to your primary house, or does it need to be separate?
  • Is it necessary to match the external appearance of the Boxabl ADU with your existing house?
  • Will you need an inspection or walkthrough for your backyard Boxabl? 

If you still have doubts or if the information is not clear, visit your local planning department for clarification. A licensed contractor or an architect familiar with your city’s zoning laws can also help you get the information. 

3. Consider hiring a contractor

Hiring a general contractor can make your job of putting a Boxabl in your backyard a bit easy. The contractor has experience with zoning laws and can ensure that your Boxabl is constructed and placed according to the regulations.

If you end up hiring a general contractor, keep the following points in mind:

  • Hire someone with experience in building prefabricated houses, preferably Boxabl units. Interviewing multiple candidates before settling on any contractor is a good idea. 
  • Once you finalize the contractor, get the price estimate.

Conclusion

Boxabl is rapidly becoming a great option for people looking to build additional property dwelling units. These homes are easy to make, durable, and exponentially cheaper to construct. 

If you are considering getting a Boxabl for your backyard, ensure that you know all your city’s zoning laws and regulations. Many cities have made getting the necessary permits easy, but you will still have to get all the information to prevent legal setbacks. 

The Boxabl Casita can be a great addition to your backyard. To see what this revolutionary product offers, check this listing out on tinyhouse.com.

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