Container Homes in Qld and NSW

       Two bedroom container home by Hometainer

Container homes have emerged as a popular housing option in Queensland (QLD) and New South Wales (NSW), offering versatility, sustainability, and speed of construction.

Despite their growing popularity, confusion surrounds their classification, approval processes, and whether they’re considered tiny homes, transportable homes, or a category all their own.

This article aims to demystify container home approvals in QLD and NSW, ensuring you’re well-informed about whether your property can accommodate one.

What we’ll cover

  • Status of Container Homes
  • Container Homes vs Tiny Homes
  • QLD requirements
  • NSW requirements
  • Downloadable Step-by-Step guide for both states

Key take-outs:

Council Approval Not Always Required in QLD: Most container homes in QLD do not require council approval, though certification by a building certifier is still necessary.

Fast-Track Legislation in NSW: Container homes in NSW require council approval but benefit from special fast-track legislation, simplifying the process.

Permanent Living Approval: Both states permit container homes for permanent living, whether as a primary residence or a granny flat.

Understanding Container Homes

Before diving into the approval process, it’s crucial to clarify what container homes are and how they differ from other transportable housing types such as tiny homes on wheels (THOW).


Container Homes vs. Tiny Homes


It’s a common misconception to equate container homes with tiny homes on wheels (THOWs). However, the key difference lies in compliance with the Building Code of Australia. THOWs often face restrictions for permanent living due to non-compliance with building codes and insurance challenges, being categorized more as caravans than dwellings. Conversely, container homes are designed to meet current building regulations, including the new 2024 QLD accessibility and energy efficiency requirements, making them a viable option for permanent housing on your property.


Yes, Container Homes Are Transportable, BUT…


While container homes are indeed transportable, this doesn’t exempt them from the approval and compliance processes required for permanent or long-term residency. They must meet the same building regulations as traditional homes to obtain approval.

Container Homes by Hometainer

        Three bedroom container home by Hometainer

Why Council Approval Matters

No one loves red tape, but when it comes to your home, those council checks are there for a reason. They make sure your home is placed safely on your property, protecting you from potential floods or fires. They also verify that your builders are legit and that your home comes with the necessary warranties. It’s all about ensuring your container home is a safe, comfortable place to live. And sometimes, approval may not even be necessary.

Getting Your Container Home Approved

Both Queensland and New South Wales councils fully endorse container homes, but the approval procedures differ.



The approval process in QLD is surprisingly straightforward, with council approval not required in about 90% of cases. This approach streamlines the certification process, saving time and money. However, properties within specific zones may require additional steps. 



NSW has adopted a proactive approach to ease the housing crisis, recognizing container homes as “manufactured homes” and facilitating a fast-track approval process for them.

If you are ready to dive into the specifics of securing your container home in Qld or NSW, we have prepared a FREE detailed step-by-step guide which you can download below:


How To Get Your Container Home in QLD And NSW

This report tells you everything you need to know about how container homes are given the go-ahead, what you need to do to meet the rules, and how long it all takes.

Container Homes Regulations


Author picture

About the Author: Hometainer is a local container home company based on the Gold Coast, QLD. It specializes in designing, obtaining approvals, and constructing container homes in QLD and NSW since 2020.

Scroll to Top