The permits for shipping container homes vary in accordance to where you live. What County, what state and what county.
There is no way you can write a book or explain this in a general way. There is a tremendous variation of stick rules and regulations in home building, regardless of the type of home.
Yes, Container home construction permits are greatly different than traditional home building, but still complicated.
If you are trying to avoid permits and stay away from the complicated application, inspection and review aspect then you need to build something that closely resembles an RV. Recreational Vehicle.
Home on wheels.
I have met some container home construction contractors in Austin Texas that purposely place wheels on 20ft ISO containers to qualify for different permits.
These “wheels” are a category similar and in most cases identical to food truck and RVs, there are none.
Now for food trucks the owner will still need Health and business permits.
In all of the above cases, your container home will need its own “in house” electricity, water and septic. Once you connect outside the box, you will most likely need some permit. However, these are generally quite easy and vary greatly depending on where you live.
So you break it down to the three main things:
Electricity can be easy if you use low watt bulbs and kitchen accessories.
Lights are easy, the toaster oven uses up a lot, but not too much energy and forget about AC units. The refrigerator can be run off of propane, just like in the RVs. In fact that is where you would search for one.
The water can be portable, stored and or collected of the roof then filtered.
You would just want to install low usage faucets through out the home. You would also need a gray water collection unit somewhere on the home.
Septic can be identical to the RV home.
The information above should work in most places, now lets talk about Costa Rica.
In Costa Rica you would need the following:
Electricity: Contact ICE, get your poles and installation system set up, someone local can do this. All the material cost under $200. The installation should be between $50-75. Remember you need cement.
Water: Contact AyA. They will need some of your information and also request that a structure exists on your property. They will not just hook up water with out anything there. This is real cheap, almost free.
Septic: Go to the Municipality and put in a request for septic. I believe it is $30 and takes a few days. Then hire someone to dig you a hole and put in the right stuff. This right stuff depends on how much you want to spend and what type you want. It is best to ask around your town for some quotes and advise. We did ours with a backhoe and a giant cylinder that the backhoe had to lower in the hole he created.
Then we put a lid on it. Total cost including backhoe: Under $200.
So for now that is all I have for you.