Portable Buildings: What Makes A Building Portable?

Portable Buildings: What Makes A Building Portable?

Defining portable buildings


The term “portable buildings” is used for any readily movable building, usually one that is designed with mobility built in. Terms related to and often used interchangeably with the term “portable building” are “storage buildings”, “storage sheds”, and “utility buildings” to name a few.

Technically, a utility building can be any building built with multiple purposes in mind. Utility buildings are not necessarily portable, nor, for that matter are storage sheds and storage buildings.

What makes a building “portable”?

While there may be some differences in the way people think about portability, there is a fairly standard definition in the Texas portable building industry. It has to do with building width.

Building width

Portable building

Single trip permits require that any building wider than 16′ have an escort, and that any building wider than 18′ have 2 escorts (one for the front and one for the rear). Most portable utility building dealers like to keep the load at or under 16′ for this reason. Therefore, the standard definition would be a building 16′ wide or less.

Building length

The length of the building is less of a consideration, since the law allows for the movement of buildings up to 65′ with a truck and trailer combination, and most buildings for utility use are kept under that size. For practicality sake, 32 feet’ is about the reasonable limit for trailer hauling such buildings.

For this reason, the common definition for Texas portable buildings is about 16′ by 32′ or under.

That does not mean that other sizes of buildings cannot be moved from place to place, but merely that they will require special conditions, permits, and equipment to move down our Texas highways.