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Shipping Container Homes: An Ultimate Guide For Beginners

Thinking outside the box

When it comes to homes and their design, many people just get bored with the same old thing. One way to spice up your life would be to use shipping containers as your home.

To learn more about this unique way to build your dream home, just continue to read our article. It gives you a guideline to follow.

shipping container homes

What is a shipping container home?

This is exactly as it sounds. This type of home is made from 1 or more actual shipping containers that have travelled the world. Each shipping container home has everything you want inside. From a living room, bedrooms, and kitchen to a bath, den, and more.

You are not missing out on traditional home amenities when you decide to build your home out of shipping containers. Also, every plan is different and each design is put together by professional builders.

The only thing influencing your new home's design will be the site, your budget, and the floor plan you would want. In addition, the shipping container home needs to meet all the regulations given in the local building code.

How to convert a shipping container into a home?

shipping container home outside

When you order your shipping containers, all you get are the basics- floor, roof, end, or side doors and that is about it. Everything else has to be added to those shipping containers. In the end, you have a custom container home that is made to your preferences and needs.

Once the shipping container home builder you hire has the plans approved by your local council, you can work on adding those house necessities. You have complete liberty where to put interior doors, bedrooms, and so on.

The key aspects will be the footings or foundation for support, ventilation, insulation, plumbing, drywall, and electrical work. This will be like building a home from scratch.  It is best to let the professionals handle the work instead of doing it yourself.

How much does a shipping container home cost to build?

shipping container home inside

The cost of these shipping containers depends on the size you want to buy. They come in 2 sizes, 20 and 40 feet in length and approx. 9 feet high for both lengths. Then used ones will be cheaper than new ones. But the condition is not always that great with used.

The 20-foot shipping container home cost ranges between $6,000 & $8,600 based on an 18 by 20-foot dimension. The 40-foot shipping container home cost ranges between $8,000 to $13,800.

All prices are per container, so if you ordered 5 40-foot containers, you are looking at paying between$40,000 and $68,400 just for the containers alone. All modifications will add to that cost and will depend on the contractor you hire and the prices of materials, etc.

Benefits of building a shipping container home

shipping container home buiders

There are a few benefits that come with building and living in a shipping container home. Here are just a few to let you know their value:

1. Low cost- Buying these containers can be cheaper than buying a new home. Their costs may be rising soon due to other price influencers.

2. Create your own look- this is something you can't do with many traditional homes. At least without gutting the home and basically starting over. That can be expensive. With shipping containers, you are starting with a blank canvas and can place them in any design that fits your lifestyle. Plus, you have complete freedom to put windows, interior doors, and more household items inside.

3. They last- the hard steel construction material withstands UV rays, rain, salt condition, and more harsh elements. You do not have to worry about fires either.

4. reduces environmental impact- many of these containers simply sit in a storage yard and rust away. By turning them into homes, you are being environmentally friendly in more ways than just reusing these steel containers.

5. One of a kind- your personality stands out by the design of your home. Since these homes are not pre-fabricated, you can design a very unique home that sets you apart from your neighbours.

How long does it take to build a shipping container home?

It is hard to give a specific time frame as some homes are built quickly, while others suffer from delays. But if the external aspects are done off sight, then the containers can be put in place on the day of delivery.

Once the containers are secured on the footings or foundation, then the on-sight work follows the timeline of a traditional home construction schedule.

The following needs to be done and inspected:

1. Insulation

2. Plumbing

3. Electrical

4. Fittings and frames

5. Plasterwork

6. Flooring

Plus, any decorative special features you want to add to your home's look.


Buying and turning shipping containers into shipping container homes is a great way to shine. You let everyone know that you can be creative and environmentally friendly at the same time.

Also, you can save some money by going in this direction when you want a nice custom home. You have complete freedom to design the interior any way you want. That is a major bonus when it comes to going non-traditional.

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