Shipping Container Homes

Sea cargo container homes are modular and flexible design building blocks. Your imagination is the limit.

Are you interested in building a low-cost, "green," one-of-kind home in your neighborhood? If so, then you should probably consider building a shipping container home.

What are shipping container homes?

As their name suggests, the framework of these homes consists of shipping containers. Such containers might be the last type of material that you'd consider using when constructing a house. Well, think again! In fact, these materials are quite ideal as the building materials of homes. Shipping containers are a type of storage box that are used to ship items such as dry goods and heavy equipment. They provide one of the most reliable yet cost-effective methods for exporting and importing goods.

What are the benefits of shipping container homes?

Due to their shape and size, such containers are a practical option when building a home. One of their benefits is their durability. That's primarily due to their consisting of steel. Whether you plan to build your home in an area with mild, moderate, or extreme weather-it's crucial that the home be capable of lasting year after year. That involves withstanding all sorts of weather, ranging from sunny to snowy, and from rainy to windy. Using steel shipping containers is certainly a wise alternative over traditional building materials.

Due to their sturdy construction, it's ironic that shipping container homes can include a variety of styles. For instance, the containers can be placed side-by-side, one-atop-another, and even upside-down. Also, you can make various modifications to shipping container homes, to accommodate for plumbing, wiring, windows, doors, and so on.

What are the costs of shipping container homes?

The costs of both used and new shipping container homes can vary significantly, based on several factors. These include the number of shipping containers used, the energy-efficiency of the home, its location, and so on. Due to factors such as their low labor costs, the cost of a new shipping container homes tend to be less than $8,000 USD. Meanwhile, you can find many used shipping container homes with price tags of about half that price. The cost of shipping containers often ranges from approximately $1,000 to $2,000, making their function as building materials much more affordable than traditional ones used for homes.

What are some types of shipping container homes?

While there are several types, here are some of the most common ones:

1. Single-Container Cabins

Sometimes more isn't necessarily better! That's true in the case of single-container cabins. Such homes are quite compact, considering that they're usually a maximum of 40 feet long. One option to make one side of the shipping container "opened up" to the Great Outdoors. This allows the home to become brighter, and seem more spacious. The key to designing and building single-container shipping container homes is that every square inch (or meter) is used as efficiently as possible.

2. Multiple-Container Homes

By definition, such shipping container homes are larger and more complex than single-container homes. However, they provide several more options and flexibility when designing such homes. This involves various factors, such as the placement of the shipping containers, the meshing with the surrounding landscape, and the overall appearance of the home.

3. Green Shipping Container Homes

Due to their reusing of shipping containers, we could define shipping containers themselves as "green"  since they don't involve the manufacturing of new building materials. However, certain shipping container homes are even "greener," helping further to preserve Earth's dwindling natural resources. The greenest shipping container homes are those that have zero energy costs, since they obtain it from sources such as solar energy and geothermal energy. There are also green shipping container homes that produce zilch waste during their construction, which further classifies them as the greenest of the "green" homes.

What are some innovative designs of shipping container homes?

Here are some of the most groundbreaking designs of shipping container homes:

1. Ecopod

This single-shipping container home features a door powered by an electric winch, soya foam insulation, and a floor of recycled tires.

2. London's Container City

These are low-cost, environmentally-friendly homes that include 80% recycled materials.

3. Redondo Beach House

These homes are constructed from eight recycled shipping containers, and also contain some traditional building materials.

4. R4House

This amazing prototype house gets 100% of its energy from solar energy and geothermal energy.

5. Ross Stevens House

This spacious and comfy house in New Zealand complements the nearby hill.

During the last 50 years, but especially in the last ten, we've seen some really innovative shipping container homes. I think what makes this type f home so fascinating is the idea of reuse and recycling. To see an empty steel box transformed into an ultra modern green home is inspirational. If you are curious about what types of used containers are available, check out our page on buying used steel storage containers for sale.