Although containerized homes‘ cost often equals or exceeds the cost of the traditional house, there are a few advantages that a lot of people really like. We’ll look at the main shipping container homes pros and cons.
Consequently, you can make a decision whether to go “containerized” or “traditional” with your house project.
Storage containers are made with COR-TEN steel, which is weathered steel that can withstand harsh weather conditions, earthquakes, and elements like salty ocean water. The rust on weathered steel creates a protective patina to keep it strong. On the opposite, rust on regular steel would actually eat it up significantly weakening it.
Are there any benefits to having containerized homes?
Containerized homes face virtually no termite problems and less wood-rotting which are pretty common problems in many states.
We often forget about bad things that could happen. Unfortunately, in many parts of the World and even in some areas in the US the famous saying “My Home is My Fortress” should be put first on the list of building requirements.
Storage container homes with entry doors made of steel can protect your family and belongings far better than any traditional structure.
The idea of building a house with containers is usually associated with saving a lot of money, eco-friendly upcycling, and speedy construction.
Guess what? Unless you want to live straight up in a decommissioned beat-up sea container ‘house’ purchased through one of the auctions without much customization then all these good things are not true.
There are actually more cons and potential problems related to containerized homes that you definitely should be aware of. Knowing all these things upfront and doing your homework will definitely help you with designing or ordering the best ship container home.
Let’s start with the list of Containerized Homes Misconceptions
1. Shipping container homes cost is lower than the cost of traditional homes
Real-life experience shows that large and medium-size container houses are often more expensive to build than traditional ones. The only scenario which may help you to save money would be getting just one small container and cutting out 1-2 windows to create a backyard studio or she-shed.
2. Containerized homes are fast to build
This is somewhat true but only for tiny containerized homes. With multiple containers, the building process could be as long as building a traditional home or even longer.
3. Steel container homes are structurally sound
Yes, they are but only until you start cutting out large doors and windows. Cutting containers create structural weaknesses.
4. Container homes are eco-friendly
Not all containers are eco-friendly. New clean containers can be considered environmentally friendly but keep in mind that many used cheaper ones were probably used for transporting toxic products.
Sometimes, resellers may sell those as “clean” since many of the containers don’t have proper historical documentation.
5. Shipping container homes are portable
Single-container homes may be portable considering that the owner didn’t change the width of the container.
6. Used shipping containers are as safe as new ones
A great number of used containers have their structural integrity compromised during multiple loading and unloading procedures. Rust, dents, bent posts, and damaged walls are just a few things that you have to watch for when buying your used container.
7. Steel container homes eliminate wood-rotting problems
Well, if your whole house will be made out of steel, then this is true. However, wood is widely used for finishing both interior and often some exterior parts of the containerized homes. In a humid climate, this wood-rotting problem may still be a significant maintenance issue.
8. Living in a metal container can shield you from harmful magnetic fields
There were no official studies that confirmed this statement. In reality, it could be quite the opposite – your metal container home may act as an amplifier or a resonator of the magnetic fields.
It all depends on where your containerized home will be located and what kind of EMF fields will be there.
Top Common Mistakes to Avoid Before Building a Shipping Container Home
- Buying Very Old Containers;
- Over Modification of Containers;
- Ignoring Building Planning Laws and Regulations;
- Buying the Wrong Type of Shipping Container;
- Using the Wrong Type of Insulation;
- Assuming Container Homes are Cheap to Build;
- Using Inexperienced Contractor or Builder.
Containerized homes advantages
Why would someone build a house with containers?
The steel shipping container was designed to simplify and streamline long-distance shipping after World War 2. There are millions of these containers in existence and many are out of use.
Recently, increasing environmental concerns made architects and builders come up with solutions that would help to eliminate waste while using the structural integrity of containers for building affordable containerized homes and even apartments.
In this post, you’ll learn about containerized homes that you can build by yourself or simply order online. Although the cost of shipping container homes can be as high as the cost of traditional ones, you can build a structurally sound home from a shipping container for a reasonable price.
Containerized homes can be perfect for seismically active regions. Steel containers also have a better chance to stand against hurricanes and floods since they are WWT – wind and water-tight.
If you live in one of these areas, take a look at different options for building your house using containers.
Design your very own homes out of sturdy shipping containers! Some container house builders can even help you to deal with your local restrictions on building a tiny or container home in your area.
Learn how companies in different countries use shipping containers for creating unique modular living spaces. Find out about the main obstacles for building a containerized homes and how container house builders overcome them.
How do you actually overcome the main obstacles while building a container house? Turning shipping containers into homes can be done in many different ways.
Containerized homes don’t have to look like actual steel containers from a shipyard after architects and designers have their input in the process.
Containerized homes can vary from economical tiny houses to sizable multi-container villas. Putting the windows and doors can add to the cost since welding and metal cutting can be expensive.
In many states, like California for example, permits for ship container homes are expensive and can add to the overall cost. Read more about other factors that determine shipping container homes’ costs.
Containerized homes don’t have to look like ugly and rusted shipping containers. Find out how to create elegant homes using regular steel containers.
While transforming shipping containers into beautiful and functional living spaces requires a special set of skills, learn how others are doing it and see if it works for you.
Building elegant homes using regular shipping containers is easier than you might think! Backcountry Containers based in Texas is a well-known provider of custom shipping container homes.
Whether you are looking for a primary residence or a backyard office, their skilled team can help you design your container home and bring your vision to life.
Are you afraid of earthquakes or tornadoes? Learn how having a shipping container house can give you peace of mind if you live in these dangerous areas.
These homes made of steel containers are wind and watertight. No more extensive flood or earthquake damage! Take a look!
For many of us, ship container homes are associated with an ugly industrial look. Not anymore! Check out these containerized homes that can be ordered online and even modified according to your specs.
Most importantly, there are online design tools that can help you to create your perfect ship container home!
Read about different obstacles on the way to building a container house and how a few building companies overcome them. Converting shipping containers into homes can be done faster than building a traditional house from scratch.
You can even order prefabricated fully functional container homes online and install them in a few days on your property!
Learn how this Greek startup can easily turn shipping containers into unique and stylish homes for a pretty reasonable price. Now you can afford to retire in comfort.
Obviously, containerized homes have both Pros and Cons as all other types of buildings. Read our other posts about the “Faraday cage” effect and possible EMF amplification effects that steel shipping containers may produce in some conditions.
Top 5 Foundation Types Used in Shipping Container Homes and Buildings
The foundation types include:
- Slab or Raft Foundation
- Pier Foundation
- Timber Foundation
- Pile Foundation
- Strip or Trench Foundation
Is simple shipping container architecture appropriate for affordable housing?
In a number of cases container homes a viable budget option, but affordability is a flexible concept.
For example, in the Upper Midwest, a Victorian house can be purchased for less than or close to $100,000, including land. it would be impossible to build a container house with as much space for the same cost.
On the other hand, in places like California where real estate prices are skyrocketing and zoning makes the land very expensive, container homes can be a viable alternative to regular homes.
It makes sense to look into that option if you live in the areas that specifically allow for micro-housing or an accessory dwelling unit (ADU). ADU is a legal and regulatory term for a secondary house or apartment that shares the building lot of a main primary home.
If you can add a two-bedroom home to an existing property in the San Francisco area for less than $200,000, this may save you as much as 90% based on the existing market rate.
Clusters of such homes could represent a very viable rental investment as well. In these areas, steel shipping container homes can become a bridge to homeownership for young people.
In conclusion, container homes can be a viable affordable housing concept where zoning regulations allow it and real estate costs are prohibitive for first-time home buyers.