Converting a shipping container into a house is one of the latest trends in modular housing. While container homes are environmentally sustainable and ideal for green living, the designs and floor plans are incredibly creative and are considered attractive and stylish by even the most discerning of home owners.
There are several ways to build or buy a home built from shipping containers, and each option is cost effective in it’s own way. Container homes can be custom designed, bought as a modular home from a factory and installed on your site, or you can build your own “DIY” container house.
The highest end of the shipping container home market is a custom designed container house. Hiring an architect to design a custom home gives you the opportunity to provide input on the structure and your specific needs, and the architect can take into consideration the environment and natural surroundings where the home will be built. The costs involved with a custom design are only limited by your imagination.
Shipping container homes can also be bought direct from the factory. Increasingly, shipping container houses are being treated similar to modular homes and designed, assembled, and delivered direct from the factory. These factories often have plans and pictures that you can select from, and in some cases you can provide input and receive some customized features. After the home is built, it’s shipped and delivered to your site for assembly.
Do It Yourself, or “DIY” shipping container houses are also popular. It’s completely possible for a creative individual to take the initiative and build their dream container home by themselves. There are lots of great books and container home floor plans available on the market; many of them are very specific in providing details of what you need, and exactly how much of it. If you have a mechanical mind and a strong back, this could be the solution for you.
As with a traditional home, the cost of a shipping container home varies greatly with the amount of square footage, features, and amenities that you would like to include. Really, you’re only limited by your budget and imagination. The largest building block in a container home is the shipping container itself. It’s recommended that you find containers that are structurally sound, not “racked”, and free of rust or corrosion. With this in mind, it’s best to begin search for containers that are at least in “cargo worthy” condition. Cargo worthy containers will probably be in the $2500 region, depending on the area that you live in, and the price of shipping containers will go up from there. Cheaper containers may be available, but the condition of these containers may be questionable and could cause issues later on.