Container homes are exactly what they sound like; homes made from the steel shipping containers that you see carrying goods everywhere on trains, trucks, and ships. From these giant Lego blocks, people are building homes of all shapes and sizes.
Shipping containers are generally available in 10ft, 20ft, and 40ft. The smallest shipping container can provide about 100 square feet of floor space for a shipping container home.
Eight larger containers together can make a two-story house at about 1400 square feet. Hundreds of container micro-apartments together can make a huge apartment building.
Besides trendiness, interest in container homes is also part of a wider interest in saving money with prefabricated and modular homes.
Many potential homeowners are looking for lower construction and maintenance costs. There is also a perception that container homes are contributing to recycling.
Many shipping container homes are available as prefabricated modular homes, making construction time shorter. Some companies advertise delivery within 10 weeks! Most of the building code inspections are done at the factory, which makes things simpler and quicker.
Or if you are designing a custom home or building a do-it-yourself project, the container gives you a fun prebuilt structure to work with.
Some of the advantages, like short construction time and predictable pricing, are the same for all prefabricated and modular homes, not just those made with shipping containers. But container homes benefit uniquely from the worldwide infrastructure built to move shipping containers.
Even container home skeptics admit they can be useful where local building expertise is lacking or for emergency shelters that can be moved easily. In these scenarios, the versatility of container transport is a huge advantage.
A well-maintained shipping container home can retain its resale value much like a traditional home. They’re relatively easy to resell since they can be loaded onto a truck and shipped almost anywhere.
Before purchasing, you may want to inquire as to whether the shipping container home was manufactured for your climate and, if not, inquire as to the modifications you may need to make so that it’s appropriate for its intended location.