Pro’s & Con’s Of Shipping Container Homes
When we think of shipping containers what comes to mind are giant, metal, storage units that are used for shipping things over seas. Recently, people have been taking these shipping containers and turning them into unique homes. While it may seem like a unconventional thing to do, people are loving the idea. We pulled together a pros and cons list of building/buying a shipping container home.
Shipping containers are cost effective with prices starting at about $1,800 - $5,000. That’s about $75-$90 per square foot compared to the square footage of a traditional home which is $150 per square foot. These containers can range from 20-40 ft. in length and can be easily stacked to create a multi-story home. Depending on how many shipping containers you put together you could have up 100-1,400 square feet or more. As you can see, these shipping containers can create decent sized homes or guest houses.
Using shipping containers is a great eco-friendly choice. Unused shipping containers get sent to a junkyard or are melted down. Making homes out of them creates so much less waste and puts to good use materials that are still in good condition. Shipping containers work great for any climate. They’re very durable, strong, and flood and fireproof. Shipping containers are also made to resist pests.
A shipping container home is much quicker to build than a traditional home. Since they already have the walls, floor, and ceiling, you just need insulation and to decorate! A small home can be built in about three weeks. Another plus, you can have your shipping container home built offsite and delivered to your lot.
Shipping containers offer safety. Since you need a blowtorch or dynamite to break through them, it makes it very difficult for burglars to break in. They’re also very tough and work well against natural disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes.
Since shipping containers are made of metal, they absorb the heat and cold well making it difficult to control the temperature. In order to control the temperature, you will need to find the right kind of insulation that will adhere to the curve of the walls.
Shipping containers are usually made with hazardous chemicals. There’s really no telling what’s been inside of them and what toxic chemicals have been used in the paint. Before beginning to turn on into your home, you will need your contractor to deal with the chemicals and toxins before construction can begin.
Like any other home being built or remodeled, you will still need to get a permit and adhere to your city’s building codes. Failure to do so, can result in your project being shut down until you have a permit, or anything you have already built can be ordered to be demolished. You also will need to look for an architect or contractor who has experience working with shipping containers or projects that are out of the box like these homes.
Shipping containers are narrower in length and aren’t very tall. By adding plumping, HVAC, and insulation, this can make the container shorter in height. For some people this can be a real problem. Some furniture may not fit into the home depending on how wide your shipping container home is.
There are lots of good things about shipping container homes but there are also some disadvantages. For some people, those disadvantages can be a deal breaker. For others, this is the perfect home. While living in a shipping container isn’t for everyone, we love the creativity that goes into designing these homes. What are your thoughts on making a shipping container a home?