Shipping Container Homes Guide, Small modern house, Prefab property advice
Shipping Container Homes
18 Mar 2021
Some people would say that Shipping Container Homes are good for the environment because you are using already manufactured containers to repurpose into a livable home. Some people would say the cost of purchasing a shipping container home, renovating it to be used as a livable home, and every single issue that you need to solve in order to make a shipping container livable is immensely inconvenient and would be a headache for any buyer/homeowner, specifically a headache for your wallet.
However, let’s dial it back a bit and go over the idea of a shipping container home, the costs that come with turning a shipping container into a home, and the common misconceptions and even the not so common facts that make the idea of shipping container homes a little foggy and not so easily known and obvious to the masses.
What is a Shipping Container Home?
You’ve probably already seen images of shipping containers being altered and decorated in many different ways to accommodate one’s creative desire or perhaps you’ve seen shipping containers stacked on top of each other and stacked alongside each other like a couple of packaged sardines. There are a few uses, or at least, applied uses to shipping containers, aside from its primary use. One very popular use is to create a home out of them, with everything a standard home is equipped with, just in a metal shell. Shipping container homes can be convenient for specific kinds of situations and are inconvenient for other kinds of situations. Let’s dive deeper!
Pros of Shipping Container Homes
A large argument for why you should buy a shipping container and renovate it into a livable home is recycling. It is possible for you to purchase a used shipping container that has been cycled out of its primary use.
Giving a used shipping container a new purpose is, essentially, the recycling argument in favor of SCHs. Shipping containers come in either 10-foot, 20-foot, or 40-foot lengths. The standard height of these containers are about 8.5 feet tall and about 8 feet wide.
However, you can have custom containers manufactured with a taller ceiling, at about 9.5 feet, just an extra foot than your standard containers. A strong advantage to shipping container homes is that they can be stacked on top of each other and very much reduces the amount of space needed to have a working and livable home. The time it takes to get a shipping container up and running is minimal when it comes to urgent temporary and durable housing for specific situations, such as residents being relocated due to natural disasters and the like.
Cons of Shipping Container Homes
Looking back and forth at arguments for and against SCHs, it seems that there few uses and few convenient reasons, or even benefits, to purchasing, renting out, or renovating SCHs for personal use or simply using SCHs as mass government housing projects. Firstly, in order to turn a shipping container into a livable and working home, you must install all kinds of basic necessities, like running water, air conditioning, insulation, ventilation, and even flooring and sound insulation.
There are many problems that come with a used, standard, primitive shipping container right out of the box. One huge problem people tend to run into is dealing with the condition the shipping container was received in. Used shipping containers tend to only have this problem.
When shipping containers are used for their main purpose, they are painted on with strong and toxic chemicals in order to withstand extreme weather and conditions, however, these chemicals are not at all anything you want to be around for an extended amount of time, especially for your own home. That’s not even the least of your problems when working with a used shipping container.
I would say there’s a list of issues you must deal with and handle in order to turn your used shipping container into a nice, mini home such as, but not limited to, chemical leaking, wear and tear on the structure of the container, and unproper and damaged flooring. New shipping containers that have been manufactured for the sole purpose of it being a home is where you’ll have little to no problems with the previously said concerns, aside from actually renovating it with home necessities.
Working with a Shipping Container Home
Shipping Container Homes can no doubt be a homebuilder’s delight, with the compactness and easy to work with shape and size of the shipping container. Like what was said before, used shipping containers can have a range of problems from chemical leakage and residue, to the annoyance of sound echoing inside your SCH.
Let’s talk about renovating your shipping container and the possible issues that come with, even a new shipping container. I’m sure you can already see that it’s not so convenient to have a metal shell as your starting foundation, given that steel isn’t a good insulator. Your shipping container also serves as a strong echo chamber, so anything that knocks on the walls, the ceiling, and even the floor will surely make an amplified echo that can wake anyone up from a deep slumber.
The roofs of the containers are also very flat and horizontal, so when rain falls onto your roof, its sure to make an orchestra of loud noise that even I wouldn’t enjoy. Again, there are many ways you can fix these problems, such as installing a slanted roof on top of your flat roof to minimize the amount of sound vibrating through your box home.
Shipping containers are built with corrugated steel, metal sheets that have been bent into a pattern to have more strength. The kind of steel used for manufacturing these shipping containers is called Corten steel or atmospheric corrosion resistant steel. This kind of steel isn’t so easy to rust and corrode. Flooring is also a problem on its own, but you can fix that issue in a number of ways such as installing a cement floor or other ways that involve changing the material of the floor.
Should you get involved with Shipping Container Homes?
There are many reasons to look into and use Shipping container homes. If money is no issue and you have a creative side to you, purchasing a new shipping container and designing it to become one beautiful piece of a home is absolutely right for you.
On the more governmental side of homebuilding, Shipping container homes can be used for quick and space saving mass housing, given the area you are building these SCHs is all around convenient. In both cases, though, there are options you can explore that are much more cost saving such as inexpensive house building materials in that particular locale, whether or not you are willing to handle the tedious processes that come with creating a shipping container home.
Shipping Container Homes Conclusion
Overall, what you aim to do with your new shipping container home, from renting it out or living in it yourself, to simply having it as a gamers cave, or to use it as an artistic piece you can be proud of owning.
There is no doubt that Shipping container homes are becoming cheaper to build and more popular to own. The possibilities are for you to decide and enjoy!
Comments on this Guide to Shipping Container Homes article are welcome.
Shipping Container Homes
Building a new home? Custom vs Modular
Modular building like a shipping container cafe
Comments / photos for the Shipping Container Homes guide page welcome