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Exclusive Pros, Cons, And Costs Of Shipping Container Homes

Using a container for home can be a great idea, even if it also has its fair share of challenges. The truth is that shipping container homes have become very popular over the years and they continue to stand out.

Which is why you want to know the pros and cons of shipping container homes, if they are a viable solution and also if you should consider giving them a try. Most shipping container homes differ in style and value, which is why you need to understand if they are a good pick and why you should choose them.

The Pros of Shipping Container Homes

Whenever you want to use a container for home, the reality is that most people will agree it’s an efficient solution. And it’s easy to see why, a lot of people think these homes are viable especially with the rising costs of regular homes.

It’s becoming harder and harder to afford a home. And that’s exactly why you want to find ways to cut down costs. Using a container for home is definitely a great idea and it will bring you the right results.

1. Speedy Construction

Yes, one of the major advantages of shipping container homes is that you can speed up the installation and construction project efficiency is great. You can build even larger homes in just a few months. Needless to say, that would be a lot harder to do without shipping containers.

It takes a year or more for larger homes, especially if you have a very complex design. But if you use shipping containers, you get to enjoy a much better result and simple stuff like that can truly make the difference in the long run.

2. You Save a lot of Money

Guess what, aside from being simple to create, these shipping container homes are also going to save you a lot of money. In fact, many of these can cost you $40k to $150k for the more complex designs. It goes to show that you don’t really need to spend a ton of money in order to obtain the results you want.

Which is why it’s a very good idea to build a shipping container home, because it’s efficient and you also get to have a much better bottom line in the end. The best part is that you can use the money you save on furniture or a variety of other systems. It’s just the better approach, especially if you live in an area where such homes are allowed to be built.

luxury shipping container home at night
Luxury shipping container home at night time

3. Durability

All containers are created with the idea of being durable and sturdy. So if you build shipping container homes, you will be impressed with their amazing durability and how reliable they really are. In fact, they are meant to survive thousands of miles exposed to the elements.

Which means they will have great durability and tremendous value for money. That means you will have a durable home if you use them as a great solution.

Of course it will take some trial and error to find the right shipping containers for your home, but in the end the benefits are well worth it, and that’s exactly the thing you want to pursue.

4. Many Regions are Accepting Them

At first, shipping container homes were less accepted due to the novelty and studies that were needed to take for such a new thing. With that in mind, now a lot of municipalities are accepting shipping container homes and that’s a great thing.

You can build such a home without having to worry about a massive set of challenges. And that’s exactly why this is well worth it, because you have great results and an astounding set of benefits comes with it too.

Read More: Which States Allow Shipping Container Homes?

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5. Container Homes are Mobile

Yes, these homes don’t have a foundation. That means you don’t have anything actively holding your home down. Which is actually a great thing and something truly unique and interesting.

Yes, these homes will require specialized equipment if you want to move them, but it’s still well worth it. The idea that you can move your home in case of the entire zone being flooded or things like that really means a lot. It’s obviously noy going to be the solution you just choose right away.

Yet the simple fact that you have portability in some way, shape or form is what really matters. Yes, there are some challenges that appear, but what really matters is the approach you have and in the end it’s safe to say that it’s all worth the effort. That on its own is something to think about.

6. You Have Freedom of Design

That’s something you don’t always get with other types of homes. Freedom of design is crucial and you really want to have it as much as possible. That’s the reason why people gravitate towards homes made out of shipping containers. It’s a great idea, and it does bring you a very distinctive perspective. It will take some trial and error to make things work, but at the end of the day you can be as creative as you can.

Having the opportunity to design your shipping container home the way you want is great. You don’t have as many limitations and in the end the outcome is very good. It’s the right approach and what you will appreciate is the way it all comes together.

You can go ahead and choose some bold designs, or you can opt for the more classical designs if you want. That will be one of those things you really want to pursue and think about, and in the end you will be amazed with the flow and how it all comes together.

7. Protecting the Environment

When you build shipping container homes, you already use resources that are pre-built. So you’re not asking for anything that damages the environment. Which is why these homes are said to be eco-friendly. Which is amazing, because you have the opportunity to keep the environment safe, while pushing the boundaries when it comes to value and quality.

Being able to make even a small difference when it comes to protecting the environment is very important. There will always be challenges that appear, and that’s exactly why you want to be prepared. The simple idea of protecting the environment is very appealing, not to mention you can do that without having to worry about major issues.

8. Large Selection of Shipping Containers

You can find a plethora of different shipping container types to use for your home. Which is great, because there’s no need to worry about shortages or anything like that. It just makes it easier for you to identify the best options and then access the results you want.

Plus, you can inspect and see the type of shipping container, how it was used if it’s a used one and so on. All of these pieces of information are vital and they will help make the process easier and better in the long run. Which is exactly why you want to take it into consideration as much as possible.

Affordable home living room
A shipping container home living room

9. Shipping Container Homes are Great for Minimalists

A minimalist doesn’t want or need a massive home. They want something simpler where they get more control over the design. And a shipping container home might actually work in a situation like this.

You want to adapt and implement the kind of features that really stand out and provide some sort of value. It might not seem like a whole lot in the beginning, but with the right approach results can indeed be second to none.

10. Shipping Containers as Homes: You are not Limited at all

Generally, when you build shipping container homes you have a lot of different options available. You’re not as limited when compared to a regular home. Which is great, because you get to add the style and value that you want.

The lack of major limitations means you can easily build the home you always wanted, while also pushing the boundaries in regards to quality and style. It’s stuff like that which helps make a difference, and in the end the outcome can be amazing.

11. Modular Construction

If you want to have a modular home, then shipping containers are ideal for this sort of thing. You get to ensure that you add any module you want and seamlessly customize everything. It adds to the experience, while bringing in something new and innovative.

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Doing that is one of those things you will enjoy, since it boosts your creativity while also allowing you to try out new things. It’s well worth it to have shipping container homes, because you always get to design them in a seamless way, and modularity is not a problem. If anything, it’s a major feature in the entire design process.

12. Shipping Container Homes are Very Secure

Shipping containers are known to be very secure. In fact, the way they are built is focused on quality and durability. That’s why you always get to rely on shipping container homes to be secure, since they are hard to break into. Which is the reason why a lot of people choose a shipping container home design especially for a remote area.

You will be away for months, and you don’t have to worry about your home being easy to break into. If you want, you can even lock your car in there and you will be more than fine. That’s the true value of a shipping container home, and why more and more people choose to have one.

13. Versatile

Aside from being secure, shipping container homes are also versatile. You can go with all kinds of designs, it’s also possible to make some changes on the spot. That’s great, and it just adds to the overall value and quality you can get from this type of product. It’s a very good thing and an opportunity that you do not want to miss. It’s totally worth the effort.

14. Finding a Site is a lot Easier

Generally, finding the construction site can be hard for a regular home. There are certain requirements and also your design might need a specialized site. With shipping container homes, things are easier. You can move containers around, you don’t need to have a foundation, so in the long run this can actively be an advantage. That’s why you always want to think about all the pros and cons, and in the end the benefits are definitely going to shine all the time. That’s what matters the most, after all.

The fact that shipping container costs are predictable and you also have less challenges moving them around is a major plus, especially if you want to have a more minimalist home. That’s what you need to think about, and it will totally be worth it.

Read More: Are container pools cheaper? A closer look at some top builders

Cons of Shipping Container Homes

Of course, shipping container homes also have their own downsides. Here you have a list with some of the things you need to take into consideration.

1. Insulation in Shipping Container Homes

Since these homes are made out of shipping containers, they do need adequate insulation. In many cases, the insulation costs can be quite high. It does depend where you live, but obviously shipping container homes might be a challenge if you live in a colder region. Still, you can insulate them, but that comes with additional costs that you have to take into consideration.

Below is an affordable insulation for your container home for you to consider.

2. It can be Hard to Find Contractors

Not every contractor is specialized in shipping container homes. Some of them are, but others will not be ok with working on such a project. Due to that, those contractors that work with shipping containers might end up being more expensive than a regular contractor.

You still get to pay les for your home as a whole, but these extra costs can still add up. Plus, you need to ensure that you find the right contractor, and in the end that’s the thing to pursue.

3. Getting Permits Can be a Challenge

Not every state or region is ok with shipping container homes. Many of them are, but you still need to acquire permits and that can become a headache.

It’s important to start with this process many months in advance. Once you receive the building permits, things are a lot easier. And that’s certainly the thing that you need to keep in mind. The faster you do that, the better the results that you can achieve.

But at the same time, I don’t know about you. But I’m yet to find a city council that works fast and efficient. So, don’t be discouraged. Start early and you should be fine.

4. There can be Some Health Hazards

Naturally, shipping containers are not exactly made specifically for human habitation. Which is why they have substances like solvents and industrial paint.

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Of course, if you receive shipping containers made specifically for home use, that’s not an issue. Yet when you go with the used market, you might end up with some challenges. That’s why addressing such problems early on is very important.

5. Adding Modern Appliances can be Difficult

The reason for that is because shipping containers aren’t really made with the idea of including any appliances. Which means you need a custom electrical setup for your home. It’s also imperative to hire the best electrician and plumber that you can find.

Of course, if you want to live off the grid, things are a bit easier since you can optimize some of these things on your own. But if you plan to have a shipping container home within a city, then there will be some limitations to think about.

Solar power can be an approach for shipping container homes, since it helps eliminate many of the possible challenges and downsides. The best thing here is to hire a team of experts that will work together to create a custom plan for your plumbing and electrical system.

Generally these homes require custom systems and once you have them set up, it can be a delight to live in there. However, it takes time and resources to bring that vision to life.

6. You Will Need Reinforcements

Whenever you cut holes for windows or a door, you are compromising some of the structural integrity of shipping container homes. That means you will need reinforcements. These can arrive in the form of a sloped rooftop, load bearing walls and so on. It’s always a good idea to have reinforcements for shipping containers used as a home, since you get to ensure everything is ok and good to go. The last thing you want is any type of challenge or problems. Which is especially true when you are dealing with any weather changes or anything similar.

7. You Might Need to Replace Containers Eventually

Containers have an average lifespan of around 30 years. What that means is that at some point, your shipping containers might need to be replaced. Yes, that can be an issue, but then again it also comes with its fair share of benefits.

You don’t have to replace the shipping containers too often, and you get to save a significant amount of money anyway. However, changing shipping containers can be complicated if you have a more challenging, complex design.

Read More: Building container homes in Pennsylvania: What you need to know

Costs of Shipping Container Homes

Generally, shipping container homes will vary in costs, and it all depends on multiple factors. Are you going to rely on new shipping containers or used ones? Needless to say, used ones are less expensive. Then there’s also the design you choose, a complex design will certainly have its challenges and up the prices quite a bit.

On the other hand, the location can also raise costs. The number of shipping containers you need will also change quite a bit, depending on the location and design. A small shipping container home will cost anywhere from $10k to $40k. A large shipping container home can go up to $100k or even $150k, maybe even more.

However, the benefit here is that you can choose any design you want and you also have control over how much the shipping container home will cost. As a rule of thumb, these shipping container homes are not super expensive unless you absolutely want them to be.

The more shipping containers you use, and the more features you add, the more expensive the shipping container home will become. So you do have control and you can keep prices at a desired level.


Creating your own shipping container home does have some challenges, which involve planning, getting permits and so on. But it also gives you the creative liberty to create the home you always wanted.

Yes, there are obvious challenges that arise, yet in the end it’s still a very good way to protect the environment and create the home you want, without limitations.

These are great off the grid homes, but many municipalities already accept them as regular homes too. It’s important to find the right contractors and ensure you plan everything properly. Once you do that, you will have no problem getting the right results!

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