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What Is The Cost Of Constructing A Shipping Container Home?

Wondering what the cost of constructing a container home is? But first, what is a shipping container home? Container homes are houses constructed from the steel shipping containers you see everywhere transporting products on trains, trucks, and ships. People are building homes of all different sizes and kinds from these enormous Lego blocks.

The most common sizes for shipping containers are 10 feet, 20 feet, and 40 feet. In regards to a shipping container home, the smallest shipping container can offer roughly 100 square feet of floor space. 

Together, eight larger containers may create a two-story house with a floor area of around 1,400 square feet. Together, hundreds of container micro-apartments can form a sizable apartment complex.

Several factors will determine the final price of your container home. 

What Number of Shipping Containers Does Your Design Need?

Your home’s size will determine how many containers you require. Like any structure, the price rises as the size does. You will need to alter each container to fit inside a house. Think of inside windows and doors, the opening up of spaces by knocking down walls, etc.

You will also need to appropriately adjust them to avoid jeopardizing the structural integrity.

How Large is the Typical Australian Home?

The average size of residences in Australia is 235.8 m2, according to a report by Commsec Home Size Trends Report published in 2020. When figuring out how much a container home would cost, it is critical to have context.

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Container Sizes for Construction?

Your design may require a variety of container sizes. The Australian Building Code specifies that a comfortable room must have an internal ceiling height of 2.4 meters

Because general-purpose containers only have an interior ceiling height of 2.39 meters, they are disqualified.

On the other hand, high cube shipping containers have an internal height of 2.7m. This gives plenty of room for plaster, electrical, lighting, and insulation.

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You should consider the design you collect when figuring out the size of your container. Cost-wise, 40ft high cube containers are more economical per square meter than 20ft high cube containers.

Cost of a 20-foot Shipping Container

Based on the average Australian home, you would require 18 x 20-foot high cube containers. You should expect to pay between $6,000 and $8,600 for each high-cube container, depending on the container’s quality, age, and availability.

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Cost of a 40-foot Shipping Container

Based on the average Australian, you would require 9 x 40-foot high cube containers. Depending on the container’s quality, age, and availability, you may look at anything from $8,000 to $13,800 for each high-cube container.

What is the Cost of Constructing a Container Home?

The size and cost of shipping container home vary. Building a shipping container home typically costs between $10,000 to $35,000, although larger homes can cost up to $175,000 to construct. 

The cost of constructing a container home will also rise depending on your chosen materials and the facilities you want. Your container home will cost more according to the additional features you desire.

Read More: The truth about shipping container homes in North Carolina

Top 5 Pros of Constructing a Container Home out of Shipping Containers

When selecting a container home, people first examine the advantages.  Below are 5 benefits of container homes to aid you because it can often feel overwhelming.

1. Uniqueness of Shipping Container Homes

Each container home is unique. Most homes are individually created by an architect or highly experienced builder and tailored to the specific requirements of their owner.

Incomparable to a typical home picked from a plan, this form of the house has an artistic or industrial edge. To link containers and create a contemporary kitchen, living space, bedroom or bedrooms, and bathrooms inside a corrugated steel box requires significant customization and manufacturing.

Shipping container homes are among the homes that are the easiest to build and they also cause less hassle.

Read More: How to Select a Perfect Roof for Your Shipping Container Home

2. Cost of Constructing a Container Home is low since they are Recycled

Recycling is a significant factor in shipping container homes in the modern world, which is becoming more environmentally concerned.

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Shipping containers have historically been shipped from abroad with or without items inside. For freight and logistics organizations, some assemble a fleet of lease or transport containers.

The used units linger in industrial yards gathering dust because it has frequently been economically impossible to return containers to their countries of origin.

In addition to utilizing old items, using these to construct your container home lessens the environmental impact of obtaining and using building resources employed in a conventional build.

Think about how concrete, bricks, timber, and steel are produced and how the necessary resources are developed and harvested.

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3. Cost of Constructing a Container Home is Affordable

The cost of constructing container homes has traditionally been one of their most fascinating features. People are constantly looking for affordable home construction methods. 

However, due to a weak exchange rate, an increase in freight and transportation, and an absence of readily available used containers, the price of containers has increased dramatically over the past few years.

The demand for basic needs like canned food, toilet paper, and cleaning supplies resulted in a significant rise in the freight needed. As a result, these put additional strain on container availability.

Even shipping companies that frequently supply new and used merchandise carry empty containers back to China for resale.

This is because consumer demand has increased prices and made this travel financially possible. Traditionally, containers are discharged at the port before being sold.

Read More: 15 Best Container Homes You Can Own Under $100K

4. Unique Design of Shipping Container Homes

Although the demand for container homes is rising, off-the-plan building services are not yet offered in Australia.

Every home must be custom-designed by an architect, builder, or enthusiast homeowner. One of the main factors influencing someone’s decision to construct this kind of house can be bespoke home design.

Long or extremely long rectangles provide suitable containers for home construction. Countless configuration options can be used to create a home.

They can be one or two stories tall, have distinctive architectural features like cantilevered chambers and metal inside walls, and either fit in with or stand out from their surroundings. Container dwellings, in other words, frequently make a statement.

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5. Resilience of Shipping Container Homes

Shipping containers are made of Corten steel. This is a tough steel that is resilient even in the worst weather conditions. Consider being exposed to salt on an open ocean, to the heat and UV rays of the Australian sun in the summer, and to heavy rains for extended periods in the winter.

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These all contribute to rust and corrosion, but this doesn’t affect the Corten steel much. This is true since once the top layer of the steel forms rust, a protective rust layer forms to prevent further rusting.

A freight container’s typical lifespan is 10 years or more on rail or road. However, because they are raised and transported considerably less frequently, shipping containers for static storage can last much longer.

Much of the structural harm can happen at this point, including denting and warping from repeated loading and unloading, as well as scratches and scrapes that hasten to rust.

Shipping containers can last up to 25 years for onsite storage and require no upkeep. The locking rods and door seals may fail earlier than this estimate, depending on how exposed it is.

For various reasons, shipping containers used for housing frequently endure a lot longer. The base, typically one of the first elements to exhibit indications of damage if left on soil or dirt, is kept dry by solid footings.

How to Increase the Lifespan of a Shipping Container

Protecting the unit from water, salt, and dirt lengthens its lifespan. Water won’t collect on top of the container either because the structure has been given roofing, which accounts for water drainage. Rust is substantially less likely as a result.

Each shipping container that is selected is frequently in good shape. Because they exhibit fewer symptoms of wear and tear, have fewer rust spots, and are more structurally strong, newer structures or containers utilized in sheltered places for static storage are best for home construction.

Read More: Is a shipping container home a good investment for daring homeowners?


In conclusion, constructing a shipping container home in Australia is not difficult. Utilizing resources like shipping containers can help you save money on building costs.

The size and design of the house will affect how much it will cost to construct a shipping container home.

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