In recent years, container homes have gained a lot of popularity, and for good reason. These homes are made from shipping containers, which are a versatile, durable, and cost-effective building material. However, like any other type of housing, container homes have their own set of advantages and disadvantages.
Shipping Container Homes: Pros & Cons
Below we explore the pros and cons of container homes to help you make an informed decision if you are considering building or buying one.
- Affordability: One of the biggest advantages of shipping container homes is their affordability. Since shipping containers are readily available and relatively cheap, building a container home can be much less expensive than building a traditional home. In addition, container homes require less construction time and labor, which further reduces costs.
- Sustainability: Container homes are considered environmentally friendly since they are made from recycled materials. By repurposing shipping containers, we can reduce waste and contribute to sustainable living. Moreover, container homes can be fitted with solar panels, rainwater harvesting systems, and other eco-friendly features to further minimize their environmental impact.
- Mobility: Shipping container homes are portable, which means that they can be transported to different locations with ease. This feature makes them a popular choice for those who need temporary housing or those who want to live off-grid. Container homes can also be designed to be modular, making it easy to expand or downsize the living space as needed.
- Durability: Shipping containers are designed to withstand harsh weather conditions and the wear and tear of transportation. As a result, container homes are incredibly durable and can last for decades with minimal maintenance. This makes them a good investment for those who want a long-lasting, low-maintenance home.
- Limited Space: The biggest disadvantage of a shipping container home is the limited living space they offer. Shipping containers are typically 8 feet wide and 8.5 feet tall, which means that they are not very spacious. To create a comfortable living space, multiple containers need to be stacked or combined, which can increase costs.
- Insulation: Shipping containers are not designed for living in, which means that they need to be insulated properly to create a comfortable living environment. Without adequate insulation, container houses can become hot in the summer and cold in the winter. Moreover, insulation can be expensive and add to the overall cost of the home.
- Permitting: Building a container house may require special permits and approvals from local authorities. The rules and regulations governing shipping container houses vary from state to state and city to city, which can make the permitting process complicated and time-consuming.
- Aesthetics: Container homes may not be everyone’s cup of tea when it comes to design aesthetics. While they can be customized to look unique and stylish, some people may find the industrial look of shipping containers unappealing.
Shipping Container Home Builders
One of the most prominent container home builders in the United States is MODS International. Based in Wisconsin, MODS International builds a range of container homes that are both functional and stylish. The company also offers customization options to suit individual needs and preferences.
Another well-known container home builder is Rhino Cubed. Based in Colorado, Rhino Cubed builds compact and energy-efficient container homes that are designed to be both functional and comfortable. The company also offers a range of customization options, from finishes to furnishings.
Bob's Containers, based in Austin, TX is another prominent builder that offers a variety of residential and commercial designs and ships to all 50 states in the US.
Other notable container home builders in the United States include Honomobo, a company based in Canada that specializes in modular container homes, and Backcountry Containers, which builds custom container homes in Texas.
Shipping Container Home FAQ's
1.) How much does it cost to build a shipping container home?
The cost of building a shipping container home can vary widely depending on factors such as the size of the home, the quality of the shipping containers used, and the cost of labor and materials. In general, however, building a basic shipping container home can cost anywhere from $20,000 to $50,000, while a larger, more custom home can cost upwards of $200,000.
2.) How long does it take to build a shipping container home?
The time it takes to build a shipping container home can also vary depending on the complexity and size of the home, as well as the availability of materials and labor. In general, however, building a basic shipping container home can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. More complex and larger homes can take up to a year or longer to complete.
3.) Are shipping container homes safe and durable?
Yes, shipping container homes are generally considered to be safe and durable. Shipping containers are designed to withstand harsh weather conditions and the wear and tear of transportation, making them highly durable. Additionally, shipping containers can be modified to include safety features such as fireproof insulation, security doors, and reinforced roofing.
4.) Do shipping container homes require special permits or zoning approvals?
Yes, in most cases, shipping container homes will require special permits and zoning approvals from local authorities. The rules and regulations regarding shipping container homes can vary widely depending on the location, so it is important to check with local officials before beginning any construction. In addition, some homeowners associations may have restrictions on shipping container homes or other non-traditional forms of housing.
Container homes are a unique and affordable housing option that can offer numerous benefits. From their sustainability to their durability, there are many reasons why people choose container homes over traditional homes. However, they do come with their own set of challenges, such as limited space and insulation issues. Ultimately, whether or not a container home is right for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences. We hope this article has helped you weigh the pros and cons of container homes so you can make an informed decision.