Pros and Cons of Shipping Container Homes

A lot of people are attracted to shipping container homes because you can save a lot of money on construction material. Since the basic structure is already present, you don’t need walls, floors, even roofs to build. This saves at least 40 percent construction cost.

Apart from building cost, you can also save building time. The basic structure is already present and all you have to do is some modifications to walls, windows, doors, and insulation. Construction time can be cut by 20 percent.

Are you ready to build your first shipping container home, or do you want some more information? Check these pros and the cons of shipping container architecture.


Cost: The low construction cost is one of the major benefits of shipping container homes. When you are using shipping containers as the basic building material, it reduces your cost of construction materials substantially. The basic framework is already there, you already have walls and a roof. This eliminates the work associated with the structural building. You can even reduce the construction cost by building the home yourself.

Eco-friendliness: Usually, shipping containers are not shipped back because of the cost involved. These “worn out” containers are seen as waste. Therefore, by using shipping containers as building materials, you are doing something for the environment.  You are also reducing the consumption of building materials such as bricks, cement, and wood.

Easy and fast:  Building a home from shipping containers means you are actually assembling a home. The basic structure is already present, which reduces the construction time.

Off-site construction: On some plots, for some reason, you cannot erect a permanent structure. However, shipping container homes can be made off-site and moved into the plot. If you have to relocate your house, you can “easily” do so. Furthermore, if the workforce is not available in the location where you want to set up your house, shipping container eases your work because you can build them off-site.

Strong: The shipping containers are made from strong materials in order to stand rough weather conditions at sea. They are strong against earthquake and hurricanes. Did you know you can stack 8 containers on top of each other and not lose its strength?


Building permits: Even though shipping container architecture is becoming very popular in many places, some local authorities are still not open to shipping container homes in some areas. Steel structures are being accepted for industrial construction, however, for residential housing, steel framework is not being readily accepted.  Sooner or later, this would probably change. Until then, you will have to check whether this is allowed in your area or not.

Internal temperature: Shipping containers are basically large metal boxes. Then interior temperature can be very high if not insulated. You need to spend additional money to make the internal temperature favorable by using various insulation materials. In the process, you may have to choose non-environmentally friendly solutions. Insulation also uses up the limited interior of your container home.

Health hazards: Shipping containers are not originally designed for human habitation. These containers are built using materials such as industrial paint and solvents. These substances are not good for your health if heated or removed without breathing protection (masks).  If these containers were used to ship toxic materials, the traces might still be there. You should inform yourself what it’s cargo was like before buying a container.

You can easily solve the common disadvantages associated with shipping containers. I find the pros outwit the cons.

4 thoughts on “Pros and Cons of Shipping Container Homes

  1. I live in a two-room apartment. I have two children, who are starting to grow up. The need for space is growing. I am seriously thinking of buying land on which to house a container house. This would solve the problem of space and the costs would be much lower than of classic construction, even with insulation.

  2. With proper ventilation, I wouldn’t mind living in a container as long as I had electricity and I could use my Internet.

  3. I think this technology and living style may spread and even may be very useful in under developed countries due to its low cast

  4. I’m falling in love with this concept and I think there’s still more to look forward and discover about it

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