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6 Legit Reasons to Consider Living in a Shipping Container Home

Modern Sustainable Homes on a Budget

By Caitlin EvansPublished 4 years ago 3 min read

We can trace the history of shipping container homes all the way back to 1987, when Phillip Clark filed a patent named “Method for converting one or more steel shipping containers into a habitable building.” These structures have come far from their modest beginnings. Today, the market of these properties is vast, and it is expected to grow up to $73.07 billion by 2025.

Large shipping boxes or storage containers, how they’re frequently called, might not seem like an attractive housing option at first. However, there are many examples proving that shipping containers can be repurposed into eye-catching and even beautiful houses, restaurants, hotels, and similar. If you’re still not convinced, here are some legit reasons to seriously consider living in a shipping container home.

You can buy it on a shoestring budget

The first advantage that comes to mind when talking about getting a shipping container home is cost-effectiveness. The price, of course, varies depending on the quality, condition, and size of the container.


On average, shipping containers cost between $2,100 and $5,800. For the former price, you could get a used 20-foot standard shipping container, and for the latter, you could get a brand new 40-foot shipping container. High cube containers are, naturally, better, because of the spaciousness and the ceiling height.

You can also combine several containers for the desired result. Also, you need to add the costs of insulation (between $1 and $3 per square foot), foundation (about $500 for a 40-foot container), and external cladding (on average $5 per square foot).

It is highly customizable

There are many examples of ingeniously designed container homes that show just how many options you have when constructing such a property. When you first look at the structure, you probably can’t imagine living inside, but in the hands of a talented architect or an inspired mind, it can be transformed into an elegant studio or a cozy cabin-like home. The materials are easy to work with, and you can add new installations gradually.

It is good for the planet

Starting from scratch, shipping container homes are eco-friendly because they already have an outer structure and they don’t require a lot of time, materials, and intervention on the ground to be built. The outer material is also extremely weather-resistant, which means the property can be used for many years without the need for remodeling.


Because they’re small and flexible when it comes to upgrading, it’s quite simple to add eco-friendly features such as solar panels, water recycling technology, wind power, and rain tanks. Finally, by using a shipping container to construct a home, you’re also helping the world get rid of an otherwise wasteful material.

It is a stable structure

While they’re not made of concrete and bricks, the overall strength and endurance of cargo containers provide builders and engineers enough stability to work with. The heavily corrugated steel frame can endure a lot of weight, which is very convenient when upgrading it with different features.

The secret is in the construction, which is made to withstand extreme weather conditions over long distances so that the rough wind, rain, and swirling water cannot damage the inside of the structure. For similar reasons, container homes are also quite resistant to pests.

It goes well with the modern lifestyle

While the generation of baby boomers had a stable suburban lifestyle in a large family home, holding on to a single job until retirement, the millennials and generation Z are looking for different things from life. They usually seek out small, easy-to-maintain houses that keep the utility bills at a minimum, all of which make shipping containers a perfect choice.


Also, the employees of today are more eager to move away for work or even just to experience life elsewhere. Since shipping container homes are easily transported in their entirety to another location with minimum costs (you’ll just need a new location and a foundation), they seem like a reasonable option for a less stressful future.

Getting all the permits is a breeze

If we compared a manufactured home with a shipping container home, we would see that cargo container properties need fewer permits. Furthermore, they don’t face as many building and installation restrictions. They’re also practical for existing communities because they don’t occupy a lot of room and don’t take years to build.

Bottom line


Shipping container homes are an answer not only to the incredibly high cost of housing, but also to the environmental crisis that is looming over our future. The arguments that favor them are reasonable, especially for people willing to compromise on the traditional way of life and those who have enough imagination to put their sustainable living plan to action.


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    Caitlin EvansWritten by Caitlin Evans

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