The reasons for building shipping container homes are diverse and include the fact that these containers are globally available, affordable, sturdy, water-tight and versatile, not to mention that they’re meant to be easily transported.
This makes them perfect candidates for prefabricated homes and there are plenty to choose from in fact. A lot of them are very impressed and not at all as industrial and as rugged as one would expect. Check out our top favorites below:
How Long Do Shipping Container House Last?
A shipping container home has a lifespan which is highly variable and is mostly determined by where it is placed.
However, in general, a residence constructed from old shipping containers should survive approximately 15 years without major upkeep, whereas one constructed from new containers should last approximately 25 years.
Shipping Container Costs
Although shipping container homes are not necessarily less expensive to construct than conventional stick-built homes, they can be. Numerous aspects affect the cost of a project, including its design, size, and finishes for the interior.
The cost of the container varies from $1,400 (if you decide to purchase a small container) to $6,000 (if you are looking for a 40-foot container). Containers that are newer will cost more than containers that are older.
Do You Need a Permit for Shipping Container House?
While shipping container homes are attractive and may complement the surrounding landscape in some areas, certain regions will not allow them.
Prior to beginning work on the shipping container, a permission should be secured. Thus, before the shipping container is erected or placed on the land, approval from the necessary authorities should be sought and granted.
In this situation, the proper authority may be the neighborhood homeowners’ organization, the local municipal government or from city council. Even in remote locations where a permit is not always required, it may not hurt to inquire prior to embarking on a project of this nature.
If the local authorities allow it, you may place a shipping container on your land. Where you are unsure of the applicable regulations, conduct research and communicate with authorized officials to educate yourself on the possibilities of placing these containers on your land.
Shipping containers offer a unique and adaptable method of constructing one’s dream home. They give a private, warm environment for one. However, there are rules that govern this type of conduct.
Local and state legislation, as well as guidelines established by the Homeowners Association, must be considered.
Shipping Container Homes For Sale
The HO series by Honomobo
Honomobo is a company based in Alberta, Canada which specializes in building modern homes, offices, residential complexes and more out of shipping containers. The HO series includes prefabricated homes which range in size from a tiny 208 square foot studio to a three-bedroom house measuring 1,216 sq ft. The unit you see here is the HO2, the second smallest in the series. In has an open living area with a kitchen, a sleeping nook, a workspace and a bathroom.
Large full-height windows let in an abundance of natural light and the actual shipping container volume is set on top of a precast concrete garage which is convenient, practical, safe and quite advantageous, ensuring that the living space at the top gets to enjoy panoramic views of the surroundings. The heating and cooling of the house is done with an efficient air source heat pump.
- Price: $98,318 – $302,768
- Size: 208 sq ft- 1,216 sq ft
Rustic Retreat XL by Backcountry Containers
The Rustic Retreat XL was built by Backcountry Containers and comes with a really cool feature: a rooftop deck. The tiny but charming home was built out of a 40′ shipping container and has a rustic-industrial appearance emphasized by its bright red exterior and the wooden elements such as the deck, the staircase and those cute little window shutters.
- Price: from $40,000
- Size: 270 sq ft
Inside there’s a generous closet with shelves and room for a washing machine, a kitchen with a breakfast bar, a fridge and a farmhouse sink and a large bathroom with a sliding barn door. This layout is just one of the options. Several others are available, including one with two bedrooms and one with an ATV storage room.
The Montainer backyard homes
Mountainer offers a complete package when it comes to planning and building backyard homes or extensions out of shipping containers. You place your order, you come up with a list of features and layout details that you’d like to include into your new container home then a design team helps you finalize your plan and also checks the property’s permitting requirements and offers a pricing estimate. If you’re happy with the process so far, the project moves forward and your new custom container home is built and then installed on your property. You can choose between several different configurations. The smallest option is a one-module structure and you can add as many modules as you want, as long as there’s enough space on the property for them.
- Price: from $ 45,000
- Size: varies with the number of modules (1 – 3+)
Custom Container Living units
Custom Container Living specializes in building structures out of 20′ and 40′ shipping containers, designed to serve a variety of purposes. They can be used as offices, guest houses, dorm rooms or as fishing and hunting cabins. Each container home is custom-built to specifically suit each client’s needs and requirements. You can choose between several standard floor plans and then personalize the design by selecting specific colors, stains, window placement, flooring, cabinets, countertops and several other elements. The prices vary depending on the size and features included in each design.
- Price: from $27,900
- Size: varies based on type
Rhino Cubed cubes
Rhino Cubed is a company founded on the belief that spending time in nature enriches the soul and that the modern human needs a small and simple housing solution designed to facilitate that. The solution is a series of Cubes which are small and robust structures made out of shipping containers. They come in a variety of sizes, ranging from 160 sq ft to 640 sq ft and they offer a variety of custom designs and options.
The fully equipped cubes include all the base features such as insulated walls, fiberglass energy-efficient windows, roof and floor insulation plus electrical wiring, plumbing, lighting, a kitchen with a sink, stove, refrigerator and cabinets and a bathroom with a full-size shower, a toilet, sink and storage cabinetry.
- Price: $33,600 – $79,000
- Size: 160 – 640 sq ft
Off-the-grid container home
This one-of-a-kind container home was built by architect Ty Kelley who wanted this to be an off-the-grid retreat with all the luxuries of a modern home and the charm or a rustic dwelling. The home was listed at $125,000. It has a total surface of 720 sq ft and includes a bedroom, a bathroom, a kitchen, a laundry area, a workspace and a stylish living area. The architects used a lot of reclaimed materials including the lumber used for the flooring and the counters. The back facade is glazed and designed to bring the outdoors in and a wooden deck extends the living space outside and acts as a connector between the interior spaces and the landscape surrounding the house.
- Price: $125,000
- Size: 720 sq ft
The insta_house is a prefab home designed and built by MB Architecture. It’s made out of four 8 by 40 ft shipping containers and is organized on two floors. It’s completely prefabricated and it includes two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a full kitchen and a living room.
- Price: $169,000
- Size: 960 sq ft
The fabrication process is complete in only 8 weeks and the installation takes a day. The double height living space is the most impressive of all, offering a very airy and open feeling throughout this unconventional home. Large windows allow natural light to enter all the spaces and at the same time bring in views of the surroundings. The focus is on the views and the interior design is minimalist and centered on neutral colors and finishes.
Gaia by Pin-Up Houses
Gaia is a really cool little structure designed by studio Pin-Up Houses and what makes it stand out compared to other similar projects is the fact that it’s designed to be self-sufficient.
That’s right, this is an off-the-grid house which can be put in pretty much any location because it doesn’t require any external sources of energy or water. It’s made from a 20’ x 6m shipping container and it has these really nice double glass doors that let in lots of sunlight during the day. They can be completely hidden behind a small fold-up terrace that closes off the house completely whenever needed.
- Price: $21.000
- Size: 20ft x 6m
Multipurpose container home in Chile
This is not just another regular shipping container house mostly because it’s not as compact as expected. What makes this project by designer Constanza Dominguez C. and studio Plannea Arquitectura is the rather unique way in which the containers have been incorporated into a modern and stylish design.
The house is located in Chile and was made out of two repurposed shipping containers. Rather than connecting the containers and creating one big space the designers chose to keep them separate. They were positioned parallel to one another with a big gap in between and a roof which extends over the entire area. This creates two separate spaces which can serve different purposes and a covered outdoor area in between them.
Container home with rooftop deck
Most often than not shipping container homes are tiny. They have limited floor plans and they’re optimized to include as many useful features in as little space as possible. Quite rarely however is the space on top of the container used for something.
This house designed by studio CargoHome is quite special in that sense. It’s quite spacious for a container home, being made from three repurposed modules. It also has a rooftop deck which creates a really cool outdoor area without extending the floor plan. This is called the Helm and is actually the largest of the units offered by this company and there’s several smaller ones to choose from as well.
- Price: available upon request
- Size: 480 square feet
Vacation Rental Shipping Container House Model
Getting to spend some time living in a shipping container home can be an interesting experience, especially if you’re considering building something like this for yourself in the future.
You can find such a place in Salida, Colorado. This is actually a pretty spacious house with a realy nice mid-century-inspired design and a bright orange exterior.
It was made from two chipping container placed side by side and connected to create a large floor plan. It has two bedrooms and two bedrooms and a beautiful deck with glass railings that offers a really nice view of the entire surrounding area. The entire structure has been raised off the ground and sits on a platform. This solution was chosen in response to the rugged mountain topography.
Shipping container cabin house in the woods
This is The Lily Pad, a beautiful cabin situated in Logan, Ohio. It’s surrounded by a beautiful forest and it’s a really nice and cozy retreat.
It was made from a single upcycled shipping container which has been painted black in order to better blend in with the wooded surroundings and to fit more easily into the landscape.
It has an angled roof which extends over a nice open deck at the front of the cabin. You can rent this place if you’d like to check it out for yourself and to find inspiration in its beautiful design.