You may have seen the latest craze of Shipping Container Homes. But how does someone go about sourcing a Shipping Container? And who had the idea of living in one? These rectangular boxes are not someone’s first thought when they might think of a luxury home, but some people have taken the leap and have found amazing results. There are no real set in stone shipping container home instructions, you really have to go on this journey with an open mind and see what you discover along the way.

Shipping container home insulated

Shipping container home insulated

Homes Made From Shipping Containers Floor Plans

You may have been searching for ‘how to build a shipping container home pdf’ on google, but we believe this isn’t the way to go about building your perfect shipping container home. Floor plans are important but they need to be considered alongside other things. For example, how many windows you will need, and how many floors you want in your home.

You can have very exciting floor plans. Open plan kitchen/living/dining areas are very popular at the moment because they make most use of the space. Having this open space makes the container feel larger, and more spacious, which is an asset in this sometimes restricted space. 

2 Story Shipping Container Homes

If you find yourself needing more space than just one shipping container, you can very easily go about purchasing another, and stacking it on top to create another story to your house. First you should look at the plans of your house (or potential house), you may want to speak with a shipping container home architect to do this, or a shipping container home builder before you commit to buying. 

2 shipping container home plans are very readily available online – or you could get a more tailored design speaking to a shipping container home draughtsman/woman. 

40 Foot Shipping Container Home Designs

Shipping container home sizes vary, but a 40ft container is the largest single unit container available on the market. Because of this they are often a customers first choice for their Tiny Home. There are a lot of designs available online, and, despite their size are also very easy to stack, so could be used with other containers to create a unique home. 

Pros And Cons Of Shipping Container Homes

Shipping container homes benefits:

  • Affordable – prefab shipping container homes are more affordable than the regular home. Meaning it is more realistic that younger people/people who aren’t on the property ladder can own a home.
  • Durable – Because shipping containers are built to withstand sea travel – they are naturally very sturdy and strong. Shipping containers will not leak, collapse or rust
  • Sustainable – Shipping container homes are eco-friendly, as you are repurposing a resource that already exists. 

Shipping container home cons:

  • Insulation – People do cite this as one of the biggest issues of living in a shipping container home. We will try and give you some tips and tricks to combat insulation issues. 
  • Companies that build shipping container homes. Finding a good one can be difficult. – as shipping container construction is a relatively new idea and concept, people do not have as much experience of making them as a regular home or PreFab home or Modular. 
  • Noise from wind/rain. Although these containers are exceptionally durable – they are not aerodynamic. The rectangular, angular shape of these containers means that you will possibly experience wind whistling around the containers and rain hitting on the flat roof. 
  • Building regulations – You may be restricted by your local government/state building regulations. Tiny homes and PreFab homes are in somewhat of a grey area when it comes to this and other officials can be more lenient when it comes to it than others. Our advice is to do your research before you buy!

Shipping Container apartments

Shipping Container apartments

Shipping Containers Apartments

It’s not just singular homes that are of growing interest. The very design of a shipping container is that so it can stack on another container; therefore this design system has lent itself perfectly to be converted into apartment blocks. Almost looking like lego – these colourful boxes look great when they are stacked on one another , and they are great fun to live in idf you like something a little bit different and quirky. These are growing in popularity as there are surplus containers and a housing crisis. The two lend themselves to each other as a quick solution to a permanent problem. 

Average Cost To Build A Shipping Container Home?

What do homes made from shipping containers cost? This really depends. You can see a thrifty person with a great looking home that will tell you it cost them $20,000 CND, and professional online companies are selling them for $200,000.

I guess this is the same with anything. You get what you pay for. If you want a very modernist looking home with impressive windows and worry-proof insulation, you will pay more for that, but, as a hobby project, it could be cheaper. It is a matter of getting what you pay for. 

Inexpensive shipping container homes do exist, but you may have to expect a lapse in quality. As a starter home, it could still be worthwhile, as the freedom of these homes is that you can add to them and constantly modify and up scale. 

How To Start A Shipping Container Home Business?

Having said this – people do make a living from doing up shipping containers and selling them at a profit. We can understand why, because some people may not have the time to insulate, and decorate and possibly clad the outside and pay someone to plan their home. Simply buy a shipping container and get started on your first project! Get ideas and advice from others who are also doing the same thing and selling containers. It’s a great hobby! 

Homes Built Out Of Shipping Containers

When you build a shipping container for a residential property, it is a house not a home. The community of Shipping Container Home renovators is great, and they all have great advice for a new starter wanting to learn more about renovating and building these homes. So if you ever need information there are a lot of community groups what will be more than willing to help. 

shipping container home floor plan

shipping container home floor plan

Self Sufficient Shipping Container Homes

It is possible. We know a great pull of Shipping Container Homes is their eco-friendliness, and the spirit of recycling. Because these homes already have a smaller carbon footprint than a normal home, people then often want to take the leap to being fully self sufficient. Because of their flat roof, there is an option to place solar panels on a large percentage of the surface of a Container Home. 

Making sure it is well insulated is half of the battle of being self sufficient, because using energy on heating is the biggest loss of energy in a container home.  

How To Insulate A Shipping Container Home

There are many methods to insulate your home.  These can be used with any home but we know it is very important in a shipping container, as it can be known to have some ventilation and heating issues.

To be more eco minded, you could use some of these materials to insulate from the elements:

  • Straw bale
  • HempCrete
  • Blanket insulation (fibreglass, rock/mineral wool, cotton, sheep wool)
  • Expanded foam insulation
  • Loose fill insulation (cellulose, loose fill fibreglass)
  • Green Roof

Often a mixture of all of these options works the best to insulate your home. 

A green roof would be fantastic for those of you wanting to go carbon neutral – as it will even offset carbon and be great for local wildlife. 

How Long Do Shipping Container Homes Last?

Shipping containers are prone to rust. Probably one of the biggest downsides of a shipping container , is its disputed permanence. Unlike a Tiny home,  PreFab, Modular or Manufactured home, the galvanised steel carcass may rot over time. Find out more about Modular Homes here. 

Shipping Containers are equipped with an anti rust paint and can rust for 25+ years before they would have any structural issues. That being said, if the paint  is not up-kept, this could be sooner. Also – if your container is near the sea, it could be more prone to rust with the sea air accelerating the rusting process. 

shipping container cottage

shipping container cottage

Shipping Container Home Interiors

This is the fun part. Shipping container interiors can be anything and everything. We have seen a shipping container gym, home cinema, kitchen, you name it! The creativity that comes out when you are restricted for size really shines through in some of these innovations. From tiny staircases to mini shelving and storage. 

We love string lights in a shipping container home, which really create a mood after dark, and give the home a warmer glow, which is important in such a small space sometimes. We also love when people customise and thrift, and have seen some beautiful vintage throwback homes lately. 

Single Shipping Container Homes Interior

We have all seen the multi storey shipping containers, but we think the single ones are just as quirky and sometimes are more effective. You can make the interior of these homes whatever you like, but we love but of D.I.Y. aesthetic mixed with modern elements, and some plants dotted around. 

Shipping Container Home Delivered

Shipping container homes are delivered in full. There is no assembly required. Unless you get more than one in which case you may need to weld the two together. Because of this they are often delivered on the back of a truck and require a crane to lift them onto the site that you want it. Because of their nature ; they do not need a foundation to stand on, they are ready to go. You can also transport them if you wanted to move somewhere else, shipping containers are made to be shipped, so they are easy to relocate with . Much less hassle than buying/renting/selling in order to move to another property. 

Affordable PreFab Shipping Container Homes

There are cheap prefab shipping container homes on the market. The resale market of these homes is booming at the moment but that’s not to say you won’t catch a bargain. Because these spaces are portable, you really have free reign in where you buy your home from, and because of this global market there are bound to be affordable options. Keep an eye out online, but we think the best way to get a steal is by keeping up to date with the community – who are always buying and selling container homes on the DL. This is the insiders way to get a great price and something of great quality. 

Are Shipping Container Homes Worth It?

We believe they are. For the price, you could do a lot worse with your money. We believe the nature of these homes, and the fact they can be carbon neutral, portable, affordable makes them a real serious contender if you are looking to purchase property. The fact that they may rust does put some people off, but if you are conscious of upkeep, this home has the potential to last you a long time into the future. 


PreFabulous happy to help you find your new dream Modular, PreFab, and Tiny Home!


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