Design & Build

Our Design & Build section is where to find technical and tactical information about actually creating a shipping container design and constructing it.  When most people think of the challenges that go along with using shipping containers for construction, they’re often thinking about the issues we’ll cover in this section. 

Coming up with designs and understanding the compromises between them is a start. Then, figuring out how to navigate the choices that present themselves during the actual construction is a whole new set of decisions. 

Luckily, we’re here to help you through this phase of your knowledge-building. Below are just a few of the ways we dissect this important topic. 

Design Constraints

While it’s fun to think about dream homes, the reality is that all of us are constrained by a variety of factors. To get something built, you have to strike a balance between what you want, what you need, and what you can actually achieve.

One of the biggest factors that will affect your project is the involvement of regulating bodies. This is predominantly in the form of building codes, but other factors like land zoning and even property covenants can also have an impact.

Our article on Shipping Container Zoning, Permits, and Building Codes is one of our most popular because this is a topic that comes up with almost everyone. While we can’t you the exact rules you’ll face in your area (since every area is unique), we can describe the way the system works and equip you to find the answers yourself.


If you’re going to have any hands-on involvement in the construction of your container project, you’re going to need some tools to do it. While we don’t attempt to cover every single tool you might need, we do want to discuss some of the less-common, higher-cost tools that can be useful.

Our Container Building Tools article covers a handful of important devices that will prove invaluable in the design & build process, and walks you through things to think about as you choose between a few different options.

Climate Control

Some of the most common questions we hear from prospective container home owners deal with various aspects of climate control. It can be a confusing subject, but it’s very important because it was drastically affect the livability of a space.

In response to this need for information, we created a set of articles to address these concerns with a science-based approach. We’re confident that these articles are by far the most accurate and exhaustive available online for this set of topics.

A few of the climate control articles are a bit technical in nature, but we wade into each topic slowly so that anyone can understand. So whether your question is about the mechanics of heat transfer in shipping containers, the appropriate types of insulation to use, the right way to deal with container condensation, or many more, we have you covered.


Foundations are an important but overlooked area of shipping container construction. Every building needs a foundation, but they don’t get much much attention until they fail.

Our Foundation article walks through several different foundation options that are available to container builders and helps you think through how to lay the right groundwork to give your project the structural support it needs.

Design & Build Articles

What we discussed above were just a few of the ways that we cover the broad topic of designing and building a container structure. Below is an exhaustive list of all of our articles on this topic to allow you to dive even deeper into this important area.

How to Stop Container Condensation

If you’ve done any research into shipping container homes, you know that condensation is a common concern for a lot of people.  It can even go by a few names,

Heat transfer in shipping container homes

One of the most energy consuming processes affecting your shipping container home energy usage is the transfer of heat into and out of the building.  Sometimes you want to purposefully

Rust and Corrosion In Shipping Container Homes

Many people are under the false belief that shipping containers are bulletproof and rustproof. While many general purpose shipping containers are made from Cor-ten steel, this does not mean that

How to Choose the Right Shipping Containers

When it comes to building your own shipping container home, one of the most important steps is purchasing the right shipping containers.  They form the backbone of your build, serving

Shipping Container Flooring and Pesticides

One of the most often asked questions that we receive is “Should I remove the floor in my shipping container?” When converting shipping containers into a home or office, one

Five Mistakes To Avoid With A Shipping Container Home

This trend of constructing with shipping containers isn’t surprising considering that container homes are Eco-friendly, affordable, and incredibly strong. When you look at examples of shipping container homes, you find

How Are Shipping Containers Made?

We see shipping containers everywhere now. They’re being used as homes, swimming pools, cafes, and offices. With this, it’s very easy to forget where shipping containers came from and what

How Do I Keep My Container Home Warm?

You may have seen our previous post about strategies to keep your shipping container home cool during the summer. Now we will look at how to heat your shipping container home

How Do I Keep My Container Home Cool?

If you are fortunate enough to live in a warm climate then during the summer months you may find your shipping container home gets a little too warm, just like

Shipping Container Dimensions

Understanding shipping container dimensions is a crucial part of a successful build. The multitude of shapes and sizes of shipping containers (Open-top, high-cube, 48-footer, flat-rack, etc.) leads to numerous configurations

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About Discover Containers

For over five years, Discover Containers has helped thousands of people around the world learn about and build their own shipping container homes and buildings.

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