Getting Started With Shipping Container Homes

Plan & Budget

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Suppose you’ve just heard about these things called Shipping Container Homes and you’re wanting to learn more about them.

Don’t worry; we get lots of emails from people just like you every week asking us what they are and where to learn more about them.

We have been the number one resource for all things related to shipping container homes for the last several years. Our website is dedicated to educating shipping container enthusiasts.  We have an abundance of articles aimed at helping you navigate your journey.

Today we’re going to start from the beginning and explain exactly what shipping container homes are and then provide you with some must read articles if you want to learn more.

What Are Shipping Container Homes?

Shipping container homes are homes or offices which have been built by converting and re-purposing shipping containers.

These shipping containers can be used or new, 20 or 40 feet long.  There are several options available to you, but all that matters as far as the definition, is that some type of shipping container is utilized at the heart of the construction.

Blue Shipping Container Home

Thousands of shipping container homes have already been built all over the world, including: The US, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, South Africa, India, Germany and the Netherlands.

You can see more pictures of container homes in our beautiful shipping container homes article or take a look at this video tour of five shipping container homes.

Are Shipping Container Homes Popular?

Now that you know what shipping container homes are, you’re probably wondering if they are popular or not?

Yes.  They are extremely popular for constructing homes and offices.  For the past two decades and beyond, they have been gradually rising in popularity all over the world.

But, why are they so popular? We actually published an article answering why people build shipping container homes.

One of the most popular reasons people build container homes is because of the price. Container homes can be built for a small sum of money which means that they can offer a route to financial independence for many people.

Another great reason why they are so popular is that they are quite environmentally friendly. Every shipping container recycled saves more than 7,000 pounds of steel.

Still need convincing? Read 6 reasons why you should be living in a shipping container home.

Are Shipping Container Homes Dangerous?

This is a fair question since you will be living in this home with your family. It needs to be safe!

Providing the home is built correctly and the containers are converted appropriately, then yes, shipping container homes are absolutely safe.

We have covered this thoroughly in our article just how safe are shipping container homes, if you’d like to read more.

Pros and Cons of Container Homes

For many people, building a shipping container home is a perfect choice.  That said, it isn’t the right decision for everybody. For example, if you don’t have any DIY experience, then constructing your own container home will be a challenge.

Some of the biggest advantages of container homes are cheap cost, quick to build, and Eco-friendliness.

We cover this in more depth in our article detailing the advantages and disadvantages of building container homes.

Constructing Your Container Home

If you’ve considered the options and have made the decision to construct a container home, that is fantastic! Get in touch with us along the way with any questions you might have. We can’t wait to see the results. Remember to contact us once you’ve finished construction and send some photos!

We’ve spoken with numerous people who have built their own shipping container home and there are several mistakes which people make along the way which end up costing them a lot of money. Two of the most common mistakes are buying the wrong type of shipping containers and using the wrong insulation material.

Read more in our article 5 mistakes to avoid when building.

Once you’ve read this and are becoming more familiar with container homes, you may be interested in our interviews with 23 container homeowners. In these interviews, we ask the homeowners to share their best advice for people who want to construct their own container home.

The top three pieces of advice are:

  1. Purchase the right type of container.
  2. Review your local building regulations and permits before you start building
  3. Use contractors who have previously built container homes.

Planning Your Shipping Container Home

By now, you are well aware of what a shipping container home is, why people build container homes, and you’ve even seen some of the beginner mistakes that people make when constructing shipping container homes.

Now consider these 8 questions to ask before you build.

The biggest decision you will have to make is whether to build it yourself or bring a contractor in to build it for you.

The majority of people decide to build it themselves.  One reason is that it is much cheaper, but also because it brings you closer to the home since your blood, sweat, and tears have been poured into it!

We understand that there are people who don’t want to build it themselves. As idyllic as building it yourself sounds, it can become very stressful, especially if you are doing it for the first time.

Hiring a contractor can help take away a lot of these headaches, leaving you to do all the fun stuff like designing the kitchen and flow of the house.

It’s all about making these decisions now, so you know what to expect. Planning your project is so important, as the old saying goes: “A failure to plan is a plan to fail.”

We won’t get into planning too much in this article except to say you need to do it! Read our comprehensive article on how to plan your shipping container home. From designing to budgeting, all the way through using contractors, it’s all there.

Summary

When you’re new to the concept of container homes, the amount of information available can be overwhelming, but we hope this article has helped to get you started.

Remember there are dozens of articles on our website all about shipping container homes.

Building your own container home can be extremely rewarding not only financially but also as a sense of personal achievement.

Let us know in the comments section below if you have decided to move forward on the shipping container journey. 

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