You may have decided to construct a shipping container home but are uncertain about the next step. To help you settle on which containers you need and also where and how to buy them, we will explore the whole process.
There are a variety of choices here, the most popular of which are the standard 20 or 40-foot container, or the high cube 20 or 40-foot container. Please see the dimensions of each in the table below.
These are estimations. Note that each manufacturer has slightly different tolerance levels, normally +/-5 mm. Contact the supplier to get the exact dimensions.
You choices will be made on both the availability of the containers in your local area, and also the plans which you have prepared. If you have the budget and can source them, high cube containers usually make a better choice than standard containers. This is because you get an extra foot in height inside the container, which makes a big difference.
New and one trip containers are essentially the same thing. One trip containers are used to ship a single cargo load and once they have arrived at their destination they are sold.
Clearly the decision of whether to buy new or used containers will most likely come down to your budget. There are a few points to take into consideration while you are exploring your options.
New or one trip containers will be in much better condition than used container. It is easier to work with them. They will also have a longer expected lifespan than used containers. In addition, the risk of unknown chemical contamination is significantly reduced. Most used containers are treated with hazardous chemicals such as pesticides and lead-based paint. New and one trip containers are more expensive than used containers and so may cost more than your budget allows.
Used containers do offer the advantage of being less expensive than new containers and are quick to locate and purchase. However be prepared to expect a few dents and potentially some light rusting.
If you decide to purchase new or one trip containers, generally you won’t need to inspect the containers too closely. However, if you purchase used container,s there are several key things to look for during your inspection.
Owner Code: three letters that identifies the owner. In this case ‘TGH’ belongs to the American company Textainer.
Product Group Code: made up of one capital letter U, J or Z.
Serial Number: a six digit number assigned by the owner
Check Digit: a single digital number used to cross-verify that the identification sequence is accurate.
The simplest way to purchase a shipping container is to find a reputable local dealer. Green Cube Network has a fantastic search tool to find local dealers; take a look at their tool over at:
Alternatively, you can search using Google. Search for ‘shipping container dealer’ and your location. For instance, search for something like “Shipping Container Dealer Texas” or “Buy Shipping Container in Florida”.
If you are still struggling to find a container try using eBay, Gumtree or Alibaba.
When purchasing your containers, try to purchase them all from the same manufacturer. Manufacturers do have slight variations which could make working with different brand containers difficult.
For more information, look at Where Can I Buy Shipping Containers?
Clearly this will vary depending on the containers you’ve decided to buy, however we have put some estimates below to give you a rough idea.
Whether you build or buy your dream shipping container home, you owe it to yourself to be an educated consumer. Get equipped with the knowledge of how container homes should be built by checking out our floorplans and eBook for sale!