Why Do People Live In Shipping Container Homes?



For those of us who have already fallen in love with the idea of living in a shipping container home, this question might seem quite strange. However, for some people, the idea of living in a shipping container seems downright bizarre! So today, we are going to take a closer look at this question and show you exactly why people are choosing to live in shipping containers.

A Poll about Container Home Ownership

First of all, let’s look at a recent poll that was posted on Woot. The poll asked people, “Would you ever live in a house made of shipping containers?” The three choices were:

  1. Heck yeah. Those are cool.
  2. No way. Those are weird.
  3. I have never heard of such a thing.

In total, the poll received over 700 votes and the results were as follows:

Would you ever live in a shipping container house poll

An impressive 61.5% of people responded saying that they would live in a shipping container home. This was followed by 25.1% of people replying that they wouldn’t live in a shipping container home.  Perhaps those respondents should read 6 Awesome Reasons Why You Should Have A Shipping Container Home!  Finally, 13.4% of people responded saying that they hadn’t heard of shipping container homes.  Hopefully, they’ll find our website soon!

Unfortunately, the poll doesn’t explain why people want to live in a container home; it only asks them if they would do so. So, we decided we would dig a bit deeper and find out exactly why people do and don’t want to live in shipping container homes.

What’s the appeal of containers?

To find out why people want to live in container homes we emailed our subscribers and asked them a few questions, including why they wanted to live in a shipping container home.

We received quite a lot of responses. What’s been surprising though is how consistent the responses have been. They typically fall into five categories.

1. Price

The most common response we received from our subscribers was price. They said, they either live in a shipping container home or wanted to live in a shipping container home because of the cost savings they expected to make.

We have previously discussed this in, How Much Do Shipping Container Homes Cost?, where we showed three shipping container homes which have been built for less than $100,000.

This isn’t to say that all shipping container homes are cheap. Quite the opposite, since we’ve seen shipping container homes sell for more than $1,000,000.

2. Eco-Friendly

Running a close second place was Eco-friendliness. In fact, there was only a few votes difference between this and price! A lot of people want to own a shipping container home because they want to build homes in a sustainable, environmentally friendly manner.

Eco-friendliness is a trend which isn’t unique to construction, but a trend which has been gradually building momentum for the last decade.

Each time a shipping container is reused we are saving the earth over 7,000 pounds of steel! Not only that, we are also saving the use of other materials we would need to use instead of the steel, such as bricks or wood. We couldl melt the container back down into steel and use it for something else, but t the beauty of container homes is that we don’t need to do any of that. We simply up-cycle the container into something beautiful.

3. Style/Looks

The third most popular reason people want to live in shipping container homes is because of their looks! It’s not really surprising, is it? They look incredible!

Shipping containers can be used to create stunning modular homes. Using containers has provided some of the most striking twenty-first century homes to date.

4. Off-Grid Living

Next is off-grid living. Living off grid means to live in a sustainable, self-sufficient manner.

Shipping container homes can make the perfect off grid home. Brenda Kelly’s off grid home which was featured by living big in a tiny house. The home was completed with two 135 watt solar panels and a grey water system.

Shipping container homes can be purchased pre-fabricated, which means you can simply have your container delivered and then it is immediately ready for your off grid living.

We haven’t yet seen any 40-foot off grid homes, but that is due to the nature of where we normally see off grid homes (in remote, hard to access locations). It’s probably more trouble and more expense than it’s worth to transport a 40-foot container to a remote location.

5. Speed of Construction

The final reason we received from our subscribers was speed. Speed means the amount of time it takes to construct a shipping container home compared to a traditionally built house using bricks and mortar.

Shipping containers can be ready to inhabit quite quickly. Take for example the Riverside Building Offices which is part of Container City.

Here, 73 shipping containers were used to build the office block. It only took eight days to install them! A traditional office block made from concrete would have taken much longer than this.

We’d love to know what you think. Let us know, in the comments below, if you want to live in a shipping container home and why.

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