As cities seek innovative solutions for more sustainable urbanism, used shipping containers have emerged as…
Container homes and modified container structures are popping up all over the place these days — at events, on construction sites, and even as a living space. You may have even seen these unique structures around your home area by now and not even realized it, since they can be renovated and retrofitted for almost any purpose.
There are many reasons why modified shipping containers are so popular these days: they’re not only incredibly versatile and durable, but they’re also one of the most affordable options when it comes to single-family style living spaces.
Modified containers often go hand-in-hand with the minimalist and tiny house movements, offering stable, portable, easy-to-build options to those looking for alternative spaces. But they’re not just for people wanting “tiny” homes; there are plenty of examples of people who have used three or more containers in innovative configurations to build spectacular standard-size houses.
Here we’ll share with you some of the fantastic ways that people are living comfortably in their modified shipping container homes.
Why People Use Containers to Build Houses
There are many reasons why people use metal shipping containers as their primary or even secondary living and working spaces, the main one being affordability.
When you think about how versatile, eco-friendly, and durable steel shipping containers are (they’ll stay in good condition for at least 25 years with proper care), and combine that with long-term affordability, you’ve got yourself a pretty stable investment no matter which route you take.
And even if living in one isn’t your personal cup of tea, simply purchasing a single unit and outfitting it on a rural or remote property can work perfectly well for guests. You may want to invest in one to rent out formally as a vacation home to earn some extra revenue.
Many people around the world are building houses out of steel containers as a means of living in an eco-friendly or even entirely “off the grid” fashion, like this one in South Africa. Others using shipping containers are simply minimalists or lower-income folks looking for the stability of a long-term home. And some municipalities are trying out modified containers as innovative options for social housing and affordable housing.
Container Homes Provide More Space Than You Think
If you envision living inside a modified container, your first thought would probably be “but isn’t it too small?”
The answer is no. Why? The containers are basically just walls that can be taken out, added to, stacked, cut in half, and modified pretty much any way you want. So, if you want something small but with lots of light, you can merely add windows the size of your choosing. Or if you want something bigger and spacious, you can create a house out of several containers. Many people use two stacked side-by-side to create what would be the equivalent amount of space as a “double-wide” mobile home. Or you can stack them vertically if you’re looking to have a multi-story dwelling. There’s also the option of adding partitions if you want to create more customized room sizes.
Whether you want to create the illusion of space or actually have more, there’s a lot that can be done with modified steel shipping containers. Because you can outfit them with various features that give the illusion of space.
Innovative Design Concepts
Plenty of people are using these containers to create quirky, unique dwellings. But if you’re not into the modern industrial look, it’s worth noting that you can even design a shipping container home to have a more traditional look, like this bright, light-filled gorgeous container home in California.
At 1350 square feet, the 3-bedroom home is made out of several strategically placed containers, including one that’s cut in half and stacked. With most of the inside walls removed, the main rooms offer the appeal of a light-filled, expansive, open-concept central area.
The windows also serve as a natural light and heat source, and the home was designed specifically to maximize both natural heat and ventilation. Other green features like rainwater collection and high-efficiency lighting were included on this build.
Where Can You Put and Find Container Homes?
Shipping container homes can be found almost anywhere in the U.S. and Canada, and they’re also starting to crop up more frequently in places like Costa Rica.
Texas and California are states with a relatively lax regulatory system when it comes to shipping container properties, which make them popular areas for these types of homes. Still more and more are popping up for purchase as built homes in places like Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver.
In most cases, the most affordable option, which would likely appeal to those looking for a starter home, would be to have a container placed on a piece of rural property that you already own. This location choice is preferable in part because suburban and rural areas will typically be more relaxed about regulations.
No matter what you are searching for, be sure to thoroughly check local building and zoning codes before you start your mobile shipping container home project.
Unique & Affordable Container Homes
Modified shipping container homes can make unique, affordable homes with an almost endless set of design and functionality options. They’re sturdy enough to hold up in any kind of weather. They’re relatively easy to build and transport. And they’re easily fitted with eco-friendly features, which makes them more affordable than standard housing when you think about long-term energy costs.
With modified shipping containers, you can choose and design your dream home or office and build it at a fraction of the price you’d expect to pay for a regular house. They’re also extremely comfortable since they can be outfitted with a range of heating, cooling, insulation, or electrical systems.
For more information about shipping containers for sale, shipping containers for rent, modified containers or container homes, contact us today. It will be our pleasure to answer your questions and help you with your modified container requirements.