The New Downsize Craze: A Shipping Container Home


In a world where space is limited, people are downsizing their homes. A shipping container home is one of the trendy options and they are easy and fun to do!

Did you know that downsizing can lead to financial and mental health benefits? Consider downsizing to a smaller home.

Are you wondering what a shipping container home is? Not to worry! In this guide, we’ll go over how to make a home from a shipping container.

Want to learn more? Keep reading to find out.

Leftover Shipping Containers

via Curbed

A lot of imported goods exceed the exported items leaving the United States. This results in a bunch of used shipping containers getting left behind. They aren’t expensive, and so it’s more cost-efficient for companies to buy new containers.

This way, they don’t need to ship the used containers back home. A Lot of these old containers get discarded.

Look into new and old shipping containers from Transocean Containers.

Sustainable Living

Since most companies leave behind old containers, they get melted down after awhile. You can repurpose the containers and make a positive impact on the environment.

via Alibaba

By building a well-insulated and small home, you can adopt a new sustainable way of life. You’ll save a lot of energy and money. These homes have a tough exterior and could last longer.

Shipping Containers Are Sturdy

Older containers are getting used to construct buildings. These containers get designed to carry massive loads and endure harsher environments. You can stack or interlock the shipping containers.

When secured, the container can even withstand a category five hurricane! This makes them a lot sturdier than other structures. The container can get transported by rail, truck, or sea at a low cost.

What Container Should I Choose?

There are two popular sizes people pick from, but you can also get a customized size.

via Tiny LIving

Pick from a 40 by 8 feet container that provides 320 square feet of space. The other popular size is a 20 by 8 feet container, providing 160 square feet of space. A regular container is around 8.5 feet high.

Next, you’ll want to consider the condition of the shipping container. Once you have picked one, make sure you power wash the inside of the container. This way, you can get rid of any harmful materials.

What’s the Cost of a Shipping Container?

The cost of a used container’s around $1,500. Depending on the type, you can buy a brand new container for $6,000. Find a container from a reputable container broker. You’ll want a company that can ship your container to your site.

What About the Special Permits?

Locations in the world and the United States will all have varying regulations. Before you consider buying a shipping container, you’ll need to find out the rules in your area.

For example, in California, units used for homes must be a one-trip or first-run container. All the trips need documentation.

Containers aren’t super expensive, but the building regulations will increase the price. The rules could even make it impossible for you to transition to this smaller home.

via New Atlas

Learn more about the permits, zoning laws, building codes, and any deed restrictions. Next, you’ll want to learn more about the homeowners association rules.

In Atlanta, buildings below 750 square feet are only allowed behind a primary home. Is there going to be long-term residents living there over 90 days? If so, they must be in specific zoning districts only.

In cities, a container home has to meet building codes. Container homes have local and state building codes like site-built or modular homes. Visit your local building department. Explain to them what you would like to build.

Buy a Finished Container Home

Once you have your permits and a shipping container on its way, start putting together a plan for your new home.

Some people end up buying a finished container home from a builder. The price can start at $40,000, depending on the size. If you want to go with this option, make sure the builder understands the codes for your area.

Next, ask what’s included in your quote. Will it include the hookup for electric and plumbing, delivery, and the foundation?

Get an accurate and inclusive quote. Consider working with someone who has been doing this for a few years. Talk with previous clients or references.

Delivering Your Container Home

Do you plan to arrange your new container home on a piece of remote land? If so, make sure the roads are stable enough for the truck to drive down.

via New Atlas

Is your foundation ready? If it isn’t, you will need to rent a crane for when the foundation’s finished.

Are You Building Your Own Container Home?

If you plan to build your container home on your own, you’ll need to create spaces in the steel for doors and windows. Do you have experience with welding? Work with a few experienced friends or hire someone who can help you with this project.

When you build your home on your own, you can control everything and create your dream home. You can bypass working with shady contractors. During this process, you’ll learn how everything works together and what materials to use.

Have a Plan for Insulation

A steel shipping container will get super hot in the summer and chilly in the winter. Ask contractors for insulation ideas. You will have to insulate your roof as well.

You can spray foam insulation on the wall. If you choose blanket-style insulation, you’ll need an interior stud wall.

Now You Know More About a Shipping Container Home

We hope you found this guide on shipping container homes helpful. Find out the regulations in your state for a shipping container home.

Don’t forget to bookmark our site, so you don’t miss any of our helpful resources. Thanks to Transocean for contributing.

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