shipping-containerWith shipping container homes in high demand these days, those big steel boxes are no longer just used for shipping goods. More and more people are turning towards alternative ways of living, and the shipping container home offers an affordable and environmental friendly building option.

A well designed, stylish shipping container home stands out from the traditional brick houses in the suburbs, and tend to appeal to those looking for something rustic, cool and different. Building and living in a shipping container home is an adventurous thing to do, and with it comes both positives and negatives.

The rising levels of pollution and population is a key part of the ever growing interest in shipping container homes. Shipping container homes are eco-friendly and energy efficient. The idea of reusing something that is second hand is appealing to many. Shipping containers are made of steel and designed to handle all weather conditions. Its structurally robust build is resistant to shakes, floods and even hurricanes. They also have a relatively long life span, with most shipping containers lasting for about 10 to 15 years. The transportable nature of shipping container homes is another major plus. They can be built off site and delivered. This means you can live in a shipping container home almost anywhere. If you have a smaller container home, they can move with you. The standard shipping container interior dimensions are about 20-40 feet long and 6 inches high. Fitting out a shipping container is similar to fitting out any building. They can be high spec or simple. The build time is much less than a traditional build but it’s important to learn about all the relevant regulations in the area you want to build.


While there are many benefits of living in a shipping container home, this lifestyle also comes with its fair share of difficulties. First of all, it’s not always easy to get consent to go ahead with the building and planning. It can be a tricky process depending on the council. Once you get consent, you will find that the actual process of building and maintaining a shipping container home is not as simple and cheap as it seems. There is the issue of insulation. All surfaces of the shipping container need to be insulated. This means building a new set of walls on either the outside or inside of the container, therefore duplicating all the walls you started with. If your shipping container is not insulated properly, this can result in heavy condensation inside of the metal exterior walls.


You also need to consider all the space required for utilities and mechanical systems, which even in a large building you need lots of room for. Due to the problem of insulation, you will need to install a robust HVAC system to cool and heat the building. You may end up with low ceilings and not a lot of headroom.


It’s also important to remember that although shipping container homes are becoming popular, they are much harder to sell than your traditional brick and tile house. The unconventional nature of shipping container house designs are considered too weird and troublesome for most house buyers. Research as much as you can about shipping container home plans before you go ahead with the process. Make sure to buy containers that are in good condition and have not been previously used to ship any hazardous materials, like toxic chemicals. It can be a great idea, once you know what you’re doing.