Things to Know Before Buying or Building a Container Home

Is building a shipping container house the alternative for homes being simply just too expensive these days?

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There is still hope for those who want to live in their own home. Due to their versatility and great prices, shipping container housing is a popular trend that continues to grow.

As with any housing variant, shipping container homes come with pros and cons and lots of particularities. Since it’s all about your living conditions and environment, your decision must be well-documented on a long-term basis. Maximum Real Estate Exposure has one of the most thorough resources explaining what to know about container homes.

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Let’s continue to take a look at some of the essential things to consider when deciding whether a shipping container home is right for you.

Obvious Advantages of Shipping Container Homes


The first and unbeatable advantage of all container homes is their incredible affordability. The difference between a classic house and one made of shipping containers will immediately win you over.

Container housing will cost only cost a fraction of the price of a traditional stick-built house. Even the cost of a modular home that is typically seen as a lower-cost housing alternative does not match the affordability of a container home.

Even if the price of a container home varies, depending on the number of the containers and their composition, the price does not rival traditional housing of similar size and amenities.

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The shipping container technology has developed quite a lot, to the extent that it can offer a great and versatile space for you to utilize to the maximum. The wide, open spaces allow you to organize the containers to the utmost ergonomic level to cover all your needs.

Furthermore, they are easy to be remodeled and redecorated whenever you change your mind, or you have new needs to cover.

Container Homes Offer a Business Opportunity Too

The popularity of shipping container homes is way up these days. So why not think about this housing solution as a means to start your real estate business in a low-budget way?

Since the prices are so attractive, you could invest in such a container house or several of them. After all, with the money spent on one classic house, you could purchase almost ten container homes. Even if the rental fees, in this case, are also lower, why not have such a small but reliable revenue, with minimum invested money.

This type of rental activity remains an option even if you buy your container house at first to live in it. After living in your container home for a while and building equity, you could purchase another house. The container home could be continued to use to your advantage by renting it out for income generation.

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Dilemmas to Think About With Container Housing

At first glance, purchasing a shipping container house seems like the most reasonable, benefitting decision in many conditions. However, it is not as simple as that. There are still numerous aspects and details about container housing that require your assessment and understanding before the decision to buy.

Let’s take a look at some of the more pressing concerns with container housing.

New versus Old Shipping Containers

You can choose between buying a new container house or a used one. As the prices are low in both situations, you need some good stimulant to purchase an old one and redecorate or rearrange it to fit your desire.

Pretty much the main reason to buy old shipping container houses is the environmental protection and preventing new pieces of land from becoming houses.

This is almost the only reason. Otherwise, it is more expensive, and it takes longer to transform an already used container house for a new purpose.

Cleaning Containers When Building From Scratch

When building a container home, there are a few things you should be aware of. Before moving into your new shipping container home, a thorough cleaning operation should take place.

Cleaning the container home involves several steps. The first action is always sandblasting. Then there is the replacement of all floors. The next one is about the replacement or repairing of all openings and breakages.

This is a crucial step, as containers intended to be shipped by sea are treated with all sorts of toxic chemicals that might otherwise contaminate the space you will live in.

Then, you need to transport the old container house to your piece of land. So, besides a truck, you also need the handling equipment, both on loading and unloading the house.

You can see how buying old shipping containers might prove more expensive than going for a brand new one from the very start. Plus, moving an old container might not be that environmentally friendly, after all.

Insulation is Critical With Container Housing

Insulating a shipping container home is a step that deserves your entire attention and careful assessment. Insulation is a big issue for all types of houses. But it becomes even more obvious in the case of shipping containers.

When you purchase them, they come like they are for sea transportation. No insulation at all means that the natural outdoor temperature will only reflect and amplify the conditions within the container. The winters get very cold, whereas summers are a heated cavern.

Luckily the insulation can be made in numerous manners. There are special materials to add on, or spray, or even natural wool.

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Consider Climate With Shipping Container Homes

Before moving into a shipping container house, analyze what type of climate is incompatible or just difficult to live in. A container house is not recommended for very humid and rainy areas, where each raindrop will be heard multiplied on the container’s rooftop.

Humidity is quickly changing the temperature and air inside your house, so it is not the best fit. Container houses are also not as great with strong winds and hurricanes. It is possible you could sustain significant damage in a bad storm.

Located Utilities on Your Land

Before determining the final geometry and positioning of your new shipping container house, find out or decide where your electricity, water, and sewerage networks are. This will save you money and time.

Wise Cutting of Your Container Home is a Must

To create entrances and windows, your container house needs to be cut and arranged properly. You decide where you want to put any opening of your new home. As it is much harder to glue back the cut-off parts, you need to plan them precisely from the beginning.

Excess cutting is not ideal, so plan ahead.

Look For The Best Deal on Your Container

Making the best deal when purchasing a container house involves taking care of several aspects, besides the money you pay. There is the quality of containers, their delivery term, and so much more.

Although it looks simple, you need professionals to help you with this. You need to know that you can trust your supplier in any situation. You need to research it and ensure that you find the best fit, a person who will continue to help you and guide you in the long term.

Local Permitting is Critical With Container Homes

You need to know the precise, applicable laws in the area you want to move with your container home. Check what kind of documents and certificates you need from local authorities, so you can have all the legal rights and safety of living in a specific area.

Believe it or not, there are some places where containers used as homes are not allowed. Having glorious plans to have a shipping container home only to have it squashed at the last minute would not be fun.

Stop into your local building department at the city or town hall to make sure you can get a building permit for a container house.


As you can see, the pros and cons of moving into a shipping container housing are equally powerful. The advantages are numerous and attractive enough to make living in a shipping container house a very competitive alternative to the traditional buildings.

Don’t forget that this container living market is only at its beginning. The numbers are expected to inflate during the next several years. Hopefully, you have found our guide on what to expect from a shipping container house to be useful.


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