15 Pros & Cons of Building a Shipping Container Home

pro and con shipping container home

Are you thinking about building a shipping container home? Well, there are quite a few advantages when choosing this type of home. However, there are a couple of disadvantages as well. To make the best decision in your case, take a look at the following pros and cons of starting such a project.

Pros of Building Shipping Container Home

1.They are highly available

When it comes to shipping containers, there’s no shortage of this type of material. All shipping containers are made to be used for a certain period, after which they go out of use. Because they are made out of steel, they can still be used even after their period of cargo containers ends. Thus, it is very easy to find unused shipping containers that can be used for building purposes.

2. They can be transported with ease

By simply using an adequate truck, shipping containers can be moved to the desired location. All of this is made without any complications due to their standards. In other words, they are already made to fit within shipping regulations. Also, shipping container homes can be moved at another location, in case you sell or wish to relocate.

3. They have sturdy structures

Shipping containers are made to accommodate large amounts of goods, which can be very heavy. Also, they can withstand a wide range of climatic conditions and resist long periods out on the sea. So, you can be sure that they are suitable for building materials. Just make sure to respect certain rules when building a home with shipping containers.

4. The building period is significantly shorter

When using shipping containers to build a home, the final structure will be ready faster. Because shipping containers already have walls, roof, and a floor, it is easier to get things done with their help. You can skip several processes and enjoy your new home in no time.

5. They are environmentally-friendly

Shipping container homes are re-purposing metal containers that would otherwise stand as landfill. Also, using shipping containers for buildings saves a lot of energy that would be wasted on the construction site. The result is less waste and lowers energy consumption for the making of a home.

6. Suitable for modular constructions

Because a container has standardized dimensions, it can be easily used for modular residences. The modules can be stacked on top of each other or welded, forming this way a stronger structure. It is possible to build a structure up to 8 stories high out of shipping containers without additional reinforcing.

7. Shipping containers are very secure

It is extremely difficult to break into a steel box. Thus, shipping containers are very secure, which makes them suitable for homes placed in remote areas. If you’ll be away for months, you can lock all your belongings inside a shipping container for safe-keeping. You can even fit a car inside a shipping container and lock it safely.

8. They are versatile structures

It is very easy to come up with the house of your dreams when using shipping containers. These steel structures are more than versatile and suitable for flexible designs. Of course, this is possible only if you use shipping containers are modules. You have the possibility to obtain interesting designs with these modules.

Cons of Building Shipping Container Home

9. They need proper insulation

Regular insulation, used for most homes, rarely fit a shipping container home. To enjoy a pleasant indoor environment, you may need special insulation. The insulation should be selected according to the climate in the area where you live. If it’s colder, you will need to insulate for a warm indoor space. If it’s hotter, you will have to stay safe against high temperatures. So, you will need to bear in mind different factors when choosing the insulation for a shipping container home.

10. The dimensions of shipping containers are rigid

When using a shipping container for homemaking, you won’t be able to modify the available dimensions. So, you will need to work on a solution around the shipping container’s size. You either use the shipping container as a single structure or as modules, for larger homes. It is worth paying attention to the container’s dimensions before purchasing it.

11. Could bring in health hazards

Some shipping containers can be treated with various chemicals for maintenance during their use, especially insecticides. Also, the cargo placed inside these containers could have contained toxic compounds. To remove health hazards, it would be ideal for the shipping container to be sandblasted. This way, toxic paint, and spillages will be removed and the container can be repainted with non-toxic products.

12. It is a real challenge to find experienced contractors

While it may seem easy to build homes with shipping containers, numerous issues can arise on the way. Ideally, you should find contractors with experience in working with shipping containers. Unfortunately, this can be a real problem, as there are very few contractors that can properly handle such building materials. Not working with experienced contractors can translate into problems of your future home. Thus, it is worth doing some research and hiring the right people for your project.

13. Structural weaknesses

Modifying metal containers to obtain the desired type of house is possible, but can be problematic. When large pieces of metal are cut out, structural issues within the container’s structure can appear. In other words, the container will no longer be as sturdy and resilient. So, you should do these modifications as advised by a specialist and use additional reinforcing if necessary.

14. Challenges on the construction site

Due to their size, shipping containers will require a crane on the construction site. Otherwise, you won’t be able to move them into the desired position. At the same time, sufficient space is required for the truck that will bring in the containers. It should have an adequate amount of space to maneuver and unload the container on your property. Also, a container should be carefully inspected before purchasing. You should look for any damages and potential problems, like dampness and rust. If a personal inspection is not possible, ask for clear pictures of the container. The pictures should be made to all the corners, doors, and hinges of the container.

15. Obtaining building permits can be tricky

This can be one of the hardest parts of building a shipping container home. Because there isn’t an adequate set of regulations, many local authorities are not used to this type of structure. This is because steel is not a common material for building private residences. So, you should check local codes and regulations before starting such a project. However, if you want to build outside the area where regulations apply, a permit may not be required.

Learn more about the advantages of shipping container homes!

2 thoughts on “15 Pros & Cons of Building a Shipping Container Home”

  1. Great article on building a shipping container home. I think the great advantage of shipping container homes is that they can be transported from one location to another location as it is.

  2. Pingback: Cost of Shipping Container Homes in Canada – Canadabuzz

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