Cost to Build a Shipping Container House


Get a general idea of the cost to build a shipping container house and decide whether it is a good option for you or not.

Building a shipping container

So many aspects are involved in the construction of a shipping container house. We will be bringing them into account today. This will help you consider them all when you will be turning your dreams into reality.

Considering the costs involved

It becomes extremely important for all of us to consider the costs involved in the process of construction. During the planning stage, a rough idea about the total cost will guide you correctly towards your goal.

Allocation of costs

Allocating the cost of a container house to individual areas will give you a clear picture of the whole scenario. The amount spent on various units and stages must be taken into account separately. This helps you to know what is spent on a particular part of the project.

Making notes

It is generally human nature to forget things or mix them up after a while. During the construction process, it is essential to note down the amounts expended on various items. This gives you a clear idea of the total building cost of the container house.

How much does it cost to Build a Shipping Container House?

We will be discussing the costs involved in building a shipping container house today. A 40 feet high cube shipping container is modified to a tiny living space. We are trying our best to give you a proper estimate of the expenses we incurred in developing this project.

Division of container house costs

Let us consider the total cost incurred in the order of stages it has gone through.


For the project in talks, we used two footings in one. The first one is the underground footing for providing strength to the container structure. The other one is the precast concrete footing on the top of the first one. This one was used to make the house stand higher than the ground level. The underground concrete footing cost us $306 while the other footing was received as a donation. We only spent the money on its transportation that works out to be around $138. A total of $444 was spent from our side for the footings.

The shipping container

We used a 40 feet high cube shipping container for modification. The container itself cost us $2,277. We were finding it difficult to bring it to our place due to its large size. So, we asked the company to cut it into two parts for easy transportation. Later, we got it reinforced for bringing it back to its original size. The charges involved in cutting and reinforcement amounted to $492. And the amount spent on transporting the shipping container was $461. This gets us the total amount of $3,230 spent on the shipping container.

Cutting and welding

To modify the shipping container, it is essential to cut the internal walls as per your needs. Welding the parts that were cut during transportation was also required. Here is an overview of the angle grinder discs that were used in the process along with the costs involved:

Cost-of-Building-Your-Own-Shipping-Container-HousesThat gives us our total cutting cost to be $154.

For the welding part, we used the MIG welding process which involved the use of MIG wire and gas. We spent $190 on 25 kgs MIG wire and $154 on 5 bottles of gas (75% Ar and 25% CO2). To build the frames around the windows, we bought some extra steel for around $292. We also used the steel to provide some support to the roof of the wooden deck. The total cost of welding, therefore, amounted to $636.

Doors and Windows

We spent $244 on the entry door with a wooden frame, hinges, handles, and finishing included in this price. We also installed 2 aluminum doors and 8 custom-made windows that were bought for about $1846. The cost of installing these doors and windows came to be around $125. The total cost for this part amounts to $2,215.


We didn’t cover the cost of painting the shipping container or doors and windows above. So, we are going to discuss these costs separately now. Here is an overview of the same:

Paint-cost-of-shipping-container-homeThat gives us our painting cost to be $295.

Wooden Deck

The cost for the structural part of the wooden deck came out to be $677. The metallic roof, wooden support, and asphalt tape cost us $550, $72, and $46 respectively. For the pressure-treated pine used in decking, we paid $615. Finally, we used a lot of stains on the deck to cover up the wood. A total of 18 liters of stain cost us $221.

On the roof and the deck, we used metal brackets to connect the beams with the joists. They totaled around $32. We used 2600 screws on the roof and the deck cost us $96. The cost of the wooden filler was $5. The pipes and plastic parts of the gutter system were for $116.

So, the wooden deck, metallic roof, and the gutter system works out to be around $1,610, $704, and $116 respectively. That gives us a total amount of $2,430. Some parts of the roof and deck still require finishing. This can hike the total cost to around $2,600.

Miscellaneous items

There are so many items like gloves, masks, and such that are not included in the above portions. It is because they can be used throughout the construction process and cannot be assigned to a specific part. An amount of $677 was spent on such small items.

Total cost

Let us calculate the gross amount spent on constructing this container home.


What is not included in the cost?

We haven’t included the price of the equipment we bought for the construction process. But we would like to inform you that we spent $4,185 on the building equipment. Though it is not fair to add this cost to the total house cost we did it just for you.
We spent somewhere between $14,000-15,000 on building the container house along with the equipment. You can, however, sell this equipment once you finish the construction.

Final Words

You must have noticed that a lot of small expenses form part of the total budget. That is why you must make notes while purchasing the building items. You can also get an idea about the things required for building your home from a professional. It will give you a correct estimate of your total costs.

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