Are you wondering what is shipping container home benefits, if any? Let’s answer your questions.
A shipping container home consists of substantial reusable containers. They can be easily transported from one place to another. Most shipping containers are available in two different sizes in the market.
Benefits of shipping containers
We can easily use these shipping containers for a variety of purposes. They are beneficial for use as a home, personal office, or to make a multilevel residence. Shipping container houses are becoming famous for replacing traditional multi-bedroom houses as a good building solution for the public. Many reasons explain the change of mind of people towards conventional houses. People are more considerate about the environment, cost, expenses, and other specific factors. We will look into a few advantages so that you can make an educated decision:
- Shipping Container Houses (SCHs) are considerably less expensive than traditional brick and mortar buildings.
- It is estimated that the cost of a large SC house is about half the price of a traditional one.
- The ratio can be even better in the case of smaller houses, especially if you can set them up by yourself in a DIY approach.
- Thanks to prefab, the modular structure does not require special skills. The cost savings are also visible when you plan to settle in difficult-to-access and remote areas. And the cost of on-site construction will be higher (including materials and supplies, contractors, and limited access to resources).
- Moreover, a lot of time and attention is required in the whole construction process. Because SC house requires fewer materials and fewer labor hours to assemble, they tend to be more cost-effective.
Short Construction Time required
Customized Container Houses (CCH) have major advantages when it comes to habitable spaces. Most importantly, fewer “construction-related” headaches and time require moving in because they are designed for this.
They are foldable Flat-Pack structures, the transport expense will be less than full-size General-Purpose cargo containers. And especially for a considerable number of modules (40ft cargo sea container can transport six TEU modules of Container Houses).
Possibility of Used Structures in some other things
- The second-hand industrial-grade cargo SCs is beautiful for initial buying costs.
- Firstly, as used, you can buy them at a discount. But what also counts is that you will be able to buy them locally on specialized markets. It may sound good at first.
- The time needed for their adaptation to habitable space may easily outweigh the lower initial cost.
- On the positive side, cargo shipping containers can be ideal for uninhabitable areas like storage, garage, shed, etc. Because these are the closest functionalities to those, they were designed for.
- Bottom line – SCH creates an opportunity to get “big bangs for reasonable bucks,” bangs that otherwise, you can’t afford.
Durability of containers
According to manufacturers, the typical lifespan of SC houses is only about 20-25 years, so way off than traditional houses. But frankly, it’s a very conservative estimation. And it doesn’t mean that they will collapse, but rather that some rust or water leaks may appear with time.
So, let’s put it in the proper perspective: the structures of traditional SCs are robust. They have to withstand enormous loads during overseas transport and hardships of weather and salty water. Simply speaking – they are built to last. For this goal, cargo containers frames and sidings are built from rust-resistant steel known as CorTen.
The structure of customized container homes
The Customized Container homes have similarly robust structures made from galvanized steel. Galvanized steel is more substantial than required by multi-modular and multi-story buildings. Their walls, although not more than 2-3 mm (80-120 mils) thick steel than sandwich panels. Sandwich panels are made with tiny metal sheets, and thermal insulation in between is made from pre-painted galvanized steel (PPGI). Thanks to such protection, if properly maintained, they will have a much longer lifespan than conservative numbers provided by manufacturers.
Summarizing shipping container home benefits:
- Shipping Container Houses (including Customized ones) are robust, durable, and low-maintenance structures.
- They are not much affected by weather elements termites. Container houses can even strong earthquakes and tornadoes.
- They wouldn’t be torn apart but may eventually “fly” if not appropriately attached to the ground.
- With proper maintenance, they can last forever.
Please note that these days, most big material goods are becoming obsolete not because of their physical deterioration. However, this may be due to our almost insatiable need to follow rapidly changing styles and technologies. And these factors may in the future define the lifespan of our homes (especially if the new ones are affordable).
Portability is considered as the best quality
In most countries, SC habitable spaces are NOT considered “Permanent” structures. As such, they may not need any permanent foundation, so in a way, they are “mobile” (easy to move). It is especially true for small (ideally 1-module) structures like kiosks, offices, etc. That can be quick and at almost no cost relocated to the new place by a standard truck trailer.
What makes it even more attractive is – container houses can be transported as a whole (without disassembling). After all – they are designed in a similar way to shipping containers! The Portability also holds for multi-modular structures because modules are not welded together but attached by bolts and nuts.
Shipping Container Houses share the benefits of two different worlds. They offer living space with all attributes of Permanence while preserving crucial characteristics of Portability. When relocating, your only option is to sell the house and eventually buy the new one in our traditional world. Well, Shipping Container houses open new and, frankly, tempting scenarios. You can take your house with you (especially the small one).
Each of the individual TEU segments making the structure of your house can be easily transported by the trailer truck. It happened the same way as countless cargo containers are seen on our roads every day. This is exactly happening with single-module commercial units like kiosks, tourist information booths, offices in construction zones, etc. They are quickly deployed for some events (fairs, festivities) and then, in the end, removed (or moved to another location).
Required construction time
SC houses represent the class of modular, prefabricated structures manufactured of the site. In comparison, you are building them according to customers’ requirements (especially valid for used cargo containers). On-site construction is determined, from the user’s perspective, preparing a solid foundation, assembly process, and connecting to the utilities. Just as an idea – 1 TEU (20ft) SC Hose module can be set up and worked in half a day.
Please note that manufacturers provide detailed instructions for the installation process and online support for any related problems. The truth is – Customized Container Houses are “Out-of-the-box” solutions. Their closest cousins – Cargo Shipping Container houses are not far behind (if fully modified at an off-site location). BTW- you will find companies are repurposing cargo containers into habitable spaces. See Falcon Structures
Shipping container home benefits of Flexibility & Expandability
The modular construction of SC houses makes it easy to expand the space by attaching another module(s).
This characteristic is especially evident in SC structures built from Flat Pack containers (in this case, also Customized Container Houses). Their internal walls can be easily removed or replaced by new ones from glass or partial openings. This function allows the integration of the new space into the whole structure. You can quickly build a large multi-modular one-level house. But it will be almost equally easy to make 2 or 3 stories structures. The frames of Flat Pack (folding) containers are strong and can support the weight of a few-stories house.
Get rid of construction work
Simply speaking – a construction project using shipping container “blocks as the building material” is like large-scale Lego land. And we are all so familiar with Lego land. A lot of fun and countless possibilities! It may be more difficult to accomplish such a task with popular GP cargo containers. As entire walls or opening(s) in walls will have to be cut in the thick corrugated metal sheets. It’s doable but a bit laborious and quite a “messy” process.
Benefits of expandability
Expandability is especially beneficial when you need to add more living space to already existing and inhabited houses. Traditionally, such endeavor means months of mess (dirt, noise, etc.) in your footsteps. But attaching one or a few more “ready-to-move-in” Shipping Container modules can be done in a matter of day(s). All the dirty work (needed for cargo containers) will be done off-site, saving you from the construction nightmare.
The stylishness of interior and exterior
In the case of multi-modular structures, the combination of metal, glass, colors, and forms gives architects a fantastic building material. The results are visible worldwide – distinctive but modern offices, stylish residential homes, appealing to eyes mountain retreats. They combine the better of two worlds from the outside.
They connect the strength and ruggedness of the industrial environment with the modernity and charm of the residential one. When it comes to the interior, it can be anything from rustic to most fashionable designs, depending on preferences. One thing is sure – despite their apparently “cold” steel structure, interiors of Shipping Container(s) homes will be warm and elegant.
Eco-Friendliness or recycling purpose to save the environment
In recent years, the word “Eco” became an expression of our convictions and possibly of lifestyle. Well, at this stage of development, it may be premature to claim that new Customized Container houses meet eco-expectations. Such notion, however, clearly applies to use (second-hand) when they can find “new life” as habitable spaces.
Some may claim that the energy necessary to transform used cargo containers into livable spaces defies eco-friendliness. But it seems to be just a gross misconception. The truth is that this is the only sustainable alternative for used cargo containers. Otherwise, they will “rest in peace” as abandoned as unwanted scrap. Most likely on beaches in some developing countries, because unfortunately, that’s how we deal with the “waste” or get recycled. Indeed, both alternatives are far from being eco-friendly. And if you did not realize it – please note that millions of shipping containers are in circulation worldwide. And each year, a few hundred thousand of them, for this or other reasons, reach the “retirement age.
Reusing of abandoned containers
“Reusing empty or abandoned containers for storage is workshops, and similar low-demand units is the best way to be environmentally friendly. However, more demanding habitable spaces (homes, offices, shops, studios, etc.) will positively impact our ecosystem.
Shipping container home benefits in short:
- COST: Affordability
- Construction: Time Saving
- Durability: Lasing Time
- Portability: Can Move
- Flexibility: Can Grow
- Stylishness: Nice Looking
- Eco-Friendliness: Planet Friendly