Storage Containers as Homes: Pros and Cons

Building your dream home is one of those things that require a lot of time, patience, and of course, money. Most people think that building your own house from the ground up is less expensive than buying a house on mortgage. That is true to some extent. Building a house from scratch is cheaper since you don’t have to make mortgage payments with huge interest rates for a lengthy period of time.

However, building a house yourself involves buying a lot where you want to build your house, looking for an architect or engineer who will build your house, procure the various materials the construction company will use to build your house, and so forth.

Handling all of these things by yourself, especially if you don’t have any experience in house construction, can be pretty hard. Do you know any reputable construction company who will build your house for a good price? Do you know any architect or engineer who will design the house for you or build the design you made?

Storage Containers Homes

Do you know the actual market prices of the materials that you’re going to use for the construction so that you can haggle with the supplier?  These are just some of the questions that need to be answered when talking about house construction. And for some, dealing with these aspects is just too much of a headache.

However, there’s a new trend in house construction right now that’s blowing people’s minds off. These new trend makes use of storage containers to build your new house. Using storage containers as a construction material has become popular over the past year because of their wide availability, robustness, and relatively low expense.

Making use of containers has risen to fame only recently. However, such containers have been used by construction companies to build makeshift offices, staff quarters, etc. offsite. Using storage containers other than its intended purpose is actually the futurist, Stewart Brand’s brainchild. In 2006, Peter DeMaria, an architect from Southern California created the very first two-storey storage container house in the United States.

So what are the Pros and Cons to building houses using storage containers? Well, here they are below:


Durability and Strength – First and foremost, the thing that made containers an ideal material for building houses is robustness–their ability to resist environmental punishments, high-tensile strength, and portability. It is portable because, well, they’re shipping containers that can be easily moved and transported to any location. They’re tough, and they last for a very long time.

Modular design – Think of such containers as LEGOs that can be stacked and connected together to form a bigger structure. Most shipping containers have standardized measurements for height, length, and width. These is what gives the containers a modular element. By being modular, containers make the transport, planning, and design phases of construction simple.

Cheaper Labor Cost – Steel cutting and welding is considered by many in the industry as specialized labor. Specialized labor mean specialized rates. These can increase construction costs. However, this is still way cheaper than conventional construction.

Ease of Transport – As most of you may have already noticed, containers are pre-fabricated modules. Since they already come in standardized shipping sizes, they are extremely easy to transport to any location.



Temperature – If you live in a hot location, then a storage container home is probably not the best option for you.  As you can see, these containers are made up of steel. Steel conducts heat and is therefore not a suitable material to use in a location with a hot climate. You can work around this problem by insulating the inside of your storage container home. But keep in mind that putting specialized insulation like this can again ramp up the cost of construction.

Humidity – As mentioned prior, steel is a conductor for heat. If you use storage containers in temperate climates, it is very likely that the moisture in the interior air of the container will condense against the steel. Unless the container is well insulated and sealed, rust will most likely form and may puncture a hole through your container.

Building permit – While steel is widely used in industrial construction, it is however not commonly used in residential construction. This is why getting the necessary building permit from your local government is extremely important. Getting permits in some states can be troublesome because of the amount of red tape that you have to go through, not to mention the fees that you have to pay, just to get the appropriate permit.

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