ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Living in a steel box: shipping container homes

Updated on May 23, 2015

With real estate rates going through the roof, more and more people around the world are embracing alternative, left-of-centre ideas in order to make their home owning dreams come true. One such out-of-the-box housing concept involves the use of – ironically, boxes – or rather shipping containers, to create modular homes. Here are a few facts you show know before buying a shipping container to create yourself a home.

Shipping Containers
Shipping Containers

Reuse and recycle shipping containers

This new form of architecture consists primarily of using discarded shipping containers to assimilate unique, practical living spaces. And there are millions of discarded shipping containers around the world, quite literally, lying round.

More than 300 million shipping containers have been abandoned by carrier companies around the world, because transporting them back to where they came from is neither feasible nor cost-effective for the transporting agencies. In this backdrop, shipping container homes are also emerging as an eco-friendly option, as they reuse these unused containers in a unique way.

What makes shipping containers suitable for building a home

If your brain naturally resists the idea of using a container as a room, consider these merits.

  • For one, shipping containers are sturdy and durable, being built to weather the elements in long overseas journeys, protecting the goods that they carry.
  • They are always built of extremely durable, sturdy material.
  • Their innate strength makes them ideal as building materials.
  • If they can weather tides, oceans, waves, scorching sunlight, fire, and keep goods dry and undamaged in the face of a storm, it stands to reason they will do a good job of sheltering you and securing your possessions.

  • Another advantage of using shipping containers lies in their dimensions, which give them a modular nature.
  • Since they are almost always made to standardized sizes – 8 feet x 8.5 feet x 40 feet being one norm – they can easily be assembled together, atop one another or side by side, to produce compact, symmetrical structures of uniform proportions.
  • Another interesting advantage is the fact that shipping containers are always built in a manner that they can be interlocked, for ease of mass transport on vessels.
  • This serendipitously adds to their value and ease of use as individual elements (rooms), which arranged together, create a home.

Shipping Container Home
Shipping Container Home

Advantages of shipping container homes

  • Putting together shipping container homes is practical, time-saving, and cost-effective, as you save on building materials.
  • They make for chic, fashionable, and inexpensive weekend homes, office spaces, dorms, and emergency homes.
  • The great thing about them is that they can be used long-term as well, and are constructed very swiftly.

Buy shipping containers online

Shipping containers are easily accessible in most cities or states that have ports. They can also be purchased online, at affordable rates. Websites selling these will give you rough estimates for the construction of these pads – including expenses for venting, plumbing, electric connections, shipping, and installation. Prices of shipping containers are mostly subject to negotiation, depending on their age, size and the places they have been.

A word of caution if you’re buying a shipping container – make sure you find out if the size, shape and other aspects of your shipping container home are in keeping with the local building regulations.

© 2014 Juana


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • PinkstonePictures profile image


      4 years ago from Miami Beach, FL

      What an interesting article. I'd never heard of this concept before.

    • THarman7 profile image

      Terry Harman 

      5 years ago from Lacey Washington

      wow interesting concept! Voted up!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)