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Shipping Container Homes - Designs and Plans

Updated on January 19, 2016

Easy to Move if Your Neighbors Cause Problems

Shipping container homes have become popular these days. With the rise in housing costs more and more businesses look for new and inventive ways to build new creative types of designer homes.

These save money on housing costs and create ingenious ideas for new ways of constructing homes. Ten years ago who would have thought a family would live in a shipping container. They would have laughed and said you were crazy.

Well times change, now they create better plans and designs for one, two three and four bedroom homes. Some designs can go three or four containers high. The bottom container acts as the underground workshop or garage. And it improves with each container added. They come fully air conditioned, with modern bathrooms and laundries depending on your particular design requests.

And if your neighbor is not to your liking you just move. What could be easier.

2x 20" Shipping Containers for Home

With Strength and Low Structure Costs

Shipping containers made from steel offer the strength that traditional fabricated homes would not have. This allows for simpler and less expensive foundations, like concrete posts under each corner of the containers. As they are so strong they could withstand cyclonic conditions.

They come in a variety of styles single story or double story. Then again there is no limit as to how many containers you use for your home. They can be elevated off the ground to allow better views and air flow through the homes. One design I noticed had two containers elevated off the ground with a gap between. This space was covered in as an entertaining area, with living area in one container and cooking facilities, while the other container was for the sleeping facilities. It was well done.

These containers come in different lengths from two to twelve meters long and two meters to two point four meters wide. The inside dimensions will be slightly smaller. They are insulated

Another design I saw had two forty foot shipping containers on top of one another with a staircase leading up to the top bedrooms with the living rooms on the ground floor.

You can use a variety of different combinations of the shipping containers to create the way you want your home. This will allow you to own your own home at an affordable cost. Like any prefabricated building you lay the foundations and then have your containers placed there so that you can move straight in once set in position.

Or you can build your dream home directly onto your own block by having the containers transported to your site and stacked to your requirements. Could you imagine how big a home you could build on your own block with six to eight forty foot shipping containers?

Depending on the way they are staggered you can actually create an overhanging balcony above your front door. This is done by having turning the top container sideways to the bottom one. Of course you would need to have steel or similar supports to keep it in place. Although that all comes down to your ideas on designing you shipping container home.

Sea Container Home

Want to Move Again?

If you are tired of where you live, and you are living in a shipping container home, then you ring up, and the truck moves the container home to your new location. What could be easier than that?

Prices of Shipping Containers

A one forty foot long room would definitely not cost as much as one that you have to wait to be built in the normal way.

Shipping Container Offices or Lunch Rooms

Many onsite offices now construct them from shipping containers, because there stronger and more secure on mining and other work sites.

Shipping Container Workshops and Tool Sheds

Mechanical workshops and tool sheds are now being built from the shipping containers in all sizes and designs for repairs.

So don’t be in a rush to employ those contractors to build your next home look at all the options before putting a huge mortgage around your neck. If you have just tied the knot and want to keep your debts down to a reasonable then this may be a good option for starting as a new or first home buyer. It may not be suitable for city living although it could be very effective in the suburbs. Also these do not have to look like shipping containers when finished as they can be coated with a variety of external finishes.

Do yourself a favor and do a Google search for shipping container homes, I think you will be surprised by what you find.

Plans of Shipping Container Homes

Shipping Container Homes


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    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      4 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Thanks Caleb Hart, yes it is amazing what can be done with these. My old boss made a lunch room from one for his business.

    • aboutaustralia profile image


      7 years ago from Newcastle, New South Wales

      Your hub has been very useful. We are thinking about down sizing and the different options available. This is one we hadn't considered, but it may be just the answer! Thank you, Sharon.

    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      8 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Thanks for stopping buy I will check out that link too.

    • elbenja profile image


      8 years ago

      @john simmis . Thanks for sharing! We loved it... It is true it's a very resourceful site.

      We like this one, as it's promoting designs and a builders network:

    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      8 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Thanks for that information. When considering doing any type of building everyone needs to do their research and obtain all the details.

      Even buying an old house can have its pitfalls. A man on TV last night paid a million dollars for his luxury house had all the checks etc. Only to find it was riddled with white ants when he was about to move in.

      We also found lots of problems with our home once we got here to move in. You do not see the problems with all the furniture in a home. thanks for stopping by

    • profile image

      john simmis 

      8 years ago

      If you are considering modular or prefab home, building with recycled shipping containers is worth taking a look at. There are many considerations that have contributed to the appeal of building with intermodal shipping containers - availability, standardization, the recycled/green factor, economy and speed of construction, their durability, and even their "elegance/grace".


      Lots of great example buildings, details, facts, and links to other articles. They have something new that you can setup your own project wiki to get help with your project if you are considering a design build project.

    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      9 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Debbie cook, thanks for stopping by. Yes its amazing what types of homes are available its up to our imagination too as to how far we can dare to dream.

    • Debbie Cook profile image

      Debbie Cook 

      9 years ago from USA

      It would be really cool to build a shipping container home. I have never been inside one but those that they show on TV or so interesting. I would rather have a small high quality home than a large home built to sell. The more modern design the better. Thanks for making my imagination wonder again.

    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      9 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      lctodd, that's great, I don't know what they would cost to have them installed on your block, butcould not be as expensive as paying all the builders and contractors.

      Support med, I thought at first how on earth could you live in something like them. But having looked at them its amazing and with cladding on the outside you would not know the difference and yes very strong that's for sure. You would not have any problems with white ants eating through your woodwork because there isnt any. (don't know if you get white ants where you come from but they eat the structure away in oz)

      thanks for reading and commenting

    • Support Med. profile image

      Support Med. 

      9 years ago from Michigan

      Eileen, I just had to take a peek before commenting as this seemed unreal. And it appears that with the right design, they can look quite modern/contemporary! I am really surprised! Of course that would also be more money, but the savings, plus their ability to withstand storms of all sorts is something to not take lightly. Amazing! Rated up!

    • lctodd1947 profile image

      Linda Todd 

      9 years ago from Charleston

      I have seen these on TV and my son needs one. lol! Great information about these types of home; thanks so much for sharing.

    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      9 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Kind regards, I have linked mine to yours. but as for the costs, it will depend on the country that you live in. I saw some the other day that cost $900 although off hand cannot remember what size that was. I believe that was the container only. Thanks for stopping by and yes actually I did read that one but didn't leave a message. thanks again.

    • Kind Regards profile image

      Kind Regards 

      9 years ago from Missouri Ozarks - Table Rock Lake

      Eileen Hughes, I had to come by and check out your hub. Thanks for letting me know about it. If you liked my Eureka Springs hub, check out my latest, SqC Home. It's another design. I've heard of shipping containers, but haven't taken the time to do any research yet. I am curious about them though. Have you found any information on the typical purchasing costs and the moving costs too? I'd love it if you'd share some numbers with me. I've lived in a school bus a couple of times and I loved it. There might be some similarities there. Thanks! Kind Regards

    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      9 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Nell rose, yes at first I thought gee, but having looked at them I was surprised at the many different designs. They would be a safer home it america where they have all those tornados, they wouldn't be destroyed quite so easy.

      I don't really think I would like to shift one of the bigger ones though. cheers.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      9 years ago from England

      Hi, Eileen, this is a great idea. In a way, it is similar to living in a caravan or mobile home. I started out my married life in a mobile home, and I loved it. I think this sort of home would be great in Australia, but I don't know if it would work in England, but who knows? I will go take a look and see what they are like. thanks for the info. cheers nell

    • advisor4qb profile image


      9 years ago from On New Footing


    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      9 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Pamela99, I had other pics and designs, but as usual they just wont load so gave up. thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      9 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Good explanation of choosing the right containers.


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