Shipping Containers for Homes

Shipping Containers for Homes

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You may have seen in magazines or websites people using shipping containers for homes. While it may seem rather gimmicky at first, there are definite advantages to using shipping containers if they are still solid and in good shape. A proper shipping container is large enough for most of your needs and easy enough to make the changes necessary to create your new home.

Purchasing a Shipping Container

You’ll want to use a reputable dealer who offers new and used shipping containers that are perfect for creating your new home. You may want to seek out a dealer that can do some modifications before they send you the container. Keep in mind that some dealers specialize in containers that are prepared for turning into a home, so they might be more expensive initially, but having the modifications completed may also save you money in the long run.


Shipping containers are mostly standardized for good reasons, but there are some variations that you may want to consider. For example, the “high cube” type is about a foot taller than standard versions and will make it seem less claustrophobic inside. The length will vary from 10 to over 50 feet, but most versions are 30 feet long, give or take 10 feet. Keep in mind that shipping the container to you will also be expensive if you choose a very large one. Plus, you may wind up choosing more than one container which adds to the expense.

Inspect Used Containers

If the shipping container is used, it’s going to have some dents, dings, and perhaps separations in the walls as well. The worse shape it is in, the more work you are going to have to do in getting it ready. So, be sure you inspect the container before purchase to see if it can work for your needs. A little rust is expected, but rust that creates holes should eliminate the container from consideration.

Keep in mind the wood flooring is loaded with pesticides, so you’ll need to seal it and the odor may not be to your liking as well. All in all, the container will need to pass inspection before you make the purchase. Do not expect perfection, but don’t eliminate a container from consideration if it has a few dings or small patches of rust.

Have a Plan in Place

You should have the final design ready long before you make the purchase. If you don’t know what you are going to do with the shipping container down to the final window, furniture placement, or location, then you should not be shopping for one. Remember that plans can change once you get the container, but you need a plan first so you can get what you want from the container.

The use of shipping containers for home is a phenomenon that shows no signs of slowing down. For those who are looking for a less-expensive alternative to building a traditional home, using a good shipping container offers many advantages.

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