Shipping Container Homes: The Positives & Negatives

5 January 2015
 Categories: , Blog


In this day and age of rising property prices and soaring rents, shipping container accommodation setups can ease the housing woes of people who don't mind an unconventional home layout.

This alternative perhaps seems to be ideal for young, single people who don't mind a well-equipped but restricted dwelling space. The option seems to be both cheap and safe since it's more cost efficient for shipping firms to buy new containers than transport the empty vessel back to its original destination. As a result, the abandoned containers are there for the taking.


As mentioned earlier, it's relatively cheap to own or rent in a container. Besides, there are many other positives.

  • The metal build offers sturdiness even when stacked, besides being weather and fire-resistant.
  • There are a variety of sizes (both length and height), which is ideal for official use as well as to address modular requirements.
  • Thanks to several online transportation and shipping directories, there is a wide availability of shipping containers. Plus, if you live near the coasts, you'll be lucky as most ports have them in surplus.
  • The designing process is fairly uncomplicated, lending some freedom of expression for aesthetical and functional formats.
  • Supports fast setup and long-term use.
  • They are environment-friendly as there isn't the need to cut trees or mine metals.
  • The steel roof is highly resistant to lateral forces—those synonymous with earthquakes and hurricanes. And if the owner prefers a roof-top garden with vegetation growing, the strong roof will be able to bear the additional heft much better when compared to conventional house roofs.
  • When stationed and maintained properly, these containers can last for a very long time.

To prevent thermal issues, the external walls can be ceramic-coated. The coating also provides water and mold resistance, sound reduction, and Class A fire (fire accidents involving paper, wood, or anything else that leaves back ash) safety. The ceramic spray also doubles up as regular wall paint.    


The shipping container house coin has its other side as well.

  • Any constructional error—such as welding the wrong dimensions for windows and doors—is hard to reverse. Professional assistance therefore is almost mandatory.
  • Regardless of the customization and modern design implementations, it's hard to camouflage container shape and appearance. The results on the outside may therefore look quite average, regardless of the high-tech, modern designs that go within.
  • Getting local utility services such as water and electricity supply could be hard to acquire as such housing systems aren't popular yet with the authorities.
  • Since container-style homes aren't common or conventional yet, finding experienced and skilled contractors will be tough.   

If you are willing to overlook the drawbacks and keen on capitalizing on the advantages, go ahead and embrace the change. There are companies offering completed structural systems, with a single or couple of walls removed to let the buyer add essential beam enhancements and support columns. Otherwise, you can contact resources such as Tasbulk Container Hire to learn more about this process.