How to Build a Shipping Container Home
More and more people are looking for alternative housing options that are both sustainable and affordable. Shipping container homes are becoming a popular option for many people, as they can be adapted to a variety of needs and budgets. If you’re interested in building your own shipping container home, there are a few things you need to know. In this article, we’ll go over the steps involved with how to build a shipping container home, from start to finish.
What are shipping container homes?
If you’re looking for an affordable, eco-friendly home that can be built quickly, a shipping container home may be the perfect option. These homes are made from repurposed metal shipping containers, which are very durable and readily available.
A shipping container home is exactly what it sounds like: a home made out of shipping containers. These are the large metal boxes that you see on trucks and trains.
These homes can be made out of either new or used shipping containers, and can be adapted to fit just about any climate or terrain. Shipping container homes are becoming increasingly popular due to their low cost, durability, and portability.
The benefits of shipping container homes.
Shipping container homes have a number of advantages over traditional stick-built homes.
For one, shipping container homes are very strong and durable. They’re designed to withstand harsh weather conditions and heavy loads, so they can easily withstand high winds and won’t buckle with earthquakes. The metal housing is also fireproof and termite-resistant.
Another advantage of shipping container homes is that they’re extremely energy efficient. Because they’re made from metal, they reflect heat very well, which helps keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. This can lead to significant savings on your energy bills.
How much does a shipping container home cost?
A shipping container home cost can range anywhere from $15,000 to $50,000. The price largely depends on the size and location of the home, and whether you do the work yourself or have to hire contractors.
How to build a shipping container home step by step
If you want to build your own shipping container home, then you’d like to know the building process involved.
Here we go over the basic steps involved with how to build your own shipping container home.
Step 1: Planning
If you’re considering building a shipping container home, there are a few things you need to keep in mind during the planning process.
First, you need to obtain land on which to place your home.
Choose the location for your home carefully. Shipping container homes can be built anywhere, but you’ll need to make sure there’s enough space for the foundation, the soil is solid (loam is best), and that the ground is level.
Make sure that your property is zoned for this type of construction. Shipping container homes are becoming more popular, but not all municipalities have caught up yet.
Be sure to check out all applicable zoning laws to make sure your home would comply.
Next, you need to think about the layout of your home.
Shipping containers come in various sizes, so you’ll need to decide how many you want to use and how you want to arrange them.
For a single person or couple, one shipping container may be adequate. If you have kids or need more space, shipping containers can be stacked on top of each other, so you’ll need to make sure that your floor plan takes this into account.
Finally, you need to consider the cost of materials and labor if you’re using contractors.
Shipping container homes can be very affordable, but depending on the size and complexity of your design, the costs can quickly add up. Make sure to get multiple estimates before making any final decisions.
Step 2: Preparation
Once you’ve completed the planning phase and are ready to build, you’ll need to do some preparation.
You’ll need to get all the necessary permits before starting construction. You may need approval from your local planning department or building authority before you can proceed with construction
If you’re doing all the work yourself, you’ll need a complete list of materials and supplies and then purchase all materials needed for constructions.
Some of the best places to find shipping containers are on Craigslist and eBay, where containers usually go in the range of $2500 to $3500.
You can even buy prebuilt shipping container homes that are move-in ready!
If you’ll be using contractors, fully discuss ahead of time all of the expectations and costs, along with the building timeframe. That way there will be no surprises on your part or with the contractor later on in the construction process.
Step 3: Construction
Once you’ve gone through the planning and preparation phases, the next step is to begin construction.
You’ll need to level the spot on your land where you want to place your home. Then, you will need to excavate the area and pour a foundation. Once the foundation is set, you can place your shipping container on top of it and start construction.
If you are stacking more than one container, you’ll need a crane or container forklift to get them situated, and then weld them together.
Openings for doors and windows will need to be cut with a plasma cutter or suitable torch. Make sure to adequately seal windows and doors to keep the elements out.
You’ll then need to do framing (steel studs work well) and drywall, flooring, electrical and plumbing. Finally, add insulation. Spray insulating foam is one good option. Some people prefer insulating the exterior using siding over insulating the interior.
Step 4: Finishing touches
Once you have all of the major construction steps completed, you’ll need to move on to the final steps.
This includes decorative touches like hanging curtains or blinds on all the windows for privacy, and painting or wallpapering the walls to add color and style.
You should also add some landscaping touches to make your home look more warm and inviting.
Is building a shipping container home right for you?
Building a shipping container home is not as simple as it might seem. You can’t just stack a few containers together and call it a day. There’s a lot of planning and construction involved to turn a shipping container into a livable home. But if you’re up for the challenge, it can be a rewarding experience that provides you with a sustainable and affordable home.
If you want to learn more about how to build your own shipping container home with complete step-by-step instructions, check out this four-book comprehensive guide.