Emily. Shipping Containers Homes. April 26th , 2018.
Built tough from weathering corrugated steel these incredible tough building blocks of international trade are designed to withstand stacking stuffing and strapping and are reused over and over again. There is an estimate of over 18 million of these containers floating riding and flying around the earth today but the most recent sustainable design trend has found these containers revamped to contain a more delicate cargo: People.
First you need to realize that a shipping container home is definitely not a traditional house. This may seem obvious but it`s an important factor to consider. Even though homes built out of cargo containers seem really cool now you may find that the novelty wears off after a few years. Any home is a long-term investment so you need to be absolutely sure that you are happy with your potential living situation before you invest thousands of dollars into it. Even though container homes are a smart eco-friendly choice you may find yourself yearning for the comforts of a traditional home after a while. Also consider your space needs before you start construction. If you have a big family or just want a lot of bedrooms you may need multiple shipping containers to have the house of your dreams. This requires a lot more work and customization than homes that only use one cargo container.
And most importantly you will need to consult with local authorities to make sure your new container home meets all local building codes. Some communities simply won`t allow homes constructed out of shipping containers. If this is the case you may be out of luck but it`s much better to find out before you invest money or begin construction. Check all applicable state and local building codes before you buy materials or hire contractors. Pay special attention to building codes related to building homes using steel since this is the most likely restriction you will find on shipping container homes. Also when you consult your local building office make sure that you have a specific house plan in mind before you ask for approval. If you just say that you want to build a cargo container home you might get a quick rejection. However if you prove that you have a specific well thought out plan for a home you are more likely to convince local authorities that your proposed project is up to code.
Manufacturers of goods and the shipping companies that ship those goods see them as disposable items throwaways just like the soda cans so many consumers still don`t see value in. It`s actually rather expensive for countries to ship unused and empty containers back to their country of origin and quite often it`s cheaper to buy new containers when the need for them arise. Costs for cargo containers vary but on average you can get a used one for about $1500. The average container has about 350 square feet of space. Someone who wants a 3000 square foot home would have to pay approximately $80 per square foot to have a home built using traditional methods. In some parts of the U.S. it costs well over $100 per square foot. Container homes cost about four and a half dollars per square foot (the cost is just for the frame not including the construction and finishing work). But do the calculations and you`ll see the basic (frame only) cost for a 3000 square foot home built from recycled containers is about $13500. Even with the added cost of having to configure and finish the basic units to make them into a home it`s still quite a savings over traditional home building methods.