The Pros and Cons of Shipping Container Homes

shipping container houseLooking to build a new home? Want a few affordable options? Shipping container homes are becoming increasingly popular, as the years go on, and they have become a more affordable option compared to building a new home. This new trend has seen the development of amazing and creatively designed shipping container homes which would rival any architecture design.
If you’re considering one as a possible home solution, it’s important to understand the pros and cons of shipping container homes. The following is a guide to the pros and cons of shipping container homes and what you need to look out for.

Advantages of Shipping Container Homes


The price of a shipping container home is much more affordable compared to homes built from brick and mortar. To build a brick home, it can cost you anywhere from $300,000 and upward. Shipping container homes, on the other hand, can cost anywhere from $10,000 and up. The price tends to offer more appeal for many who can’t afford the traditional home. This is why many people are opting for this type of home.

Eco Friendly

Shipping container homes are more eco-friendly, in some regards, compared to normal brick homes. Studies have shown that the 2nd reason why a person may purchase a shipping container home is because of its eco-friendly properties. The eco-friendly factors come into play due to the supply of unused shipping containers which are available today. It’s estimated that there are roughly 17 million shipping containers around the world. Only 6 million of these are said to be in use, leaving 11 million containers rusting away. This means that, with each shipping container, roughly 3,500kgs of steel is being recycled.

Off-Site Construction

Another advantage of a shipping container home is that it can be built off site and moved to your location. This is beneficial in many ways. Sometimes a block of land may not be flat enough to construct a home, or electricity may not be connected. This can cause problems when using power tools during the design process. Workshops or companies which specialize in these homes generally have large warehouse-like work spaces. This also helps if rainy weather persists longer than expected when working outside.

Fast to Build

Another advantage of a shipping container home is that it’s faster to build than your ordinary home. This is because the structure is already built, and it just needs to be refined with insulation. Because of their speed in building, it’s another common reason why many people opt for this type of home.

Disadvantages of Shipping Container Homes

Materials and Composition

A downside to having a shipping container home is that they’re usually painted with a special coating which generally contains harmful chemicals, such as lead, phosphorous, or chromate, to help them become more suitable for transport across vast spans of ocean. Another problem which you may come across is that some containers have wooden flooring which may feature chemical pesticides for insect protection. In order to use shipping containers, you will need to take these chemical risks into consideration to properly address the issue.

Internal Temperature and Energy Rating

Another problem with shipping container homes is the inability to control the internal temperature throughout the changing seasons. The metal of shipping containers is thinner than some other metal containers, which makes them more susceptible to the changes in temperatures. However, this can be managed with the proper integration of insulation.

Limited Design Options

Although you can create amazing homes from shipping containers, the problem is that they generally all feature a uniformity and stiffness. This is because shipping containers are all one shape. They offer limited room expansion unless you cut and join large sections of the containers together.

Susceptible to Wear and Tear

Just like any home, shipping container homes are susceptible to wear and tear over time. This can be in the form of rust or chipping of paint. Rust will occur faster if the shipping container isn’t prepared properly before creating the home. It’s always best to check with the company who is creating your home, to make sure it is treated accordingly for rust resistance.


Shipping container homes are fast becoming a popular housing option for many people around the world. From their inexpensive design to their eco-friendly properties, they provide a unique home like never before. When considering a shipping container for your future home, it’s important to take everything into consideration and weigh out the pros and cons of shipping container homes. So, are you still open to using a shipping container as a home?