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Do you know how much it costs to build a shipping container home? Well, continue reading to find out. Nowadays, shipping containers can be found all over the place. In fact, these self-supporting structures are also being used as offices, cafes, shops, extensions, and most importantly, as entire homes. Here, we will examine why this modular structure is so popular and what the actual cost of constructing a container home is.

Why Construct a Shipping Container Home?

When it comes to construction, most people are now focusing on innovation and space-saving. In many cases, they are influenced by various television shows. In residential buildings, shipping containers are becoming more popular. Sometimes they are used for new constructions or for separate additions such as offices, flats, and sleep-outs.

Finding a shipping container that fits works the same way as any other building. You can either choose a simple one or a high specced one. Most people think that constructing with containers is cheaper and much easier compared to the traditional way, but this is not always the case.

Using containers has a lot of advantages. Aside from being durable and strong, it can also be transportable and secured since it can deter thieves. Containers can be delivered and constructed off-site. Once you have gotten consent for it, the time it takes to build will probably be much lesser compared to traditional construction projects, with fewer workers needed. There are also numerous modern designs that you can choose from to make your container home look attractive.

A timber frame is installed on the inside so that insulation, electrical wiring, and plumbing pipes can be installed first before putting in the walls. Later on, you can add the recessed lighting, conditioning, and heating systems. Usually, 35mm marine plywood will be used for the flooring. You can either polish it or install new flooring on top using vinyl, carpet, etc. The cost of building a container home varies greatly, but it may not be as easy and cheap as some people think.

Your structure will likely depend on your budget. You can build an office using a container with just a window and a door. On the other hand, there are some people who prefer to make a statement with their container homes. A shipping container can be used as an extension to increase the living space of a home. 

Use Containers to Extend Little Old Cottages

Little old cottages are small, and extending them could be expensive. The construction of the building extension can cost up to $100,000. However, if you want a cheaper option, then you can choose to use a container that only costs about $40,000.

The builder will remove one of the container’s walls so that it can be joined into the cottage, while the other walls will be mainly bi-fold doors and glass. The extension is constructed at the back portion of the house, allowing for more privacy with an outdoor flow. To align the container with the existing construction, a new roof will be placed from the highest point of the house. A new roof is required in this type of build.

Aside from saving some money, another benefit of choosing a container extension is that not much restoration work needs to be done on the existing building. Usually, with a traditional extension, this is not usually the case. Furthermore, if the original house has many problems due to its age, these will have to be fixed prior to the construction of the extension. This means that there will be a lot of work that needs to be done before you can even begin with the actual extension. 

Containers can also be used when building a sleep-out. Three containers would usually be enough for a project of this caliber. A glass window wall will be placed facing the side of a mountain range. You can also save some money on the foundations if you choose to build with containers. This is because piles are only done in every corner for each container. This is much less compared to what is needed for a traditional build.

Like any other type of extension, containers must abide by the building code of compliance. Builders must acquire permits through the council. But sometimes, there is no consistency with the permits. If you want to construct a modern two-story home, then you can use shipping containers for the bottom floor.

Constructing a One Bedroom Container

Melissa Burne, an architectural designer recently constructed a one-bedroom container home. She built this project with the intention of raising funds for a cancer charity. They used a 40-ft shipping container and converted it into a fully functioning home. The result is an open plan living area with a bathroom, kitchen, as well as a walk-in wardrobe.

When Burne was asked about the cost of the whole project, she said that a lot of people would be surprised. This project is definitely contrasting. Most people thought that a container conversion would be a great alternative to a new build since it is more affordable. However, by adding a little bit more, you can enjoy a modest, basic home. Some people are assuming that converting a container into a home could cost around $60,000, however, this is not the case with Burne. If you want to build a container home that complies with the Building Code, then you will probably need to invest more than $100,000. Since most of the materials for Burne’s project were donations, she estimated that the overall cost was around $127,000.

What is the Cost of a Shipping Container Home Extension?

According to Richard Lightfoot, a renovation specialist, most of the works involved will be in the conversion of the shipping containers into livable spaces that can be approved by the council. He usually receives requests from clients who want to convert a container into a work area or an outdoor space for extended family. 

It is expected that you will be paying between $3,000 to $10,000 or even more for the cost of the shipping containers. Aside from this, you also need to consider the counsel’s consent. When it comes to container homes, keep in mind that the council implements stricter guidelines on this, and it keeps on changing. The payment for the consent will be approximately between $5,000 to $10,000 or more. Other expenses to consider include labor costs which can be around $10,000, and refurbishment costs, which can range between $5,000 to $10,000.

What is the Cost of a Shipping Container Sleepout?

Shipping containers are a common option for families with growing teenagers. It is also perfect if you want to offer your extended family their own space. If you are interested in building a sleepout by using a shipping container, then you will probably need to invest around $40,000. However, you will need to pay more if you are planning to have a bathroom and a kitchen. The costs for the labor, refurbishment, council consent, and design should also be included.

What is the Cost of a Container Home on a Budget?

Most people choose container homes because they believe that they can help them to live within their means. While some people are tempted with this concept of going with the DIY method, you also need to consider that cutting corners could result in enduring stress and more expenses. However, working with a professional can assure you that your container home is safe, well-designed, and strongly built. Most of all, it adheres to the building code. For a one-to-two-bedroom container home, the overall cost will start at around $150,000. But take note that container homes are modular, so you will have a chance to extend your space in the future.

What is the Cost of a Container Home With a Mid to High-Range Budget?

If you do not have any issue with the budget, then you can always choose to be more creative. With a larger budget plan to work with, you can use high-quality materials and have a unique design with extra space. If you want to have a high-quality, spacious container home with an innovative design and build, then you can expect to pay around $400,000.   

Since container homes are a specialized area, then you should consult a well-experienced professional to help you and avoid skipping corners. If you need some advice on renovating a container home, then you should consult a specialist. They can help you get your project underway. 

The Dream Homes Project uses shipping containers in building homes that can be used by disabled persons, older people, low-income single parents, as well as kids who come from foster homes. We want to help people who cannot afford to pay for their own homes. We do not gain any profit or benefit from this as we only want to help these people who are at risk of being homeless. For more information about the project or if you want to help with our cause, then you may get in touch with us by calling +760-218-8472. You may also send us an email at [email protected]



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