Modular building made of structural shipping containers

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Shipping Container Homes and Houses 

Modern Home Made of 40' Shipping Containers

Storage Container Houses and Homes

Shipping container homes are an increasingly popular form of living space across the globe and in the United States.  The use of second hand shipping containers to build a house reduces the amount of building materials needed which in turn maximizes savings and minimizes new material consumption. Reusing containers for building houses leaves a better footprint on the environment and a smaller impact on the wallet. During the container purchasing process there are steps to take into consideration in achieving the right container home design that best suits the budget and application.  

How to Build a Shipping Container Home

When considering building a container home, some of the preliminary steps to take are straight forward. Initially, it's important  to map out a budget in order to understand the amount of space, architectural design, material and labor needed to be prepared to spend.  Things such as acquiring the land, obtaining the proper site plan and permits with the respective local government and architectural drawings would need to be researched prior to any loans or financing being obtained.  It's important to research a few general contractors familiar with the development of container homes and modular structures.  Buying the shipping container or containers is also necessary to include into the budget, there are few different options and grades to select from. 

Bedroom in Glass Shipping Container Home

Different Sizes for Homes

The most common container sizes used to build shipping container homes are 40' high cube containers. The 40' High Cube Containers can cost on average between $1500 – $3500 in used condition heavily depending on the geographic location and current market conditions.  New 40' High Cube Containers will cost on average between $4000 – $6000 also affected by the above mentioned parameters.  Purchasing the container and having it delivered to the desired location will vary in cost depending on how far away the nearest port is to the location.  If the location is only an hour away as an example the cost to deliver a container may be between $350 – $550.  A general contractor may be able to handle everything but will charge a premium for doing the research and acquiring the equipment.  Overall the rough general price per square foot of building a shipping container home will be around half the cost of a conventional home. 

Once the selected containers are purchased for the home build out, the land is acquired and the permits are in place, the contractor will begin fabricating the container and building the agreed upon layout per the architects drawings.  The cement pad will be placed, and the proper heavy equipment such as a crane will be used to stage the container properly on the property.  Thereafter the general contractor will begin with the plumbing, HVAC, electrical and insulation installation.  One thing to keep in mind is the surrounding property around the shipping container home. Landscaping compliments the overall curb appeal so it may be in the best interest to consult with a landscape design specialist to weigh out the best options to go with the theme of the home. 

Contemporary Shipping Container Home Awning

Home Designs and Ideas

Add eye catching features to a shipping container home such as fountains, outdoor structural paneling that can represent traditional themes or modern inspirations.  Additions such as vertical gardens or rooftop greenscapes tag along with creative container home  modular utilization. The use of clean technology such as solar panels or LED outdoor lighting to enhance the night time aesthetic are great resources for efficient living when combined with a shipping container. There are many countless dynamic features that can be attributed to a shipping container house such as a drop down deck that can open up the living space into the outdoors or fully immersed windows spanning the entire length of a container for an encapsulating sun room.  Multiple shipping containers can be combined and spaced out to allow outdoor connecting awnings for creative ways to enhance and use living space. 

LED Wall Paneling for Shipping Container Exterior

Where to Buy a Shipping Container

For details on buying a shipping container, IPL Management is your best resource for pricing in most locations across the United States.  Offering different used container conditions that meet certain criteria to new one trip container options, a trust worthy resource is important in making the proper decisions when buying a shipping container. From various sizes and grades to delivery services when purchasing, the knowledgeable staff at IPL will provide all the specifications on the container and pricing. Contact IPL Containers for rates and information.