Shipping container homes are a unique, often affordable housing option that allow for a surprising amount of customization. But like any form of housing, there are both upsides and downsides to shipping container homes.
Pro: Extremely Affordable
Perhaps the most attractive aspect of shipping container homes is their low price point. For instance, a home named the Taj Malodge was reportedly built for just $35,000. It sports 600 square feet of living space and required just two 40-foot shipping containers.
Given that the average home price in the USA is around $188,900, or over 5 times the cost of the Taj Malodge, a shipping container home can be an incredible bargain by comparison.
Con: Permitting Process
As with any new home, shipping container homes may require a permitting process from government authorities before they can be built. The relative novelty of shipping container homes could add time or difficulty to the permitting period.
Pro: Structural Integrity
While shipping containers might at first blush not look as sturdy as a building material like brick, they are in fact quite sound. During its life, a shipping container needs to withstand being moved and loaded by heavy machinery and long stretches of exposure to ocean elements. This means they’re built to be tough, which lends itself well to their use in structures.
While shipping containers themselves are relatively cheap, they don’t come ready to live in. One reason is that they need to have insulation added, as a shipping container by itself won’t trap heat in the winter or keep in cool air in warm months very well.
Pro: Speed of Construction
Traditional homes can take months to build. But a shipping container home can be put together much more quickly–sometimes in a matter of days–especially if it comes to the site ready to assemble.
The Verdict: Plan Before You Jump In
The pros to shipping container homes are very attractive, yet the cons can’t be ignored. If you’re intrigued by the idea of building a shipping container home, just do your research and plan carefully so that you can avoid being snagged by one of the cons listed above.