How Much Does It Cost to Build a Shipping Container Home?


Shipping container homes are exactly that – homes made from steel shipping containers. People are using these huge storage containers to build homes of all shapes and sizes!

To give you an idea of how this works, eight large containers can make a two-story house with around 1400 square feet. That’s a lot of space! Even a small shipping container will give you about 100 square feet of floor space.

But why are so many people opting to convert shipping containers into homes? Is there really any benefit to doing so?

Keep reading to find out the benefits of building a shipping container home as well as the cost (you may be pleasantly surprised!):

What Are the Benefits of Building a Shipping Container Home?

Let’s talk about the benefits of building a shipping container home!

First of all, you can buy prefab shipping container homes that are already built and ready to deliver. Plus, finding a spot and having the shipping container delivered is relatively quick and simple.

But building a shipping container home can be a DIY project where your own creativity lends to the overall design. In other words, you can have a completely customized home!

However, building a prefab design has a more predictable cost since most of the work is completed at a factory for a fixed price. The only variable costs are delivery, site preparation, foundation, assembly, and utility connections.

If you’re interested in building your own shipping container home, here are some considerations to keep in mind when figuring out your budget and ideal design:

How Much Does it Cost to Build a Shipping Container Home?

Overall, a small and basic container home could run you anywhere between $10,000 to $35,000 depending on whether you buy a new or used shipping container. A larger home with multiple shipping containers can range from $100,000 to $175,000 – so overall space is a determining factor as well.

Other factors that can determine the cost of building a shipping container home include:

  • Land costs
  • Size, layout, and design
  • The number of containers required
  • Welding and fabrication requirements
  • Plumbing and electrical
  • Siding and insulation
  • Flooring
  • Windows and doors
  • Kitchen and bathroom finishes

It’s possible to build a functional shipping container home for around $20,000 but pre-manufactured homes are going to cost around the same as a regular house.

Frequently Asked Questions About Shipping Container Homes

Curious to learn more? Here are other questions you may have about building a shipping container home:

How long do shipping container homes last?

A shipping container can last at least 25 years – longer if it is well-maintained or if you use siding to protect the exterior. 

Do shipping container homes rust?

Yes, because they are made out of metal, shipping container homes may be prone to rust. Some containers are made with alloys that help prevent corrosion but wet and dry climates will affect shipping containers differently.

Do shipping container homes hold value?

If your shipping container home is well-maintained, it could retain its resale value like a traditional home. They’re often easy to sell as well since they can be loaded onto a truck and shipped anywhere!

Ready for a Shipping Container Home?

Maybe you love the look of shipping container homes or you’re simply excited to DIY your home’s design – or maybe the quick delivery time is appealing.

Whatever the reason for wanting a shipping container home, it’s important to keep the cost in mind so that you can work your dream home into your budget!

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