Don’t Want a Mortgage? Build and Live in a Shipping Container Home

Shipping Container Homes

Shipping container homes in Leamouth, London

Wouldn’t it be nice to live without the headache and expense of a traditional mortgage?

When I was looking into buying our first home, I found an interesting twist on the housing market: shipping container homes.

Shipping containers have long been used for the storage of things, whether those things are coming from China, Japan or Korea. But they haven’t traditionally been used to house people until recently.

Due to the economy being in the state it is currently in, and because many support the renewable lifestyle, more and more people are using those storage containers for homes, rather than taking out a much more expensive mortgage.

There are so many benefits to being the proud owner of a shipping container home.

Benefits of Shipping Container Homes

Since shipping containers are used across the world, many are available right within our own home towns. They are inexpensive to buy, and can be obtained easily. By no means, is getting your hands on a shipping container going to be an issue.

Not only can the shipping container be used as a home. You can use one as a cabin, vacation spot, or even an outdoor building. There are plenty of creative options for these recycled shipping containers.

The shipping containers are very strongly built. After all, these shipping containers do get sent by boat from all over the world. The containers continue to serve as our number one shipping method due to their ability to keep the items inside them safe, dry, and undamaged.

Rarely will one see a damaged shipping container since steel is the most common metal used to build these strong boxes. The strength within the walls of the container enable the shipping containers to be connected to another container, to have a door put in, and even to stack them up so that multiple floors are available.

The ability to expand one storage container enables an entire family to live without being cramped.

Another wonderful benefit is being green. Since going green is such a huge concern within our society, many ways to customize your shipping container home are available. Solar panels are easily installed on the top of the shipping container, which serves as the roof of your new home. These additions add to your savings by taking advantage of energy efficient tax credits.

Building Shipping Container Homes

Colorful Shipping Container Homes

Student housing made from shipping containers.

Apparently, siding and insulation are easily installed, as the walls of the shipping container can be removed to customize your home the way you choose.

Due to the durability of these containers, putting in doors, and attaching additional shipping containers is a possibility as well.

Customizing the shipping container is an option that you may like as well. Inserting cabinets, bathrooms, a large kitchen, or even a large living room are all options. Simply choose what you want the most out of your new home, and get to work!

Think these homes can’t look nice? Check out this collection of eye-catching shipping container homes.

If you are not the type of person who can design and work out the kinks in building your own home setting, there are many do-it-yourself floor plans available for shipping container homes. Simply pick the one you like most, purchase it, and install it, or just use the floor plan as a guide for saving money and buying your own items to install.

The containers themselves can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 each.

With so many options available, there are more and more people leaning towards building a shipping container home. These easily obtained strong customizable containers could make you an excellent home with just a little work. Saving money is just one more benefit to living in a home that is almost indestructible.

Could you see yourself building and using one of these homes, if only for a vacation or lake property?

Further reading: Want to Live in a Shipping Container? – from The Greenest Dollar
Source: Living in Small Houses
Photo by Fin Fahey

Share Button



Last Edited: April 11, 2011 @ 2:31 pm
About Philip Taylor

Philip Taylor, aka "PT", is a husband and father of two. He created PT Money back in 2007 to share his thoughts on money and to meet others passionate about managing their finances. All the content on this blog is original, and created or edited by PT. Read more about Philip Taylor, and be sure to connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, or view the Philip Taylor+ Google profile.

Comments

  1. One of your best post! Cool stuff! I’m tempted to buy some land in Colorado and slap a couple of these down.

  2. Thanks, Jeb. Been meaning to write on these for some time. Very intriguing idea, and something I might consider doing with a second property like you mention. I think the biggest expense is getting the things delivered.

  3. Who knew! This is so cool, take a hit to your pride and reap the benefits.

    I would so do this someday, but I doubt my future wife would go along with this idea :(

    Very cool post Phillip, gotta be the most intriguing post in the last month.

  4. I have seen the single family homes made up of 6x 40′ containers, which was interesting to me. My question here is, on your picture for the student housing, where are the stairs to access the upper floors? I assume that the entrances are in the back, so are there internal stairways, or are they external sort of like fire escapes?
    thanks
    john

  5. Give me a 4G internet connection and I’m there! Although I guess I have to pay for the land, which could get expensive.

  6. @John – Here’s a link to a video showing some of the student housing going up in Amsterdam: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onhZxKzayA8 This one has the stairs attached on the outside, like a motel.

  7. I live in the Pacific Northwest, and would need info on insulating and heat sources…. So, I am totally going to website to check it out all out ~ Thanks for sharing

  8. There is a guy who built a 10×10 “home” for less than $200. He built it from neighbors junk.

  9. Daddy want!!

  10. yetchewou megan jacques says:

    i thank you for your message to me and i thank you for the building of containers homes.

    thank you and god bless you.

  11. I would agree that shipping containers are a great alternative to old fashioned housing. Not only are they sturdy and durable, but they are also very inexpensive, compared to traditional housing materials!

  12. Its so great to see the continued interest in Shipping Container based construction.

    Its important to bear in mind that like all building and construction methods Container Homes come with both advantages and disadvantages when compared with traditional construction methods.

    One of the big ones that isn’t being talked about much is the “investment” consideration.

    Most lenders will not go anywhere near these alternative construction methods and so that means that even if you build a home like this on a as and when basis resale is limited to “cash buyers” – that’s like 1% of the market ?

    For anyone interested in the good, the bad and the ugly of container homes check out these video tutorials.

    http://www.containerhome.info/side-wall-modifications.html

  13. Wow. Interesting idea. I have seen many alternative building methods in articles, but I missed that one. You might want to talk to a mortgage person to ask about the requirements for lending on an atypical home before you build. Lenders don’t like to lend on them so it can make selling harder if your ever need to. Conforming to key requirements for building will allow you to build your dream home but have all the flexibility of having a stick built home. I wish you well. It seems like a great idea. I’ve seen that there has been one shipping container home built in Charleston not too long ago. It was the new option for affordable housing. Maybe I should get in contact with that company and see what they know as for the requirements and so forth, because you’re right… it could become a hassle if people don’t understand the construction!