What are the pros and cons of shipping container homes? Does shipping container homes worth it? These and more are what we will discuss in this article.
Shipping containers are primarily used for the storage and transportation of goods across various channels using different modes of transportation like trains, ships, airplanes, and big trucks.
However, in recent times, they have been turned into beautiful homes for people to live in. Popular for their size, affordability, and ease of construction, shipping container homes are fast becoming a fad that might not die anytime soon.
Pros of Shipping Container Homes
Here are the pros of shipping container homes:
1. Structural Sustainability
Structural sustainability is one of the pros of shipping container homes because shipping container homes are a way to give the containers which are more or less structurally invincible a new lease of life. The containers are originally designed to carry hefty bulks and overcome extreme weather like rain or sea waves. They can also be placed on top of each other. This makes the homes made out of the shipping containers earthquake hurricane proof and a perfect fit for disaster-prone localities.
2. Availability of Raw Material for Construction
Shipping is a major way by which goods can be transported from a point to a different one. These goods are usually put in a shipping container thus making the containers readily available. There is never a shortage of shipping containers because they are made to be used for a certain period then cast aside and replaced. However, the old containers can still be used for other purposes like house construction which makes it to be one of the pros of shipping container homes. This cycle described ensures that shipping containers never go out of fashion. There is an endless supply of raw materials to use in constructing them.
3. Easy Mobility
Shipping containers can be conveniently conveyed from one place to another without any problem. This makes it convenient for an aspiring builder to get his hands on the needed material without any problems arising. If one wishes to move, he can have his dream home relocated in one piece and placed in another location with ease. If there is no land available, the shipping container home can be assembled in a different location then transferred to the desired spot.
4. Shorter Construction Time
Shipping containers come with a wall, roof, and floor in place so several steps in the regular building process will be foregone as a result of this thus making the construction of the container home to be done quickly. This is unlike the traditional building process that has to be done in steps without any being skipped.
With shipping container homes, one can authoritatively say how fast construction will be. This is especially beneficial in cases where the builder is pressed for time.
5. They Are Environmentally Friendly
Another pros of shipping container homes are that they are environmentally friendly. If the shipping containers were not converted to a home, they would lie fallow, constituting a nuisance to the environment. These containers are usually made of metals that would seep into the ground and pollute the soil even running further and polluting the water too. By turning them into homes, the builder does the environment a big favor. Since they are relatively easier to construct, the building of a shipping container home will use lesser energy and power thus helping the environment.
6. They Lend Themselves to Modular Construction
Due to the standardized dimensions of the shipping containers, they can be used for modular residences where the containers are stacked or welded on top of each other thus making stronger structures without a need for reinforcing.
7. Optimum Security
The majority of shipping container homes are made of metal. This makes it very hard for them to be broken into. The difficulty in breaking into a home of metal and the noise that will be made by the metal makes such a venture a foolhardy one.
8. They Aid Creativity
Seeing that they are made from scratch, the homeowner has a leeway to display his creativity in whatever form he chooses. It is easier to showcase one’s creative side with a shipping container home.
Shipping containers are cheap to purchase. They are already in the shape desired and require a lesser quantity of raw materials and labor thus making them a more affordable option than traditional homes.
Cons of Shipping Container Homes
Here are the cons of shipping container homes:
Although intended to be an improvement on used shipping containers, most homeowners would rather have brand new containers used in constructing their homes rather than the already used ones making it one of the cons of shipping container homes. These containers are made out of harmful materials and may have previously conveyed toxic substances so it is quite understandable when a prospective homeowner prefers to have a brand new experience. Unfortunately, the end result is a lot of wasted metal.
2. High Cost
Another cons of shipping container homes is that can have a high cost. Ideally, these shipping container homes are meant to be an avenue to save money but the reality is that a lot of money goes into customizing them to one’s personal taste. The electrification and plumbing for instance will have to be done by artisans familiar with shipping container layouts and they will charge more than a plumber or electrician working on a traditional house would.
3. Stringent Building Codes
Being a relatively new field in construction, the rules guiding shipping container homes are understandably hazy or practically nonexistent. Where they are available, they might be very strict and in places where construction rules for shipping container homes are not to be found, one might still have the conventional building codes to combat with. This will result in more effort being expended towards jumping all the hoops put out by government officials.
4. Small Sizes
These containers are quite small so it will be tough to build a container house that effectively accommodates tall people.
5. Difficult Insulation
Insulation is a tasking problem with metal homes as they are affected by both hot and cold weather. These homes are also affected by condensation buildup causing them to literally “cry”. To solve this problem, some container homes have an inbuilt substructure to hold utilities but this costs more money and space.
6. Scarcity of Builders
Regular builders for traditional homes who are good at their job are difficult enough to come by and this is a very big cons of shipping container homes. A specialized piece of architecture like a container home will take even more time and be more difficult. One would need a builder who has experience building shipping container homes and can deliver within budget. So, even after getting a permit to starting building the shipping container home, you may find it difficult to get those that will do the work for you.
These are the pros and cons of shipping container homes. It’s left for you to make your choice. Utilize these cons to your advantage and go for shipping container homes if that’s what you truly want.
Are Shipping Container Homes Worth it?
A careful study of the entire concept of shipping container homes including their advantages and shortcomings will show that they are indeed worth all the hype accorded them.
Their durability, low cost, and flexibility in customization make them outshine traditional homes which are more expensive and require a lot of time, resources, labor, and effort to construct.
Shipping containers homes lend themselves to complete customization from the inside out. Unlike traditional homes, there is no limitation to the amount of customization that can be done in shipping container homes.
In those traditional homes, whatever renovation is carried out can only be done while leaving certain structures like pillars, load-bearing walls, and the foundation untouched otherwise the house will crumble down.
Shipping container homes can last very long as long as they are maintained, coupled with the fact that they are open to total and complete customization. These are proofs of their worth.
However, the question now is, do shipping containers have pros and cons? If they do, then, what are the pros and cons of shipping container homes?
Having learned the pros and cons of shipping container homes, it’s left for you to make your own choice, whether to go for a shipping container home or not. Building a home is a rewarding experience. However, building an unconventional home like a shipping container home adds an even bigger sense of uniqueness to the entire experience. While it might be fraught with disadvantages as well as numerous benefits, the unique nature of shipping container homes trumps whatever shortcomings may exist.