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Guidelines to Remember When Building a Home from Shipping Containers

Guidelines to Remember When Building a Home from Shipping Containers


There is a gradually increasing population of homeowners who use shipping containers to build their homes. The benefits of shipping container homes have enticed new homeowners and those who want to downsize. But, each of us needs to take a look at some considerations in building a container home.

Container homes have a straightforward structure. Most are used shipping containers transformed into new and sustainable home designs. The upsurge of shipping container homes is caused by the convenience, simplicity, and durability they provide.

Are you planning to have a shipping container home of your own? Before you decide, let’s take a look at the guidelines first in building a shipping container home.

Research About Local Building Laws and Regulations

Home constructions, whether traditional or container homes, have rules and regulations to follow. Some places are against building shipping container homes, and others have requirements and restrictions that must be complied with. It is essential to know the building regulations in your area as every city or country has different rules and regulations.

Thus, seek plan approvals before building your home. Give yourself a smooth process in building your home.

Take a Look on the Shipping Container

You may use new shipping containers or used containers for your new home. But, there are chances that you can not inspect the containers. Some manufacturers are from abroad. However, you can ask their team to send pictures and descriptions of the shipping containers.

You may expect old shipping containers to be rusty and have several dents. Meanwhile, new shipping containers are expensive, but there would not be a problem with their structures. Some container home manufacturers in China offer a wholly built and customized container home.

The shipping container is the foundation of your home. Thus, it is best to pay attention to the structural condition before buying it.

Check the Size of the Container

You may think that shipping containers have equal sizes, but they come in multiple sizes. Home containers are usually the standard size, refrigerated, and high cubes. Most homeowners of shipping containers suggest high cube.

The high cube has almost the same width dimension of the standard container, but they have taller lengths. The additional foot is vital for installing insulation on the container floor.

Choose the Insulation Wisely

You need to invest in the insulation system in your container home. Steel shipping containers are extremely hot in summer seasons and extremely cold during the winter season. Most container homeowners use spray foam insulation. It is a vapor barrier and thinner than insulation panels.

However, spray foam insulation is expensive than the other options. If you are on a budget, you can have insulation panels. But, the disadvantage of having these panels is it occupies space.

Cannot decide on which insulation system?

Seek advice from your contractor about insulation ideas. A sustainable and eco-friendly alternative is green rooftops or sheep wool. Ensure that the insulation solution provides and maintains a comfortable temperature.

Protect Yourself from Harmful Chemicals

You have to be cautious with used shipping containers. Most containers are applied with heavy and harmful pesticides. These are usually used to the floor. But, there are some methods that you can do to save yourself from toxic chemicals.

Remove the infested floor and install new flooring, and apply a spray insulation foam in the interior to avoid harmful chemical emissions. Moreover, you can always opt to buy a new shipping container.

Maintain the Container Structure as Much as Possible

Most homeowners want shipping containers because of the cost and benefits. Contractors advise owners to maintain their structural integrity to save more. Removing the steels will cost time and money, and you need a steel beam for it. You will mostly observe on container homes that the only cut modifications they made are doors and windows.

Carefully Plan the Home Design

Out of all things, the floor plan makes the dream possible. Home designs do not only show the furniture placements and room dimensions. But, they also include the plumbing and electrical system. Home planning designs give the contractors and homeowners a goal, and they help in estimating the budget.

Moreover, do not change the design during construction. Finalize your plan before the construction begins. It is time-consuming and expensive to change designs during the process.

Look for a Reliable Contractor

Some homeowners have the time and skills to build their container homes. But, if you neither have the skills nor the time, you can hire a contractor. Contractors help the homeowners get everything they need for their home containers. It might give you an additional cost, but it improves the construction easier.


As the popularity of shipping home containers is rising, it’s essential to remember these guidelines. You may be attracted to the benefits and designs of the home containers, but make sure that you are all set and clear before building your home. If you are looking for shipping containers, there are manufacturers of container homes in China that offers various designs for container homes.

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Ruth Doyle