Container Homes: Pros and Cons of Buying One

16/03/2020
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There is an abundance of used containers around the world, they are being used to build offices, cabins, studios, and homes. These giant blocks can produce appealing structures with the right materials and design.

 

Aside from being a rising trend, container houses are also chosen to save money through modular and prefabricated homes. They provide lower maintenance and construction costs. But the question is, are container homes good choices for you? Below are the pros and cons you need to consider.

Container Prefab Kits
Source: Pinterest

Contents

Pros of Container Houses

Cons of Container Houses

Pros of Container Houses

Let’s start with the good points. Here are some of the benefits of choosing container houses as your choice of home.

Speedy Construction

A lot of container houses are available as modular house kits which makes the construction time faster. Some builders claim that they can deliver your prefab housing kits in less than 10 weeks. Suppliers also perform building code inspections at their factories so the construction process becomes simpler.

 

If you are fond of designing and building your modular home yourself, the pre-built structure of shipping containers will make it easier for you. But, we still recommend that you consult professionals on your prefab house design.

Small modern prefab homes
Source: JJC

Cost-Effectiveness

Compared to traditionally-built houses, using shipping containers for your home can help you save a lot. You can even build an off-grid rustic cabin using two shipping containers for $35,000 only.

 

Aside from the affordability of shipping containers, the construction process is also economical because you can save up to 70% building a container house that is the same size as a concrete house. Moreover, you only need to do little structural work which reduces the expenses further.

Modular house kits
Source: JJC

Mobility

You can move a container home anywhere easily for as many times as you want. Unlike traditional houses, container homes cannot only be dismantled completely and moved, you can also opt for mobile container houses that come with wheels. This is a great option for people who are looking for something a bit more permanent and bigger than a trailer home but don’t want to commit to traditional concrete houses. 

 

While smaller container homes are more mobile, there are many ways to make shipping homes easy to move as well. One way to do this is to invest in modular structures that use a number of containers connected to each other but are still easily detachable.

Modular home kits
Source: JJC

Durability & Toughness

Because shipping containers are designed with their endurance in mind, they can survive various elements for many months. Their durability and toughness exceed the minimum specifications for new homes.

 

But, to keep the strength of shipping containers, you have to minimize the number of cuts you will be doing in the construction process. If you are planning to create significant cuts for room openings, windows, and doors, you have to install additional reinforcements such as steel beams.

Concrete house kit
Source: JJC

Versatility

You can use shipping containers to build easily-transported emergency shelters or for applications that lack local building expertise. In these settings, the container transport’s versatility is a big advantage. Moreover, you can connect multiple containers if you want a bigger house and create big windows and glass doors to bring in more natural light. 

 

If you want more freedom, you can use high-cube shipping containers for easier insulation and more vertical space. But if these are the least of your concerns, you can just use standard containers. With shipping containers, you can easily express your own style.

Portable Emergency Shelter
Source: JJC

Environmental Appeal

Since you are upcycling leftover products in the shipping industry, you are in fact helping the environment. Shipping containers are not being discarded or melted, instead you are using them to promote a greener construction alternative by repurposing them.

 

When you reuse a 40-feet container, you are upcycling around 3,500 kg of steel. You also prevent the use of cement and bricks. The bricks and cement industry are among the biggest carbon dioxide producers.

Small pre fab homes
Source: JJC

Cons of Container Houses

Just like any other housing option, container houses also have their set of drawbacks. Here are some of the cons of container homes.

Structural Issues

Though shipping containers are very strong, they have a weak roof which means that you will need to install a second layer of roof to protect your house especially from snow. The strength of your container house depends on the corrugated steel walls so you have to install new reinforcements when you cut out large windows or doors.

 

Moreover, combining multiple containers to create larger homes requires expensive welded reinforcements on spots that are not corners.

Small prefab house
Source: JJC

Insulation Issues

Shipping containers have narrow shapes so you need to use thin insulation layers such as spray foams. You can build outward to make your wall thicker so that you can insulate your container home well. It is also best to use a sustainable and eco-friendly insulation material. But what is the use of a steel exterior when you are going to bury it in insulation?

Prefab small houses
Source: JJC

Limitations in Shape and Size

Since the shape and size of shipping containers are limited, the space can easily be occupied by insulation, HVAC, plumbing and others. Containers are manufactured to fit inside a train. This means that they are narrow, making ordinary furniture too big to fit inside. Plus, standard containers only have 8’6” heights so you will not have much headroom once you are done installing wiring and insulation.

Cheap modular home kits
Source: JJC

Safety Issues in Used Containers

You will not be able to know what was once inside use shipping containers – from harmless goods to dangerous industrial materials. The finishes and paints used on shipping containers are also industrial and are only meant for shipping and not for residential houses.

Small prefab house plans
Source: Pinterest

Contractor Concerns

Container homes are still new in some regions so you will not be able to find experienced contractors easily. The majority of contractors are not familiar with cargotecture. This means that they might not know how to properly navigate the terrain during the building process. So, you have to ensure that you find a container home builder who is experienced in working with containers.

Prefab home plans
Source: Pinterest

Compliance to Permits & Building Codes

You need to check with your local building office first if you can legally build a container house because some municipalities do not have applicable permits and building codes for these types of housing. Make sure that your house complies with all the construction and zoning regulations.

Container Van House
Source: Pinterest

Conclusion

Building a house from shipping containers can be a rewarding experience but first, you need to know if they are really for you. But when it comes to durability, container homes are better than wooden houses. Hopefully, we were able to help you make a good decision on your housing construction.

Do you plan to have your own modular container home? JJC can provide you with affordable and weather-resistant container homes. Sourcing container house suppliers in India and the Philippines would also be a good start.

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Hello,
I have 500 sq meters in Green Valley,Bagiuo, Philippines. I was planning on building a house there but I happen to come across your website. I am familiar with container homes as it always interested me but was only recently aware that there companies here in the Pinas that specializes in them. I thought it was only available in the States and Europe. I want to put a two story container home wit the downstairs 3 containers and upstairs 2 containers with an outside balcony area. Please contact me via e-mail to discuss options and prices. Thank you
-Romeo Cabacungan
E-mail: romeylord@gmail.com

Hi, I am interested to purchase one for myself. I am from Laguna PH. can you also send me details.

Hello,
– Quotation re: 4 variants of container house;
– Delivery Time to Tanauan City, Batangas, Philippines (less than 1km. away from Star Tollway Exit in Tanauan.
Here is my email: richardc1978@yahoo.com
Highly appreciate your immediate response.
Thanks!

Richard

Hi I’m based in Bacolod. I’d like a quote please

Hi. We are a cooperative of pig growers and we are planning to quickly set up a meatshop at one of our locations. Can you quote me for a 20ft container van, with a large service/display window and standard door. The interior will be air-conditioned, equipped with a sink with water supply, wall outlets for freezer, and other equipment. Delivery location: Candelaria, Quezon Province.
Do you have a display showcase where we can view your available stocks or designs. Thank you very much and I look forward to your quick response.
Butch G. Parlade
General Manager

i just want a 3 200meters container, one floor house in a 100square meter lot that can be further expanded with time. I would like a quotations of prices and construction company we can work with. I would appreciate it if you can send me the details at the email I provided. Thank you.

Hi i am thinking to put a container vacation house on our plot in isabella province, as example i saw two 20feet container placed in L shape on top of each other such that i creates shade and patio area. Can your sales representative get in contact with me for budgetary quotes ?

Hi. Please quote for me 2-40 footer high cube container with 2 bedrooms, kitchen and living room. The bathrooms to be built in-situ so we can maximize the container living space. Would appreciate a quick response from your end.

Thank you.

Faye

im planning to but one for my self as well in order to put in my lot in zambales, can you sales rep contact me or provide catalog

dear sirs I am going to build in antequera Bohol are these container homes available there im Australian my lady is pinay I hope to move there next year what would I get for 500.000php budget

Send me a quotation. We are located batangas

I am interested in container house for my lot in Nueva Vizcaya. My order will depend on your prices, can you send me a quote for a 4o footer and a 20 footer?

Hi JJC, i am interested in container house living. Can I do my own design or do you have available designs where I can choose? I would like a quotation for 2 containers at ground level and container for the 2nd level.

Thank you.

can we visit the office? or do you have a model house container where we can visit?

Would you please send pictures of your model prefabricated container homes.

Hi Everyone at JJC. I am a senior citizen dreaming of moving back to bohol island where i was born. My husband and I can no longer afford the physical and financial rqts of putting up a traditionally-constructed home, even if it is just a small one. Our lot in Baclayon is located on the sloping hills, about 3 kms from the town center. Would you be able to help us realize our dream cottage or home with a roof garden and a roof deck to view the sea? We will be very grateful for your assistance. Maaming maraming salamat.

Hi, I’m planning to have a living area as retreat house for my family in Bicol (Camsur area). Around 400 sqM flat and square lot. May I please have a quote including shipment and options that can be cost-efficient? Bare but pre-cut panels would be considered as independent contractors for the interiors and utilities is preferred.

Thanks

I am exploring the possibility of building a vacation house using your container home concept in my 400sqm lot in Lucap, Pangasinan with a possibility of ordering more for possible transcient use. Can you email me a proposal which includes the following;
1. Pricing (supply, installation, permits)
2. Plans and elevations
3. Specs

Thank you.

Hi,

Glad i found your website. My family recently moved to Bulacan and I am joining them soon. We are finally settling there but we want to build a shipping container home. We are particular about space and design. I would like to know the cost estimate so we can plan towards it. In fact we already have a sample of the kind of house we want using shipping container.

Maybe that would help you to give a close cost estimate. We are eager to do this and with your expertise and professionalism, we will be able to achieve this huge milestone in our life.

How much the cost of 1 container unit house and its specs coz we are planning to get 9 unit for LGU

Do you guys sell shipping container to Province of Leyte. im interested. thank you

Hello. My name is Lyra and I am from Cebu. I was wondering if it is still possible to make a purchase amidst this pandemic.
My e-mail is lyralee.00300@gmail.com

I would like to get prices on container homes in the Philippines. My lady has purchased land in Davao and we would like to live there. I plan to be in Davao some time in the 60 to 90 day time frame. There would be 6 of us in the family. Budget will be 1M to 1.4 M.

Please send me the home designs for a 40 sqm container van and prices.

Please send me designs and cost estimates. Budget 500k and upwards. Lot area: 400 sq.m.

Interested here for prefab or customized shipping container shop. please contact me for more details.

Hi, please send me prices and designs intended for a snall pop-up store.

Thanks,

Hi good day. I am from Buevavista, Guimaras. Can u give me your quotations? My email adds are:
-koshi.tantan77@gmail.com
-koshi.tantan77@gmail.com
-shararuran77@gmail.com

Im very much interested about your container homes. Glad to have one too.

Thanks.

Maryle Tormis Lazan says:
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I want to make a container house of my place 36 square meters my house.. In the dapitan city Mindanao Zamboanga Del Norte I want simple house.. Thanks
Raymond Regala says:
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hi there. Quote for 2 container homes. 1 container with 2 beds and 1 container includes kitchen/laundry and living area. Toilet and bathroom can be included in the middle of 2 bedrooms. Reply to jakeregala29@gmail.com Planning to move by january 2021 or soonest

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