Home > Blog

Pros And Cons of Shipping Container Homes

Nov. 27, 2023

Container homes are residences crafted from steel shipping containers commonly spotted transporting goods via trains, trucks, and ships. These robust containers serve as the building blocks for homes of varying dimensions and configurations.


Typically offered in sizes of 10ft, 20ft, and 40ft, these shipping containers offer diverse options for home construction. Even the smallest container, with roughly 100 square feet of floor space, can form the foundation of a shipping container home. Larger structures can be fashioned by combining eight or more containers, resulting in two-story houses encompassing approximately 1400 square feet. On a larger scale, assembling numerous container units can create expansive apartment buildings, comprising numerous micro-apartments.


The utilization of shipping containers in constructing homes, studios, cabins, and offices stems from several reasons. Primarily, the abundance of approximately 14 million 'out-of-service' containers worldwide presents a surplus of available materials. Additionally, the appeal of working with large blocks contributes to their popularity.


Beyond their trendy allure, the interest in container homes aligns with a broader inclination toward cost-effective solutions via prefabricated and modular housing. Prospective homeowners seek reduced construction and maintenance expenses. Moreover, there's a perception that these container-based homes contribute to recycling efforts, adding an environmental facet to their appeal.


Could a container home be a good choice for you? Here are some pros and cons to consider.


Shipping Container Homes

Pros of Shipping Container Homes


1. Prefab Shipping Container Homes:

Numerous shipping container houses are available as prefabricated modular structures, reducing construction time significantly. Some companies promise delivery within just 10 weeks! The majority of building code inspections are conducted at the factory, streamlining and expediting the process. If designing a custom home or embarking on a DIY project, utilizing a container provides a prebuilt structure, adding an enjoyable element to the process.


2. Ease of Transport and Site Placement:

A global system facilitates the movement of containers worldwide. Upon arrival at the site, placing them onto a prepared foundation is relatively straightforward.


3. Predictable Costs of Shipping Container Homes:

Most work is completed within a fixed price framework on the factory floor. Costs mainly revolve around delivery, site preparation, foundation, assembly, and utility connections, making them fairly predictable. However, it's worth noting that while container homes might not always be cheaper, estimated savings can vary, typically ranging from 5-10%, depending on the comparison.


4. Recycled Shipping Container Homes:

The environmental allure of container homes lies in repurposing leftover shipping industry products to create residences. While this concept holds merit, it doesn't universally apply or signify the ideal choice in all cases.


Some advantages, such as reduced construction time and predictable pricing, are common among all prefabricated and modular homes, not solely limited to those using shipping containers. Nevertheless, container homes uniquely benefit from the global infrastructure designed for container transportation. Even skeptics acknowledge their usefulness in areas lacking local building expertise or for easily transportable emergency shelters. Here, the adaptability of container transport stands out as a significant advantage.


Cons of Shipping Container Homes


Container homes are often promoted as environmentally friendly due to their use of used containers, presenting an avenue for conserving metal resources. With numerous old shipping containers available, no longer in active circulation, repurposing them for homes holds significant appeal. However, is a container home truly the most sustainable use of these containers? Many argue otherwise.


1. Ineffective Recycling:

Most factory-built container homes are constructed from 'one-use' containers that have only been used for a single trip. These containers, typically in good condition without dents or rust, are favored for building purposes. Yet, taking containers with extensive shipping life out of service after just one use doesn't constitute effective recycling. Moreover, a single container holds more steel than required to construct a house. If recycled as steel, it could yield enough material to create steel studs for 14 similarly sized framed houses.


2. Potential Structural Issues:

While shipping containers boast strength at their corners, their roofs often lack comparable durability, necessitating additional roofing, particularly in snowy regions. The corrugated steel walls play a crucial role in structural integrity. Any sizable cutouts for windows or doors demand new reinforcement. When containers are stacked to create larger homes, welding (an expensive process) is necessary for reinforcement at junctions that aren't corners. Subsequent renovations often call for significant engineering and welding work.


Can You Add a Roof to a Shipping Container Home?


Is it possible to add a roof to a shipping container home? While these containers are structurally reinforced at their corners, the existing roof might lack the necessary strength to support weight, especially against weather conditions. Individuals seeking container homes capable of withstanding external elements should consider the viability of adding a roof. Apart from functionality, a roof can enhance the visual and architectural appeal commonly seen in North American homes. Various roof styles can be incorporated into a shipping container home, with flat roofs, pitched roofs, roof terraces, and living roofs being the most prevalent options.


  • Flat roofs, known for their simplicity and cost-effectiveness in construction, are relatively quick to build but may require higher maintenance costs. Ensuring proper drainage by incorporating a slight pitch is crucial to manage rainfall.

  • Living roofs, also referred to as green roofs, feature planted vegetation. These roofs offer both aesthetic charm and natural benefits like insulation and cooling.

  • Pitched roofs, characterized by a downward slope, are prevalent in areas with heavy rainfall or snow. Examples include gables, hip, mansard, gambrel, and skillion roofs.


  • Roof terraces, creative flat spaces constructed atop the roof, expand usable or occupiable space. They often serve as small outdoor gardens or areas for dining and relaxation.


Shipping Container Homes

Container house,Container Villa, Light Steel Villa Apartments|Hebei Weizhengheng Modular House Technology Co., Ltd.
Follow us

Copyright © Hebei Weizhengheng Modular House Technology Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved      

Contact us
  • Mob: +86 159 3018 3507
  • Tel: +86 159 3018 3507
  • E-mail: robin@wzhprefabhouse.com
  • Fax: +86 311 2586 3659
  • Wechat: icefoxluo
  • Skype: wzhhouse@gmail.com
  • whatsapp: 8615930183507
  • Add: Luancheng Dis, Yuxiang Street, Equipment Industry Park.
  • Australia office: 203/5 Australia Avenue Sydney Olympic Park NSW 2127

Online Service