The popularity of shipping container homes has been on the rise, but with it comes a lot of questions. Are they cheaper than traditional homes? How long do they last? While shipping container homes may cost less than traditional homes, it’s important to consider customization and permit costs. With proper maintenance, they can last up to 25 years or more. The most common sizes for shipping container homes are 20 and 40 feet long, with a standard height of 8′ 6″. There are pros and cons to building a shipping container home, including eco-friendliness and limited space, but they have the potential to revolutionize the way we think about home design.
To showcase the creative possibilities of shipping container homes, we’ve compiled a list of 51 unique examples. From a three-piece container home in Manitoba, Canada, to a black metal barn in Kangaroo Valley, Australia, there’s no shortage of innovation. The Prince Road Container House, an Airbnb in Arizona, has even been featured in Apartment Therapy and news outlets around the world. Inside, you’ll find a Mondrian-inspired kitchen and wild mid-century modern style.
While metal shipping container homes can overheat, insulation and cooling systems can help regulate the temperature. Shipping container tiny homes have also grown in popularity, with options like a cheerful blue guest house with sliding windows that provide a wraparound, outdoor living experience. Large shipping container homes with high ceilings can be achieved by fusing containers together into one tall volume, like a modular 1800 sq ft, four-bedroom house in India. The contemporary villa in Satinwood Trees, Australia, was made from five repurposed shipping containers, with most of the sides replaced with glass to blend in with the surroundings.
Shipping container home prices can vary depending on customization and extra glazing and cantilevered reinforcements. Some containers also make for luxurious vacation rentals, like the one in Utah at the base of a sandstone mountain, which features two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a wide deck. Two-story shipping container homes like the C Home with its asymmetrically sliced window reveal, which falls away to a deck below, add an abstract twist. While in Oklahoma City, four 400 sq ft single-family homes were created using modified shipping containers with industrial exteriors encasing a conventional interior.
Some shipping container residences are also part of cultural districts, like the ones in downtown Phoenix, Arizona. The center support of an off-grid home in New Zealand is a tall wood-clad volume, with two shipping containers on either side as private sleeping and work quarters. No two shipping container homes are the same, with rustic options like a container cabin in Harz, Germany, featuring recycled driftwood, and a black shipping container ranch workspace that blends with the woodland shadows in Hiiu County, Estonia.
Some tiny container homes have been designed to have a small footprint on the planet, like the Tiny Bunker measuring 160 sq ft in nature-filled Oklahoma, with two decks and an outdoor dining nook, lounge area, fire table, and hot tub. A shipping container in Ohio hides three queen sleeping areas, kitchen, bathroom, comfortable living room, and rooftop deck. Even a private family residence in Wyoming uses eight 20′ and 40′ high cube shipping containers.
Shipping container homes not only offer eco-friendliness and unique designs, but also cost savings and the potential to transform the way we think about homebuilding. As seen through these 51 examples, shipping container homes have endless possibilities and bring new meaning to the phrase “home sweet home.”