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The Rise of Shipping Container Homes

Discover the versatility and sustainability of shipping container homes. Learn about the building process, the acceptance of them by local jurisdictions, and the future of these unique homes.

Shipping container homes are a unique and innovative housing solution that has gained popularity in recent years.

These homes are made from repurposed shipping containers and can be designed and customized in a variety of ways.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the various designs possible for shipping container homes, the benefits of these homes, the building process, the acceptance of them by local jurisdictions, and the future of shipping container homes.

Designing a shipping container home

Shipping container homes can be designed and customized in a variety of ways, depending on the needs and preferences of the homeowner. Some shipping container homes are made from a single container, while others are constructed using multiple containers.

These homes can be designed as single-story or multi-story structures and can be configured in a variety of layouts, including open floor plans, traditional designs, and modern styles.

Benefits of shipping container homes


Shipping container homes are made from repurposed materials, which means they have a lower environmental impact than traditional homes. These homes are also energy-efficient, as they are designed to be well-insulated and to make the most of natural light.


Shipping container homes can be slightly more affordable than traditional homes, especially in areas where building codes are not so stringent and when done as a DIY project.

The main cost savings of these homes is that they are built quickly and efficiently, which can help to reduce costs.


Shipping containers are designed to withstand the rigors of transportation, so they are naturally sturdy and durable. This makes them well-suited for use as homes, as they can withstand extreme weather conditions and are resistant to pests and other types of damage.


Shipping container homes can be easily transported and relocated, which makes them a good option for homeowners who want the flexibility to move. This is mostly true for homes built from a single shipping container. 

Building process


The first step in building a shipping container home is to design the home to fit the needs and preferences of the homeowner. This may involve working with an architect or designer to create a custom plan or selecting a pre-designed plan. When choosing a professional, it is important to select one that has lots of experience in these types of builds as designing for shipping container is not the same process as designing for traditional building methods.


Once the design is complete, the homeowner or design professional will need to obtain the necessary permits and approvals from local authorities. This may involve submitting plans and meeting various requirements, such as zoning regulations and building codes. The permitting process can be done locally or through the individual state. It is important to work with a professional who can assist with both. 


Before construction can begin, the site must be prepared for the shipping container home. This may involve grading the site, installing utilities, and making any necessary repairs or improvements.


Once the site is prepared, the actual construction of the shipping container home can begin. This process can either be done in factory or on site. Building in factory is a much better and sustainable alternative when possible as it reduces waste and hastens the building process

The process involves modifying the containers onsite or having them delivered to the site already modified with framing, insulation, electrical, mechanical, plumbing, flooring, walls already done. The containers are then placed on a permanent foundation, welded or bolted together, connected to the utilities and final touches performed.

Acceptance of shipping container homes by  jurisdictions

In some areas, shipping container homes are seen as innovative and sustainable housing solutions that meet the needs of the community.

In these cases, local authorities may be supportive of shipping container homes and may have processes in place to make it easier to obtain the necessary permits and approvals.

However, in other areas, shipping container homes may be met with resistance from local authorities. This may be due to concerns about the durability and safety of these homes, as well as the potential impact on property values and neighborhood aesthetics.

In these cases, it may be more challenging to obtain the necessary permits and approvals, and the homeowner may need to work harder to persuade local authorities to support the project.

It’s important for homeowners considering a shipping container home to research the local regulations and requirements in their area before beginning the building process. This can help to ensure a smooth and successful project.

The future outlook of shipping container homes

Shipping container homes are a relatively new housing solution, and it’s difficult to predict exactly how they will be used in the future. However, it’s likely that these homes will continue to grow in popularity as more people discover their benefits and as the demand for sustainable and affordable housing increases.

It’s also possible that shipping container homes will become more accepted by local authorities as the technology and design of these homes improves. As more people build and live in shipping container homes, local authorities may become more familiar with these homes and more confident in their durability and safety.

Overall, the future of shipping container homes looks bright. These homes offer a unique and innovative solution to the housing crisis and are sure to continue to evolve and grow in popularity in the coming years.

Some companies in the shipping container home market place

MODS International: create and deliver shipping container structures worldwide. Specializing in temporary and permanent structures.

Falcon Structures: manufactures custom shipping containers for businesses and organizations seeking additional workspace, living space, storage, and more.

Sea Box Depot: specializes in the design, customization, and manufacturing of ISO containers and modular buildings for both commercial and residential uses.

Kubed Living: is a turnkey, full service provider specializing in design, permitting, and project coordination for commercial and residential structures. They work with fabricators all over the country.

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