Building A Shipping Container House | Top 10 Tips and Tricks

Building A Shipping Container House

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Building a shipping container house: shipping containers are a great way to build a home, but they need some special care and attention. Building a shipping container house is less about the container itself and more about maximizing its use. In this article I list out ten tips for building with containers.

One of the most energy-efficient ways to live is in a shipping container house. It’s the ultimate use of space, and it can dramatically reduce your housing costs.

The question is: how do you go about building one? That’s what this guide aims to answer. Shipping container houses are eco-conscious and aesthetically pleasing, and they save you hundreds of thousands, if not millions in some cases, on building costs.

Container houses go up faster than most traditional residential homes and have been used by everyone, including missionaries. In third-world countries to high-end real estate developers why is it then that so few people have heard of container houses?

Building a shipping container house

Once you have chosen a piece of land that is suitable for building a shipping container house, the next step is to select a design. The design will vary according to your budget, style, and personal preferences.

You can choose from dozens of designs available online, or you can also hire someone to create an original design for you.

Once you have picked out your design, the next step is to determine how many containers you will need for your house. This will vary depending on the size of your home and how much space it requires.

For example, if you want to build a small studio apartment that fits one person comfortably with room for storage, then one container will be enough.

However, if you want to build a larger family home where there are five bedrooms and two bathrooms along with an office space, then you will need at least two or three containers.

Depending on their dimensions and how much space each container takes up when stacked together horizontally or vertically, once you have decided on the number of containers needed for your new home and their dimensions, it’s time to start building!

If you are handy with tools or know someone who is, then this process won’t be too difficult, but if not, then it would be best to hire someone who has experience building homes out of shipping containers.

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Points to learn from

  • Plan ahead before you start building
  • Consider the window size and positions
  • Make sure your insulation plan is airtight
  • Have a backup for the flooring it’s necessary
  • Welding will help you a lot consider using it
  • Make sure your containers are watertight
  • Find an inexpensive way to take down the container walls
  • Consider getting used shipping containers
  • Know where you can build a shipping container house
  • If you’re not comfortable with some of these tasks, hire someone who is
  • Containers are a great and cost-effective way to build homes

1. Plan ahead before you start building

Planning ahead is one of the most important aspects of building a container house. It will help you save money, avoid mistakes, and avoid delays and stress. Container houses are different from traditional homes in that they’re built on site rather than transported to the build site.

Because of this, it’s important to get an accurate idea of how much time you have before construction needs to be completed.

This way, you can plan out a timeline for yourself that includes enough time for all phases of construction (including planning). As well as completion-related activities such as moving into your new home and furnishing it with all its appliances and decor items.

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2. Consider the window size and positions

After you’ve settled on the container design, it’s time to start thinking about the windows. Before you can place them, you’ll need to know what size and shape they’ll be.

As a general rule of thumb, windows should be as large as possible given your budget and space limitations—but don’t go too big!

If you’re building a minimalist container home, smaller windows will make it feel more spacious by giving off an airier vibe.

Larger windows can also help make the most of natural light, so consider placing them in areas where there’s lots of sunlight during certain times of the day (for example, morning sun for an office area).

Conversely, if privacy is important at certain times (such as at night), then using smaller sets or even frosted glass may be ideal for some rooms.

Be sure to consider other factors such as views (are there any scenic vistas worth showing off?) or airflow patterns when choosing where exactly each set should go within your layout plans.

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3. Make sure your insulation plan is airtight

There is a lot to think about when planning your container house, but one thing that should never be overlooked is insulation. In this section, we’ll look at the reasons why it’s so important and some tips for getting it right.

Insulation is an important part of any building project, including shipping container houses.

It’s not only good for keeping the heat in and the cold out; it can also help you save money on heating and cooling costs by improving energy efficiency.

It’s worth paying attention to what type of insulation material you choose because this will affect how airtight your home is as well as its thermal performance.

If you’re building a new house, then there are plenty of options available these days, such as sprayed foam insulation or mineral wool boards, which can both offer excellent thermal performance.

while still being cost-effective compared with other materials such as polystyrene (EPS). However, if your project involves converting an existing container,

Finding suitable forms of insulation may prove more difficult since many containers have been used for transporting refrigerated goods, so they don’t contain any formable forms of insulation at all!

Consider using multiple layers instead, perhaps starting with EPS before adding several sheets of a different type, such as recycled newspaper or straw bales, and so on. 

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4. Have a backup for the flooring it’s necessary

You will want to have a backup for the flooring. It’s not just about looking nice; it’s also imperative that it be level. If you have an uneven floor, then you might find yourself needing to cut corners when building other parts of your container home.

It can be difficult to get a level floor in a shipping container because they are not all built exactly the same and some aren’t as flat as others.

Many people choose to lay plywood down over top of their existing floors, but this leaves them with more work if they ever want to change things up later down the road.

The best way I found is by using cross-laminated timber (CLT). CLT has been used in construction since the 1970s and has proven itself as one of the most durable wood products on earth!

You can use CLT panels for both walls and floors, making it even easier because no additional framing is required beyond what comes with the boards themselves! 

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5. Welding will help you a lot consider using it

Welding is a great way to join two pieces of metal together. It’s also useful when you want to make your container watertight, as you can weld any holes or cracks in the walls.

Welding is an especially good choice if you plan on installing a door or window in your shipping container house because it allows you to create openings that are perfectly sized for the job at hand.

Welding is a great skill to have, but it can be intimidating. If you’re a beginner, you may feel like it’s something only professional welders can do.

Welding will help you a lot; consider using it while building your shipping container house. It can be used for both small and large jobs, and it can help make your shipping container stronger and more durable.

First off, let’s talk about the benefits of welding for your shipping container home:

It strengthens your home by joining new metal pieces or reinforcing existing ones. It increases the longevity of your house by repairing old parts that may have been damaged over time or during shipping.

It makes repairs easier by eliminating the need for drilling holes in walls or floors to fix things like leaks or broken windows.

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6. Make sure your containers are watertight

Waterproofing your containers is an important step in making sure that the house you build is safe and can withstand the elements. Water can damage containers and make them unsafe to live in, so it’s best to take precautions early on.

There are a few different ways you can waterproof your shipping container house, but one of the most effective ways is by using sealants or caulking materials.

If you’re using a shipping container to build a house, you need to make sure it’s watertight. Water will eventually find its way into the empty spaces between the walls and the roof, and it can cause damage if it’s not allowed to drain away.

The best way to ensure that your container house is waterproof is to leave no gaps between the walls and roof. If there is any gap, even if it’s just a small one, then you’ll need to install flashing, which will divert water away from your home.

If you don’t want to pay for flashing, then you can try using silicone sealant instead. This works well as long as there are no gaps larger than 1/8 inch (3 mm).

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7. Find an inexpensive way to take down the container walls

If you’re building a container home, your first step is to take down the walls. This can be done by cutting them with a cutting torch or hammer and chisel, but it’s more likely that you’ll use one of these tools:

  • Angle Grinder
  • Sawzall
  • Reciprocating Saw
  • Miter Saw
  • Circular Saw

When you are building your home, it is not uncommon for the shipping container walls to be removed for drywall installation. This can be inconvenient and expensive.

However, if you have some basic carpentry skills, you can build a simple frame that will allow you to take down the walls without having to hire professional help or spend a lot of money.

Step 1: Measure Your Shipping Containers

Measure the length and width of each container wall so that you know how much lumber you will need to purchase. You will also need nails or screws, as well as a hammer or pneumatic nail gun.

Step 2: Build Your Frame

Attach the 2x4s together using at least three screws per connection point (see photo). The length of the boards should be long enough so they reach from one end of the container to the other when placed vertically against it (see photo).

If possible, cut one board into two pieces so that you have an extra piece in case something happens (like breaking) during construction.

Step 3: Install your frame on-site.

Place your new frame around one side of each shipping container wall at about knee height (see photo). Make sure that there is enough room for drywall installation once the walls come down!

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8. Consider getting used shipping containers

If you’re looking to buy a shipping container, consider getting one that has been used previously. There are many benefits to buying used containers:

  • They tend to be less expensive than new ones because they have already been built and shipped.
  • They can be found in almost any condition, so you can choose the one that best fits your needs (and budget!).
  • You can inspect the container before buying it to ensure it is structurally sound and won’t need repairs.

Shipping containers have been used as an alternative building material for years now. The fact that they are made of steel makes them durable and weather-resistant.

This means that you don’t have to worry about your house being damaged by storms or other natural disasters. These homes can withstand extreme weather conditions such as tornadoes and earthquakes.

Another advantage of using shipping containers is that they are easy to assemble compared to traditional houses made from wood or concrete blocks.

Because of this, you can easily move them around if necessary without having to hire professional builders. This means that it’s easy for you to relocate your home whenever necessary without having to worry about damaging it during transportation.

Another benefit is that shipping containers are affordable compared to other building materials like wood or bricks because they’re already pre-made structures.

that don’t require any additional labor costs during the assembly or installation process, unlike other conventional building materials, which require additional labor costs.

9. Know where you can build a shipping container house

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important to understand the regulations surrounding your home building project. Wherever you choose to build your shipping container house,

Make sure that it’s in compliance with local building codes and zoning laws. You can find out more about building codes and other local rules by contacting your local planning office.

Is it legal to build a shipping container house?

In most cases, yes! Shipping containers are designed for transporting goods across oceans, so they’re built to withstand all kinds of abuse—including heavy winds and rainstorms.

Most countries allow homeowners who meet certain criteria to reuse them as homes instead of recycling them: they must be up-to-date on their taxes; they must have adequate heating and air conditioning systems (in warm climates); etcetera.

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10. If you’re not comfortable with some of these tasks, hire someone who is

If you’re not comfortable with some of these tasks, hire someone who is. It can be expensive to hire someone for a job that may not really require it. How much it costs to hire someone depends on the task and where you live.

It’s best to look for a professional who has experience with shipping container houses because they will know how to properly build them and make sure they are structurally sound.

Know how many containers you need. There are two standard sizes for shipping containers: 20 feet and 40 feet, with the latter being more common.

The dimensions of each are 6 feet wide, 8 feet tall, and 8 feet deep (6x8x8). This means that every 40-footer is capable of holding three standard 20-foot units stacked on top of each other.

Make sure all containers are seaworthy. If you want to use an old container that has been sitting around for years at a different location, make sure it has not been compromised or damaged during its journey (or while sitting around).

You can check this out by looking at the doors and hatches first; if they’re rusted out or missing entirely, then chances are good that the entire unit will be compromised beyond repair as well.

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Containers are a great and cost-effective way to build homes

Container homes are a great way to build affordable, sustainable, and energy-efficient homes. When it comes to building a home, the most important thing you can do is find ways to make your home as energy-efficient as possible.

Energy efficiency is key when it comes to cost savings and living sustainably.

While there are many different types of houses that can be built using shipping containers, here are some of the top reasons why shipping container houses are so great:

  • They’re incredibly cost-effective.
  • They’re easy to maintain.
  • They’re eco-friendly

Cost: Containers are very cheap to buy, and they can be used as houses without much modification. Since they’re already made out of metal, they’re also very durable and sturdy.

Size: Containers come in a variety of sizes, from small to large. This makes it easy to find one that is just right for your needs.

Durability: The walls of a container are built with thick metal that protects against weather damage or other elements that could cause damage to the structure.


1. Is it cheaper to build a shipping container home?

Yes it is cheaper when compare to a modern traditional homes.

2. How hard is it to build a shipping container home?

Yes is hard for someone without any experience, and for sure you will need a help of an architect.

3. How much does it cost to build a container?

At least you will spend $10,000 to $35,000.

4. How much does a 40ft shipping container cost?

This can cost you US $3,956 in the US and US $6,101 in China.

5. Are Shipping Container Homes Safe?

Yes, absolutely they are safe.

6. What Is The Standard Size of a Shipping Container Home?

The standard size is: 20 feet by 8 feet or 40 feet by 8 feet.


We hope you found this article helpful and that it gives you more confidence to build a shipping container house. If you want more information on how to do so, we recommend checking out our container guide by clicking here.

Shipping container homes (SCs) are quickly becoming the most affordable way to build a house. SCs have been commercially built since the late 1990s, and they were never cheap.

But as builders and consumers learn more about how to use shipping containers, it is getting easier and cheaper to build with them every year.

Shipping container architecture is unique and is a growing trend in the building industry, but it takes some serious planning to pull off.

Having an expert on hand to advise you can make all the difference, especially considering that these are not typical experiences you might be used to when building your own home.

Before you take the plunge into shipping container architecture, plan wisely and make sure all of your ducks are in a row.

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