How To Build A Shipping Container Home


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Are you planning to build or buy a shipping container home?

Are you ready to try this new style of living?

Looking for fun and interesting ideas to customize your container home?

If you’re thinking about decorating and doing up your container home, we have some inspiring and interesting ideas you should definitely check out.

Take a look at different ways in which you can get your container home customized, find out ideas that will help you plan the overall look better and check out fun trends and styles that you may not have seen in real yet.

Is it possible to make your own container home?

Yes, with the right plan in place, with the right tools and with a basic design and floor plan, you can definitely make your own shipping container home.

What level of construction and design skills would you need?

  • Building a shipping container home will definitely require some skills, planning and hard work that you must have in order to complete this project.
  • But if you are not a qualified builder, or if you have never really built anything else before, or designed a home yet, don’t worry.
  • With some floor plans in place, with an idea of the design you want to create, the basic tools that are required and some instructions that can help you with the building process, you can definitely build your own construction home.

Build a DIY Container Home (HOW TO TUTORIAL w/ VIDEOS)

Option #1

Complete list of materials and equipment needed

  • The shipping container
  • Crane
  • Bulldozer to flatten the ground
  • Lumber to define the perimeter of the slab for the foundation
  • You may want to choose wood stakes or steel stakes with holes (optional)
  • Rebar
  • Concrete
  • Wired
  • Doors
  • Windows
  • Insulation
  • Steel frames for windows and doors

Option #2

How many people do you need on your team for this build?

  • This will depend on what all work you can do on your own and where you need to hire someone to help out.
  • Unless you are doing it all entirely by yourself, you may need someone to help flatten the ground using a bulldozer.
  • You may need the services of an architect/designer to help with the floor plans and structural specifications and a few hired help to carry out the plan to fruition.

Option #3

Permits needed for building a container home

  • To make sure that you do not run into any permit issues, it is a good idea to visit your local building permit office or officer and ask them to take a survey.
  • You can also ask them for guidelines on building shipping container homes in the area, before you actually start building your own container home.
  • Some states are very specific about the type of shipping container that you are allowed to use. For instance, you may be allowed to use only a one-use container in some states. Make sure you are aware of these requirements and buy the container accordingly. Make sure you keep all the paperwork so that you can produce the same if required.

Option #4

Choosing the best container to use

  • Choose the shipping container that will be a good fit for the size of home that you want to build.
  • Some containers are a foot taller in height than the regular ones, and will be a better match if you are looking to build a home that has high ceilings.
  • A taller container will also make it easier for insulation, sprinklers for water and wiring space.
  • Make sure that it also adheres to all the building permits in your area, especially if there are any building rules and regulations that are specifically meant for shipping container homes.   
  • Buy a container that adheres to the rules in your particular area.

Option #5

How to put together building plans for your container home?

  • If you have never worked on a building project before, you may want to ask an architect or a designer to help you out with the basic plan.
  • You can work together with them so that they know the design you are looking for in the home and can incorporate the same accordingly.
  • If you have already made a design or have a floor plan and want to get some professional advice on the same, you can hire a structural engineer and take help of their expertise.
  • Some states have regulations that specify a minimum square foot area for homes, for instance, you have to build a home that will measure at least 700 square foot. Make sure you adhere to these specifications while creating the plan for the home.

Option #6

Choosing and laying the right foundation

  • It is important that you decide on the foundation of your shipping container home based on your overall budget, as well as the place where you are planning to set up the home.
  • Planning and laying the right foundation means that you can decide whether you want the home to sit flat on the ground, or you want it to be elevated, or want stairs to reach the home.
  • Remember that before you lay your foundation, you do have all the required permits for the same.

Option #7

Adding windows and doors

  • Keeping the glass to a minimum will help reduce cost as you will have to cut out less and waste less.
  • However, you can plan to have your doors and windows set up in such a way that it allows for maximum air circulation and also merges the outdoors and indoors nicely.

Option #8

How to insulate the container to make it suitable for living in

  • Make sure to choose an appropriate material that you can use for insulating the container.
  • This will prevent the container from getting too hot or too cold and make it habitable.
  • Some of the most popular and practical materials that you can use for insulation are glass wool insulation on the inside as well as fibro sheets.

Option #9

How to hook the container home up to power, water and gas

  • Check out this shipping container home that uses a grid tiered solar system to make use of the sun.
  • They also collect rainwater for use.

Option #10

Estimated budget needed for the project

  • It is possible to make a nice, comfortable and practical shipping container home between $10,000 and $20,000.
  • Here is a very practical, comfortable and stylish tiny home made out of a shipping container that is built under $15,000.
  • You can create a stylish luxurious home for as less as $50,000.

Making a Container Home VS Buying a Prefabricated One (ADVANTAGES)

There are many advantages of living in a container home, and there are many ways you can have one.

  • You can buy a prefabricated shipping container home, you can build yourself one, or you can hire a professional to build you a shipping container home.
  • But when you decide to build yourself a shipping container home, instead of buying a prefabricated one, there are a few advantages that you get.

3 More Pros To Consider

Here are some of the benefits of making a shipping container home yourself:

Option #1

Save big on the cost:

  • This is by far the biggest advantage of building a shipping container home on your own.
  • When you decide to build the home on your own, you can save a lot of money that you would have otherwise have spent on the labour cost.

Option #2

Absolutely sure it’s done the way you want:

  • When you build the shipping container home on your own, you will be absolutely sure that everything has been done the way you need it to be done.
  • You do not have to worry about any shortcuts that the builder may have taken, or any important construction work that you feel may not have been done the way you want it done.

Option #3

Design it the way you want:

  • The best and the most fun part about making your home on your own is that you will be able to design it just the way you want to.
  • Also, in case you want to make some changes to the design plan during the construction process, you can do it without making too many changes.

How long does it typically take to complete a DIY container home?

Typically, making a DIY container home can take anywhere between 4 and 10 weeks.

Should you take your time completing this project before you move in?

Don’t rush into completing the home, but give it your full time and dedication to make sure that the house is at 100% before you move in.

With all the information that we have shared here, we are sure you will be able to plan how you want to build your own container home.

We hope you will have a better and more informed idea about what all you need to have with you and how you need to prepare, so that the DIY steps go on without any hitch and you are able to build a container home that is as per your choice and requirements.

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