Are Shipping Container Homes the Trend of the Future?

With the US median home sale price at about $350,000, wouldn’t it be nice to find other, less expensive types of homes? Well there are options available.

Like for instance, a shipping container house or a tiny home. As the name implies, a shipping container house is usually a tiny home made from shipping containers.

So, are shipping container homes the wave of the future? Let’s take a look!

How Do You Build Shipping Container Houses?

Good question, since the shipping container is already pre-built. First you start with a bare shipping container and let your imagination go wild.

However, like any home, the more extravagant the upgrades, the more expensive the home. It’s possible, however, to build a shipping container home for a very affordable price.

Customize Your Shipping Container Home

Like any home, you can get shipping container house plans made and then customize them. The two most common sizes for shipping containers are 20 x 8 x 8 and 40 x 8 x 8. That’s 160 square feet and 320 square feet respectively.

You can get by with one 40-foot container if you’re looking for a tiny home. However, many people build shipping container homes with more than one container. Since, they can be easily stacked, put side-by-side, or both.

The containers are windproof, watertight, and resist corrosion. However, you will need insulation added to them for  livability. They also will need good ventilation because they’re so airtight.

Are you building the container home yourself? Do your research so you end up with the right type of insulation for the climate you are in. This is especially important if you’re in a cold climate where you could experience condensation with the wrong type of insulation.

When customizing your shipping container for a home, you’ll also want to add windows, shelving units, drywall, and other interior finishes for your custom design.

Eco-Friendly and Easy Maintenance

Shipping container houses are not only affordable but also sustainable and eco-friendly. Homes are made from used shipping containers that would otherwise go to a landfill or become part of the growing problem of marine debris.

Making homes from used shipping containers is a great way to recycle. Even if you opt for new shipping containers, your cotnainer house will last far longer than a traditional home.

Shipping container homes are easier to maintain than regular homes. Are you putting your shipping container home near the ocean? De-rust and paint the outside of the containers every couple of years. Ocean air is problematic for all types of homes but de-rusting and painting a container is much easier than re-painting a regular home.

Affordable and Customizable Shipping Container Houses

Shipping container houses are an affordable, customizable option to traditional wood-framed homes. They’re also eco-conscious and low-maintenance making them the way of the future.

Are you looking for a custom option that won’t break the bank? Are you ready for a home that stands out from the crowd in Houston or Dallas, Texas?

Equipment Management Services offers new and used shipping containers. They can also customize the shipping containers to your specifications. Contact them today for more information and help with your custom shipping container homes!

5 Ways Shipping Container Homes Help The Environment

Shipping container homes are all the rage right now across America, including Houston and Dallas. Many Millennials, and Gen Z in particular, are waving goodbye to the traditional real estate market and opting for the so-called tiny homes.

This is great news for the planet because shipping container homes are far more environmentally friendly than their brick-and-mortar counterparts. That’s why we’ll be looking at all the different ways shipping container homes help save the planet in this article.

1. Recycling Materials

It’s no secret that recycling is on everyone’s mind right now. We mentioned Gen Z and millennials as being the biggest drivers of the shipping container home trend, but it’s not a mystery why. They’re more worried about the environment and global warming than any other generation.

Shipping container homes are the ultimate in recycling unwanted materials. While the metal from the container could be recycled for other purposes, transforming them into homes reuses almost all of the container with minimal energy used for the changes.

These containers have often already been in use for many years before they’re renovated into a homes. This makes them one of the most sustainable home building materials around!

2. Fewer Materials

Building a home uses a lot of materials. Concrete, bricks, metal, wood, plastics, and more.

These materials all come with their cost to the environment. In particular, foam insulation is a leading contributor to chlorofluorocarbons. These are non-toxic chemicals to humans, but they’re responsible for breaking down the ozone layer.

Of course, you’ll need to ensure you use responsible materials for a truly sustainable shipping container home. But whatever material you use, you’ll be using far less of it, reducing your impact on the environment considerably.

3. Less Energy Used

It also takes a lot of energy to build a house.

For example, cement manufacture accounts for around 5% of our annual greenhouse gas emissions. This figure is just one aspect of the construction industry. Besides energy, there are also transportation emissions and other types of pollutions to consider.

There is also the long-term energy costs when comparing a shipping container home against a traditional house. It takes a lot of energy to heat a tradition home, leaving owners with a large CO2 footprint. Whereas, shipping container home’s come in more compact sizes, taking far less energy to heat or cool.

4. Less Space Needed

The small size of shipping container homes has other benefits for the environment too! There is an acute shortage of housing in America. There is plenty of space to build on, but building on it means eating into beautiful green spaces.

By opting for a small home, you’re choosing to leave more green space for everyone to enjoy.

5. Reduces Materialism

Anyone who’s moved around a few times can tell you, no matter the size of the home, you’ll always fill it up! We’re all guilty of this, hoarding things we don’t really need because we have space to. But living in a shipping container home means leading a minimalist lifestyle because you won’t have the room to collect things.

This is great news because all of this junk tends to be bad for the planet. Fast-fashion clothes items, plastic packed snacks, and other bits you never needed in the first place can all be recycled.

Looking for Shipping Container Homes in Texas?

Shipping container homes are great news for the planet. They use recycled materials, less energy, and less space. If you’d like to join the craze, get in touch for a quote.

How Long Do Container Homes Last?: A Complete Guide

In today’s world, we can’t imagine what it would be like to not have goods shipped worldwide, but this is a fairly new concept in the history of logistics. The modern sea shipping container celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2006.

Over the last sixty years, containers have gone from a novel concept to numbering in the millions. About 1.5 million containers make their way through Port Houston each year. This has led to an excess of inexpensive shipping containers building up in stock yards.

As a result, resourceful and creative people have found many alternative uses for them. Like building sea container homes, offices and shelters. This begs the important question, how long can dwellings made with shipping containers last?

This guide should help provide some answers.    

How Long Do Container Dwellings Last?

The short answer is that it depends. Shipping containers are built to withstand the rough environment of open air sea shipping. They face the sun’s harsh UV rays, bad weather, and salt. This is the prime environment for rust and corrosion. 

Shipping companies will tell you that they use a container for about ten to twelve years before they take them out of rotation. But this doesn’t mean the container is no longer useful, just that it won’t be used for shipping. 

A container that was used in a storage facility can last much longer. These containers aren’t subjected to the same level of abuse as ocean containers and so can easily last 25 to 30 years. 

The lifespan for shipping containers that are used to build houses are even longer because these containers are not only in a friendlier environment but have also been treated and clad as part of the building process. Container homes can easily last well over 50 years with no problem.  

If you plan to build a container home, the first thing you should do is buy your containers from a reputable source. They will be able to guide you through the process so that you buy the right container(s) for your needs. 

You should also work with a reputable container modification service. They will properly clean and treat any rust areas on your container before making the appropiate modifications. This will protect your container from further corrosion. They can also paint your container to protect it even more. 

Expert Modification 

How your containers get modified will affect their lifespan. While they’re overengineered and can withstand a large number of cutouts, there is a tipping point. It takes an expert modification team to know where that tipping point is, in-order to ensure your modified container retains its structural integrity after customization. 

Build a Texas Container Home That Lasts

Now that you understand the answer to how long container homes can last, you’re ready to start planning your container modifications in Houston. By working with an experienced container modification company, you can be confident that you’ll get the most out of project. 

Contact our team of container experts today, and let us help you create a container mod that lasts!  

Container Home Texas

7 Top Designs for Luxury Shipping Container Homes

More and more people are building homes out of shipping containers these days. This exciting new construction is creative, unique and affordable. Used shipping containers are easy to buy and there price ranges around $2,000 to $4,500 per container. Shipping container home design look sleek and modern. However, some people think they look utilitarian and too industrial. They can be very off-putting to some people, depending on their taste. Architects and design firms are doing amazing things with shipping container home design, though. There are many eye-catching and breath-taking homes out there created from these materials. When complete, some don’t even appear to be shipping container homes at all.

Read on to learn about a few luxury shipping container homes from around the world. You will be amazed. Anyone would love a chance to live in one of these unique homes, regardless of their architectural tastes.

Seven Luxury Shipping Container Homes

These seven homes are incredible. In the construction of some, it’s obvious and clear where and how the shipping containers have been used. In others, it is a bit more mysterious. 

Either way, these buildings are exciting, different and one-of-a-kind. They are unforgettable and are very special to the people who call each of them home.

PV14

This home is located in the Old Lake Highlands neighborhood of Dallas. The owners reached out to M Gooden Design to help them create their dream home. One of them is an architect so it is no surprise that they decided to go for this very different design. It was completed in 2014 and was M Gooden Design’s first shipping container project. This home is about 3,700 square feet of space broken into a number of rooms including three bedrooms, three and a half baths, a den, and an entertainment area.

The home also includes a two-car garage and storage area, and a large roof deck with a panoramic view. Designers tried to elevate the living areas as much as possible to improve the view and to shield the family from the street traffic below. This house is spacious and beautiful and really stands out in the neighborhood.

James Whitaker Studio Space

Although this building was designed to be a studio space for architect James Whitaker, however, it could easily be converted into a home. The use of shipping containers in this construction is bold and different.

Whitaker was inspired by the way that crystals grow when conceptualizing this structure, and that is visible in the finished design. Broad windows on the ends of each of the nine shipping containers are used inorder to invite lots of natural light and make the interior seem very open and airy. 

Papuashivili Home

Georgian architect Dachi Papuashvili designed this concept which uses only two perpendicular shipping containers to create a striking structure. The two containers cross each other to provide an elevated home that would fit right in with the surrounding forest. Although this design looks somewhat like a Christian cross, the designer says that was not intentional. Rather, he designed it this way for function rather than form. Four stories would include an entryway on the first floor, a bathroom on the second, and living and storage space above. Decks are present on both the first and fourth floors. The designer’s choice of wood siding and wood interior covers the harsh metal exterior usually visible in shipping container designs.

Manifesto House

This home in Chile takes luxury shipping container homes to a whole new level. It was designed by architects James & Mau and is made of just three used maritime shipping containers. It is two levels and is just 1700 square feet, but it seems much larger both inside and out. The architects chose to raise this design off the ground to allow for a broad open living area on the bottom level. It is covered with sustainable wood and recycled pallets that can open and close to help cool or protect the home depending on different weather conditions.

Perhaps most impressive, both the interior and the exterior use up to 85% recycled, reused and eco-friendly materials, making this a home built with sustainability in mind.

Casa Incubo

This Costa Rican home designed by architect Maria Jose Trejos is very large for a home made of shipping containers. Clocking in at 4,305 square feet, this design uses shipping containers for exterior walls that are arranged around a central open area. The open area allows for excellent airflow and the entrance of lots of natural light. The shipping containers contain the bedrooms and other interior rooms.

Because shipping container designed homes can get quite warm in the tropical heat, bamboo screens and overhangs help to keep the space cool.

Flying Box Villa

This home was built to make the best use of space in a very small lot, and the architects surely succeeded. It was designed and created in France and looks quite different from the other homes in the neighborhood. it was built rapidly and was completed in only three months. There are three floors. The first floor includes a covered area for parking as well as a sewing studio and a laundry room.

The second and third floors include the main living spaces including bedrooms, a large open living room, and a kitchen. Most impressive is the open, landscaped terrace that runs the length of the building on the third floor. There is only 1300 square feet of indoor living space, but it is placed so perfectly that the residents have plenty of room.

WFH House

The WFH home is located in China but it is quite similar to the Flying Box Villa above. Although it is not elevated, it has the same sloping roof that creates wide-open spaces for living even where shipping containers are not being used in the design. 

This home is slightly larger though and is almost 2,000 square feet inside. The designers incorporated Nordic design principles in the creation of this one by using sustainable materials, open, flexible spaces, and lots of light. It is clean, sleek and geometrically inspired and is a wonderful four-bedroom home for the family that lives in it.

Happy Building

These luxury shipping container homes are amazing and inspiring. Hopefully, they have given you a lot to think about. In this realm, the possibilities are truly endless! 

If you are seeking shipping containers for your new home in Texas, please contact us today. We have the right shipping containers and services for you. 

9 Things to Consider Before Building Shipping Container Homes

Building shipping container homes look simple, but any homeowner will tell you that there’s more to it than meets the eye.

Your preparation – from research to budgeting to design – will make the most significant difference in your ability to build the home of your dreams on time and “on budget.

What do shipping container enthusiasts wish they knew before they built their first home? We share things you need to know before you build – so read on.

1. Always Check out the Shipping Container Before Buying

Try before you buy” is a pretty common piece of consumer advice. It is particularly important when you buy shipping containers.

One of the most common regrets mentioned by shipping container homeowners is their failure to look at the containers before buying them.

When you buy shipping containers, you choose between three types: brand new containers, one-trip containers, and used containers.

New containers have never seen an ocean liner. But they are popular because you can build them according to your specs. For example, you can ask for a container that hasn’t been chemically treated.

One-trip containers are almost like-new but come with a slightly higher price tag.

At the same time, containers used and abused on boats are likely to come beaten and battered. You can’t plan for dents you don’t see, so it’s essential to at least see pictures of the containers before purchasing them.

Standard vs. High Cube Containers

Height is another common mistake made by customers who try to source containers on their own.

The standard shipping container is 8 feet, 6-inches tall. High cube containers are 9 feet, 6-inches tall. You typically want the high cube containers, which give you a much needed extra head-space. The high cube containers leave you with an eight-foot ceiling even after installation, which adds comfort and space to your home.

2. Ask About Houston Building Regulations

As with any building project, you will most likely need a permit before you get to break ground on a shipping container house in Houston. Shipping container building codes differ by city and even within zones of each city. Talk to your local planning permission office to learn about what kind of permits you need. Remember, it’s better to ask than pay unnecessary fines. 

3. Learn About Structural Integrity

Shipping containers are a robust base building material. After all, their design allows them to be filled, stacked, and shipped endlessly. However, shipping containers still deal with structural integrity issues and understanding how they work is critical for planning your home.

Consider how much steel you need to cut from your shipping container. As you remove material, you remove strength. You inevitably make the structure less sound. In which case you will need to reinforce it with extra steal beams, to make it habitable. How much is too much? Windows and doors won’t dramatically impact the steel’s performance, but removing an entire wall requires extensive consideration.

4. Minimize Welding When Possible

Working with steel containers involves some amount of welding, but if you can, try to minimize the amount of welding you need during the design phase. Welding is going to ratchet up the cost of your home and tack on more time to your building phase. Skip welding except in the necessary places, to ensure you stick to your budget and timelines. 

5. Think About Insulation

As with any home, your insulation should reflect the climate that you live in. An excellent local contractor can make the right recommendations.

The primary challenge you face in insulating your shipping container is the depth of the walls. The steel provides the durability shipping containers need, but there’s not much in the way of thickness. That means you’ll need to build the walls out to install insulation.

The process is similar to installing insulation in a basement. You have two options: build the walls in and remove square footage or build out and alter the aesthetics of your exterior. The decision is yours to make, but you’ll need to make it early as it will impact your design.

6. Plan for Wind

Shipping containers can withstand harsh conditions thanks to the strength they have in numbers. At the same time, even an unsecured, standalone shipping container can withstand winds of 100 mph. However, their ability to withstand those winds doesn’t mean that you’re not going to hear them.

Planning for wind is particularly crucial for Texas shipping container homes. Thanks to the state’s mostly flat geography.

In addition to planning for your container home’s wind rating, you also need to think about ways to block the wind (and the noise). Including these in your initial design plans will help save you time and headache later.

7. Plan for Rain

The State of Texas is famous for its thunderstorms and hurricanes – which can bring incredible amounts of rain in an instance, followed by flooding. 

When you plan your exterior, prepare for rain, particularly with your paint choices. Houston Shipping Containers would need a robust type of paint to withstand heavy rainfall. Ideally, you should choose a marine-grade direct-to-metal paint (DTM) for the job. Both Valspar and Sherwin Williams offer suitable products.

8. Understand That Aggravation Is Part of the Process

Many like the idea of building shipping container homes because it looks and sounds more relaxed than traditional construction.

However, the aggravation you’ll experience with a traditional home build can follow you into your shipping container building plans as well. So be aware of this before you start building. It’s important to recognize this early on, so, you are emotionally prepared to overcome the challenges which will come later. 

9. Choose Experts When Possible

Get in touch with expert designers, structural engineers, and professional drawing services from the beginning, particularly if you want a custom container home.

As strange as it sounds, choosing experienced contractors will save you money in the long run, even if their services cost more up front.

Building Shipping Container Homes Starts With the Container

Building shipping container homes is an exciting challenge for contractors and homeowners alike. As with traditional construction, getting prepared before you break ground will save you time and money throughout your build.

Everything you do, starts with selecting the right shipping container(s) first. To learn more about finding the perfect container blocks for your home, contact our container professionals.

7 Key Factors in the Cost of Shipping Container Homes

Shipping container homes are growing in popularity, enough so that by 2025, Allied Market Research estimates that the global market for shipping container homes will reach $73.07 billion.

Using these containers for your home can be a great choice. They’re very durable, and they can be less expensive than a traditional home.

Even so, before deciding on this option, it’s important to understand the cost of shipping container home building. Here are 7 factors that impact the price. 

  1. Condition of Container

The first consideration in the shipping container home builders’ cost is the condition of the container.

For a home, a new shipping container is the safest option. With a new container, you won’t have to worry about structural integrity or damages. These will also be weatherproof and free from contamination.

As with most things, buying a new container will cost more, around $3,000-$5,000. Getting one can also take longer, since you may need to wait for it to be built and shipped to you.

Depending on your comfort level, you could also choose a high-quality used shipping container. A used container might be half the price of a new one.

If you opt for a used container, find out as much as you can about it. Some things to consider are:

  • How it’s been used
  • What’s been kept in it
  • What climates has it been exposed to
  • If it has any damages or rust

If possible, inspect a used container before purchasing it to make sure you know what you’re getting.

  1. Size of Container

Size is another key factor in the cost breakdown of shipping container home building.

Shipping containers have three standard lengths, but the most popular for homes are 20 feet and 40 feet. Most are 8.5 feet tall, although you can also go for a high cube, which is 9.5 feet tall. As you would expect, the larger containers cost more. For the standard height, you could get a new 20-foot container for about $3,000, while a 40-foot container would cost around $5,600 more.

Also remember that for a home, you might want multiple containers. You could choose a larger option for the main living space, and smaller containers for an office or bedroom.

  1. Prefabricated Homes

The next question is whether you want to get a pre-fabricated, or prefab, home, or if you want to modify one yourself.

The cost of prefab shipping container homes varies widely. You can get fairly basic ones from Amazon for around $40,000 and up. On the other hand, you can get much more elaborate prefab homes for $150,000 or up. It depends on how much space you need, and how many amenities you’re looking for.

  1. Modifications

If you’re not getting a prefab home, you need to consider the cost to convert a shipping container into a home.

Some of the things you’ll need to consider are:

  • How many entrances you want
  • Number and location of windows
  • Plumbing
  • Electricity
  • Heating and cooling

All of these modifications add up, so you’ll want to compare the costs against getting a prefabricated home to see which is the most cost-effective.

  1. Insulation

Insulation is another important part of your shipping container home. Without this, you won’t have any protection from heat or cold.

You have three main choices for insulation: spray foam, blanket, or panel.

Spray foam insulation costs the most, from around $2-$3 per square foot. This is still worth considering because it provides a vapor barrier, something the other options don’t have. Spray foam is also very thin, at just 2 inches thick, and it’s easy to install. For either of the other options, you’ll first need to attach a wooden frame to the inside of the container. That takes up additional space.

Panel insulation is the easiest to install, and it’s less expensive, at around $0.75 and $1.45 per square foot. It’s also 3 inches thick, which is a bit thicker than the spray foam.

Blanket insulation is the most budget-friendly choice, about $0.30 per square foot. It’s not difficult to install, but if you choose fiberglass insulation, you’ll need to wear gloves when installing it.

  1. Foundation

As with any home, having the proper foundation is important. Even if you get a prefabricated home, you might need to think about a foundation, unless the prefab comes with a foundation.

As with insulation, you have three foundation options to consider: pier, strip (or trench), and slab.

The least expensive choice is a pier foundation, which is around $550 for a single 40-foot container. It’s also the quickest option, and a great choice if you’re working on the home yourself since it doesn’t require special equipment. For a pier foundation, you need a cement block under each corner of the container and potentially blocks to support the middle for larger containers.

A strip foundation, also called a trench, is useful if the ground is too soft to support a pier foundation. With this approach, you put a strip of concrete around the container’s perimeter. This requires excavation, since the trench is typically four feet deep, although it might be more depending on your freeze depth.

The additional effort of a strip foundation drives up the cost. For a 40-foot container, the cost estimate is around $5,400.

The most expensive option is a slab foundation, which involves putting a slab of concrete under the whole container. This requires excavating the ground under the entire container, which means this could cost around $6,000 or more for a 40-foot container. You would typically choose this option if the ground won’t support pier or strip foundations.

  1. Location and Shipping Fees

The final factor in the estimated cost of a shipping container home, is how far the container is from your building site.

You might think you need to order a container from a far off location, but it’s worth looking for local dealers in the Texas region first. If you buy from someone nearby, you’ll avoid the extravagant shipping costs, and you can inspect the unit before you buy it.

If you don’t have a local dealer, shop around to see if you can find the closest one, or one that offers any price breaks for shipping the container to the building site. Otherwise, transportation costs can add significantly to the price of your home. 

Decide the Cost of Shipping Container Home Building

The cost of shipping container home building is partly in your control once you understand all your choices. Make sure to evaluate all your options and then find the best fit for your new house.

Are you ready to bring your shipping container home dream to life? Contact us today, and our container professionals will help you get started.

Container Home Texas

What Are Some Exciting Trends in Shipping Container Homes?

Traditional ideas of living situations are quickly changing in a world full of customizable options. One such option is the shipping container home, which is quickly becoming an option for those who are looking for an affordable, personalized place to live. 

We’re going to cover some of the interesting trends happening in the world of shipping container homes and how you could use them to create your own pad. Keep an open mind and start considering the possibility of implementing some of these trends into your container home design. 

Trends in Shipping Container Homes

Because these homes are so customizable, there’s a lot of variation in what you can do. The trends below will vary in cost and style, but it’s likely that at least one will strike your fancy. 

1. High-End Homes

The first thought that comes to mind when you think of container homes is that they are small and made for those who are on a tight budget. This isn’t always the case, though, and there are a lot of homes being built that are actually quite lavish. 

A huge piece of this equation is the land that you could potentially use to build your container home. Transporting a container to a remote area to serve as a cabin or remote home is far easier than setting up a traditional home.

2. Add-ons and Multiple Containers

A huge trend is using one container as your center point and building from there. The options are really endless, as you can cut out pieces of the steel to make hallways, extensions, and different points of entry. 

Additionally, you can continuously add to your design if you leave room for it while planning. If you were to start a design with the idea that you were going to add sequential containers later, you could easily expand your home. 

In the same vein, multiple containers that are set up next to each other are frequently being used to create multi-family housing. Even if you wanted to do something similar on a smaller scale, containers are excellent options for uniting a community of friends or family in a comfortable environment. 

3. Container Businesses

A shipping container is a perfect size for a business that’s just starting up. Especially since startups need to free up all off the money they can to cover expenses.

Often times, the building that a company is located in can suck up a large part of that company’s budget. So, testing out a new business in the space that a shipping container provides can spare some of the risks of buying or renting out a building to do the same thing. 

While you may be imagining a large and modern environment for your business, try to brainstorm ways in which you could turn a container into a viable space for your business instead. You might be surprised at the level of comfort and space that’s available in shipping containers. 

4. Patio, Decks, Roof Lounges, and More.

If you lay a little foundation and plan the landscaping of your container home, you can get away with some really comfortable and convenient add-ons. 

For example, turning the roof of your container into a deck is a swanky option. Laying some wood over the roof and installing a railing around the edges makes for a perfect place to put some chairs down, lean back, and watch the stars. 

You can even add staircases to and from the roof that can serve as access points for upstairs bedrooms and separate living spaces. A container is a large, comfortable area, and you can situate a few of them together to provide excellent living spaces for different members of your family. Just like the creative loft space, you see in the picture above. 

5. Container Rentals

Another thing that might be preventing you from buying a container home is the fact that you don’t want to live there year-round. It’s understandable that you may not want to jump into such a big commitment.

However, there’s a way that you can actually profit from the investment of a container home. You can set up the home to be used as a rental property. Air B&B is an excellent option for those with a container home that they don’t use year-round. 

Depending on the average rental rates in your area, you could be looking at a decent profit from simply renting out the container home. People are always interested in having a unique living experience for a night or two, and container homes can certainly be that experience. 

6. Intimate Connection to Nature

Another huge benefit of container homes is that they can be located in close connection with nature. Depending on the arrangement of containers that you choose, you could actually have a home that interacts with nature. 

For example, there are container houses that have large windows on either end and sit in the center of a heavily wooded forest. In this way, a guest would wake up and feel as though they were sitting right there on the forest bed and communing with nature. 

The possibility of using large windows to break down the barrier between your home and nature is a very valuable one. If you’re looking to rent out your container space, we definitely recommend investing in some large windows with a great view. 

Interested in Shipping Containers?

Whether you’re looking to ship something, buy a container for personal reasons, or even turn a few shipping containers into a home, we have got the right information for you.

So, contact us today! We do offer a wide range of container modification options and can provide you with a detailed price quote when you are ready.  

What Not to Do When Considering Shipping Containers for Sale as Homes

How Cargo Container Homes Are Reshaping Low Income Housing

Estimates suggest there are between 12 and 15 homeless per 10,000 individuals in Texas. In Houston alone, that number equates to approximately 6,300 homeless individuals. 

Living paycheck to paycheck is also a national reality affecting 78% of the American workforce. These low-income families spent a whopping 1/3 to 1/2 of their income on housing needs.  Cargo container homes provide a unique solution to this housing crisis. 

The Cargo Container Home Solution

Many are looking at a cost-efficient solution to homelessness and increasing housing costs in larger cities like Houston and Dallas. Welcome to the dawn of the Tiny House Movement, where cargo container homes use new or used shipping containers to address today’s current housing issues. 

Whether you are choosing to downsize out of financial necessity, looking for more freedom, or a home with a smaller impact on the environment, cargo containers are a creative solution.  For the homeless, even a small home is superior to life in the elements.

Cargo containers homes also called shipping container homes or tiny houses are not just boxes. They can be beautiful, self-sustaining homes that people are proud to own. 

Curious to learn more? Keep reading to learn about shipping containers and how they can help both low income and homeless families.

What is a Shipping Container Home or Tiny Home?

Tiny houses, by most definitions, are typically between 100 and 400 square feet and provide the same things other dwellings provide. They have beds, showers, kitchens, and eating areas.  There is no rule on what defines a tiny house.  Some homes are as small as 26 square feet and a 1000 square foot house is also considered tiny because it measures less than half the size of the typical American home.

Tiny houses and shipping container homes are unique in their use of space. A bed may pull out from a raised area or drop down from a wall for use.  Many spaces in tiny homes serve dual purposes. A kitchen table, for example, serves as both an eating space and an office or homework space, a common experience in most homes, regardless of size.

Because of size and materials, Tiny Houses are less expensive to build and maintain, making them very affordable housing solutions.

What is the Size of a Shipping Container House?

Cargo container homes typically range from 56 square feet to 320 square feet. Specialty cargo containers also exist, with extra high ceilings. Most new shipping containers come with one main door opening (typically a double door) and a wood panel.

The smaller size allows for less energy and water demands making them easy to convert to off the grid or semi off the grid systems. Lower energy demands also equate to a lower overall cost to maintain.

Why Use a Shipping Crate Home as Opposed to Another Tiny Home Solution?

1.  Used shipping containers are plentiful. Most goods shipped both nationally and internationally are shipped in shipping containers. Shipping containers are moved by railway cars, river barges, and ocean liners.

2.  Used containers are also environmentally friendly.  Converting a shipping container into a dwelling allows you to Reduce, Recycle, and Reuse all in one.

3.  Shipping containers are already built and therefore prefabricated.  Prefabricated homes allow for quicker build times and can also significantly reduce costs.  

4.  Shipping containers are designed to be stacked for transport in harsh environments, so they are sturdy and durable. Depending on your location, additional attachments can make them very wind, storm, and hurricane proof.

5.  Multi-level home or even an apartment building can be made by stacking containers.    

Already many cities like Houston, Orlando, Los Angeles, and San Diego are using shipping container homes and apartments to address the needs of their homeless and low-income residents.

I Don’t Want to Live in a Box

You may be convinced by the price and utility of a cargo container home, but what about the aesthetics? Ultimately, you are only limited by your creativity.  Modifying a storage container is not difficult and you can check out our photo gallery for some inspiration.  

Need more inspiration? Imagine this, a porch can be added off the existing door structure, to allow for you to open up your entire house in temperate climates.  Installing a similar door on the other side allows for cross ventilation if you follow the prevailing wind pattern for the area.  This design allows you to be closer to nature which reduces stress but also decreases cooling costs. Because of shipping container stability, rooftop gardens and seating areas are very easy to create. 

Haven’t you always wanted a home with a view?    Stacking two containers parallel to each other, with a third crossing them, perpendicularly. Now you have created an instant breezeway. This design may be the ideal way to keep the in-laws living space separate from yours.  

Things to Be Aware of Before You Buy a Shipping Container

Cargo containers can be bought new or used. Used shipping containers must be completed cleaned and prepared before use as a new home. The cleaning should be done by a professional to prevent contamination from the previous shipments.

Local laws may dictate where container homes may be placed, so be sure to check all local permitting prior to purchase.

Other Uses for Shipping Containers

Because of their cost, size, and shortened build time, cargo container homes can also serve many other purposes. Looking for the perfect mother-in-law suite to drop into an existing backyard.

Need a private home office away from the traffic of the family? Shipping containers can even be an easy to build a second home on a piece of land you own. Shipping containers can also be rented as a temporary storage unit.

Regardless of your needs shipping containers can be an affordable solution to space, housing, and storage needs.

Time to Purchase?

We are here to help you choose the right cargo container home for your dwelling or storage needs.  We can also assist you with modifications and arrange services to install it on your property. Contact us for all your cargo container home needs.

Freight Shipping Container Modifications in Houston: Container Homes and More!

The port of Houston hit a new record for processed container volume last year. The port handled 2.7 million 20-foot equivalent units. That’s up 10% from the previous year. 

With this much volume, there are plenty of containers in the area that are available for purchase. Their affordability and durability make them an attractive option for multiple construction projects. 

If you are considering using freight shipping containers for a home building project on your property, you need to read this guide first. It may save you countless hours of frustration, time and money. 

Let’s get started talking about some local regulations affecting your container use. 

Where to Build Your Shipping Container Home 

Texas is known for being one of the friendliest states when it comes to building with shipping containers. They tend to have more relaxed regulations when it comes to construction and zoning in general. 

For even greater building freedom, stick to the suburban and rural areas. The closer you get to larger cities like Houston the more regulations will be in place. 

Keep in mind it isn’t just the city and state government regulations you have to contend with. Many neighborhoods have an HOA agreement that regulates what can and cannot be built in a particular neighborhood or community. 

Using Your Container for Storage 

Don’t assume that you can use a shipping container for storage or as a shed on your property. Just outside of Houston the DeerPark City Council members decided they didn’t want shipping containers used for permanent storage within city limits. 

If a business wants to use a container, they must obtain a Special Use Permit. Even after approval, there are many other rules you need to follow. For instance, you cannot stack one container on top of another. 

You must also build an 8-foot opaque privacy fence to block the public view. 

Hotel Made of Containers 

Shipping containers aren’t just for storage, homes, and mobile offices in the Houston area. About an hour and a half outside of Houston in Round Top they are welcoming in a shipping container hotel. This shouldn’t be a surprise since the city is known as a mecca for antique and green living enthusiasts. They approved a six container hotel located just minutes from downtown. There are even plans to expand the hotel with more containers in the future. If you are looking to build, this would be an attractive area with container friendly zoning and codes. 

Can You Build a Container Home in Houston?

The short answer is yes, you can. There is no law prohibiting you from using shipping containers to build your home. However, there are some restrictions that we will get into in the next section. There is also the opposition you may face from those who do not want a container home in their neighborhood. 

Container homes are being successfully built in and around Houston. For example, this colorful home located in one of the many transition neighborhoods uses 4 containers

Your Container Home Can’t Be Too Tiny

We’ve all seen the tiny home trend where people live in a microscopic floor plan. One shipping container is perfect for this sort of living. However, you won’t be doing it in Houston. 

There are minimum dwelling regulations that your home must comply with. For instance, you must have at least one habitable room that is 120 square feet. Then the other habitable rooms must have no less than 70 square feet. 

No habitable room in your home can be less than 7 feet wide in any horizontal direction. The exception here is the kitchen. There is also a minimum ceiling height. You need to keep this in mind as it may make the difference between you buying a standard height container or a high cube. 

The minimum ceiling height in Houston is 7 feet. A standard cube is 8’6″, and a high cube is 9’6″. Now, this may seem like a lot of room, but you need to factor in your HVAC system, electrical wiring, and insulation. By the time you are done the finished ceiling on the inside of your container could be a foot lower than the height of the container. Then you still need to think about if you plan to install a ceiling fan. So, as you can see, there is a lot to think about when designing a tiny home out of a shipping container. 

Not to worry, we have ton’s of experience modifying shipping containers to your exact specifications. So contact us today for an insightful discussion on how to proceed. 

Use a Certified Fabricator 

Make sure you work with a certified fabricator for the other prefabricated building components you will need. If you plan to cut away a large portion of the container, you will need to construct alternative load bearing structures from steel. 

If you buy your trusses and beams from a certified fabricator, then individual inspections are not required. A city inspector will check for certification numbers on the structural components during your construction. However, if you have these numbers already, you can make the whole build out go a lot smoother. 

Start Using Freight Shipping Containers

Whether you plan to use freight shipping containers for storage, an office, or your home, you need to check with the local and state regulations to ensure that your new structure is legal. You don’t want to invest time and money only to find out that your new building needs to be taken down. 

Start by deciding how you want to use your container. Then check to see if that use is allowed. If you plan to build a container home, make sure you follow all of the codes because inspectors will be checking that you are throughout your building process. 

Contact us today and let us help you design a modified shipping container that is perfect for your needs. 

Environmentally Conscious Homeowners Choose Used Shipping Containers

5 Ways Shipping Container Homes Are Changing Our World (for the better!)

Way back in 1937, Malcolm McLean finally lost it with the slow pace of loading cargo onto ships and began experimenting with ways to streamline this task.

After 20 years of trial and error, he patented the first shipping container in 1956. In the same year, the first 60 containers left Newark, N.J. bound for Houston.

Today, almost every country in the world has a container shipping port. Read about how these not-so-little boxes continue to shape the world in the form of shipping container homes.

1. Shipping Container Homes are Green

While you can buy new shipping containers to build storage container homes, used containers are a good option for this kind of dwelling.  This ticks several boxes for eco-conscious homeowners who like the idea of re-using something that may have ended up in a landfill. Building these houses also uses fewer resources in the form of bricks and mortar than traditional methods do. Many homes made from containers have off-grid capabilities, such as solar power. This means they use less of the Earth’s resources too.

2. Less Cost Involved

The older the container you choose, the cheaper it’s going to be to buy and the more it’s going to cost to refurbish it. However, this should still be less than building or buying a conventional home. These lower building costs open up the world of home ownership to many more people than before.

3. Quick Construction

Construction delays can be frustrating and costly when building a brick and mortar home. This is never the case with container homes. Many storage container homes fall into the realm of prefabricated housing. This means that there is little to do when your new home reaches your site. It’s almost a drop-and-go situation, with only a little work required to hook up your utilities.  One of the best parts about building one of these dwellings is that first-time homeowners can start off with tiny homes and expand as they go along.

4. Mobility

Cargo containers are specially designed to travel all over the world on ships, trucks, and trains. Thanks to this, they are super easy to relocate as needed. If you plan your home design carefully, you could move it from place to place as you choose. Should you get a new job in another city, you can take your tiny abode along with you.

The convenience, cost-benefits and minimalistic comfort of shipping containers is hard to beat.

5. Versatility and Scalability

These cheap homes are infinitely scalable. You can keep adding containers as you go along. Take a look at these examples of homeowners who thought out of the box with their home designs. They are also extremely flexible with many uses including as premises for clinics, offices, mobile site buildings, pop-up shops and much more. One of the most important uses for shipping containers is as temporary housing or shelters during times of disaster.

Into the Future with Cargo Containers

As more people realize the benefits of shipping container homes, we’re entering a time where less is definitely more with regard to housing.

Smaller spaces to live in means people can accumulate fewer things and focus more on what’s important.

They can move around more easily to broaden their horizons and own their own dwelling without a crippling mortgage to worry about.

Get in touch if you’d like to get on board with the bright new future of container home living.