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.

Container Home Texas

4 Shipping Container House Plans that Just Work

Shipping Container Houses are like the modern version of the Sears mail-order house. From 1908 through 1940, you could choose from 370 different models. Sears would then ship you everything needed to build your home. 

Today people are taking a more custom approach to this pre-fab method, by using shipping containers. With creative shipping container house plans, you can create a living space that perfectly fits your needs. 

Keep reading for four floor-plan ideas you can use for your new container house, in the Houston or Dallas Texas region. 

1. Keep It Simple 

If simplicity is your goal or you’re on a tight budget, then keep your home smaller. One or two containers are enough to create a small living space. 

If you choose only to use one container, you’ll want to maximize space by creating convertible use areas. For instance, create a bed that folds away during the day. 

If you want to double your space and create separate living areas, then use two containers next to each other. You could create a single level by putting them next to each other. Or you could create a two-story unit by placing one on top of the other. 

Removing the floor/ceiling between the two containers allows you to create high ceilings and a loft area. This increases the overall spaciousness inside of the container home. 

2. Embrace Large Windows 

If you plan to build your shipping container home somewhere with a great view, such as out out in the vast Texas hill country. Consider adding floor to ceiling windows. This will enable you to enjoy all that gorgeous scenery from the comfort of your home. 

It also removes the closed-in feeling that can happen when building with containers. By having large windows, you trick the eye into thinking the living space is much larger than it actually is. 

3. Modular Mobility 

One thing that is common when building with containers is a rectangular, boxy look to the home. You can combat this by arranging the containers slightly misaligned. Keep the containers parallel to each other, but shift them so that you have one overhanging the other. 

Doing this breaks up the home visually and gives it balance to make it more appealing. It also naturally creates patios and overhangs. Now you have outdoor living spaces or a covered entryway

4. Frame the Space with Containers 

For some, the width of the containers is too limiting. But this doesn’t have to stop you from using containers altogether. It just means you need to use them in conjunction with other building methods. 

A popular choice is to use them on either side of the main living area. Use two shipping containers that are parallel to each other, but have space between them. Each container provides private living areas. 

Then the space between gets closed in with walls and a ceiling to create the main living area of the home. 

Try These Shipping Container House Plans

If these ideas for your shipping container house plans have you itching to get started, then we can help. Your first step is to speak with an architect who can design your home in a structurally sound manner. 

We can help you get started sourcing the perfect containers for your project. Once you have your plans approved, we can modify and prepare your containers, so they’re ready for building upon delivery. 

Contact our team today and let us help you get started on your dream container home. 

Why Shipping Container Pop-up Bars are Here to Stay

You’ve heard all about the innovation and functionality behind shipping container homes. But what about the rising pop-up economy for small businesses? Shops, cafes, restaurants, and bars are all finding success with pop-up concepts.

Shipping containers offer comfort, convenience, and customization. This makes them the perfect vessel for launching a pop-up to serve creative cocktails.

Google search terms for local pop-up food and beverage establishments continue to see a healthy increase. This means now is the perfect time to break into the pop-up scene.  

Read on to learn why the pop-up bar concept is a smart business idea that isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. 

They Appeal to the Experiential Marketing Craze 

So, what is a pop up and why is it such an appealing idea? Pop-ups feature a new concept for launching a small business. Pop-up bars can be permanent structures, or they can change locations.

Opening up in new places creates a sense of urgency for customers. As they want to have an opportunity to visit your bar before you pack up and move location. 

Some pop-ups only come up for the season, like summertime. While others do best with a holiday push. Owners often change the theme of their pop-up with each new opening to help target new audiences.  

This pop-up concept creates an ideal environment for offering entertaining experiences. 78% of Millennials prefer to spend money on experiences rather than tangible items. Customers value experiential marketing efforts and a pop-up restaurant or bar delivers this.

A pop-up bar offers a unique experience that is buzzworthy to its customers. Some bars tie into pop-culture trends or popular themes. This helps to attract different generations and boost business. 

They Set a Unique Mood

Popped up environments offer a different type of ambiance. It’s an installation where you can control all design aspects. This sets a special atmosphere that you can’t get in a brick and mortar space. 

Shipping containers are also easy to customize, both inside and out. You can enhance your bar’s brand with a colorful paint job and design characteristics.  

A pop-up bar also allows you to blend in with the surrounding area. Patrons get to be more in touch with nature and the outdoors. This is especially appealing during the spring and summer months in temperate regions like Houston or Dallas.

You can also enhance your pop-up bar with comfortable seating, string lighting, and an outdoor firepit. These features contribute to the unique environment you’re offering your customers. You can even expand your business by adding more containers to your bar. Check out this interesting story on the Texas Container Bar to learn more.  

Customers also have a more personalized hospitality experience in a pop-up bar.  They are right there with the bartenders or the bar owner. This encourages a more intimate and interactive vibe. 

They Offer a Cost-Effective Business Advantage

Getting into the business of pop-up bars and restaurants is a less expensive venture. Building a new bar or leasing a space takes serious capital. Retail space is becoming more expensive, so you’ll likely need a larger loan.

The cost of setting up a pop-up business is 80% less expensive than a physical location. You also have more flexibility when starting a pop-up bar. You have the option to buy a new or used shipping container

These also feature a much smaller footprint and cost less to run. You’ll likely need fewer employees to operate a pop-up bar.  

Opening a pop-up offers a way to garner unique partnership opportunities. This could be with a local liquor brand or an already existing bar or restaurant. 

Partnering up with an established bar means most of the business details are taken care of. All you need to do is set up a new location with proper permits.  

You can also attract new customers to your original bar or restaurant location. Send the pop-up off to other locations to spread the word of your bar or restaurant. This also attracts media attention and word will soon spread around the state or country.  

They Tie-In with a Creative Social Media Branding Strategy 

People love posting about innovative features in the food and beverage industry. The unique details and experience of a pop-up restaurant or bar are meant to be shared.  

This means your customers will be taking pictures of your pop-up bar. They will post about your bar and its creative cocktails in their social channels. Soon word will spread virally, and you’ll attract new followers and customers.  

Social media can also get used to announce your next pop-up launch. Doing this right will result in a line of people waiting to get into your pop-up bar. You can also work with social media influencers to further spread the word. 

They Let You Try out New Ideas 

What is a pop-up bar if not a smart way to try out new business ideas?  

It gives you an easy and effective way to test out your cocktail menu. You get to experiment with creative themed cocktails and make changes as you go. 

You’ll also get to try out different entertainment options. See how your patrons enjoy trivia, karaoke, and live music. Sell swag to see what branded bar products people prefer to buy. 

A pop-up is a great way to get feedback from customers. It offers a more intimate and personal setting for conducting market research. 

This way, you can find out what works then change it the next time you open shop. You’ll soon become a business expert in the successful launch of a bar. 

Pop-ups offer a great way to break into the competitive new bar scene. This is especially true in cities like Houston, where the competition is high. With success, you can go on to invest in other smart business ideas for shipping containers

Setting Your Pop-Up Bar up for Success 

A pop-up bar is a smart and creative way to break into Houston’s food and beverage industry. It offers a unique experience that will attract new customers and send a viral message.  

Shipping Container Modification Services in Texas

Earlier this year, it was announced that a Fort Worth building project would use shipping containers to create a 34 unit apartment complex. While this is a very prominent and familiar shipping container modification, it is far from being your only option. 

Keep reading to learn how modified shipping containers are getting used for a variety of projects. 

Modified Shipping Container Uses 

Shipping container modifications go far beyond the traditional uses of a shipping container, storage unit, or construction site office. You can turn your shipping container into almost anything. Here is just a short list. 

  • Mobile Offices 
  • Workstations 
  • Kitchen/food service 
  • Portable power and communications 
  • Housing 
  • Water treatment enclosure 
  • Exhibit Unit 
  • Generator and pump enclosure 
  • Military applications 
  • Vendor kiosk 
  • Pop up bar 
  • Electrical control room 

Here in Dallas, pop up eatery locations have developed a cult following. A shipping container is the perfect kitchen solution. We can help you craft the ideal portable eatery. 

Another popular trend is pop up retail shops. These temporary retail locations let you turn your retail store into a portable shop. 

Then there is The Portal exhibit that is located at the NorthPark Center. Amid the bustling walkways is what looks like your standard ocean freight shipping container. Step inside, though, and you enter a portal to another part of the world. A 2D projector screen connects you with portal users across the globe, including Los Angeles, Stockholm, and New Delhi. 

Possible Modifications 

Each of these uses requires careful planning and forethought to ensure that each container is appropriately modified to best suit its end-use. When it comes to the modifications you can make, they’re almost limitless. 

  • Built-in furniture 
  • Electrical 
  • HVAC 
  • Interior finishes 
  • Overhead lighting 
  • Pass-through windows 
  • Restrooms 
  • Roll-up doors 
  • Shelving 
  • Windows and guards 

What to Look for in a Modification Service 

With how popular container modification is here in Texas, you will find that there are several services available to you. To find the right one for your needs, you need to consider a few factors. 

Quality

What is the quality of their craftsmanship? Do they adhere to the highest of standards to ensure that your container will comply with all relevant codes? 

Fast Turnaround 

When it comes to your modifications, you need a company that can deliver on time. If your modification service can’t meet your deadline, then you risk losing money on your investment. 

Experience 

You may find that some services can offer lower rates, but then you are limited to the modifications they can perform. Look for a service that can work with you to customize your modification plan. You need a service that values your ideas and works with you to create the modified shipping container of your dreams. 

Plan Your Shipping Container Modification

Are you ready to start your shipping container modification? Maybe you want to have a pop-up bar, retail, or food shop in downtown Dallas or Houston. Or perhaps you’re hoping to create an interactive art installation that can travel all over the great state of Texas. 

Our experienced team can craft a shipping container to fit your specifications while also ensuring your container complies with all codes. 

Request a quote today for your shipping container modification needs. 

Shipping Container Pop-up Bars : Your Complete Guide

The pop-up bar seems to have taken the world by storm since they first entered the scene a few years ago. From simple seasonal pop-ups to bars based on horror movies, there’s something to fit every niche.

Because of their low cost, ease of transport, and potential for modification, using recycled shipping containers is a popular choice for many pop-up entrepreneurs. But what goes into running one of these trendy little businesses? Building and running shipping container pop-up bars can’t be more complicated than just showing up in an old shipping container with a couple of beer kegs, right?

Well, while it’s not quite that simple, getting a pop-up bar going is still easier than you might think.

Your Complete Guide to Shipping Container Pop-Up Bars

Pop-up businesses have been around for several years now, and have proven effective because they’re quick and easy to set up relative to a conventional business. They have a low initial investment and low overhead because of their versatility.

And it’s that last point that makes pop-ups so appealing. Their versatility makes it possible to engage customers with exciting experiences that they wouldn’t find normally. So often, a quality pop-up will rely on having a specific idea in mind.

What Makes a Good Idea for a Pop-Up?

Really, the sky’s the limit on what you could do, and with the fairly low cost to get a pop-up going, almost any idea could be profitable. However, there are a few ways that you could hedge your bets.

Often times they open up to capitalize on large events, like the pop-ups that accompany San Diego Comic-Con every year. They move in, usually selling limited runs of exclusive merchandise, and then pack up when the event is over. Or they offer novelty experiences, including themed drinking and dining options.

Capitalizing on seasonal events is another safe bet. Traditional Christmas markets have been popular for centuries and were really the first pop-up enterprises.

Or just finding a niche interest to theme your bar around like movies, superheroes, or video games will reliably guarantee a certain level of interest – provided you’re in the right area.

Where Should I Put My Pop-Up?

Novelty is often what gets people interested in a pop-up. But all the unique charm in the world won’t help if no one can find your bar. So the location is at least as important as finding a niche.

Most pop-ups don’t invest heavily in advertising to help keep costs down. Instead, they rely on word-of-mouth and social media to get their names out there.

And in order to capitalize on that, you need to be seen first. Exactly where differs with every city of course. If you’re lucky, you might know about an up-and-coming neighborhood where rent for a small piece of land is still relatively cheap.

But usually, all but the most densely-developed neighborhoods will have a couple plots of underutilized land. It’s just a matter of doing your legwork and finding the sweet spot between rent prices and foot traffic.

Building a Pop-Up

Having come up with an idea and picked out a location, it’s time to get down to the real work of your enterprise.

Since building pop-up bars out of shipping containers isn’t a new concept, you’re in luck. You can easily research other successful ventures to pinpoint what design qualities they all have in common.

Where were the entrances, what size container did they use, how did they set aside inventory space? There’s no need to reinvent the wheel here, so if you’ve seen it done successfully elsewhere, there’s no reason not to borrow a few proven ideas.

Then there’s the work of actually modifying your container into a bar. Finding a contractor with experience in metalworking is probably harder than just finding a roofer, so you’ll want to vet the people you take on to work on the project.

Alternatively, you can buy a container from a retailer with the means and experience to modify your container for you. Then it’s just a matter of installing the bar theme and inventory. 

Your Only Limit is Your Imagination

The beauty of shipping container pop-up bars is that you’re basically given a blank canvas.

They’re popular with the public because they frequently appeal to niche markets. Building a full-scale Pokemon-themed bar would be a risky investment, but it’s a great idea for a small, limited-time engagement.

And the choices afforded to you don’t have to stop there. If running a bar isn’t your passion, you can easily adapt the pop-up business model to suit almost any other business endeavor. Check out our list of innovative pop-up business ideas to get inspiration for your first pop-up enterprise. 

Bigger Isn’t Always Better: WHAT SIZE SHIPPING CONTAINER DO YOU NEED?

Shipping and storage containers come in all shapes and sizes for different uses and implementations.

For businesses, shipping containers can be used for their original purpose of shipping merchandise. And, they can be used for extra storage as either a solid part of your logistics mechanism or a short stop-gap until a warehouse is available.

However, depending on your needs, you’ll have to pick the right-sized shipping container in order to prevent wasting money on useless space or not having enough room to ship your merchandise all in one go.

Wondering how big is a shipping container needs to be? Keep on reading to learn all about the different sizes available on the market and what they’re most suitable for.

How Big Is a Shipping Container?

There are three main sizes available on the market. From 10-foot storage containers up to humongous 40-foot ones, each comes with their own special perks.

10-Foot Containers

These are the entry-level sized containers. 

Considered to be quite economic in size, these containers tend to be large enough for most residential buyers’ needs or for small businesses.

If you’re looking for extra storage space with a minimalist design, then a 10-foot container can work beautifully for you.

It can be used as a great portable storage solution, where you can put all excessive (but important) equipment out of sight.

However, you’ll have to keep an eye out for clutter or ill-used space, because every single foot counts here.

Moreover, if you’re planning on shipping a minimal amount of merchandise or you’re just starting, sticking with the 10-foot container can be cost-effective for your business. As it were, it keeps getting more expensive as we go bigger.

20-Foot Containers

This container size is the comfortable middle for many businesses. It follows the ideal of not-too-big and not-too-small for most companies’ needs. 

Same as the 10-foot storage containers, the sky is the limit in terms of usage. Whether you have storage in mind or straightforward shipping, a 20-foot container can be quite versatile.

A great way of using a 20-foot container is for the storage or shipment of vehicles. It can hold most residential vehicles as well as pickup trucks with no issues regarding space.

There are so many innovative business ideas for small shipping containers that can add immense value to your company.

40-Foot Containers

These containers are big enough to be looked at as portable storage warehouses, temporary office spaces or even school classrooms.

They are among the largest options available on the market. In addition to the tremendous amount of space for shipping huge equipment, they can be customized according to your preferred specifications.

For example, they can be set up to be full-side open units, which are perfect for materials and products that are fragile or sensitive in nature.They can be set up to be climate-controlled and refrigerated.

Ready to Get Your Container Game On?

Now you know all about how big a shipping container needs to be to suit your business. For even more details check out this article which outlines buying containers for sale in Houston.

Want even more information? Check out our resources section for the latest container tips and advice.

Tricks of the Trade: How to Buy Shipping Containers for Sale in Houston

If you want to build a minimalist home or expand your business, you may be looking for shipping containers for sale in Houston.

Whatever your reason for needing a shipping container, it’s easier than you think to buy one. We put together this simple guide to show you how you can purchase one for yourself or your business.

Keep reading to learn more about the steps you need to take before purchasing one or more shipping containers in Texas.

1. Know What You Need

The first thing you need to do is decide what you need in a shipping container. This will be determined by what you’re planning on using your container for.

If you’re using it for shipping goods, for example, you’ll need a different container compared to someone planning on using it as a backyard storage solution.

There are two main considerations to be made:

Size

There are several sizes of shipping containers available. Let’s take a quick look at the most common options you can choose from.

  • 40′ L x 8′ W x 8′ H
  • 20′ L x 8′ W x 8′ H
  • 40′ L x 8′ W x 8.5′ H

Whereas nearly all shipping containers are eight feet wide, you can find lengths of 8′, 10′, 24′, 30′, 45′, 48′, and 53′. However, these make up a fraction of the containers available.

Grade

Once you know how big you need your shipping container, it’s time to decide on what condition you need it in. Shipping containers come in four grades so you can pick the right one for your purpose.

New

Also known as one-trippers, these are containers that are made in a factory (typically overseas) and sent directly to your nearest port.These are ideal for businesses looking to ship products around the world as they will last the longest compared to other grades.

Certified

If you’re looking to save some money while buying for your business, consider getting certified or cargo-worthy containers. These are used shipping containers that can still be used in overseas shipping lines. However, because these won’t last quite as long as a new container, you may find yourself replacing them sooner than you’d like.

Wind and Water Tight

Once a shipping container is no longer able to be used for overseas shipping, it becomes listed as wind and watertight. That means they don’t have any large holes in the sides but often have some rust and dents from years of use. Many people looking to use shipping containers to build storage or living spaces choose this grade because they’re less expensive but still provide excellent protection against the weather.

As-Is

The lowest grade of shipping containers is those that have obvious problems that prevent them from being completely waterproof. They may have extensive rust, holes in the metal, or doors that don’t seal properly.For some people, this isn’t a problem when they’re being used as a storage shed or for those that have the tools and skills to fix any problems they run into.

2. Find Shipping Containers for Sale in Houston

Once you know what you’re looking for in a shipping container, it’s easy to find a company that will provide one for you. We offer shipping containers for sale and can also help with modifications if you’re going to use it for anything but shipping. That way, it’ll start serving its purpose as soon as it arrives on your property.

3. Prepare Your Site

Once you’ve done all of that, you’ll want to make sure your site is ready. This is particularly important if your container is going to be a permanent structure somewhere so you don’t have to worry about moving it later. The largest sizes of containers can only be moved with an industrial crane whereas smaller containers can be moved with a heavy-duty forklift.

Determine Location

First, you need to know exactly where you want your container to go. The area should be level and larger than the size of the container so the shipping company can maneuver it into place. You’ll also want to make sure the truck can safely and easily get to the location you want your container. It would be a shame for your container to arrive only to find out it can’t be immediately placed where you want it.

Know Where You Want the Doors

Make sure you also think about where the doors should face. Shipping containers have one set of large doors that are only at one end. Most often, the containers are loaded so that these doors are facing the front of the truck.

Keep this in mind as you prepare your site so you can determine how the truck will get your container to the site. In some cases, you can request the container to be loaded in the opposite direction to easily get it where you want it. If you’re not planning on using the shipping container’s doors for anything and will be modifying it with your own doors, you may not need to worry about this aspect of preparation.

Maintain Airflow

If your shipping container is going to be sitting for any length of time, you need to make sure it has airflow to the bottom of the container. Otherwise, the floor may rust out over time because of moisture.This can be as easy as placing cement or wooden blocks where the container is going to be set. You can also get special casters that attach to the bottom of your container.

4. Arrange for Delivery

The final step once your site is ready is to make arrangements for delivery. The size of the container and future location for it may determine which option you use.

Flatbed and tilt trailers can be used for any size shipping container. However, if you need a larger container manipulated into place and don’t have equipment on hand, you’ll want a truck with a crane.

Ready to Buy Your Shipping Container?

Now you know the four steps needed to buy shipping containers in Houston. As you can see, it’s as simple as figuring out what you need, giving us a call, and having it shipped to your home.

Contact us today, so we can help find the perfect shipping container for you.

Container Home Texas

Top 10 Shipping Container Housing Designs for 2019

The shipping container home movement is on the rise—and for good reason. 

Shipping container housing is inexpensive to build, can be moved from place to place, and is environmentally-friendly. But those are only a few of the many benefits. And unlike most traditional homes, shipping container homes can be completely customized.  That’s why we’ve put together this list of the top 13 shipping container home designs, to help you get inspired.  

1. Stacked Home Design

Tiny homes are more popular now than they have ever been. If you’re ready to make the living adjustment to a much smaller space, you can create your own tiny home out of just one or two shipping container units.

Need more space then that? A stacked home is a great option for properties that don’t have a lot of square footage. You can build up instead of out. This is also a good style home if you live by something scenic, like a forest or an ocean, and want a good view. 

2. Modern Wood Cabin Design

Have you always dreamed of living in a cabin? By using shipping containers, you can build a modern cabin for a fraction of the cost. And don’t let the metal material of shipping containers get in the way of your inspiration. You can line the inside and outside with woodsy materials, like real wood or faux wood, to create a more traditional cabin feel. 

3. Simple Single Story Home Design

Despite the previous mentions on this list, your shipping container home doesn’t have to look different from the other houses in your neighborhood. You can simply create a modern, single story home for you and your family if that’s what you prefer. You could save a lot of money by using shipping containers as your base material. Not only that, you would be helping the environment by using 

4. Two-Story Modern Home Design 

Of course, if you want a bigger home, you can build a sleek, modern, two-story home with shipping containers, too. But let yourself get creative with the design. Maybe the second story hangs over the driveway. Maybe the second story doesn’t extend over the entire home. Maybe the second story functions more like a loft. You can even use shipping containers to build an attic space above your home if you want extra storage. 

5. Ranch-Style Home Design

The terms “ranch-style home” and “shipping containers” might not seem to mix, but you can build a 1280 square foot ranch-style home much cheaper when using shipping containers rather then traditional materials. All you need is two shipping containers. Set them 16 feet apart to form a large entryway and living space/dining area between them. The containers themselves house the bedrooms, bathrooms, etc. And there’s still plenty of room left over for a kitchen. 

6. Castle Home Design

Okay, so this home isn’t really a castle, but it can resemble one. You can build a two-story, three-story, or even a massive four-story square with shipping containers, leaving an empty space on the inside, like a courtyard. You can even stack more shipping containers vertically at the corners to make towers. 

7. Vacation Home Design

A shipping container vacation home lets you enjoy your summer or winter break without emptying your bank account. You can make the vacation home small for a quiet getaway or connect several shipping containers together so the entire family can join you. 

Staying near the ocean? Fill in the walls with large windows. Want to include the outdoors? Turn the top of the shipping crates into spacious balconies where you can lay in the sun or stare at the stars all night. 

8. Split/Bridge Home Design

A split or bridge home consists of two units linked together with a bridge.

This bridge can be on the second story and “float” over an outdoor living space or a garden. You can also leave the “bridge” at ground level and fill it with large and beautiful windows. A split home gives you the option to create two separate living spaces that are joined together. This makes it a good choice for people who live with a grown child or an older parent. 

Everyone gets to live together and still keep their privacy. 

9. Guest House Design

Do you have a lot of guests staying with you? You can give them their own space, by building a guest house from shipping containers. You would only need a couple of shipping containers to make a small guest house. That means you won’t have to spend a lot of money for something that looks great and is functional. 

10. Work Studio Design

If you need extra space to create art, you can always use shipping containers to create a functional work studio. You can connect this to your home if you want, or you can make it a separate unit on your property. Forming a large, empty space is a fast and inexpensive job with containers. You can also add a sink, power outlets, tables, storage, and anything else you need. 

Get Inspired By the Top 10 Shipping Container Housing Designs Ideas

Are you interested in building your own shipping container living space? Use these top 10 styles as your inspiration and starting point. And let yourself get creative. There are next to no limits when you’re building with shipping containers. 

Not sure where to find the containers themselves?

Make sure you click here to take a look at some of our shipping container options! 

11 Tips to Consider Before Building a Shipping Container Home

Designing and living in your own shipping container home is a growing trend, and because of the many benefits these homes provide, the trend is here to stay

But building a shipping container home takes more work than buying a few containers and placing them next to each other. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you learn what you need to know before you start building. 

So let’s get started. 

1. See the Containers Before You Buy Them

Shipping containers have survived a lifetime of traveling back and forth across the open ocean. Because of this, the shipping containers you buy might have dents, structural problems, or a lot of rust. 

That’s why you should ALWAYS see the containers before you buy them. If the containers are on the other side of the world when you buy them, ask the seller for pictures of both the inside and the outside. 

If you don’t want to risk ending up with a damaged used shipping container, you can also buy one-trip containers. These are a bit more expensive than normal used shipping containers, but they will be in much better condition. 

2. Understand Your Building Code Restrictions

Every town has its own building restrictions when it comes to shipping container homes. Make sure you know and understand the codes in your area before you invest thousands of dollars into your design. 

Otherwise, you might have to change your design, which might mean you’ll have to spend more money or lose some of the money you already spent. 

3. Find a Contractor That Can Do It All

When you’re ready to start building your shipping container home, make sure you find a contractor that can do everything you need. If you don’t, you’ll have to find one contractor to place your containers, another contractor to modify your containers, and more contractors to do the interior work. 

Hiring one contractor that is experienced at building shipping container homes will save you both time and money. 

4. Don’t Forget to Insulate 

The walls of a shipping container aren’t like the walls of a traditional house. Without insulation, the inside of your shipping container home will be smoldering during the summer and freezing during the winter. 

So make sure you have a plan for insulation before you start building. 

There are several different insulation options you can choose from when designing your container home. Ask your contractor about things like blanket-style insulation, foam insulation, sheep wool, or a green roof. 

Because—don’t forget—you’ll need to insulate the roof as well as the walls. 

5. Keep Cutting to a Minimum 

Shipping containers are build out of solid steel, which makes them incredibly strong. The walls can easily be used as load-bearing walls for a second, third, or even fourth story. 

But the more you cut your shipping containers, the weaker they get. 

This means you’ll need to spend more money on some type of reinforcement. Be careful where you put windows and doors. 

6. Think About Any Potential Chemicals 

Remember, shipping containers had to survive a lifetime at sea. Because of this, many shipping containers are full of chemicals that can be harmful to live with. 

For example, the wood flooring of the container might have pesticides to keep rats away. The exterior paint on the container might also be full of chemicals to protect them from the ocean salt. 

Be prepared to rip out the flooring of your shipping containers and replace it with something new. You might also want to remove the harmful paint and repaint it with a safe alternative. 

If you don’t want to deal with any chemicals, you can also buy new shipping containers (although they’ll be more expensive). 

7. Know the Differences Between Container Types 

Not all shipping containers are the same size. 

Traditional shipping containers are only eight feet tall. But that doesn’t mean you have to live in a somewhat smashed house. You can find other shipping containers—like high cube containers—that are much taller. 

8. Plan Your Plumbing and Electrical in Advance 

You should plan where your plumbing and electrical pipes and wires will be before you start finishing the interior. If possible, ask your contractor to carve the appropriate holes in the right places so you don’t forget anything. 

Otherwise, you may have to rearrange your entire kitchen because you forgot to add plumbing for the dishwasher. 

9. Avoid Welding as Much as Possible 

Since shipping containers are made of metal, you have to weld separate containers together to keep them airtight and structurally stable. But welding is expensive. 

Do your best to design a home that requires as little welding as possible. This will help you save money that you can invest in other important design elements. 

10. Be Prepared for Wind 

Shipping crates are anything but aerodynamic. If you build your shipping container home in a windy area, be prepared for a lot of noise. 

To avoid this problem, you should consider putting your home behind some type of windbreak. If you don’t’ like the look of a windbreak, find a natural location that’s protected from the wind instead.  

11. Know When to Save and When to Spend 

One of the biggest draws of shipping container homes is their cheap price point. But finishing a shipping container home inside and out can get expensive. 

Know when to save and when to spend the extra dollar. Although shipping container homes are meant to be cheap, there are many times when spending that extra money to build-out the perfect container home is well worth it.  

What You Need to Know Before Building a Shipping Container Home

Before you start building a shipping container home, spend some time researching the building codes in your area and what type(s) of container you’ll need to buy. 

Remember, don’t buy anything without seeing it first. Otherwise, you could end up with something dented, damaged, and rusty. 

Not sure where to buy shipping containers?

Make sure you click here to take a look at some of our options! 

How Much is a Shipping Container – Budget Planning Tips for Containers

In times past shipping containers were only just that–containers used to transport goods and materials across long distances on both land and sea. While shipping containers are still one of the very best options for the shipment and storage of goods, they are being used in an increasing number of different ways.

Have you heard about the fairly recent trend of turning storage containers into super cool, ultra-modern, eco-friendly container homes? What about using containers for your office to make a lasting impression on clients and prospects alike? Whether you’re a shipping company looking for a more secure way to transport goods or just someone looking to get into the shipping container building trend, you will need to clearly understand how shipping containers are priced.

So, in this article, we’ll go over some of the factors to consider when buying a shipping container.

Factors Affecting Shipping Container Costs

So how much is a shipping container to purchase? Well, as with most things, it depends! A number of factors go into the price of purchasing a shipping container.  This is why what you’ll actually be using the container(s) for is significant. Depending on its intended use, you’ll want to consider the following factors which will affect the final price:

  • Container condition
  • Size and style of the shipping container
  • Modifications needed to fit its final intended use
  • If you’ll be needing your shipping container(s) transported to you

How The Container Condition Affects Its Cost

The eventual use of your shipping container is going to play a major part in what you will end up prioritizing. Planning this out will help you to know whether you should value cost over condition or condition over cost. If you’ll be purchasing containers to build a container home or office, you’ll likely want to buy an unused container. New shipping containers will be weatherproof, free of superficial damages, and structurally sound.

Though buying new will be the highest-priced option, it is the best one to ensure structural safety. Whether you’re wanting to build a container home, office, or mobile food truck, this is the most worry-free option. Since new containers can be properly modified to fit all structural and building requirements.

Still, if your container isn’t going to be inhabited or heavily modified, buying a used container can be a great way to save money while not compromising on your needs. This is where it’s important to know how used shipping containers get graded. Multiple factors go into placing a condition grade on a used container. 

Grade A used containers are going to be the highest-priced used option. They’ll be ones that are wind and watertight, have minimal superficial damage and have no structural compromises. These containers are great for storing or shipping expensive or fragile goods, such as sports cars, jewelry or electronics. 

If you’ll be storing hardier goods or materials, you can go with a cheaper used container option. Grade B and C condition storage containers may not always be certified for shipping. Still, they make great options for storing things such as building materials, hand tools, heavy equipment, recreational vehicles, and more.

How Much is a Shipping Container? Size Matters

Not only do you have several options to choose from when it comes to the condition of shipping containers, but you also have many options when it comes to its size. This is another reason why it’s important to consider what exactly you’ll be using the container(s) for–you’ll want to know how much space you need.

Shipping containers commonly come in three standard lengths–10 feet, 20 feet, and 40 feet. Standard shipping container dimensions are 8 feet wide by 8.5 feet high. If you need greater height, you are able to purchase the 9.5 foot high containers. These are called high-cube containers, and will usually be slightly more expensive than the standard option.

If you’re planning on opening up a shipping container food truck or want a storage container shed on your property, you’ll probably not need the 40 feet option. However, this longer option, though, is excellent for a variety of secure shipping and storage needs, as well as for converting into homes and offices.

Modifications Mean a Modified Price

Especially if you’ll be converting your storage containers into a home, office, food truck, or business inventory space, you’ll likely need to add modifications.

Building a container home or office means you’ll have to make modifications to install necessities such as windows, electrical and plumbing, and insulation.

If you’re looking to bring your shipping container food truck to life, you’ll need to make some critical container modifications, such as installing proper ventilation. The specific modifications your project will need is an extremely important factor to take into account before purchasing your shipping containers.

Additional Cost Considerations

There are a couple of considerations outside of the container itself that will also affect its price. Are you local, or located further away from where you’re planning on buying your container(s) from? Will you be picking these up yourself or needing them delivered? If you’ll be picking your container up yourself, you’ll likely need to rent a truck.

Make sure to factor these costs in as well. If you don’t, you may find that the cost of shipping and delivery is greater than the cost of the purchase!

Tell Us What You Want So We Can Tell You the Price

Do you have an idea and think shipping containers would be the best fit to bring that idea to life? Even if you don’t know all of the potential modification details needed to bring your idea to life, we are here to help.

Get in touch with our experienced container professionals today or request a quote and expect a quick reply to whatever your container questions may be.