The idea of having a house made of shipping containers might sound exciting yet daunting at the same time. Shipping container houses are unique and at one point exude youthful and modern. The hip homes are also claimed to be environmentally sustainable; which at this point couldn’t be any better.
Some might say that build a house with shipping containers is as simple as stacking up blocks. Something that often leads to an assumption that shipping container homes cost might be far less expensive than regular homes. However, is it all true?
1. The Cost of Shipping Containers
Breaking down the shipping container homes cost should start by calculating the cost of each container.
As you might have already guessed, the cost of shipping containers depends on their size and condition. The bigger the container, the higher the price. And, the newer the unit, the less affordable it could be.
In the United States, the average cost for a used container is around $2,000. The larger 40’ unit that could be modified for houses ranges from $3,000 to $4,000 for the used one and is around $6,000 for a brand-new unit.
With that being said, people in the States mostly agree to purchase each container for $2,000 to $4,000 with four to six containers are usually required to build a single home.
2. Build a Shipping Container Home
Now that you know how much each container could cost, the calculation should move to other aspects of building a shipping container house. This should include the land cost, foundation, the insulation system, and the house domestic installations.
The land cost for shipping container homes depends on the size of the structure you are about to make as well as where it is located.
If you already have a ready site for the construction, then you shouldn’t worry about spending a good amount of money. Yet, if you don’t have it ready, you should put it into the math as the land cost might likely be higher in price than the shipping container homes cost itself.
The Science of the Foundation for Shipping Container Homes
Having a strong, secure, and safe foundation for shipping container home is undeniably important. There are three common foundations that are used, and each foundation is available at different cost rate.
The first one is a trench foundation. The trench foundation consists of a block and brick masonry to be filled with concrete. The $5,200 foundation is suitable for a large container.
The next one is a pier foundation. The pier foundation that costs around $5,000 is good for supporting a large container whose site’s soil is firm clay, and the top ground layer is a decomposed rock hidden.
Another common foundation for shipping container homes is a slab foundation. Slab foundation costs the most expensive with $6,300. This type of foundations advantages the homes because it uses both concrete and steel bars to support.
Insulation system should be on your top priority when it comes to container homes. You certainly don’t want to torture yourselves inside a metal home during shifting seasons, do you?
Professional insulation services usually offer spray foam, blanket, and panel to do the job. The prices vary from one another, but they usually range from $0.45 to $2 per square foot.
If you want to cut some expenses, you can consider having a DIY installation. Just don’t forget to add wooden battens before the insulation layers.
Other House Installations
Calculating how much shipping container homes cost should also include the cost of other installations. Windows, doors, and hardware installation will likely charge you $6,000. Adding the plumbing and electrical system to the house might each cost around $7,000.
Flooring and roofing will likely be available in many options, but it may usually be around $5,000 and $3,000. The last one is finishes and painting cost that could be around $6,000.
3. Things to Consider
The previous explanation should already give you a rough insight of how much this particular house could cost. At this point, you might realize that this could be relatively similar to building a regular house. Hence, before you make a decision, it’s better to look at these following points and weigh in whether you should proceed with making one or not.
Which One to Choose? New Vs. Used
This one depends on what your concerns are. If you are concerned about supporting a sustainable living space, the used containers are the one you need. You can recycle it and with the help of good plans and beautiful interior style. However, you need to fully aware of any possible threat to your health especially those that come from the rusted and chemically damaged unit.
However, if you want to screw the sustainability aspect and pay attention more to the health, then the new one should be the only option. Still, the prices are likely twice higher than the used ones; making it less cost friendly.
What Size Should You Choose?
There are at least two most popular sizes for container homes, namely the 20’ : 8’ wide and 8’ tall (equal about 160 square feet) and 40’ : 8’ wide and 8’ tall (equal about 320)
Depend on the size of the site and your modular house floor plans, you can use a single container for a tiny house, or combination of smaller and bigger containers for larger houses. As much as it is safe as a prefab alternative, stacking up the containers underground isn’t necessarily suggested. Hence, it’s better to stay stacking up if you want to add some rooms to it.
Assuming shipping container house to be cheaper involves a lot of bargain. The cost to build a shipping container home isn’t necessarily cheaper than regular houses.
If you still like the idea of having one of these modular like houses, as well as spend less dollar on it, the safest bet is by looking for sale shipping container homes units. No need to worry about it since many marketplaces like Amazon have had them ready on the web to buy.