Rising house prices are providing healthy returns for home owners who are selling up, but they’ve also forced many people out of the housing market. First home buyers are especially vulnerable, being priced out by investors and wealthier buyers.
There have been some novel solutions to rising house prices, one of which is building a shipping container home. Increasing in popularity due to their durability and relatively cheap price tag, shipping container homes are a great option those looking to make a place of their own that can’t afford traditional building options.
However, building a shipping container home may require you to jump through a different set of hoops than a regular new home build, hoops that are a bit unchartered and unfamiliar. So, does the cost-effectiveness of building a shipping container home outweigh the ambiguity involved?
Pros and cons of building a shipping container home:
Pro: Low Cost
Shipping containers come very cheap, sometimes as low as $1200 each! You typically will pay no more than about $6,000 per container, so this is still much cheaper than a conventional build, even when you buy several containers.
Pro: Already Structurally Sound
Shipping containers are built to weather all environments as they withstand wind, salt water and being knocked around and stacked at ports. Their strength and durability makes them an ideal building material.
Repurposing a shipping container saves an incredibly large amount of steel ending up in the tip. And you also save natural resources by not needing to use timber as the main material used in the construction of your home.
You can easily move your shipping container by truck, ship or by train as they are already built to travel on such modes of transport.
Pro: Easy to come by
Shipping containers are in abundance, so it’s easy to get your hands on a few. Shipping companies often replace their containers after a while and upgrade to newer ones. Subsequently, there are many shipping containers headed for the dump that can easily be up cycled into a home.
Con: Harder to customise
While shipping containers boast a modern aesthetic, they can be harder to customise as DIY jobs will involve cutting and welding steel which is a bit more specialised than cutting wood. This can end up costing you a bit more to hire someone to do this for you, but the overall cost is still much lower than a conventional build.
Con: Getting building permits
This can end up being more of a challenge than a regular build, as it’s still fairly uncommon to build a shipping container home. You’ll need to consult with your local municipality to check regulations around using steel for residential building.
Overall, shipping container homes provide a great workaround to building your own home without the big price tag. However, there are still several factors to consider before stocking up on shipping containers:
- Climate control: Consider options for insulation, as well as providing adequate ventilation.
- Reinforcements: Many shipping containers have a weak roof, so ensure this is reinforced well, particularly if it will be stacked.
- Gutter guard protection: Like any other home, shipping container homes should have gutters installed, and gutter guard mesh is also something to seriously consider to maintain healthy gutters year round.
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