Shipping Container House

Considering a Shipping Container House?

Intermodal steel shipping containers have been put to use for various things when they no longer cross the high seas. Generally retired shipping containers are used as storage containers or are turn into building construction site mobile offices. A current trend gaining strength in the architectural community is transforming steel intermodal containers into the basis for homes and light business construction applications.

Fortunes of a construction development using an innovative approach are influenced by the research done at the front end of the project. Here we will take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of implementing shipping containers as part of your building.


Site Labor

Cutting and welding steel is regarded as being special labor which may increase construction expenses; as opposed to wood frame construction, components must be welded or drilled to the outer skin, which is more time consuming and demands additional job site tools.


while in service, containers could be damaged by handling collisions, friction from rubbing on each other, and the pressure of heavy loads from above during ship transits. The intermodals will examine containers and condemn them if broken welds, twisted frames, or pin holes are identified. For use in construction, some issues could be less significant than others.


The size and weight of the containers will require them to be placed by the crane or forklift. Traditional brick block and lumber construction materials are commonly moved by hand


A container can hold a wide variety of freight while in its working life. Spills or contamination might have happened on the inside surfaces and will have to be cleaned before habitation. Ideally, the paint on every internal surface should be removed to bare metal and re-painted with a non-toxic paint product. In addition, chemicals released from paint and sealants used in manufacture of the shipping container might be harmful.

Temperature & Humidity Extremes

Steel is a conductor of heat. Containers used for human occupancy in an area with extreme temperature variations will need to be better insulated than most brick, block or wood structures. In temperate climates, moist interior air condenses against the steel; rust will form unless the steel is well sealed and insulated.

Construction Permits

The use of steel shipping containers for construction is not widely used. Building permits can be difficult in certain areas due to a lack of expertise in this practice.

Hardwood decking

When produced most container floors are treated with insecticides using copper (23-25%), chromium (38-45%), and arsenic (30-37%). Ahead of habitation, floors should be removed and replaced with a more acceptable surface. Units with steel floors might possibly be more suitable.


Durability and strength

Shipping containers are made to hold heavy loads and to be placed one on top of the other on the decks and in the holds of freighters. They are also designed to resist nasty conditions like being sprayed with water and road salt in the course of transport. This makes shipping containers an ultimate structural platform for a construction project.


The reuse of shipping containers into an architectural use is environmentally friendly. LEED points are obtained for the reuse of materials because you are preserving the raw components that you would otherwise need to assemble the building platform.

Modular Design

All shipping containers are made to standard measurements as established by the International Standards Organization (ISO); making them the ideal basis for modular elements, modular construction also simplifies scheduling and freight since they’re currently designed to interlock for ease of transport during transportation. Because of the containers’ modular design, multiple floors can be as easy as stacking additional containers.

Cost and Availability

Shipping containers are available just about anywhere across the country. Low priced containers can be acquired from transport companies or intermodals.

Transport and Handling

Steel shipping containers are designed to be moved by vessel, rail, and 18 wheelers; in addition, they are often easily loaded, handled, lifted, and moved with simple equipment like fork lifts, loaders, and small cranes.

Intermodal shipping containers make a great foundation for a light construction project; they may be cost effective and available. However, as with many alternatives, you will discover tradeoffs to consider before you start a construction project of this nature. If you intend to undertake a project using shipping containers, it is important to look at the advantages and disadvantages before you begin, the success of your project depends on it.

Custom Shipping Container Dimensions

Custom International Containers Dimensions

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