Shipping Container Home Cost To Build

Shipping container homes are an affordable and sustainable alternative to traditional construction. They are also easy to build, as they are made from standardized units that can be easily stacked and connected with one another. The use of containers is also a great way to reuse materials that would otherwise be thrown away.

Shipping container homes are built using used shipping containers from cargo ships, which can be easily obtained from your local port. They are then modified for residential use by installing windows, doors, and electrical outlets. This makes them perfect for both urban and rural settings where land is at a premium or there is a need for affordable housing options.

Shipping container homes have many advantages over traditional housing options: they’re cheaper to build than traditional homes; they require less maintenance than other types of construction because they don’t have exposed wooden frames; they’re more resistant to fire and other natural disasters than other types of construction methods; they’re made from recycled materials so they have a smaller impact on the environment than other building materials do; they’re modular which means that you can add onto them whenever you want without having to demolish the entire structure first (this makes them ideal if you want a larger home later on down the line).

The cost to build a shipping container home varies depending on your design, location, and the type of materials used. In this article, you will learn what you can expect to spend on materials and labor for your shipping container home build.

Where To Start

  • Start with a budget. It’s important to understand what the total cost of your shipping container home will be before moving forward with a design or construction plan. It’s easy to get carried away and spend more than you need to spend on the project, so it’s best to have an idea of how much money you have available before getting started.
  • Look at the cost of shipping containers. This can vary dramatically depending on where you live and whether or not they are used or new, but generally speaking, purchasing containers costs between $1,000-$3,000 each depending on their condition and location (i.e., closer stores charge more per unit). If you’re buying used containers and transporting them yourself, expect this figure to be higher since all transportation costs will also add up quickly.
  • Look at land costs and permits needed for your area if applicable, some areas require zoning permission before building but most don’t so simply check out local regulations before buying land. You’ll also want advice on permits from an architect/designer who knows their way around zoning laws for these kinds of endeavors just in case there are any hidden fees associated with getting approval from local authorities (which there almost always is). If you’re lucky enough not to need one then great job. Otherwise though just keep in mind that even if everything goes smoothly without unexpected fees cropping up later down line then these added expenditures might still sneak back onto our budget without notice – especially after learning firsthand what’s involved behind closed doors when dealing directly with government agencies responsible for overseeing community development projects.


The location of the shipping container home is very important to the success of the project. There are many factors that need to be considered when choosing a location for your container home. For example, you will want to consider how far away from the sea it is located. You also want to make sure that there is enough space around your home so that you can have some privacy without feeling like you’re being watched by people all day long.

It’s also important to consider whether or not there are any nearby neighbors who may be bothered by your new home being built so close to theirs. If there are any problems with this then it could lead to legal issues later on down the road which could cause problems for both parties involved in this scenario so make sure that everything goes well before moving forward with any plans or ideas.


Wood and steel are the most common materials used to build a shipping container home, but there are other options. For example, a shipping container can be constructed out of fiberglass or plastic. The benefits of the different materials vary depending on the intended use of the shipping container. For example, fiberglass is stronger than steel and can withstand fire better than wood. However, it is more expensive than wood and less natural looking than wood or steel.

Wood has been used for many years to construct homes because it is inexpensive and readily available in many areas around the world. Wood does not last as long as other materials such as steel or concrete; therefore it needs periodic maintenance in order to ensure that it remains structurally sound over time.

Steel is another popular choice for building a shipping container home because it offers superior strength compared with other materials such as wood or plastic; however, this also makes it more expensive than alternatives like wood or plastic which are less expensive but have weaker structural integrity over time due to weather exposure or age-related wear-and-tear from lack of maintenance after installation on-site location where no longer needed at present moment in time future plans unless planned ahead accordingly then make a sure plan accordingly first before making any decisions before spending money on anything else later down.

Also, Aluminum is also an excellent conductor of heat and electricity, which makes it ideal for use as siding and roofing. However, aluminum does rust easily, so you’ll want to plan for regular maintenance and repairs over time.

The cost of the actual shipping containers themselves is relatively low when compared with other parts of your build. Now retired containers can be purchased for $1,500-$2,000 each while used ones range between $800-$1,200 each depending on their condition and how many miles are on them at the time of purchase.*

The Cost of Shipping Containers

The cost of shipping containers can vary significantly since the price is based on size and condition. Large containers tend to be more expensive than smaller ones, and a container with some damage may cost less than one that’s in perfect condition.

The average cost for shipping containers has increased over the past few years due to several factors, including higher demand for them and an increase in fuel costs associated with transporting goods by truck rather than ship. At the same time, used shipping containers are becoming harder to find because many have already been sold or are being repurposed into buildings like homes or offices.

Fortunately, there are still great deals available if you’re willing to buy used.

The Cost of Land and Permits

As with any home project, the cost of land and permits will depend on the size of your container home. The more you need to build and the greater the land area required for your container home, the higher these two costs will be.

If you’re building in a location where there are no restrictions on what types of structures can be built, then your permit fees may not be as high as they would be if you were trying to build a conventional house or another type of structure. In fact, some jurisdictions don’t require permits at all because they recognize that shipping containers are already produced in large quantities.

Other Materials Needed for Construction

You will also need to buy insulation, roofing, and siding for your container home. The cost of these materials may vary depending on the type of material you choose.

Another important component that you will need to consider adding is a foundation. This will ensure that your container home stays stable throughout its lifetime and does not shift during heavy weather or earthquakes. Once you have acquired all of the necessary materials, it is time to begin building.

Labor Costs to Build a Shipping Container Home

Labor: Hiring an experienced crew who understands both building practices, as well as local codes, can make all the difference in terms of your final costs from start to finish.* Permits: Depending on where it’s being built (state/county/city), obtaining land use permits may or may not be required but we’ve found that almost always they are needed before any work begins so make sure you plan accordingly.

Labor costs to build a shipping container home vary widely depending on the size and complexity of your project, as well as where you’re building. Labor for larger projects can cost up to $500 per square foot, and labor for smaller projects will typically cost between $200 and $300 per square foot. This can add up quickly if you’re planning on an extensive project that requires multiple laborers at once.

As mentioned above, one of the most important things when calculating your total cost is to factor in all of your expenses not just materials but also labor costs and other fees associated with working with modular construction materials (like foundations).

Expect to pay about $50 to $100 per square foot, or more, for a complete shipping container home with plumbing and electrical.

You should expect to pay about $50 to $100 per square foot, or more, for a complete shipping container home with plumbing and electrical. This cost can vary significantly depending on where you live and whether you hire an architect or contractor to help you with the design of your container home. If you want a fancy kitchen or other special features in your container house, the cost will increase even more. The cost of land and permits can also add hundreds of thousands of dollars in addition to what it costs to build the structure itself so keep this in mind when planning out your budget.

You’ll also need other materials like windows and doors if they’re not included with your shipping containers but don’t let that discourage you. The average construction worker earns about $25 per hour (according to Indeed), which means he or she could build one room per day if working nonstop under ideal conditions using only hand tools like hammers and wrenches (and maybe some saws). That would mean two rooms per week for four weeks equals 8 rooms finished; enough material for 16 containers without any additional work beyond finishing them off inside as desired and then sealing them up tight against water damage from rainstorms later down the road when using exterior walls instead of interior ones.

If you’re considering building your own shipping container home, the good news is that you can do it at a lower cost than you might think. With our help and this article, we hope to give you some insight into what goes into building a shipping container home and how much it costs. We believe that if done right, shipping container homes are an affordable solution for sustainable housing in any climate or location, and with the right research and planning, they can be built by anyone.

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