Is shipping container housing a good idea?
Shipping container housing provides affordable opportunities for you to design your own home within a limited budget. If you have been searching for a housing option allowing you to build your dream home without breaking the bank, shipping container housing may be the right choice for you. However, the aesthetic may not be to your preference, as these homes fulfill a more modern design. Using shipping containers to build your home can provide a unique experience if you are unfamiliar with the building process.
The availability of shipping containers is consistent, and you can build these houses virtually anywhere in the country. While shipping container housing may be trendy now, it is important to weigh the disadvantages as heavily as the advantages when deciding if this is the right building material for your project. Once you learn the pros and cons of shipping container housing you can decide whether this is the best option for your housing needs.
Benefits of Building a Shipping Container Home
There are several main benefits to choosing shipping container housing. One of the most appealing benefits is the affordability of the building materials. Oftentimes, future homeowners hold off on building their own homes due to the steep price tag associated with this process.
By choosing to build a shipping container home instead of a conventional home, you can significantly reduce the amount of money you spend on creating your dream home. This can mean applying for a mortgage loan that is less, which may increase your ability to qualify.
Depending on how many square feet you want your home to encompass, you could design and build a shipping container home for as low as $40,000. The price tag associated with shipping container housing fluctuates from one project to the next. The amount you spend largely depends on the design you want to have, the square footage you are looking for and the interior materials you wish to use.
An added benefit of shipping container housing is it is an environmentally friendly form of construction. When you use a shipping container to build your new home you are recycling over 7,000 pounds of steel which may go unused otherwise. Estimates show approximately one-third of shipping containers around the world go unused and sit in vacant lots once a business has finished using them.
The cost of melting down the shipping container to use it as refurbished steel is steep and the process of doing so may prove harmful to the environment. If you choose to build with shipping containers instead you are having a positive impact on your environment.
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If you are looking to build your new home within a desired timeframe, selecting shipping container housing can significantly reduce the amount of time you spend on the building process. The primary reason behind the efficiency of building with these containers is your essential structure is already intact. Shipping containers have walls, floors and ceilings already.
When you are creating a shipping container home you are primarily purchasing and installing materials for the interior of the home. Flooring, plumbing and electricity are easier to install when there is an existing structure to build from, which is another way to significantly cut down on housing costs.
Disadvantages of Having a Shipping Container Home
The disadvantages of shipping container housing, while few, must be weighed into the equation when you are deciding whether this is a viable option for your home design project. One of the most challenging aspects of building a shipping container home is finding a contractor who can complete the work on your behalf. Many contracts are inexperienced when it comes to building shipping container homes and you may need to expand your search beyond state lines to find a qualified professional to undertake this project.
You can start by researching the areas surrounding your hometown to determine if there is anyone nearby who is qualified to build a shipping container home. This process can become tiresome and time-consuming if you live in an area where resources are limited. It may still be possible but ultimately become more expensive to bring in all the necessary items.
In addition to having contracting issues, you may run into problems when it comes to meeting the building codes for your county. Each area of the United States has different building codes and standards and you must always remain in compliance with the building codes for your area. There are zoning regulations when building a home and you must receive the proper permits before the construction process can begin. This is particularly important if you are trying to build a multi-family structure.
Since shipping container housing is a fairly new enterprise, your town may have trouble determining whether your project can pass inspection as easily as other building sites. To ensure this is not a problem, speak with a building inspector directly to determine what the zoning laws are for your neighborhood before you commit to this idea.
Making a Final Decision
Once you have weighed the pros and cons associated with shipping container housing take time to determine if this is the best building option for your housing project. If you are on a limited budget and building schedule, utilizing shipping containers can save you time and money.
Your only alternative is to wait to purchase or build a traditional house, which is a significantly larger project. If you do not mind staying in your current location, it may be a viable option. If you currently have limited living options, it may be better to build an affordable home now.
If you want to reduce your carbon footprint, your best choice is to go with a shipping container home. Another benefit of shipping container homes to consider is how easy it is to install solar panels. Solar panels are not only environmentally friendly but using solar power typically also saves you money in the long run compared to using electricity. Because shipping container homes are smaller than traditional homes, you do not need as many solar panels to keep the house powered.
Building a shipping container home is not a decision you want to make lightly. Even if you only plan to live in your house for a few years, you want to be comfortable in your own home. Do not be afraid to solicit advice from other shipping container homeowners. If you do not know any in your area, consider asking online, where you can find plenty of shipping container home builders.
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