With house prices skyrocketing, many people are turning to alternative ways to build a home. One of the more innovative and cost-effective ways is constructing a home using shipping containers.
How can a shipping container be a home?
As strange as it sounds, this approach makes a lot of sense. Shipping containers are made from solid steel so they are very durable and able to handle heavy loads and harsh climate conditions. They are quite inexpensive, and can be easily modified to include all the amenities of a brick and mortar house. They can even be used to create multi-story homes in unique designs because they are stackable.
What is also very appealing to home builders, is that these sturdy container-houses can be welded together and constructed in a very short time, and with a little imagination, can be designed to look just like real mansions! No wonder this type of home construction – known as Sea Can architecture – is going through the (container) roof!
The pictures below show some notable examples of what is possible in Sea Can architecture. Looking at them you’ll see why people are turning to shipping containers as not only an affordable, but an aesthetically pleasing and design-savvy housing solution.
A series of shipping container homes in Edmonton
Honomobo, a company in Edmonton, is building a series of homes using shipping containers, that range from $99,000 for a studio to $147,000 for a two-bedroom suite. According to the co-founder of the company, Daniel Engelman, shipping containers can easily be made beautiful and used to create open and airy living spaces in harmony with the outdoors. In a CBC interview, he said he is impressed by their impermeability and durability, and says they are incredibly air and watertight – much better than wood construction.
A shipping container home away from home
This well-known shipping container cabin was built by Larry Wade back in 2010 for just $35,000 US. Larry used two 40 ft. shipping containers, which were delivered and placed onto several concrete piers. An arch inside the containers connects them and creates a living room. There are also two bedrooms, a bathroom and a kitchen/diner. It is truly a home away from home, for what it would cost to buy a new car.
© Larry Wade
Containers of Hope in Costa Rica
Probably one of the most famous shipping container homes, Containers of Hope, was designed for the Peralta family by Benjamin Garcia Saxe architects. The Peraltas wanted to live in the country, but wanted to do so debt-free. This home is located in the suburbs of San Jose in Costa Rica, providing the family with some of the greatest views the country has to offer.
© Andres Garcia Lachner
© Andres Garcia Lachner
An Irish shipping container marvel
This shipping container home was the first one built in Ireland, and it cost $60,000 – which is on the high end for this low-cost type of construction. However, this house sleeps six, and has all the bells and whistles a Hollywood mansion would be proud of.
© The Irish Journal
A shipping container home fit for a shipping magnate
The Caterpillar House was built on the outskirts of Santiago, Chile, for an art collector’s family.
It used five 40 ft. standard containers, six 20 ft. standard containers and one 40 ft. open top container for the swimming pool. This home certainly has everything anyone could wish for – panoramic mountain views, a hot tub, a swimming pool and rooftop decks.
There are many other examples of incredible homes built from shipping containers. Turning inexpensive shipping container into liveable space is not all that complicated – solid steel construction offers a highly flexible platform for any needs. All you have to do is to provide the shipping container company’s modification team with all your wants and needs, and the customized container – or containers – will be delivered right to the spot where you’ve always imagined your dream home to be!