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Things to consider before buying a container home

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
CASA TRANSPORTABLE ÁPH80 Country style houses by ÁBATON Arquitectura Country
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When it comes to architecture, shipping containers are fast gaining momentum for offering home builders affordable prices, flexible options, and efficient outcomes in innovative home design

And while many would associate these freight homes with small-scale living, quite a lot of them are far from small, especially when combined with other containers to conjure up a larger residence—as many as 14 have been fused together at one point! 

While there are undoubtedly perks to choosing container houses, nothing in life is ever 100% smooth sailing. So, if you’re considering jumping on the container home bandwagon, rather see what these shipping-container homeowners wish had been disclosed to them first.

1. “I wish I hadn’t bought the container without seeing it – I took the company’s word that it was in good shape!”

2. “I wish I knew that a brand new (or one-trip) container didn’t cost much more than an older one.”

3. “I should have read up on the right rules and standards for climate and fire regulations, as they differ from country to country.”

Exterior Modern houses by A4AC Architects Modern

4. “It would have been easier using one contractor to help with the whole process instead of using multiple ones for different sections.”

Rustic style houses by homify Rustic

5. “I wish I knew that there were containers taller than 3 metres.”

6. “I should have researched the structural integrity more. For example, the two long walls are both load-bearing and bracing, so cutting a hole in one needs to be compensated.”

7. “I wish I had known that building a house from a shipping container would cost me about the same as a stick-built house.”

Minimalist houses by Ferraro Habitat Minimalist

8. “Welding is expensive and takes a long time, so I should have kept it to a minimum.”

9. “I wish I knew how to insulate properly, as we had to solder elements on the walls and then spray them with a foam anti-fire insulation.”

Modern houses by homify Modern

10. “I wish I knew that you had to ensure proper insulation to protect against condensation in a cold country.”

Modern houses by homify Modern

11. “It would have made things much easier to have all the plumbing chases cut out of the container floors and ceilings to easily run pipe once they were stacked.”

12. “I should have come up with a better strategy for wind; now we have to screen off large gusts that make a bit of noise.”

13. “I should have researched how to keep the sun off the roof; in the end, we had to double ventilate the roof.”

14. “They should have told me not to cut the boxes unnecessarily. And I wish I knew my contractor understood modular or container finishing, as this would have impacted the price and quality.”

by EBA51

15. “Building code is important, as each country has its own sets of rules and standards.”

You might also like to check out: The coolest container home you'll ever see.

What are your thoughts on container homes?
Whitton Drive by GK Architects Ltd Modern

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