Why Do People Live In Shipping Container Homes?

Posted By: March 19, 2015 In Featured

Want to build your own shipping container home? Start Here.

For those of us who have already fallen in love with the idea of living in a shipping container home, this question might seem quite strange. However, for some people, the idea of living in a shipping container seems downright bizarre! So today, we are going to take a closer look at this question and show you exactly why people are choosing to live in shipping containers.

The Poll

First of all, let’s look at a recent poll which was posted on woot in January this year. The poll asked people: Would you ever live in a house made of shipping containers? The three options were:

  1. Heck yeah. Those are cool.
  2. No way. Those are weird.
  3. I have never heard of such a thing.

In total the poll received over 700 votes and the results have now been collated.

Would you ever live in a shipping container house poll

An impressive 61.5% of people responded saying that they would live in a shipping container home. This was followed by 25.1% of people replying that they wouldn’t live in a shipping container home; maybe they should read 6 Awesome Reasons Why You Should Have A Shipping Container Home!? Finally 13.4% of people responded saying that they hadn’t heard of shipping container homes- those poor souls!!

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“61.5% of people want to live in a shipping container home”

Unfortunately the poll doesn’t explain why people want to live in a container home; it only asks them if they would. So, we decided we would dig a bit deeper and find out exactly why people do and don’t want to live in a shipping container home.

What’s the appeal of containers?

To find out why people want to live in container homes we emailed our subscribers and asked them a few questions. Most relevant to this blog post though, we asked them why they wanted to live in a shipping container home.

We sent the email out last month and have received quite a lot of responses. What’s been surprising though is how consistent the responses have been, they typically fall into five categories.

1. Price

The most common response we received from our subscribers was price. They said, they either live in a shipping container home or wanted to live in a shipping container home because of the cost savings they expected to make.

We have previously discussed this in, How Much Do Shipping Container Homes Cost?, where we showed three shipping container homes which have been built for less than $100,000.

This isn’t to say that all shipping container homes are cheap, quite the opposite we’ve seen shipping container homes sell for more than $1,000,000. However it’s to show you that shipping containers can be used to build affordable homes and this has been done across the globe.

2. Eco-Friendly

Running a close second place was eco-friendly; in-fact there was only a few votes difference between this and price! A lot of people want to own a shipping container home because they want to build homes in a sustainable, environmentally friendly manner.

In-fact ‘eco-friendliness’ is a trend which isn’t unique to construction, but a trend which has been gradually building momentum for the last decade; since the turn of the century more and more people are becoming aware of the need to be as environmentally friendly as possible.

Each time a shipping container is re-used we are saving the earth over 3,500kg worth of steel! Not only that, we are also saving the use of other materials we would need to use instead of the steel such as bricks or wood. I mean sure we can melt the container back down into steel and use it for something else but that’s the beauty of container homes, we don’t need to do any of that we simply ‘up-cycle’ the container into something beautiful.

By far the price and eco-friendliness received the most amount of votes, however three other categories still received a decent amount of interest.

3. Style/Looks

The third most popular reason people want to live in shipping container homes is because of their looks!

It’s not really surprising, is it? They look incredible!

Building with shipping containers creates stunning modular homes; using containers has provided us with some of the most striking 21st century homes to date. Don’t believe us- take a look at these epic shipping container homes.

4. Off-Grid Living

In fourth place was off-grid living. For those of you not familiar with the term, off-grid living refers to living in a home which isn’t connected to a mains electrical supply. In essence it means to live in a sustainable self-sufficient manner.

Shipping container homes can make the perfect off-grid home; remember Brenda Kelly’s off grid home which was featured by living big in a tiny house? The home was completed with two 135watt solar panels and a grey water system. The home was built for around $30,000!

Shipping container homes can be purchased pre-fabricated which then means you can simply get your container delivered and you have your off-grid home ready to live in.

We haven’t yet seen any 40 foot off-grid homes, but I think thats due to the nature of where we normally see off-grid homes (remote, hard to access locations). It’s probably more trouble than it’s worth transporting a 40 foot container there…

5. Speed

The final reason we received from our subscribers was speed. Now by this, it’s meant the speed by which a shipping container home can be built when compared to a traditionally built house (using bricks and mortar).

Shipping containers can be laid at pretty impressive speeds. Take for example the Riverside Building Offices which is part of ‘Container City’.

Here, 73 shipping containers were used to build the office block, and it only took eight days to install them! A traditional office block made from concrete would have taken much longer than this.

So there you have the five most common reasons why people want to live in a shipping container home: Price, Eco-Friendliness, Looks, Off-Grid Living and Speed.

We’d love to know what you think. Let us know in the comments below if you want to live in a shipping container home or not- also whatever you choice please let us know why!