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TIN Cribs
(all about Container Homes)

Container homes, or as some call them used shipping container houses or cargo container properties, are a low cost, eco-friendly way to build a dwelling with a unique design. And of course, you'll do so and recycle. Container homes basically start with some form of shipping or cargo steel box that may have once been on a long haul truck, a plane, a train or carried across the ocean by a shipping vessel.

container home
Large artsy container home

The architects, designers and builders of these homes have basically taken these sturdy structures and modified them into a property that people actually live in. Imagine that. Some containers are large enough for one 8' X 8 ' X 40' long structure to house a family of four. This is basic living, folks.

But those creating container home plans haven't stopped there as you can see by the pictures above and below on this page. They have put multiple containers together, creating much more space (and recycling even more metal).


Shipping Container House and patio

Planes, Trains and Automobiles ...

It's been estimated that at any one time there are over 18 million cargo containers in transit somewhere around the world. Approximately 7 million of those are coming to the United States. These containers are either floating on the seas, flying above us, traveling by train or being carried by truck.

But, if you want to go low cost and eco-friendly then you'll most likely want to buy a used shipping container and start building your home from there. Buying these used containers that are 40-feet long are relatively cheap with prices between $2,000 and $5,000. For those only wanting small houses to dwell in say, 20-feet long then they can even find them for around $1,500. These types of container homes are a steel (pun intended).

cargo container home
Fun eco-friendly cargo container home in nature
Now, let's go over some of the advantages of the container housing. Cost of course is first. Reducing your carbon footprint is another reason since you're recycling and presumably buying a smaller house rather than a mansion.

Another advantage of recycling containers into properties is that they are easily shipped. That makes sense now doesn't it? You can have a prefab built in one part of the country and shipped somewhere else. Like a mobile home, a container home is more mobile than most houses that need extraordinary measures to move them from point A to point B.

Another advantage of these houses is that they are modular. They can be stacked horizontally or vertically. You can put two or more together in different designs. The plans that can be developed may be old school, modern or just plain weird and unique.


Yellow Container Home with Solar Panel and deck

Structural Creativity ...

Many architects enjoy working with the plans for these properties because they are starting with known structures made of heavy grade steel. Of course, other building materials may be added, depending upon the design and layout of the home plans. But, there is much creativity that can be accomplished with these unique types of structures.

One of the disadvantages of course is that not all architects are familiar with green building techniques and structures. Working with containers to build a home with will be foreign to them and so there is a limited pool of professionals in this area who are willing to do this kind of work.

shipping container home
Large home using several shipping containers to create a common area


Conclusion ...

Be that as it may, used cargo container homes offer affordability, unique designs, and going green through recycling. If this appeals to you then you may want to check out building one of more of your own container homes today.

Updated December 09, 2014


 
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