Container Home Costs &
Container homes cost less than many people think. Used
storage containers are available for low prices, and they
make excellent structures for homes. The prices of these
containers vary whether they are new or used, and how
many years they were used.
Estimating Container House Costs
You will also generally have to pay to ship the container
to a location near your construction site and this can
cost between $80 and $500, depending on weight of the
container and how far it is shipped.
New 20-foot storage containers are priced usually between
$1000 and $4000, and some are higher in price. If you
are buying more than one, your seller may give you a better
deal, and a deal on shipping, as well. If you want a lot
of customizing done, this can cost between $50 and $150
New 40-foot cubes and containers don't cost a lot more
than the 20-foot models. New containers may sell for $1400-$4000,
or $1400-$5800 for cubes.
The Cycle of Recycling ...
Used storage containers can be bought from retailers
who will clean them up before they are sold. They look
just like new when they are finished with them. Used containers
often run between $1500 and $4000. The cheapest containers
are not warrantied against fire or water damage.
Labor costs are low for storage container homes, with
the exception of the heavy cranes needed to lift and move
the containers into place, especially if you are shooting
for more than one story.
Special cutting and welding
can also add to the construction price overall.
Since they need to be moved by special equipment,
the you'll have to pick a suitable building site
first before beginning your construction project.
Steel is not readily used for home building in most areas,
so you'll have to see if the site you want requires a
special permit for the use of steel (in most locations
no special permit is needed). In addition, the wood floors
of container units are usually heavily treated with insecticides,
and the floors may need to be scrubbed and regular flooring
put in before one can inhabit a storage container home.
You can also opt to buy a finished structural system
for your storage container home. These are called SG Blocks.
They retail for about $9000-$11,000 for each unit. The
total cost for a large house to be built from containers
is between $150,000 and $175,000, after any options or
add-ons are completed. This is still less than half the
price per square foot of a conventional home.
Cost in Costa ...
If you're interested in purchasing a storage container
home that has already been built, you'll need to check
into areas where these are built on land and then sold
with a site. In Costa Rica, where use is more widespread,
a 20-foot container home will give you about 160 square
feet of living space, and the cost is $12,500. This does
not include any glass doors you'd like to have added.
A home made with two 20-foot containers has 320 square
feet of living space, and costs $26,000, also not including
any glass doors you may wish to add. These prices include
the container(s), finished walls that are insulated, basic
electrical and plumbing features, two lights and four
wall outlets per container and built-in shelves in the
living area and kitchen.
You can build much bigger container homes as well, for
less than the cost of large, conventional homes. And recycling,
as you already know, helps the environment. Neil Young
sings in his song "My, My, Hey, Hey" that "It's
better to burn out / than it is to rust." So go do
something unconventional today like build a shipping container
home and make your life and the world a better place for
Page updated December 09, 2014