Pros and cons of shipping container homes

Shipping container homes are a new way of living in a sustainable and affordable way. Lots of people are choosing them by converting cargo containers. Before we talk about shipping container homes in depth and divulge about their advantages, disadvantages, or look at other aspects, let’s see in brief about freight containers.

Maritime shipping containers are the brainchild of Malcolm McLean who invented them in 1937 to ease the burden of transporting goods to distant places. The shipping boxes come in various container dimensions, types to ease the transporters of moving different cargoes depending on the shipper’s or business person’s needs. Evolving from standard containers to different specific units like pallet-wide, platform, flat rack, and others, they have now evolved into homes.

What is a shipping container home?

Shipping containers home is a form of accommodation that people are choosing quite a lot. The homes are of steel shipping containers, reusable intermodal containers that transport goods, or prefabricated containers that are specially designed for architectural purposes. They are ideally present in 20x8ft and 40x8ft sizes. With 20ft shipping containers, you get a 160sqft living area and with 40ft cargo containers, you get a 320sqft living area. People are using them today as offices, personal spaces, homes, bars, restaurants, spas, and whatnot. They are one of the most perfect alternatives to traditional homes.

Do you need a permit to construct a modern container house?

There might be places or cities where you will need permission to build a container home. Certain cities have restrictions over container homes as they are separate from the area’s zoning and building codes restrictions. In such cases, it is necessary to talk to the official first and procure all documents before starting the construction.

Mostly you can build such homes in areas where there is less traffic or falls in the rural zone. Getting a permit in rural or outer areas is not that difficult. You just have to remember that such areas sometimes inhabit ruffians who may harm you or your home.

Pros of building a shipping container home

There are quite many advantages or pros of shipping container homes as they provide an affordable and sustainable alternative. They are:


Shipping container homes offer a cost-effective and affordable alternative to traditional homes. You might be thinking how? The simple answer is where you have to make a traditional home from scratch from brick and mortar. The cargo container one is already built with four walls, a roof, and a floor. All you have to do is carry on some modifications, and voila your home is ready which you can always secure heavily with shipping container locks.

Quick Construction

As mentioned above, they already come with four walls, a roof, and a floor, there is not much to do. You just have to carry on some quick modifications like the addition of windows, false ceiling to accommodate air-conditioning, electric and water fixtures, and other such fixings that will turn your cold big box into a warm cozy home. They are faster to make as the traditional homes will take longer time durations but the maritime shipping containers ones’ will be easier and quicker to construct.

Easy Modification

You can easily modify them into larger homes. As you just have to keep adding more and more shipping boxes if you have a larger expanse. If you want to build a personal space in your home or add a swimming pool for your kids, you know what you have to do. Either buy a new shipping container or get a used container for sale and modify them in the way you want without spending too much penny.


As they are of metal shipping containers, they offer durability to homes. The maritime containers are made of steel, corten steel, or aluminum. Such types of metals are stronger, sturdier, and can long last. Thus, they offer reliability, durability, and can withstand any type of extreme climatic condition, whether it’s severe hot or rain, or windstorm, they can survive it all.


Being made of intermodal containers, they are easier to move if they are one or two-story buildings. By taking intermodal transportation services, you can always shift your home to the place or area you need.

Cons of building a shipping container home

Just like every coin has two sides. Shipping container homes also comes with some disadvantages, which if one manages properly can be mitigated.

Hard to get permits

This is one of the hardest things to do. Getting permits from the officials of the area where you want to build a home is not an easy task. And it can even send your whole plan of building home to the south. So, it is better to get clear information from the local city planning office. You will get to know about the zoning restrictions, building code restrictions, and other permissions requirements needed for making a container house.

Not always Eco-friendly

Freight container homes are not always an eco-friendly option. Many a time, people use new cargo containers for homes, adding more tons of steel garbage after they stop using the home. Other than this, when using an old freight container, the cargo unit may have been in use for transporting toxic materials, and when the person buys that box, s/he may have to return it as the toxic effect doesn’t go soon making the home useless. In this way, that second-hand container is again adding to the pile of garbage.

Fitting Appliances can be difficult

When it comes to modifying the shipping unit into a home, it needs tons of modification. This adds more woes as cutting through sturdy hard metal sheets makes it harder to modifications. And also if your location is far-off from the city, you would need to hire electric, water, and other technicians who may charge more for supplying services.

Need of Reinforcements

Modifications like cutting walls or roofs for windows, doors, etc. weaken the strong structure of the box. In many cases, when the wind is too strong or when it is snowing heavily, the roof bows to the sides. Thus, you may have to install reinforcements in order to avoid any harm that may happen due to snowfall or other climatic conditions. In many cases, when the wind is too strong or when it is snowing heavily, the roof bows to the sides.

Thus, by seeing the pros and cons of shipping container homes, you may decide well what you need. And if you want to buy maritime shipping containers, then LOTUS Containers, one of the best shipping container companies in the world, offers the most sturdy, durable, heavy-duty, and reliant new and old shipping containers for sale. We have been supplying distinct container types available in all sizes like 20ft cargo containers, 40ft shipping containers for sale in Germany, the USA, China, and other parts of the world with maximum effectiveness and affordability.