Could You Live in a Shipping Container? How to Get Your Dream Home on the Cheap

Posted on: 27 February 2017


When you picture your new dream home, the image in your mind is probably not a blocky building constructed from shipping containers. But before you dismiss that idea completely, read on and consider it with an open mind.

In recent years, shipping containers have become an increasingly popular building material, largely due to their relatively low cost, but also because they're so versatile. If you're on a tight budget, you could get your own custom built house for just a fraction of your available funds. Factor in that a shipping container home can typically be built far quicker than other types and you might start to wonder why you'd never considered it before.

First steps

Before you do anything else, you have some decisions to make and some important information to find out.

Number one is exactly where you're going to site your new home. You're going to need a patch of land that's sufficient to hold the finished house with any additional space you want for a garden and parking.

Once you've got a potential piece of land in mind, research what permits you'll need. Consult with local government and use the wealth of information available on the internet.


Once you've got this out of the way, you can start planning in terms of what you want from your new home. How big do you want it to be? How will you moderate temperature? Do you want it to be connected to the electricity grid or use alternative sources of power? And what about water?

These are all important considerations before you proceed. You should also think about the building process itself. Can you handle it yourself or do you need a company to take care of it for you?


The fun part is beginning to put together an actual, solid design. There are many resources online to help with this, including complete plans for sale or given away free, which is useful if you don't have the knowledge to design it yourself.


Most important here, of course, is to purchase all of the containers you need and arrange delivery. Make sure you get all of the other necessary materials at the same time, to avoid delays and problems.

The build

Depending on your level of involvement, you can either sit back and enjoy watching your home come together, or get stuck in and enjoy the fruits of your labour paying off. Either way, keep assessing your progress at every stage.

Finishing touches

When the building part is done, you can decorate the inside and outside as you like. A lick of paint can bright up the exterior no end, or you could clad it with wood to disguise its origins completely and give it a smart, modern look.

Keep these ideas in mind the next time you see shipping container sales