There are plenty of options for housing if you want to move off-grid and be a self-sustaining homeowner. From prefabricated homes to tiny houses, to RVs, there are lots of ways you can downsize and live in your dream location. Shipping container homes are also an excellent choice for housing, especially in remote areas where it can be tough to build homes.
Shipping container homes are very portable and can be kept on wheels so you can take them anywhere with you. Shipping containers are incredibly versatile and are being used for structures such as homes, swimming pools, small restaurants, hotel rooms and even gardens.
You can build with them anywhere: on a small or large piece of land, into the side of a hill or in hot or cold climates. Shipping containers are durable and versatile for any spot. Once you’ve chosen the perfect location for your dream home, the possibilities for a shipping container home are endless.
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Recycling and Reusing
If you’ve ever driven down a major highway, chances are you’ve seen a shipping container on the back of a semi-truck, with the goods inside being transported to local stores. If you live near or have visited a major shipping port, you likely have seen thousands of these containers come in on gigantic ships, bound from locations like China and Europe.
The cost of shipping these containers back to their original locations is greater than just constructing new ones, so ports are left with many leftover containers. Many of these ports sell extra containers directly to the public, or to companies who recycle and reuse them in creative ways.
They are relatively cheap to construct, so there is usually a surplus of containers that, if turned into a home, will find a wonderfully repurposed new life and reduce unwanted waste in our environment. Whether you’re just beginning or you’re an expert homesteader, these are some of the top reasons why you should consider choosing a shipping container for your off-grid home.
- Versatile for Any Climate
If you’re planning to live in the deep south, or you’re looking for a mountaintop in the northwest, your shipping container can be customized and insulated for any climate.
If you have some shade around your home, your container will function much like a regular home and not absorb the heat. Likewise, if you live in a cold-weather climate, plenty of insulation and smaller windows will keep the heat in your home from escaping.
A properly constructed roof, spray-foam insulation and proper ventilation are all key to the comfort of your shipping container home in all climates. If you choose to keep your container on wheels and use it as a tiny home, it is versatile and adaptable wherever you take it.
Some shipping container tiny homes start at prices below $20,000. That is a huge benefit for homeowners looking to downsize into a sustainable living space for an affordable price.
The transportation price may raise the total cost of your shipping container home, along with the price of the land, foundation pad, utilities and other finalization costs. However, shipping container homes are often still more affordable than building a traditional home or even purchasing a modular home.
If you want to buy your own shipping container to start on your home venture, you can purchase one from a local port for under $2,000. This price is a great motivator to choose a shipping container home, especially when compared to the cost of construction supplies for a standard home or tiny home, which can begin around $7,000.
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- Upgrades and Expansions
If you want a large shipping container home, the possibilities are endless when it comes to expansions. You can stack shipping containers on top of one another or you can lay them out in a floor plan that works best for your needs. The result is a really modern style look to your shipping container home that can be as creative as you want it to be.
You can also add upgrades to your living space. If you’re planning on living off-grid, you might want a container space with a greenhouse for vegetables and fruits, especially if you live in an area with harsh winters. A small container add-on might be a great place to store all your harvested and prepared food for the winter.
You can also use shipping container spaces to add a workshop, art studio, office, home gym, sauna, swimming pool or a garage. The versatility in sizes and the affordability of containers can expand your homestead to fit your lifestyle and hobbies.
These 14-gauge corrugated steel containers are built to be transported thousands of miles across the ocean. Once they arrive, they’re built to withstand the road trip, which can also be thousands of miles, from the port to their final destination on the back of a truck. Shipping containers are made to travel in all kinds of weather, and they hold up to the brutality of the elements.
With proper maintenance, your shipping container home can last a lifetime. Rust is the primary concern in a shipping container home, but, as long as you regularly inspect your home for moisture and leaks, rust shouldn’t be an issue.
Unlike wood structures, you don’t have to worry about settling or cracking wood like in traditional home construction. Likewise, your shipping container can withstand transportation if you choose to have it built elsewhere and shipped to your location. Traditional modular homes can experience cracking or settling during transport, which may require repairs upon arrival.
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Because you’re using recycled material for the frame of your home, you’re already helping the environment. The surplus of shipping containers at ports around the world means there are lots of containers available for repurposing. Some are being repurposed commercially as storefronts and cafes; others are being used as mobile hospitals, disaster shelters and small restaurants. By turning a shipping container into a home, you would be helping cut down on the shipping container waste.
Solar panels are easily attachable to your shipping container home, which is both eco-friendly and self-sustaining for any off-grid homesteader. Your footprint on the land is also much smaller than in a traditional home, which may be important if you want to preserve the natural elements of your homestead. Water sources can come from local wells or even be collected from rainwater, while sewage can be spilled into a septic tank or composting toilets, which are better for the environment.
By choosing a shipping container, you’re also cutting down on the need for resources such as wood and materials like brick or concrete. These can help reduce your carbon footprint and are healthier choices for our environment.
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