What Are the Pros and Cons of Shipping Container Houses

Shipping container houses are a great option for anyone looking for an affordable residential space. They’re also sustainable, sturdy, and easy to transport to new locations. 

However, you should be aware of some drawbacks of shipping container houses. Here are the pros and cons of this type of housing.

What is a Shipping Container House?

Shipping containers are large, durable, and stackable steel boxes used to move goods worldwide. Their unique characteristics make them ideal for repurposing as a home.

SCF shipping containers have provided customers with high-quality shipping containers in the past years. They are renowned for providing a wide range of products at competitive prices to ensure they meet the needs of all their customers.

Where to Get a Shipping Container House?

The first and most obvious place to look for shipping containers is at a shipping or freight yard. All the containers are when they aren’t on a ship, train, or truck. You don’t want just any old container, though — you want a high-cube container, which is one with extra height.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when purchasing from a shipping container yard:


The price of the container itself is your largest cost, but that’s not all. You’ll also have transportation costs, site preparation costs, and more.


Shipping yards can tell you how recently a particular container has been used in shipping, but that doesn’t mean it has been treated well. Look for rust and dents that can compromise the structural integrity, doors that don’t close properly, and signs of water damage.


Containers can be big and heavy, so they can be difficult to transport over long distances. If you’re buying from a shipping yard, find one close to your building site, so the transportation costs don’t get out of hand.

Pros of Shipping Container Houses

If you’re considering building a shipping container home, here are the advantages you need to know about 

1. Easy to Transport and Find a Location

Shipping containers are designed for easy transportation. They’re built in factories, shipped worldwide, and stacked in ports or cargo ships. If you can get a truck to your location, you can find a foundation or place your container on blocks right on the ground.

2. They are Prefabricated

One of the great advantages of a shipping container home is that it comes prefabricated. This means that your home will be constructed off-site rather than on-site at your future location. Also, it means that you can have your home ready to move into as soon as it arrives at the site.

3. Their Cost Is Predictable

There are so many variables in constructing a traditional home that it can be difficult to predict how much it will cost. The building materials’ costs like lumber and concrete, for example, can fluctuate significantly. 

Building a shipping container home is different because most of your building materials are already paid for. Labor costs are also predictable if you’re not doing the work yourself.

4. They Are Durable

These homes are extremely durable and strong. Steel is the world’s most recycled material, and each steel shipping container has been used for at least one ocean voyage across the world’s oceans. 

Additionally, the steel used in shipping containers is very thick, offering great strength, durability, and protection against the elements.

Cons of Shipping Container Houses

Just because shipping container homes are unique, it does not mean that they are free from problems. Here are some of their disadvantages.

1. Might Have Structural Issues

Checking for structural issues is one of the first things you should do before buying a shipping container.

Often, these problems can be repaired by welding or by adding braces or crossbeams to the container’s interior. However, if you’re not handy at such repairs, you may have to pay someone else to fix some structural issues with your shipping container before using it.

2. Difficult to Support Modern Appliances

Modern appliances can be difficult to fit into a shipping container home. Even if you manage to work them into the space, you will likely need to modify the electricity in your home to support these appliances.

3. Not Always Effective for Recycling

Shipping containers can only be used so many times before they are no longer safe for transportation purposes. If you reside in places with extreme temperatures, you may need to purchase a new one every few years because of damage caused by the weather.

This constant need for a new shipping container can cost more than it would build a traditional house.

Wrapping Up

Shipping container homes are becoming a popular trend in the real estate industry. They’re a great alternative to conventional housing, especially if you’re looking for something eco-friendly and frugal.

Indeed, buying a container house is a huge decision. It takes time to research and find the best container for you. So, before deciding to own a shipping container home, you must take note of the pros and cons of this type of living space.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.