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How To Build A Shipping Container Home

Posted on August 14, 2019 by Container Stop
Man stands in front of shipping containers to illustrate how to build a shipping container home

Readers of the Container Stop Blog may have noticed an uptick in the number of stories detailing how fantastic it would be to live in a refurbished and refashioned shipping container.

In addition to the ways in which a shipping container can be utilized to, well, ship things (and store things!), an increasing number of forward-thinkers are turning shipping containers into modern, comfy living spaces.

How do they do it — and, more importantly, why do they do it?

There are a lot of reasons why somebody might decide to turn a shipping container into a livable space, including:

  • Affordability
  • Expandability
  • Creative/design inspiration and challenge
  • Waterproof
  • Floodproof
  • Fireproof
  • Eco-friendly
  • Easily relocatable

Those are just a few of the reasons why people look to convert shipping containers into living spaces. We’ll be writing a lot more about this topic in the weeks and months ahead; there are so many fun and interesting angles to cover!

For example, did you know that the city of Wilmington, North Carolina, has an entire section of town dedicated to shipping containers that have been converted into living and working spaces?

Yep! It’s called the Cargo District. Rightly touted as “a collection of start-ups, social enterprises, art, innovation, professionals, coworking, retail shops, pop-ups, and dreamers,” the District represents one of the latest and greatest uses — or re-uses — of shipping containers into something altogether new and wonderful.

Ready To Build A Shipping Container Home?

But let’s say you’re interested in building a shipping container home of your own. If that’s the case, may we suggest you partner with the shipping container experts at Container Stop? Shipping containers are fully customizable, and we offer the best advice and workmanship to help build the container of your dreams.

In fact, we can customize your shipping container to include (among other things and depending on local building codes and regulations):

  • Doors and windows of all shapes and sizes
  • Skylights
  • Electrical systems
  • Heating and cooling systems
  • Plumbing
  • HVAC
  • Vents

Building a tiny home (or a roomy one!) out of a shipping container is something that can — and should — be done alongside the experts at Container Stop. Our welders and tradespeople are world-class — the best in the business.

When the work is done, your container will appear to be a full-sized, built house from the inside — with comfy and surprisingly spacious living rooms and other living areas, glass walls, sliding glass doors, and plenty of square feet of living space. These are real homes in good shape — and they tend to stay that way. With proper insulation, you can be cool in the summer and cozy and warm in the winter.

There is also the pleasure of knowing that it’s not just a shipping container home — it’s a recycled shipping container home!

History of Shipping Container Homes

According to The New York Times, shipping container homes have sprung up all around the world since at least the early 1990s. People have built them in the United States, the United Kingdom, South America, Africa, Australia, and South Korea.

“Building with shipping containers isn’t exactly new,” the Times writes, “but until recently it hasn’t been exactly mainstream either … Containers are loved by the hip and the practical, artisans and DIY-ers, engineers and construction foremen, as they are both sustainable and affordable. And used 20- or 40-foot containers can be obtained for as little as several hundred dollars apiece, so it’s not surprising that some industry professionals consider them the future of homebuilding.”

If you already know what your home plans will be like, and you’re a longtime professional like those mentioned in that New York Times quote above (an engineer, a construction foreman, etc.), then perhaps you might be able to build a shipping container home of your own.

Here’s a brief overview of what you’ll need to make it happen. (Partially compiled using the helpful info at

Building A House Out Of A Shipping Container: What You’ll Need

  1. A plan (designs)
  2. Shipping containers (call Container Stop!)
  3. Engineers (for foundational work, connections, and reinforcements)
  4. Plumbers
  5. Electricians
  6. Welders

Think you can handle all that? If not, then call Container Stop. You have a dream — we can make it a reality.


Our Box, Your Dream!

We’ve built cabins, garden sheds, and tack rooms with our containers. Have an idea for your shipping container? Let us know!

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