Shipping Container Home FAQ


What Are Shipping Container Homes?

Shipping container homes are actual houses, that are made out of pre-fab containers. Shipping containers were originally used to ship items (small to large) with freight ships. Someone decided that these structures would make good, sturdy homes.

Now, container homes have improved to add more durable metal materials, insulation, and other improvements to make it a nice home for anybody looking for an alternative to the pricey housing market

How Expensive Are Shipping Container Homes?

One of the best things about container homes are the fact that they are so affordable.

A typical container home can cost less than $80,000.

Depending on what you add to your container home and the size, these can range from $8,000 up to over $100,000+ per unit.

How Do I Build My Own Shipping Container Home?

The best thing about Off Grid Dwellings is that we have complete kits that are already pre-fabricated. All of our kits do not need (or need very little) installation. Many of our kits, in fact, have sinks and bathrooms included.

How Do I Insulate My Shipping Containers?

Insulation is a very important thing to consider when owning a container home. Without proper insulation, your home can become too cold, or unbearably hot.

Insulation can be tricky. Done wrong, it can become a huge problem for your new home. We suggest looking into professionally installed insulation in your local area.

If you would like an already insulated container home, check out some of our offerings on our store.

Where Can I Find Shipping Container Home Plans?

At Off Grid Dwellings, we provide already put-together container homes complete with sink, bathrooms, and electrical circuit board for power.

We also provide basic insulated container homes in which you can plan with your builder/architect. We suggest you plan it with someone experienced or a professional.

How Long Will My Shipping Container Home Last?

Our container homes can last up to 25+ years. This will also depend on how well you can maintain your dwelling. If you clad the outside with something to protect your container home, such as wood, it can last even longer.

One important aspect to mention is the danger of rust. Though our container homes are treated with anti-rust, without proper maintenance and care, your container home can still be in danger of rust. We suggest you regularly check your container home for rust and treat it properly.

In Which Climates Can I Construct A Container Home?

As long as you container home is properly insulated and ventilated, your container home can last in most hot or cold climates.

Is It Dangerous To Live In A Shipping Container Home?

Not at all. As long as you take precautions, and properly build and maintain your container home, it is truly safe.

Where Can I Find Contractors To Build My Container Home?

The best way would be to look at your local area for contractors. Ask friends or family if they know anyone experienced in building. You can also look at your local papers, or online postings (like to find builders in your area.

** Be careful in choosing a contractor. It is important to do your due diligence to find a trusted builder/contractor.

Why Do People Live In Shipping Container Homes?

The two biggest reasons people live in container homes are:

  • They are very eco-friendly and efficient
  • Very low-cost and economical

Aren’t shipping containers just hot ovens when they are used for homes or offices?

If you are prepared, and the container has good insulation, container homes can be just as safe.

What about rust and corrosion? Won’t a metal shipping container rust quite easily?

No. Shipping containers were built to last in ocean-salt rich environments. A shipping container is specially made to battle the humidity and is made with non-corrosive corten steel (also coated with anti-corrosive ceramic paint) so it is virtually rust/mildew-proof. Highly anti-septic.

Who wants to live in a home that looks like a Cargo Container?

With the popularity of container homes in the rise, the latest model actually look like modern permanent homes. All of our containers can be covered with wood, stucco, vinyl siding, etc.

Lately, container homes have become something of a trend, that does not look like it will go away in the near future, with rising housing costs. It definitely is a talking piece when guests see it for the first time!

What cities would ever allow Shipping Container homes all over the neighborhoods?

Because of the reputation, efficiency, and economical nature of our container homes it should be fairly easy to be approved with your local council office/planning commissions.

Because regulations and approvals vary wildly for each state and county, the easiest way to be approved to show them exactly what you plan to build and ask them directly what is needed.

You can also bypass this necessary step by hiring a local builder who would have a better understanding of the local codes and conditions.

I read that shipping container homes are Hurricane proof. Is that true?

Yes they are. Our container homes can withstand up to 100 MPH to 150 MPH winds when properly secured to the foundation. You can also easily anchor with pylons, or tie down cables for even more protection. Very solid in tornadoes and hurricanes as well.

Is it true shipping container Home is Earthquake proof?

Your container home would be 100 times safer than a traditional home. You can rest easily knowing your container home is safer than a traditional home when it comes to earthquakes. Your home may shake and move around a bit, but I would rather be in a container home when the “Big-One” hits than a home structure.

Why promote Containers for home and office construction?

For us, it is the most practical and logical choice for our customers. Below are just some of the plethora of reasons to choose a container home over any traditional space:

  • They are usually the strongest structure available (over traditional homes and buildings). They are stronger than wood, concrete, and normal steel buildings.
  • Lowest cost per square foot than traditional structures.
  • Extremely Eco-friendly and efficient living. Most are made of recycled steel and can be fully recyclable when demolished.
  • Repurposes an extreme surplus of wasted shipping containers being stored near harbors, ports beaches, etc.

Recommended Foundation types?

Three recommended foundations types::

  1. You can dig and pour concrete piers for your foundation. Then place gravel around the piers to allow for water to drain underneath your container home.
  2. The most popular option: follow Step 1 and then adding a concrete slab on top of the piers to provide a solid surface for you container home. This will help keep anything from digging under your home.
  3. The last option would add a partial crawl space (if needed) to either options above. Best for really cold climates where you would need to connect all of your plumbing. Most of our customers have a base-board-type heater mounted in the crawl space for added heat during the cold weather.

*** All of these options are recommendations, you will need to check with the local jurisdiction to see if they have any requirements.***

How does delivery work and what is included in a standard delivery?

Delivery for your new container home will be approx 5-10 weeks (depending on customizations and/or size)

How are they fastened to the ground?

You will need to choose a type of concrete foundation for your yurt (please check out our resource for building your foundation here). From there you will have to securely fasten your container home to the foundation using any method of attachment you prefer.

*** important to note, it is not recommended to use a wooden foundation for ANY of our container home kits.***

How thick is a container? How are they constructed?

Steel shipping container walls are made from corrugated sheet steel panels that are welded for form the container. The steel used to build modern shipping/cargo containers are a corrosive resistant, high-strength steel.

Depending on which package you choose (expandable, fold out), construction methods will vary.

How are the utilities hooked up?

The utilities (electric, water, sewer/septic) are connected the same as they would be in a normal house. Of course, we can customize this based on your needs and work with you to add any customizations so that you are ready to roll as soon as your new home arrives.

How long does it take to build one?

That would depend on which type of container home it you choose. We have expandable and foldable units that do not need much assembly. And we also have flat pack container home which do require some assembly. All of our container homes (depending on customizations) should take no more than a couple of hours to setup the basic kits.

How are they insulated?

We use closed cell spray foam insulation in both the walls and the ceilings of our container homes.  This not only provides the maximum insulation possible, it also reinforces what is already the strongest construction available.

As these are containers and not traditional wood construction, they start out wind and water tight.  The only holes in the container are those we cut for doors and windows (and raised ceilings if applicable).  Because of this, the containers heat and cool very quickly.

Are delivery and set-up included in the price?

The responsibility of the setup falls with the customer. Though we do offer FREE SHIPPING with all of our products (which is unheard of in our industry).

Are they mobile? Can I transport them?

They definitely can, however we recommend finding a local profession tow company to help you with the transport. This is something you definitely cannot do on your own.

Do you offer financing?

At this current time due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, we only offer financing on a few of our products. You will see those products with financing available clearly labeled on our product pages!

Still Have Questions? Give Us A Call Or Send Us An Email

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