Is a Shipping Container Home Worth It?

Nowadays, shipping containers are used more in architecture than shipping itself. It is such a hit because people feel that they have given the environment a break by reusing the containers. Not only does the hype of “green” architecture propel home buyers to give it a go, the trendy designs are eye-candy.

Like this container van room in Vessel Hotel, La Union.

Like this container van room in Vessel Hotel, La Union.

It’s amazing how you can cover up the metal structure to make it look like a habitable space.

When Typhoon Haiyan destroyed his home, an elderly man had his new house built from a container van.

When Typhoon Haiyan destroyed his home, an elderly man had his new house built from a container van.

Those two images won’t hide the fact that there have been numerous heated debates as to whether container vans are really worth being your prefab material of choice.

Some architects have admitted to buying new container vans to make the houses, which really defeats the purpose of upcycling. Why? Remember, a container van is supposedly built to withstand ocean sprays and so a lead-based paint is used on them. Imagine living in a box laced with high amounts of chemical residue.

The container’s structural integrity can also be compromised when they are dented. These things take a lot of beating as they are transferred from one port to another, stacked over each other, etc.

Stacked and stressed containers.

Stacked and stressed containers.

To make a bigger home space, you may have to use more than one container too. These spaces are only good for one person or at the most a couple with no kids. Though fixing up the whole thing may not be as expensive as having a traditional house built, you will also consider cutting up areas of the container to make room for windows and doors.

Some designers are saying, the container van is better used for pop-up stores, small offices, and trade show booths. Don’t worry, if you are really set to have this kind of home, the trend has yet to reach its peak. For those who are still undecided, you may want to go over more designs and pricing schemes. Anyway,  it’s your home and you get to pick what you want.