Living in a (Decked Out) Shipping Container

by | Feb 26, 2015 | Blog, Green / Sustainability Ideas, Home & Lifestyle

We have seen all types of homes out there – from beautiful brick Tudors to the modern townhomes that are popping up around our city. But one thing coming into the mix are shipping container homes, little seen in the Denver real estate market but making an impact in housing around our country. How do these work? And are they really something that you could get used to living in? RISMedia outlines some of the basics about living in these unique residences and explains why many people are opting to make these recycled objects their home.

I-con by Lightmash, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License   by  Lightmash 

First the positives: the obvious perk is the cost. Citing a price tag of $40,000 for these lovely shipping container homes it almost seems too good to be true. But with the frame coming from an already-made object, the costs are inevitably less expensive than building a house from scratch. Also, shipping containers are eco-friendly – each one used creates a new purpose for 3,500kg of steel that would have been discarded elsewhere. It’s the ultimate in recycling! With these minimal and simple frames, it is also easy to achieve the home you want in a quick amount of time – sometimes in under a day. And with shipping containers being readily available, you can get started on the project in no time.

Sounds perfect, right? However, there are some negatives to consider. First, the containers come in one shape and only a few different sizes. Therefore, you are limited in flexibility. Some people solve this issue by cutting or extending the containers, but then you add both time and cost to the project. You also need to make sure you have access to an open minded contractor who can achieve what you want with this unique structure. Finally, transitioning this functional container into a home takes work – it’s essential to remove the pesticides added to many crates that make sense for shipping items across the world but not for comfortable and safe living, and to fix this you need to replace the floor. And for some, the task of starting with just a shell can be daunting if you can’t visualize how the dark box can turn into a home.

Most importantly, people need to really decide if this type of lifestyle is right for them. If you enjoy unique structures and the idea of recycling and repurposing, this is an exciting option that is sure to turn heads. Check out more examples here, here, and here for some eye candy and inspiration, showing what you can achieve with just a simple box and some imagination.

Looking for other types of homes? Search Denver real estate on our website by clicking here.

Want to learn about more eco-friendly housing concepts? Check out similar articles we’ve posted on our blog here.

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