Top 20 Shipping Container Home Designs and their Costs in 2022

Top 20 Shipping Container Home Designs and their Costs in 2022

“The Abilene” DIY Kit

20 ft Container Home – BTI Starting at $24,216 *Minimum Order of 3 Units Required*

The Abilene DIY Kit is the DIY version of one of our most popular 20 ft units. This basic build…


3) Container home with wood cladding

This house is built from a 40ft shipping container and offers you a living space of 320 sq ft. It features an open-plan kitchen and a bathroom with an enclosed shower area. The large living space can be utilized for both a bed and some seating space. The house with wood cladding comes with laminated flooring, insulation, lighting, and pipes for water connection. You can buy this house online for USD 34,000.

Source: eBay

“The Alpine” Model

40 ft Container Home Starting at $49,6101 BedroomsSleeps 2

The Alpine model is our most popular and flexible open concept floor plan so you can turn the space into…

2.This Amazon tiny house can be customized to your needs


The Weizhengheng Easy Install Prefabricated Container House is easily assembled and, like other shipping container homes, is a great example of recycling. Like other products from this company, you can customize the final product to your own specifications.

Each and every home comes completely equipped with power and lighting. Your purchase is not the end of your communication with the company. Their standard shipping container tiny house measures 19.5 feet (5.95 m) long, 15.6 feet (4.76 meters) wide, and 8.3 feet (2.52 meters) tall but you can customize to your liking.

Being derived from a shipping container, its external aesthetics are, as you would expect true to its origins, but on the inside, it is a very different story. 


You will be given pre-construction advice and consulting services as well as after-sales tracking services to make sure it meets or exceeds, your expectations. 

This shipping container home’s manufacturer primarily focuses on integrating housing solutions for construction companies, developers, and construction material traders so you can trust in their experience and quality of service.

According to their sales material they “apply industry-leading environmentally friendly green materials” to provide the world’s leading structural design[s]”.

Most of their products meet the strict requirements for CE, CNAS, BV, and ISO 9001 (and other relevant industry certifications).

This container house is available here 


We believe the customer comes first. From the  consult all the way to delivery, we’ll be there to update and inform you of the process and make sure you’re completely satisfied.

How Long Does A Shipping Container Home Last?

The life expectancy of a container home is on par with traditional housing. But just like any house, maintenance and climate consideration are crucial. Lopez advises to treat rust regularly and make sure you are maintaining the container well, and your home should “last your lifetime.”

7) Modern container home

This container home offers you a bedroom with a smart toilet and shower room. The luxurious home offers you a living space of 484 sq ft. The basic housing unit includes insulation and lighting. You can buy this house for USD 31,230 online.



Because of the simple foundations used by container homes, these structures can go where some houses can not. Shipping container homes do not use a traditional foundation. This means they can accommodate many different types of terrain and soil conditions.

Find Your Shipping Container

The next step is to find your exact container. You have two options: a new container or a used one. A new container is considered a “one-trip” container because it makes only one trip to your property. A used container may have been in service for a few months up to a few years. 

You can secure a used container for around $2,000 on average. Some people report spending closer to $1,500 while others spent more. New container costs can range up to $8,000. The average size of a shipping container is 20 feet by 8 feet. 

Some builders stack multiple containers against each other. You may be able to buy two to six containers at once if you plan to create a larger structure with your units. 

Are shipping container homes environmentally friendly?

Just because you buy a shipping container home doesn’t mean you are making a positive environmental impact. When you buy a container that is used, you are repurposing the container and reducing waste. If you buy it new, the unit was created just for your home and likely has the same environmental impact as a tiny home.

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Custom Container Living

Size: 312 square feetCost: $56,400 Photo: Courtesy of Custom Container Living

Size: 312 square feet

Cost: $56,400

Key features: Made from a 40-foot shipping container, this home by Custom Container Living uses lap siding and stained pine to create an inviting and rather spacious tiny home with two sleeping lofts. The home fits a standard five-foot tub/shower unit, combo washer/dryer, and full-size dishwasher, and approximately a third of the unit is carved out to form a quaint covered porch. [More info]

What Do Shipping Container Homes Offer?

Lots of folks ask what is a shipping container home? There are two standard sizes of shipping containers: 40 feet by 8 feet, providing 320 square feet, and 20 feet by 8 feet, giving you 160 square feet of space.

These containers are normally 8 and 1/2 feet high, though there is a slightly taller version available.

The taller version is known as High Cube Containers. If you can get one, high cubes are the preferred choice for shipping container homes. They are an additional foot taller, which makes insulating them much easier.

A High Cube container is about fifty percent more expensive but well worth it. The extra foot in ceiling height really makes a big difference!

Shipping container homes can be made up of just one of these structures. It could be the ideal size for an office or a small home. However, often they are combined to produce a much larger living space.

When multiple shipping containers are put together, sometimes the walls are removed between them. This creates a large open space that is more suitable for modern living. These shipping container homes are then finished using traditional construction methods to create interior walls.

Shipping containers are designed to be stackable, so multiple units can be used to create a multi-level residence. Some architects have embraced the shipping container construction to create a very different home that doesn’t hide its made from metal boxes.

Building materials used in traditional homes are then combined to enhance the overall appeal of the container architecture.

What States Allow Shipping Container Homes?

Are there states where shipping container homes are looked at more favorably? There sure are! As already mentioned, rural and suburban areas tend to be more open to allowing container homes. There are some states in particular that are more alternate housing friendly than others.

You will find that Texas, Missouri, Louisiana, California, Alaska, Tennessee, and Oregon are among the states who have been more receptive to having shipping container homes. There is already an abundance of container housing in Texas. Louisiana and Tennessee are well-known for having some of the laxest zoning regulations in the US. Surprisingly, California has been receptive to the container home concept.

As more affordable housing options continue to expand, you will likely see other states becoming more receptive to shipping container houses in certain areas. The key will be checking on getting a building permit, as mentioned.

Is Building a Shipping Container Home Eco-Friendly?

Since it is frequently cheaper to buy a new shipping container than return it to be used again, many only get used once. There are many discarded shipping containers globally, so recycling these into container homes must be a good thing, right?

Using a steel container does reduce the number of other materials you need to build a home. Often owners of such a home also add other Eco-friendly measures, like solar panels or wind power. But the case for shipping containers being sustainable homes isn’t quite as clear-cut.

It is argued that lots of resources and energy are needed to turn the container into a home. Hazardous waste can be produced when converting the structure, and some containers are worse than others.

If the shipping container had been used to carry toxic chemicals, a residue might remain that needs to be dealt with. The container may also have been treated for corrosion at some point, which can be another problem. You need to make sure you buy the right container in the first place to avoid these issues.

Can Shipping Container Houses Have Roofs Added?

Many shipping container builders will choose to add a roof constructed of another material rather than keeping the container intact. The reason this is often done is for architectural flair and increased visible desirability. There are a few different types of roof structures you will find with container homes, including:

  1. Traditional pitched roofs – the most common roof in traditional housing is a pitched roof. This roof type tends to be the most visually appealing to the majority of people. You can see pitched roofs occasionally being added to shipping container homes.
  2. Green roofs – one of the more pleasing types of roofs is the living roof that is filled with plants and other greenery. This type of roofing allows for natural insulation properties.
  3. Flat roofs – a flat roofing structure is the most cost-effective and easiest to build but also the least visually appealing. There will be a slight pitch added so that the roof drains properly.

Some cool container housing will also be constructed to have a roof deck.

Add Your Amenities

Once everything is in place, you can move forward with the amenities in your home. The amenities are where the cost to build a container home start to vary. While you can estimate the cost of land in your area and the going rate of a shipping container, there are dozens of amenities to include. A few popular features of most shipping container homes include:

  • HVAC systems
  • Electricity
  • Plumbing (including sinks, showers, and bathtubs)
  • Roofing and rooftop features
  • Interior doors and walls
  • Shelving and closets
  • Flooring
  • Windows

With these features, your shipping container is just like any other home. You can opt for an affordable ductless air conditioning unit or install a full-size HVAC system. You can install laminate flooring that pops in or consider more expensive options. You can set your budget based on your home design goals.

Honomobo HO3

Courtesy of Honomobo.

Courtesy of Honomobo.

Size: 534 square feet

Cost: According to their website, “The cost of a Honomobo varies depending on many factors including; location, scope of work and site specifics.”

Key features: Alberta-based Honomobo builds several different models of shipping container homes. The HO# uses three shipping containers knit together to create a bedroom, kitchen with an island, and a 21-foot front window to maximize light.

Honomobo’s largest shipping container house is a three-bedroom, two-bath stunner with 1,530 square feet. All Honomobo homes are built to local building codes and are typically installed on a permanent foundation. [More info]

9. This book will tell you everything you need to know to design your own


And finally, instead of just buying a prefabricated shipping container home you might consider designing and building your own. Of course, to do this you might need some info.

The title of the book pretty much tells you what to expect from its contents, which makes a nice change. It is written with the intent of teaching you everything you need to know, or at least consider, should you wish to design your own shipping container home.

It will take through common issues to consider, costs to think about, and potential pitfalls to take into account on your journey towards your dream ‘low cost’, former freight container, house.

Of course, a book can only prepare you for the reality of the task at hand so expect the unexpected and, like any investment, make sure you make the appropriate analysis and research prior to spending any hard cash. 

Reviews vary on Amazon but the majority, about 66% at the time or writing are generally very positive regarding these useful shipping containers. As always it’s probably a good idea to supplement the literature by reaching out to others with experience in the area. 

And that’s your lot for today. Have you seen any other amazing shipping container houses?

This container house is available here.

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