How Can Storage And Shipping Containers Get Converted Into Houses?

An average house in the USA, based on statistics from 2018, cost around $220.000. A lot of people can’t afford this, of course.  That’s why people live in city apartments paying rent and only dream about spending their life in the suburbs in a 2.600 square feet home. Also based on statistics.

A typical container is 40 feet or 20 feet long and 8 feet wide. The smaller one is simply not the best option but the 40-feet one will give you a living area of 320 square feet. This is not a huge home, but considering the price you’ll get this, it’s more than fair.

In this article, we’ll give you an insight look of how to convert a shipping container into a beautiful looking house that you can live in. Read on and learn more about this interesting idea!

How to get a container?

Containers are made in China. Unlike other products that are made with low quality, these items are strong and durable. They are made of steel so they can hold all the conditions that are going to face during their trips over the world’s oceans.

That’s why they make great homes. Almost nothing can damage them. Winds, rains, and even earthquakes are simply no match for them. So how to get one all the way from China?

You don’t need to go there. As containers are made, they are being shipped to the States. There are over 20 million of them in the world right now. Don’t worry, there’s one for you without a doubt.

It’s best if you open the internet and search for providers of these goods. More companies are trading with new, one-trip, or used containers. The new ones are the most expensive but if you’re on a budget, you can still find some great used ones. So, the clear answer to the question of how to get used shipping containers is – internet web pages selling them. They offer the best prices for fair quality.


Once you buy your new home, you need to transport it. The container will cost you around $2000 and the transport can easily be double this number if you don’t make a good plan of how to do it.

You know that you can’t get it by yourself. You need a special vehicle that will take it from one place to your plot. The biggest port in the States in Los Angeles containing most of these pieces. If you live in Chicago it will cost you around $4000 just to get it there.

That’s why you should always try to find a nearby provider. There’s no logic in spending more money on transport than for the actual container. These companies providing transport charge around $2 per mile. Knowing this, it will be easier to make clear math.

Transforming the container into a house

Once it’s there, you need to make a plan of how you want it to look. Understand that this is a complex job and it’s best if you hire an architect who will make a perfect plan. It’s true, 320 square feet are not a lot, but they provide enough space to have everything you need inside.

When you’ve finished planning, it’s time to make holes for the doors and windows. Once this is done, you’ll need to insulate the house. The steel is durable but it won’t protect you much from the winter cold and the summer heat. This is not a great investment but it must be done.

After this, place the doors and the windows and then make sure you get a nice and comfortable interior. We’re talking about a wooden ceiling and floor or something that you’d prefer more. When you finish creating a cozy atmosphere, you can arrange the yard and the furniture.

More people that already did this just like you prefer creating a surrounding that will look a lot like a standard American home. A wooden patio with a nice white picket fence that protects the grass inside your yard is a great solution.

Remember that your home is not huge so you’ll spend a lot of your time in the yard. That’s why you need to pay extra attention to it. Think about covered patio with comfortable sofas and a rocking chair that will help you enjoy and relax in the surrounding.

Ideas for the interior

A standard container’s height is just over 8 feet. This is enough even for the tallest people. So, based on this fact, you can make a staircase and make a gallery over your living room that can act as a bedroom or a place where you can store things.

Another great idea involving stares is making a small opening somewhere on the top of the container and make a great terrace on top of it. You can arrange it with lots of flowers, fake or real grass and chairs that will make you look at the surrounding.

Inside, just like every home, you need to have a living room space, a kitchen, and a bathroom. These are three essentials and there’s no discussion about it. Everything else is extra. So, make sure you have at least three windows for each room.

You can use plasterboard to make these rooms separate from the others if you like it this way. Plasterboard is inexpensive and very easy to manipulate with. This way you can make your new home look attractive, comfortable, and enjoyable for as little as $15.000.


As you can see, there’s nothing complex in doing such a task. Shipping containers are so easy to be transformed into a house and on top of this – they do make great homes. Just take a look at these ideas people converted into reality – click here.

Some people go even further and combine two of them into one whole. They get 640 square feet which are pretty much enough for a normal living. The best part – creating it the way you want it for such a small amount is priceless.