The Cost of Building a Shipping Container Home - TargetBox Container Rental & Sales

The Cost of Building a Shipping Container Home

If you’re thinking of building a shipping container home, you likely have a few questions about costs.

Architect Adam Kalkin, for example, has designed a 2,000 sq. ft. homemade out of six shipping containers. The two-story home features, three bedrooms, two and a half baths, a laundry room, a pantry, and other amenities.

You can build a shipping container home just like Kalkin’s Quik House, but doing so will set you back around $184,000. Or you can go another route and pay around $86,000. Let’s see how.

Calculating the cost of a shipping container home

$184,000 sounds like a lot of money to pay for a home made from shipping containers, so let’s take a look at how that price breaks down.

Your greatest expense will be the cost of the shipping containers. Kalkin’s design calls for six factory-modified containers that come in at roughly $19,833 each. So, six of those sets you back $119,000.

The next highest costs on your shopping list is site preparation (add $14,000), and assembly of the containers on the site (add $2,500).

Shipping Container Modification Cost

Now all you that you have is six shipping containers, assembled on your lot. But those containers are bare inside. To turn your containers into a home, you need to spend the rest of your budget. Expect to pay something like the following:
• Heating, cooling, plumbing, and electrical: $21,000
• Roofing and insulation: $8,500
• Doors and windows: $6,000
• Flooring: $5,000
• Painting and wall finishes: $6,000
• Shelves and closets: $2,000
• TOTAL: $65,000

Unlimited Designs with A Shipping Container Home - TargetBox Container Rental and Sales

The design possibilities are endless with a shipping container home. – DMagazine

Calculating the cost of a cheaper shipping container home

Another way to figure out your cost of building a home out of shipping containers is to build using used shipping containers.

Start by figuring out how many square feet of home you want, then calculate the number of containers you need. Shipping containers come in two standard sizes: 20ft long and 40ft long. Both of these containers are eight feet wide and eight feet tall. They just come in different lengths.

The 20ft container gives you 160 sq. ft. The 40ft container gives you 320 sq. ft. If you want a 2,000 sq. ft. home, you will need to buy 12 20-footers, or 6 40-footers.

If you are buying your shipping containers used, expect to pay anywhere from $1,400 – $2,800 for a 20-footer and $3,500 – $4,500 for a 40-footer.

So, for a 2,000 sq. ft. home built 6 40-foot containers, expect to pay anywhere from $21,000 to $27,000. You’ll notice that this cost is considerably less than the $119,000 that you’ll pay if you go with Adam Kalkin’s Quik House. That’s because his home designs call for brand new containers that are factory-modified.

Buying your shipping containers used and as-is (not factory modified) might save you up to $98,000.

You can also save money on your foundation. Pouring a concrete slab foundation is the most expensive option. Cheaper still is a strip (trench) foundation, followed by the least expensive option, a pier foundation.

Your results will vary. When building a shipping container home, you can spend a lot, or spend a little. You’ll see from these two scenarios above that you can buy a shipping container home designed by an architect, and pay $184,000. Or you can buy used shipping containers, do it yourself, and pay around $86,000.

Buying Shipping Containers

There are multiple factors to take into consideration when buying a shipping container. Shipping containers can be used for a wide range of applications such as storage units, portable offices,  work spaces, and moving containers. Call TargetBox at 519-266-4015 for all your shipping container needs.