Contact US

Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here

Shipping Container Homes

Shipping Container Homes

Shipping Container Homes

Does anyone know of any suppliers of Shipping Container Homes for affordable housing that don't look like Shipping Container low income housing junk?
Thank you

RE: Shipping Container Homes

Short answer = no (with the key word being "affordable")

Briefly looked into this. My opinion (based on insufficient research) was basically you either spend as much money as a normal home or find a source of free labor.

Only options I've glanced at that actually looked feasible were a renovated bus into an RV or one of those tiny home concepts, but there's definitely compromises with both. Modular prefab homes are probably still the best bang for buck out there in my opinion but no matter how you slice it, housing is expensive to do correctly.

Ian Riley, PE, SE
Professional Engineer (ME, NH, MA) Structural Engineer (IL)
American Concrete Industries https://www.facebook.com/AmericanConcrete/

RE: Shipping Container Homes

Yea you won't find a cheap option for a turn-key shipping container supplier given it's hip nowadays and on HGTV. To reduce cost, you would need to source you own container (very easy to do cheaply) and hire specific contractors piecemeal style (hopefully in big pieces though to reduce complicating coordination) to accomplish your goals.

RE: Shipping Container Homes

I've seen one that used 2 containers about 25ft apart with roof trusses spanning over them. It made a pretty decent barn.

I couldn't resist responding, but what's this doing in a structural engineering forum?

RE: Shipping Container Homes

I believe they only make economic sense in locations where there is no need for insulation and lax building code enforcement exists.

RE: Shipping Container Homes

what? you mean like Christchurch NZ ? "Container Town" was a going concern when I was there a couple years back (after the earthquake).

another day in paradise, or is paradise one day closer ?

RE: Shipping Container Homes

Not sure what is going on in your area, but in all the areas I've worked, getting a standard building through the permitting authorities is a monumental task.

In all the cases I've been approached by developers trying to do the "next big thing", they never have the budget to properly compensate me for my time, and i dont think i would be the only one. On top of that, there is all the back and forth with the local authority which becomes a long drawn out waste of time before everyone throws in the towel and nothing gets built.

RE: Shipping Container Homes

There was a good presentation at this years AISC steel conference on the use of Shipping Containers for buildings. I know this is not exactly what you are looking for but should be interesting at least and highlights some of the pitfalls and solutions for the use of containers as building materials.

You should be able to view the presentation here.


RE: Shipping Container Homes

Problem also is the "junk" deposited under and around the buildings = Pests, rats and vermin, disease and sewage-human waste-kitchen trash discarded in and under and around the steel boxes. The corrugated outside walls and roofs and floors are perfect breeding grounds and housing for these pests.
Regrettably, the actual users of these apparently "cheap" housing units are seldom (if ever) able to/willing to/trained to keep up and keep them clean and pest-free. Too often, the "government officials" offering such free housing/temporary housing units are themselves corrupt and don't properly use and spend the maintenance and upkeep money (goes instead to bribes, other officials, or miss-use), or the money is one-ended (funds are granted to provide the units, but not maintain them or provide water, sewage, cleaning, and sanitation needs for the long-term.

Can they work in theory? Yes, absolutely.
Do they work in practice? No. They become new slums and hovels and expensive, rusting huts inhabited by ever-poorer people in ever-worse conditions.

RE: Shipping Container Homes

Thanks to all who provided their comments. It certainly seems that this is a market that has been explored to the point that the economics show it doesn't work.

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members! Already a Member? Login


Low-Volume Rapid Injection Molding With 3D Printed Molds
Learn methods and guidelines for using stereolithography (SLA) 3D printed molds in the injection molding process to lower costs and lead time. Discover how this hybrid manufacturing process enables on-demand mold fabrication to quickly produce small batches of thermoplastic parts. Download Now
Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM)
Examine how the principles of DfAM upend many of the long-standing rules around manufacturability - allowing engineers and designers to place a part’s function at the center of their design considerations. Download Now
Taking Control of Engineering Documents
This ebook covers tips for creating and managing workflows, security best practices and protection of intellectual property, Cloud vs. on-premise software solutions, CAD file management, compliance, and more. Download Now

Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close