25 Shipping Container Homes: Inspiration, Prefabs, Costs, and More

Shipping container homes are typically cheaper, more sustainable, and faster to build compared to traditional homes. This alternative housing solution is becoming more popular than ever. In fact, a Guardian report surmises that the market will rise by 6.5% between 2019 and 2025 alone.

Are you looking to build your own container home? Or buy a prefab module? Don’t go anywhere, because today we’ll be breaking down everything you need to know about buying a shipping container house!

25 Best Shipping Container Homes for Inspiration and for Sale

Luxury Container Homes

1. Sevilla 4-bedroom Home

Sevilla 4-bedroom Home

Bedroom: 4

Size: 800+ sq ft

Containers used: 7

Architect: Alejandro Martín Torrente

Year: 2018

Few people would suspect that this sprawling 4-bedroom family home is made out of upcycled containers. In fact, it’s built with 7 containers and a 5-meter cantilever to add more architectural intrigue to the pool area. Incorporating large windows, white paint, and beautiful spaces will definitely elevate the home’s appeal.

2. The Hive

The Hive

Bedroom: 1

Size: 320 sq ft + bump out

Containers used: 1 (40 ft)

Manufacturer: ShelterMode

The Hive is one of the most beautiful luxury container homes built from just a single 40-feet container. It features a bedroom, living room, indoor/outdoor dining space, and shower, all of which have their own garage door. There’s private pier access that makes the home even more luxurious, as well as premium wood veneer throughout the exterior. 

3. The Magaña Family Home

The Magaña Family Home

Bedroom: 4

Size: 2238 sq ft

Containers used: 11 (20 ft + cube containers)

Price: $1,300,000

Manufacturer: Emerie Custom Homes

Year: 2022

Using 8 20-feet containers and 3 cube containers, the Magaña couple has engineered this wonderful luxury home with a private pool, multiple outdoor spaces, and even a small office. You will find sliding doors and floor-to-ceiling windows throughout the property that help blend the interior with the gorgeous nature surrounding it.

4. The Nairne House

The Nairne House

Bedroom: 3

Size: 1235 sq ft

Containers used: 4 (20 and 40 ft)

Price: $470,000

Year: 2021

The Nairne House was built on a slope and centered around a beautiful landscape. With 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, it’s the ideal home for a medium-sized family. Its open kitchen, living, and dining room lie in the center of the house, and the premium feel is amazing despite being made from recyclable materials.

5. Casa P406

Casa P406

Bedroom: 1

Size: 1238 sq ft

Containers used: 4 (40 ft)

Architects: Orfali & Ehrenfeld

Year: 2021

Nestled in Quilimarí, Chile, this luxury container home is also an extraordinary architectural feat. Its unique silhouette shows just how creative you can get with shipping containers to achieve a one-of-a-kind look. The house includes an open concept living space, two stories, and massive window walls overlooking the environment.

Cheap Container Homes

6. The Taj Malodge

The Taj Malodge

Bedroom: 2

Size: 640 sq ft

Containers used: 2 (40 ft)

Price: $35,000 (land included)

Manufacturer: Larry Wade

Year: 2010

This impressive 2-bed container home is super affordable to build and comes with a spacious living room, bathroom, and separate kitchen and dining room. To make your home even more sustainable to live in, you can install some solar panels that will power electricity!

7. House Sparrow 208

House Sparrow 208

Bedroom: 1

Size: 208 sq ft

Containers used: 1 (20 ft)

Price: $36,500

Manufacturer: CW Dwellings

The following example is a cheap shipping container home that’s ready to be lived in. Made of one 20-feet container and a bump-out, this small but comfortable home can be a great studio, pool house, in-law suite, or even rental home! The main living area includes a transformable sofa bed, kitchen, and dining space.

8. Model One

Model One

Bedroom: 1

Size: 192 sq ft

Containers used: 1 (20 ft)

Price: $20,000

Manufacturer: Modern Dwellings

Up next, take a look at the Model One house by Modern Dwellings! This cheap container home can sleep up to two adults and transforms a 20-feet container into a stylish accommodation. Despite being minimalist and sustainable, it still feels very contemporary and upscale, thanks to the wood panel surfaces, rooftop deck, and a large glass door.

9. Lance’s Shipping Container Home

Lance’s Shipping Container Home

Bedroom: 1

Size: 160 sq ft

Containers used: 1 (20 ft)

Price: $10,000

Manufacturer: Lance

Year: 2019

This studio-style tiny home uses only one 20-feet shipping container and is perfect for up to a young couple. There’s a full kitchenette with a multifunctional countertop that doubles as a desk, and even a bathroom. The best thing about this home is that you can easily do it yourself to cut costs!

10. Small Container Home by Joseph Dupuis

Small Container Home by Joseph Dupuis

Bedroom: 1

Size: 355 sq ft

Containers used: 3 (20 ft)

Price: $20,000

Manufacturer: Joseph Dupuis

Year: 2012

With only $20k, Joseph Dubuis built this amazing shipping container home. It features solar panels to support an off-grid lifestyle, 1 bedroom, a kitchen, a dining room, and an outhouse bathroom. The three 20-feet containers provide a total of 355 sq ft in livable space.

Modern Shipping Container Homes

11. Rhode Island Scandi-Style Container Home

Rhode Island Scandi-Style Container Home

Bedroom: 1

Size: 125 sq ft

Containers used: 1 (20 ft)

Price: $68,000

Year: 2021

Currently, on the market for $68k, this small but modern container home is designed with a bright and attractive interior. It’s perfect to rent out as an Airbnb and comes fully furnished, complete with a raising bed, stove range, a generous kitchen, and working space. With an off-grid, cabin-like feel, this one is hard to pass up!

12. Navajo 960

Navajo 960

Bedroom: 2

Size: 960 sq ft

Containers used: 4 (40 ft)

Price: $195,000

Manufacturer: Meka Modular

The Navajo 960 is a two-bed and two-bath prefab module that starts at $195,000. This mid-sized home features a modern interior that includes walk-in closets in the bathrooms and two separate outdoor decks. Not to mention a beautiful living and dining room that lies in the center of the house, as well as stucco wood sidings and exterior.

13. PV14 House

PV14 House

Bedroom: 3

Size: 3700 sq ft

Containers used: 14 (40 ft)

Price: $450,000

Manufacturer: M Gooden Design

Year: 2014

This next shipping container home is the epitome of an opulent modern house. Built from 14 recycled containers to create a 3,700-square-feet mansion, you will find three bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, a rooftop deck, and a huge covered porch. There is also a garage that can fit two cars—perfect for a modern lifestyle.

14. Amagansett Modular

Amagansett Modular

Bedroom: 4

Size: 1800 sq ft

Containers used: 4 (40 ft)

Manufacturer: MB Architecture

Year: 2019

Designed to accommodate a family with three kids, the Amagansett Modular comprises four bedrooms, three bathrooms, a kitchen, and main living spaces. But what makes it a great modern home is the outdoor decks and recreational areas, including a spacious lawn and a pool. The main structure also incorporates two separate buildings to evoke a more integrated indoor-outdoor vibe.

15. Grillagh Water House

Grillagh Water House

Bedroom: 1

Size: 125 sq ft

Containers used: 4 (45 ft)

Manufacturer: Patrick Bradley Architects

Year: 2014

The Grillagh Water House sits along the Grillagh River in Northern Ireland. Its modern architecture combines natural wood with manmade Corten steel and glass for an interesting contrast. Using four containers to form two cantilever structures, this house offers a stunning complement to the natural landscaping around it.

Inspiring Container Homes

16. Green Roof 40ft Container Home

Green Roof 40ft Container Home

Bedroom: 1

Size: 320 sq ft

Containers used: 1 (40 ft)

Price: $25,000

Manufacturer: Cocoon Modules

Cocoon Modules’ range of prefab homes is all modern and contemporary, but what’s inspiring is their commitment to sustainability. This 40-feet version includes an innovative green roof feature, which is a rooftop garden that can boost insulation and minimize your energy consumption! The house itself has a bedroom, a bathroom, and a combined kitchen and living space.

17. Quinta Vale da Vila

Quinta Vale da Vila

Bedroom: 1

Size: 320 sq ft

Containers used: 1 (40 ft)

Manufacturer: Nomad Living Container

Year: 2011

Located in the exquisite Portuguese countryside, this shipping container home is small, simple, but quite luxurious. This rental getaway sits on a 4-hectare park that’s super tranquil and peaceful. With a bathroom and enough space to sleep two adults and two kids, we also adore how the orange exterior looks striking in the green surroundings.

18. Envase Casa

Envase Casa

Bedroom: 4

Size: 1920 sq ft

Containers used: 6 (40 ft)

Manufacturer: Jarad and Kristy

Year: 2019

What’s impressive about Envase Casa is its novel exterior with its beige color that blends gorgeously with the Utah landscape. Inside, there are 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a laundry room, and other amenities. From the asymmetrical stacking of the containers to the rustic interiors and vast patios, this is a truly magnificent home.

19. Kangarilla Container Home

Kangarilla Container Home

Bedroom: 1

Size: 320 sq ft

Containers used: 1 (40 ft)

Price: $35,000

Manufacturer: Saffy and Dom

Year: 2018

The inspiring thing about this design is how much it’s integrated with the lush outdoor surroundings. The container stands on top of a pier foundation and a unique octagonal deck with a BBQ and multiple seating areas. Its ingenious use of large windows also helps ensure that the interior is bright and cozy.

20. Naylor Container Home

Naylor Container Home

Bedroom: 3

Size: 1140 sq ft

Containers used: 3 (20 and 40 ft)

Price: $145,000 (land included)

Manufacturer: Ryan Naylor

Year: 2014

There is nothing more inspiring than a fully-DIYed container home, and the Naylor family has nailed this. Set on a gentle slope with a lot of trees and greeneries around, this 3-bedroom home is the perfect size for a small to medium family. The interior incorporates a double-height ceiling with a loft to evoke a brighter mood!

Tiny Shipping Container Homes

21. Backcountry Containers

Backcountry Containers

Bedroom: 1

Size: 160 sq ft

Containers used: 1 (20 ft)

Price: $40,000

Manufacturer: Backcountry Containers

The Houston-based company Backcountry Containers offers customized projects but is best known for its stunning tiny homes. For instance, this one is a single 20-foot container that comes with a timeless, rustic design. There is a kitchenette and full bathroom inside, plus a rooftop deck that lets you make the most of every square foot of the home!

22. San Antonio Container Guest House

San Antonio Container Guest House

Bedroom: 1

Size: 320 sq ft

Containers used: 1 (40 ft)

Manufacturer: Poteet Architects

Year: 2010

Although small, this guest house is a great example of experimenting with turning one shipping container into an eco-friendly but livable home. It’s fitted with a full bathroom, whereas the spacious outdoor deck allows the home to feel even larger than it is. Using glass doors and large windows are also an excellent idea.

23. ALT Eco

ALT Eco

Bedroom: 1

Size: 160 sq ft

Containers used: 1 (20 ft)

Price: $35,900

Manufacturer: Alternative Living Spaces

This simple, studio-style container home is ideal for students or young couples who would like a small and minimalist space. It features a main room containing a bed and a multi-purpose dining/study, plus a bathroom with a full shower. Overall, it’s an excellent option for anyone interested in tiny living!

24. Riverside Hideout Container Home

Riverside Hideout Container Home

Bedroom: 1

Size: 320 sq ft

Containers used: 1 (40 ft)

Price: $22,000

Manufacturer: Ryann

Year: 2018

Designed as a short-term rental home, this riverside accommodation is a 40-feet container furnished with the most inviting decor and amenities. It has plenty of glass doors that can be opened to enjoy the outdoor air, a fold-out sofa bed for additional sleeping space, an open kitchen, and a nice little outdoor patio.

25. The Crow’s Nest

The Crow’s Nest

Bedroom: 1

Size: 160 sq ft

Containers used: 1 (20 ft)

Price: $51,000

Manufacturer: CargoHome

The Crow’s Nest embraces a classic and timeless tiny home design with a studio interior, complete with a coffee bar and kitchenette, as well as a roomy bathroom. One highlight here is the rooftop deck, which can be reached with a metal spiral staircase. This outdoor space also adds more square footage to the home.

Interior of Container Homes

interior-1

We’ve mentioned Lance’s home above, and this photo showcases how a small interior can still look cozy and beautiful while also being functional. One tip is to combine warm wood flooring with white surfaces and furniture to evoke a clean and welcoming vibe.

interior-2

Those building a larger home with more containers may find that a large and homey living room can make a gorgeous focal point of the entire house. Don’t forget to add lots of windows to maximize airflow and natural light.

interior-3

Up next, this open-plan living room provides a great idea for decorating your container home interior. It adopts a more eclectic and intimate style, which helps you convey your personality and character!

Prefab Container Homes for Sale & Top Builders

There are a lot of builders who offer custom and prefab container homes. A prefab is a great option if you want something quick and pre-designed, whereas a customized home may be better if you have specific requirements and requests.

Some excellent builders that make and sell great shipping container homes include…

Of course, the options go on and we can’t list them all. That’s why it can be important to do your research and compare several different builders so you can choose the best one for your specific project.

How much does it cost to build a shipping container home?

There is no fixed range as building a container home can vary from $10,000 to upwards of $500,000. However, the average cost would be around $35,000 for a single-container home and up to $175,000 for larger structures.

When it comes to building a container home, there are a few different costs that you’ll need to pay attention to. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Size and number of containers
  • Land cost
  • Foundation
  • Insulation
  • Amenities (electricity, plumbing, solar panels, etc)
  • Builder fee

Is it cheaper to build a house out of shipping containers?

In general, it is cheaper to build a house out of shipping containers.

Additionally, you might want to consider DIY instead of hiring a builder. It will cut your costs even more and can be a fun project to do with your spouse or family. But note that it will require more time, research, and effort. So, while it does save you money, we only recommend DIY-ing a container home if you have the time to spare.

How long do container homes last?

Most container homes can last around 25 years if you maintain them properly and carefully. Installing siding is also useful for lengthening the lifespan of your shipping container home. Factors such as weather and climate play a huge role in terms of how fast the metal of the containers will rust. Obviously, homes in drier areas will rust slower.

Final Thoughts on Shipping Container Homes

So, are shipping container homes worth it? We would say that yes, they are! 

They can even have a high resale value as long as they’re maintained properly and have an attractive design. Whether you’re interested in the sustainability aspect, mobility, or affordability, it’s worth looking into it!

Ryan Stetson

Ryan Stetson

Currently own two 20' and 40' containers converted into an office/workshop. Having worked in the shipping industry for 6 years, my goal is to share my personal experiences as well as connect potential container buyers with suppliers around the US.

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