Building a Shipping Container Home in New York + Prefab Homes for Sale

Is the ultimate goal for building your home in New York to create a faster, less expensive, and space-efficient option? If your answer is yes, then you’re right in considering shipping container homes in New York, USA.

The hustle and bustle of New York City comes with high traditional building costs and a fast-rising eviction rate. Recent reports show a 40% increase in eviction filing in New York between November 2021 and April 2022. 

Container homes are a versatile, functional, energy-efficient, and cost-effective solution to the persistent lack of affordable traditional housing in New York.

Container homes are becoming very popular, and homeowners are swiftly jumping on the trend, the market is even estimated to grow up to 6.5% yearly from 2022-2025

So it’s a good time to build your own container home. The good thing is that you can opt for pre-built shipping container homes in New York or design and build your own specially. 

But how much would it cost and what step would you need to take to build shipping container homes in New York?

Here, we’ll help you make sense of the entire process by providing answers to your pressing questions. We’ve also outlined a few shipping container homes for sale New York as well as the best container home builders just in case you chose to go down that route. 

How much do container homes in New York cost?

Container homes are certainly a much cheaper option when compared to traditional homes in New York. However, the cost of building shipping container homes in New York would depend on several factors such as the location, and size.

If you want a quick move for you and your family, a pre-built container home is the way to go. It costs more, but you wouldn’t have to worry about the entire building process. Typically, shipping container homes in New York are sold for $250-$300 per square foot. 

If you’re building your steel container home, the price per square foot is around $130-$175.

A shipping container in New York typically costs between $2000 to $5000 depending on the type, width, and height of the container, however you can roughly estimate the entire building costs by adding up the cost of the building permit, the price of containers, the cost of siding materials and other shipping container accessories to be used. 

Building your own shipping container home in New York offers you the flexibility of choosing your preferred design and other additional features.

You’ll also save a lot of money and ensure firsthand that it is built properly from start to finish. If you have no previous DIY experience or skill, you may want to consider hiring professional container home builders New York state. 

While steel container homes are much easier and faster to build than traditional homes, building container homes also require a lot of planning and designing skills.

If you have a very demanding job or other major engagements, it may take you a long time to complete your container-building project. 

Alternatively, you can hire a subcontractor that’ll help you with your building project, while you oversee the entire process.

Hiring container home builders New York would cost you more, but ensure the longevity of your structure and you’ll also save money on unnecessary repairs and insulation troubles in the future. 

However, it can be very difficult to find reliable container home builders. This is why we’ve created a list of credible container home builders in New York in this article. You can reach out to your preferred builder to benefit from their skills and years of experience. 

3 Container homes for sale in NY you can buy right now

1. C-home — LOT-EK architecture & design

  • Four 40’ shipping containers 
  • 1280 square feet 
  • 2 bedroom
  • 2 bathroom
  • 1 living room
  • 1 kitchen
  • Separate stairway for each bedroom
shipping container homes new york for sale

C-home is designed and built in an open layout that is perfect for a chic, modern mansion. The open layout features dining, kitchen, work, and living spaces, while the large front porch adds even more living space, fulfilling your needs and style.

The C-home ultra-modern kitchen nicely accommodates functional appliances and a spacious walk-in pantry. 

On the upper floor, there are two large-sized private bedrooms, each featuring a stylish walk-in closet and a tastefully-designed bathroom.

Each bedroom is accessible through separate staircases on either side. This stunning design ensures privacy in both bedrooms, making it ideal for housemates. 

You’ll enjoy an impressive view and bright lighting in C-home thanks to the wide front and back glass walls. C-home is also available in smaller and larger models depending on your needs and preference.

2. Saugerties — Contanium

  • $32,000
  • One 20’ shipping container 
  • 160 sq. ft. 
  • Single living space
  • Easy movement and placement of container home
ny shipping container cabin

This shipping container home from Contanium is small and simple, yet cozy and stylish. The Saugerties is inexpensive, movable, and easy to install. This off-grid container is made out of a single 20’ container, providing a living space that features the kitchen, bedroom, and living room. 

If you’re big on minimal living and you’re looking to build a container home for personal use, the Saugerties is a great choice. 

contanium house

You can go for the 40 feet ($52,000) model of this structure if you need more space. The large glass doors and windows also let in a lot of light and give the structure its big, bright appearance. 

3. Sawtooth — contanium

  • $36,000
  • One 20’ shipping container 
  • 160 sq. ft. 
  • Single living space
  • Easy movement and placement of container home
  • Vaulted ceiling design
custom 20ft house

This is another self-contained home built with a 20-feet shipping container. However, the structure of Sawtooth differs from that of Saugerties as it features a vaulted ceiling that includes a solar heating system.

The twin set of large sliding glass doors also brings an airy ambiance and floods the structure with natural light as promised by Contanium.  

Just like Saugerties, Sawtooth has an open-plan design comprising the living/bedroom room, and the kitchen. This off-grid container home is a 9-foot tall structure that joins the living room and bedroom.

While there’s a simple work/dining space on one end of the room, there’s a long, cozy couch that also passes for a bed on the other end. 

interior design on new york shipping container house

The kitchen is minimal, but functional, conveniently accommodating essential structures and appliances such as the block countertop, steel sink, a wood holder, and the cooker.

You can easily add style and character to this space by bringing in classy paintings. Sawtooth is available in larger sizes and different colors, depending on your taste and needs. 

5 best container home builders in New York

MB Architecture

This is one of the very few leading modern builders in New York you can trust to turn shipping containers into a fascinating high-end home for you and your family.

They are not just traditional builders with 30 years of experience, but they have also progressed in their container building and designing skills, creating sustainable, cost-effective shipping container structures over the years. 

From a 900-square-foot Amagansett art studio built with four steel containers in 2009 and awarded the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Peconic Chapter Honor, to the magnificent, four-bedroom, 1,800-square-foot luxury home with a swimming pool. This magnificent home was completed in just 2 months, it also featured their impressive, insta-studio design. 

MB Architecture has offices in East Hampton and Chelsea, conveniently serving several areas in New York. They are widely known for building bright and affordable structures that feel like traditional homes. They cut costs on work time and purposefully utilize building resources. 

Contanium 

If you’re looking to build a small container home in Brooklyn, New York, build with contanium. They majorly create recreational affordable, off-grid cabins and resident container homes. These container home builders have great expertise in upcycling shipping containers.

Contanium also claims that its containers are movable, and practically, maintenance-free, providing an incredible opportunity to experience more minimal living. They have built a list of amazing container homes ever since their very first off-grid cabin, the Saugerties

This Catskills residence is an impressive off-grid shipping container home designed and built by this Brooklyn-based firm, a simple, yet warm and charming one-room recreational Cabin for an adventurous couple. The cabin was built to the taste of the owners in less than 2 months.

Contanium always creates a model for future projects with every new design. Sawtooth is yet another piece of work that displays the company’s watchwords “affordability, and simplicity.” Other models include Ashokan, bethel, and hightail, all models can be uniquely modified to suit your needs. 

Marengo structures 

Marengo structures are one of the best shipping container home builders in the Northeast. They majorly build environmentally-sustainable container structures rather than traditional ones.

Marengo structures are committed to creating sustainable and energy-efficient structures, so they have honed their container-building skills through years of developing and creating cost-effective container homes NY. 

Take the Broadmeadow complex, a steel container house in New Haven designed and developed by Marengo structures with 27 containers.

The structure provides 6 separate, 1020 square-foot apartments with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen, and a living space in an open-plan pattern. 

However, that’s not the only large steel building from Marengo structures, this two-story shipping container home similarly demonstrates the expertise of these builders. Marengo structures also offer other services such as site consultation, and modification of prefabricated container units. 

SG blocks

SG blocks are not new to the shipping container modification industry, they have designed and built very popular structures across New York and the world at large.

From the famous Starbucks drive-through coffee shop to the Mini Cooper showroom and then, the See/Change Howard Hughes Corporation’s container building in New York, USA. 

The outstanding luxury container home NYC  made with six containers proves SG block’s container-building skills beyond doubt. The pool deck of this 2,000-square-foot home is impressive and unconventional.

SG blocks are the very first container builders to meet the International Code Council (ICC) requirements and receive an ESR to certify the quality of their shipping container building materials. 

These builders are an advocate for minimal living and they can help you save time, energy, and money on your container building project. They work with highly-seasoned architects, builders, and developers to ensure faster, eco-friendly, and high-quality constructions. 

Lot-ek architecture and design

Lot-ek is a group of innovative shipping container home builders New York state. They are one of the pioneers of shipping container structures and they have over 25 years of experience in upcycling shipping containers. They transform containers into stunning, luxurious structures for long-term use.  

Some of the most remarkable works from Lot-ek are the 24-shipping containerized, puma city, and Carroll house.

The impressive diagonal cut design of the Carroll house creates an enclosed, private structure and the large glass doors let in sufficient lighting. Lot-ek has been involved in the designing and building of a series of shipping container projects including commercial structures. 

They have also received a lot of awards and recognition for their innovative works including the International Architecture Award and the Emerging voices award from the architectural league in New York. 

Are container homes legal in NY?

Yes, container homes are acceptable in New York. However, you’ll need to follow all building standards and zoning codes for New York City, as well as certain additional requirements such as energy conservation, foundation, fire and smoke protection, etc.

If you’re new to the entire process, you may need to get familiar with the common building codes and requirements for shipping container structures. 

Obtaining a permit in New York can be challenging as you’ll need to take some steps. To get approval for your structure, contact your local authorities about your building plan, and design.

As a reference, you can research similar container structures preferably, in your area or any other city in New York. You can direct all your pressing questions to the New York department of city planning

If you’re unable to get approval for your container home in New York, you can consider building a shipping container house in New Jersey, the city is less restrictive and you can easily get a permit for a container home. 

Financing your container home in NY

As with traditional structures, you can get mortgages for shipping container homes. But the issue with most regular mortgage companies is that they consider shipping container houses to be temporary structures.

Most traditional mortgages would only finance your shipping container house project if it is considered a permanent structure. 

However, there are special mortgage companies such as container home financing that are particularly concerned with financing shipping container homes in New York and throughout the USA.

Acorn finance also promises quick and hassle-free funding of your container home regardless of your credit score. You can apply instantly through their websites after filling out their contact information form. 

Alternatively, you can opt for an unsecured personal loan if you have a good credit score or consider getting funds from microfinance institutions. 

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, if you are looking for an affordable, sustainable, and unique home in New York, building a shipping container home may be the perfect option for you!

There are many reputable builders across the state who can help you turn your vision into reality. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your dream home today!

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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