How Much Money Can You Save Living In A Shipping Container?

People are building homes of all shapes and sizes from the steel shipping containers that carry goods on trains, trucks, and ships. These shipping containers are generally available in 10ft, 20ft, and 40ft sizes. The smallest shipping container can provide around 100 square feet of floor space for a shipping container home.

Interest in shipping container homes is part of a wider global interest in saving money with prefabricated and modular homes. Many potential homeowners are looking for lower construction and maintenance costs, which is exactly what a shipping container home provides. Container homes are also a great way to contribute to recycling and eco-living.

And while there are a huge number of variables that influence costings of a container home, such as geography, size, design, finishing’s, etc, generally it is found that container homes do offer some cost savings for most owners. This article will look at how a person can save money by living in a shipping container home:

The Importance Of Housing Budget

We all have a housing budget and as with all budget line items, if it is possible to spend less while still adequately meeting your needs, funds will be freed up for other purposes. In most households, housing expenses make up the largest percentage of their expenditures so the impact of your housing expenditure is highly significant.

Small changes will create a large impact, so focusing on housing expenses can really help your overall financial picture. Generally, choosing a container home will lower your housing budget as it costs less to construct and maintain.

Construction Costs Of A Container Home

There are some construction costs that are naturally cut by choosing to live in a shipping container due to the existing properties of shipping containers. These construction costs include:

  • Roofing – a container’s flat metal roof is sufficient protection against the elements.
  • Exterior walls – a shipping container’s corrugated metal exterior is durable enough to endure the elements and no additional exterior walls are needed.
  • Foundation – a shipping container requires far less foundation work than a conventional home.
  • Flooring – an inexpensive coating of epoxy is enough to seal your container’s existing plywood floor.

Energy Efficiency

Insulating a shipping container home can be an expensive part of the home construction costs but in the long term it can save a lot of money in comparison to conventional homes. Shipping container homes are top-rated in energy efficiency thanks to bonded ceramic coatings and closed cell spray insulation.

These homes require far less energy to live-in and they can easily accommodate energy-efficient underfloor heating via air or ground source heat pumps, solar powered roof panels, and rainwater recycling systems.


What you can afford and what you need are two very different things. A container home is a great way to take things back to basics – and in doing so you will make significant savings. Having a smaller home means that you perhaps have less space to spread out and impress your neighbours with, but it also means that there is less space that you have to clean, heat, cool, and furnish.

Finishing’s & Furniture

Another way to reduce the living costs of your home is by the furnishing and finishings you choose. Finding a balance between good-quality and low maintenance costs is key as some materials may look nice, but are fragile or wear easily. Container homes can be built across the entire spectrum of luxuriousness.

Remember that you start off with a roof, floor, and walls, and you are completely in control of what you add and spend after that. Your furnishings and finishings will have an influence on the maintenance cost of your home so be wise in your choices. Almost every item you choose for your shipping container home will have multiple options at various price points. So ask yourself how you want it to look and perform, how long you want it to last, and what type of maintenance it will require.

Resale Value

A well-maintained shipping container home can retain its resale value much like a traditional home. Shipping container homes are fairly easy to resell since they can be loaded onto a truck and shipped almost anywhere. So a shipping container home is a good investment and a safe one too as they are very acceptable to insurers due to their structural integrity, security systems, and anti-leak roof structure.

We hope that this article has shown how affordable container homes can be and how they are a great budget-friendly living option!

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