In the past several years, there has been a noticeable increase in demand for shipping containers, but surprisingly, it’s not from those in the cargo industry. Instead, the demand is from architectural firms and contractors looking to serve clients who suddenly have brilliant ideas of upcycling containers into homes and offices.

A decade ago, it would have probably seemed like such a cheap and dangerous idea, but not now. Instead, private homeowners and companies alike are now rushing to get their hands on the latest and coolest real estate trend – repurposed cargo containers.

If you are one of those looking to jump on board this bandwagon, here are some tips and tricks to help you make a smart purchase decision, and avoid getting into the most common pitfalls.

Pick the Right One

The very first–and biggest–mistake you can make when looking at cargo containers for sale is to pick out the wrong one. To the unknowing eye, it’s easy to think that all containers are one and the same. However, there are easily a dozen varieties of container types, that’s why it’s important that you study your plan carefully, and identify what your requirements are.

Cargo Containers for Sale High in Demand to Make Into Container Homes

Never assume that every shipping container is going to be suitable for conversion or construction. There are industry standards that must be adhered to, so consult with contractors before you buy. Remember, these containers are not originally made to house people.

Don’t Forget to Inspect

Shipping containers are made of steel, yes, but this does not make them immune from wear and tear. Even if you were to get brand new units, it still would be preferable for you to subject it to a thorough inspection.

Apart from the usual wear and tear, there’s also the issue of rust and corrosion, which may affect its structural integrity. The roof is an especially important section as there may be dents or cracks on it that’s not easily visible.

Inside, rusted areas may have holes, or mold growth may also be present. Having a clear idea of the state the unit is in will help you avoid the ones that are going to cause you more problems in the long run. Bring a professional inspector when you check out container units.

Reinforcements and Additions

On its own, container units are only good for storage. In order for it to be truly livable, modifications must be made, from foundation to roof. Usually, concrete blocks make the most effective type of foundation. Determine beforehand if you’ll be adding a basement or crawlspace.

Also, do not randomly cut holes for windows and doors on the container’s body. Load bearing and other computations must be factored in so that the container’s body does not weaken.

It’s crucial that you team up with a designer or contractor who can understand your needs. For the best chance to land a good quality used cargo container, deal only with reputable suppliers.


22 Modern Shipping Container Homes Around the World. HomeDSGN.

The Ultimate Guide to Shipping Container Homes. Home TuneUp.