Shipping Container Houses and Homes Pros and Cons

A shipping container house is made from steel shipping containers, which are available in various sizes like 20 feet by 8 feet or 40 feet by 8 feet. Container home owners may choose to combine multiple containers for a bigger space or stick with a standalone container.ย 

By 2025, the global container homes market size is expected to grow to USD$73,000 million, up from USD$44,770 million in 2017. This is driven by the demand for reduced construction costs as out-of-service containers can be easily purchased at a low cost. Furthermore, in developing countries like Africa, scarcity of housing units would mean shipping container homes would have greater necessity. As shipping container house costs are comparatively lower, the increase in demand for affordable housing also drives up sales of container homes.

The advantages of shipping container homes

As compared to building a house from scratch, a container home uses less concrete and cement for the walls, which can be harmful for the environment. Cement for instance is one of the main producers of carbon dioxide.ย 

Also, since shipping containers are made to weather through the rough storms and waves, they are certainly one of the most durable materials. They can last through harsh weather conditions, whether in the desert or in rainy regions.ย 

Next, the modular shipping container is compact and easy to move around. For those who love to travel around the country, the mobility of the shipping container opens up new doors for fun adventures.ย 

Beautiful Examples Worldwide


Shipping Container House and Home Pros and Cons

Escape Den. Photo: Maruf Hairan


Escape Den is designed by architecture firm River and Rain, made from four recycled shipping containers in Dhaka, Bangladesh. It is a relaxing hideout from the noise in the city.ย 

Manifesto House. Photo: Antonio Courcera

Manifesto House is a wooden shipping container house that is located in Curacavรญ, Chile. It is designed by architecture firm James & Mau and modular home company Infiniski. To regulate its temperature, a wooden panel is designed to be opened and large windows installed so the occupants can enjoy the view.


Shipping Container House and Home Pros and Cons

El Tiemblo House. Photo: Pere Peris


El Timeblo was also made by James & Mau and Infiniski. This house is located in Spain and is a two-story home. This is an eco-friendly house- around 70 percent of the materials to build the house were recycled.ย 

Joshua Tree Residence. Photo: Whitaker Studio


The Joshua Tree Residence, at USD$3.5 million pushes the boundaries of what one could imagine a container home can look like. Nested in the Californian desert, it is sure to make an impression.

Shipping Container House and Home Pros and Cons

Beach Box. Photo: SG Blocks


This shipping container mansion in the beachfront in Amagansett is worth USD$1.4 million. With a personal pool and a breezy location, this home is a beach loverโ€™s dream.


The disadvantagesย 

The clearest disadvantage of shipping container homes in Singapore is that obtaining building permits can be difficult. Unless one has a piece of land, it will not be possible to place a shipping container home anywhere one wants. The Building and Construction Authority also needs to conduct inspections to ensure fire safety and suitability of living conditions. You will also need to obtain a Temporary Occupancy Permit before transforming the container into your house. You will then need to work with an architect, developer, the Building and Construction Authority and Urban Redevelopment Authority to get started on your container home.

With the number of permits needed in Singapore, it can get overwhelming for some. There is good news though, as OSG provides a one stop solution for all your needs to get started, with consultation and advisory services on all the steps required to get started on your dream home.

Especially in tropical Singapore, a metal home may not be the most ideal choice unless it is placed at a cooler place like near the beach. Conversely, shipping container homes may not be suitable for extremely cold places. Therefore, fitting the containers with internal insulation panels would be necessary to prevent the containers from heating up or cooling down too much. Fret not, as OSG offers modified used shipping containers to adapt your container home for the weather too.ย 

If you would like to buy/rent container/shipping containers, explore the feasibility of using repurposed shipping containers for your premises, feel free to speak to us today.


We Are Hiring
close slider

Welcome to the OSG talent page,
where opportunities await.

Thank you for your interest in joining our team. Feel free to explore and discover how you can be a part of our journey by clicking here.