Shipping Container Home Additions


Shipping containers are another building block that can be used to build homes, along with brick, stone, and wood.

These same corrugated steel containers, which transport cargo all over the globe, are being used to build new homes and additions. Although it may sound odd, this construction method has many advantages over traditional building methods.

What shipping container additions are available?

Shipping container additions are genuine shipping containers that have been purchased on the secondary marketplace for additions to existing homes. Shipping containers can be used as the only building blocks in some cases, especially for tiny homes.

Shipping Container Addition Sizes

A shipping container averages 40 feet in length, 8 feet wide and 8 feet high. This gives it a total area of 320 square footage.

Containers up to 20 feet in length are also available. They can be placed on top of one another or side-by-side, just like Legos.

Shipping Container Additional Costs

You can find used containers readily available, an estimated 700,000. A good container will cost you between $1,000 and $2,000

Prefabricated shipping container home extensions are available for purchase. A finished unit will cost around $100 per square feet (excluding electrical, plumbing and HVAC). This is a cheaper option than traditional building methods.


Shipping containers are built to last. These containers are strong and corrosion-resistant. These units are great for areas that are susceptible to earthquakes, tornadoes or hurricanes.

Shipping container additions are also portable, so they can be moved if necessary. Flexible modules make it possible to add an addition for a family room or office, guest room, playroom, office, study, workshop, art studio, or pool cabana.

Build Your Addition

Shipping container additions are much quicker than a typical home addition. However, there is still some preparation work.

You must first obtain a building permit. Check with your local building department. A concrete foundation must be poured on which the container will rest. The container will arrive by truck, and it will be positioned on-site by a forklift or crane.

You are now ready to transform the container into an addition to your home. Make openings for doors and windows. Install wires and pipes to supply electricity, plumbing, HVAC, and heating under a raised floor, or in furred-out interior walls.

Insulate exterior walls from either the interior or exterior surface of the container. The corrugated container’s surface should be visible from one side. If you don’t like the modern industrial look, you can clad walls with any traditional material to match or reflect your home.

You will need to do extensive demolition and possibly complex roofing work in order to attach the shipping container to your home. It is best to hire a contractor if you don’t have the necessary skills.

You can connect your container addition to your home by connecting it via a covered walkway, if you live in a warm climate, or a “freestanding” addition for specific uses such as a pool cabana, or guest house.

Adam Kalkin, an architect, designed The Quik House. It is a prefabricated container-house kit. The standard layout is approximately 2,000 square feet with three bedrooms and two-and-a-half bathrooms. However, the kit can be tailored to meet your specific needs. The shell can be assembled on-site in less than a day and the structure can usually be completed within three to four months.

The Port-a-Bach is a new version of the Atelier Workshop container. However, it is designed to be a home for holidaymakers. Although it can be connected to municipal services the container is “power, water and sewer independent”. It’s a shipping container that has built-in millwork and stainless steel kitchen. There’s even a composting toilet.

LOT-EK, a cutting-edge NYC architecture firm, has developed a Container Home Kit. (CHK), which is easily adaptable to any existing conditions. You can choose from sizes ranging from 640 to 2,560 square footage, depending on the container’s modular. These units not only have plumbing and electrical covered, but also include built-in closets.

SG Blocks offers engineering and architectural services, as well as assistance in choosing a builder and obtaining permits. They also provide project management. You can choose the level of your container addition. This could be anything from a container that has no windows or door openings, to a fully modular system that you are almost ready to occupy.