Top 5 Mistakes People Make When Building Container Homes
If you’re interested in shipping container homes, this is a smart choice on your part. Container homes have a range of benefits, including affordability, sturdiness, and flexibility of design.
But if you’ve decided to build a container home rather than buy an existing one, there are some things you should be aware of. While building your new home from the ground up has many benefits – including the fact that you have control over everything from buying the containers to the final floorplan – it also comes with a number of potential pitfalls.
There’s nothing worse than spending thousands of dollars on a home construction project, only to end up with a defective house, or an unexpected bill to repair faulty work. A dream home can become a costly nightmare in no time at all.
With that in mind, I’ve put together a list of the top 5 mistakes that many people make when building a shipping container home. Make sure to read the list carefully, and avoid these mistakes in your own building project.
- Hiring the wrong contractor. If you’re planning on hiring a contractor to build your new home, make sure they have experience building container homes. Shipping container homes really are quite different from conventional homes, and you don’t want a home builder who needs on-the-job training. If your contractor has never built a container home, there’s a good chance they’ll make costly mistakes that could derail the entire project.
- Not learning ahead of time if the property is zoned for container homes. One of the worst things you can do is buy a parcel of land, only to discover later that the property isn’t zoned for container homes. This can be a real problem, especially in urban areas. Many cities have outdated zoning laws that restrict the construction of shipping container homes. So always do your homework before closing on a piece of property.
- Not buying Corten steel containers. Corten steel is a special type of steel with added alloys that help it resist corrosion. While containers made from Corten steel will still rust over time, they do so at a much slower rate than mild steel containers, and with proper care they will hold up for many decades.
- Not inspecting used containers thoroughly. Any used container you purchase should be inspected carefully for impact and structural damage – and corrosion – before purchase. You don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on a container, only to find out that it’s worthless for home construction purposes. That’s why I don’t recommend buying containers online without inspecting them beforehand.
- Over-modifying your containers during construction. Cutting out too much steel – and at the wrong places – can weaken the structural integrity of your containers. While you can probably still use them in your home, they may need expensive bracing and support beams in order to be structurally sound.
These are just a few of the most common pitfalls people make when building container homes. That’s why you want to gather as much information as you can, and know exactly what you’re getting into, before beginning your building project. That way you’ll have the best chance for success.