Shipping Container Home Builders – Top 11 Companies of 2021

Looking for the best Shipping container home builders in 2021 then we have it! . Shipping container homes are beginning to get the attention they deserve and for the right reasons too. Thanks to growing adoption being experienced in the tiny home industry, we are seeing more and more people embrace minimalist living and with this industry come to the shipping container home trend that is sweeping through the real estate industry, especially among people looking for affordable housing.

Sure, the switch to tiny living can be pretty challenging, especially considering that you have to forgo your current lifestyle for a more minimalist lifestyle, but guess what, living in a tiny home comes with many exciting benefits you don’t want to miss.

In today’s article, we will highlight a list of some of the best shipping container home builders so you can make the right choice when you decide to make the switch to the minimalist living that the tiny home industry offers. But before we delve any further, let’s bring you up to speed on what shipping container homes are and why they are growing in popularity.

What you need to know

Shipping container homes are the rave of the moment, and given the brilliant designs of these homes; anyone would find them charming and worth checking out. But what really are shipping container homes? Read on as we will get to all of that in a bit.

For starters, shipping container homes are brilliant homes designed and made using shipping containers, with the resulting structure looking all shades of exquisite. Shipping containers, regardless of the company that makes them, usually come in two unique sizes, and they include 20 feet by 8 feet and 40 feet by 8 feet.

The 20 by 8 feet shipping container is a little smaller; it can be used to build a tiny home with approximately 160 square feet of living space. On the flip side, the larger shipping container that measures 40 feet by 8 feet gets you 320 square feet of living space. Besides these unique sizes of shipping containers, we also have two special shipping containers with different height types. We have the regular 8.5 feet high container and a high cube container that delivers nearly a foot extra of vertical living space.

Thanks to the shipping container home industry advancement, we are beginning to see tiny home enthusiasts combine multiple containers to build massive architectural masterpieces that could only be imagined years ago.

We have even seen scenarios where shipping containers are stacked in rows to build massive multi-level residences. All of this points to all of the tremendous possibilities in the shipping container home space.

Why shipping containers?

Shipping containers have proven to be an effective building material, especially in the tiny home industry where people are experimenting with different materials, including caravans, RVs, school buses, and more, to build their dream tiny home.

The cool thing about using shipping containers for tiny homes is that the materials used to make shipping containers can withstand different weather conditions. So when used to build tiny homes, they tend to be very durable. At the same time containers can attract some problems with mold unless built correctly for adequate ventilation. When they are built correctly they will be mold proof, fire, and insect resistant, a feature you’ll not find with traditional home materials like wood.

Let us take you through some exclusive information so you can get an idea or two about the growth in this industry and why shipping container homes are in high demand.

On the one hand, the prices of traditional homes are blowing through the roof. According to information released by Census.gov, the average pricing for homes hovered around $346,000. And guess what, renting isn’t getting any cheaper either. Given these reasons, it’s easy to see why people are making a switch to tiny homes as it has proven to be a more affordable living option.

The tiny home industry has helped people drastically reduce their expenses. Unfortunately, while the tiny home industry looks all shades of appealing, you’ll have to make sacrifices, especially considering that you now have to live your life in minimal space. That said, tiny homes make it easy for anyone serious about owning their own property without sweating it.

With the increasing demand for tiny homes, we are continuing to see a rise in all kinds of container homes. And with many builders specializing in constructing shipping container homes, tiny home enthusiasts are spoilt for choice when looking for the best shipping container home builders for their projects.

Do you need any permit to build a shipping container home?

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the best shipping container builders that can seamlessly handle your project, let’s talk about the issue of permits when building your tiny shipping container homes.

Shipping container architecture is a pretty new industry. To this end, you’ll need to do your homework by researching local laws and regulations before kicking off your construction project. Before starting your shipping container home construction, here are some things you’ll need to have in place. On the one hand, you’ll need to ensure that the shipping container you opt for fits on the land you want to build the structure. On the other hand, you have to ensure that the container meets all zoning requirements and regulations.

For those who have no idea, building codes set all the requirements for what structures must have in place before they are granted occupancy permits. On the flip side, zoning regulations determine where you can and can’t build a home.

Some zoning regulations and codes expressly outline whether shipping container homes are allowed to exist with other types of non-traditional structures like dome homes and tiny houses. And before we get ahead of ourselves, let us quickly add that shipping container homes are likely to be found in remote and less trafficked locations.

That said, you won’t go wrong checking with the city or county planner to learn all the specifics. Also, keep an eye out for all the grey areas so you clearly understand the codes and regulations before kicking off your shipping container building project.

Drawbacks to using shipping containers for your home?

Before you go about searching for custom shipping container home builders, you want to have an idea or two on some of the drawbacks of using shipping containers for building tiny homes. This will help you to make a better-informed decision whether or not you should tow this route when exploring the shipping container homeworld.

Despite all of the exciting attributes of shipping containers, especially when used to build homes, shipping containers pose a considerable challenge when used for constructing tiny homes. For one, shipping containers measure eight feet wide, with an accompanying interior room width of seven feet.

If you compare this to traditional homes, you’ll agree that that space is pretty narrow, even for people who are already used to living in cramped rooms. If you’re interested in living in much larger rooms, you’ll have to use a couple of shipping containers with the walls removed. And doing this will cost you more.

Another drawback that makes shipping container homes pretty challenging to navigate is that the metal used to build shipping containers can be difficult to insulate, which explains why a lot of people opt for wood walls with studs as they have a cavity that makes insulation a stroll in the park. A close look at the corrugated metal sides of shipping containers reveals that they don’t have this type of design, making insulation difficult.

Also, large-scale shipping container building projects that use multiple shipping containers will also likely require extensive steel reinforcement, and guess what, that doesn’t come cheap.

Are shipping container homes better and more sustainable than traditional homes?

Many fans of shipping container homes applaud this home design for giving unwanted containers a new lease of life. Studies show that there are millions of unused and unwanted shipping containers in the world. However, one weird thing about shipping containers is that it is cheaper to receive new ones than to have the old ones returned to suppliers, and we aren’t bluffing. What this means is that some shipping containers end up getting discarded after just one trip.

Reusing unwanted shipping containers is a brilliant example of building with recycled materials. And let us also add that building with shipping containers is a smart way to encourage a smaller footprint as well as limited use of building materials like masonry and wood. Tiny home enthusiasts who are open to alternative living space, such as using shipping containers to build fancy homes usually incorporate a lot of eco-friendly elements like wind power, solar panels, rainwater harvesting, or water recycling systems within their homes.

Unfortunately, some used shipping containers are not as eco-friendly as you’d imagine, and that’s because some of these shipping containers have previously been used to transport toxic chemicals. Also, some of these containers are treated with toxic chemicals to prevent corrosion during transportation. While this may sound like a brilliant idea, it will result in high levels of chemical residues. So if you ever decide to buy a shipping container for your building project, make sure you go for the right one.

Some people even argue that the amount of energy needed to convert and make these steel boxes livable erases the benefits of recycling that comes with it. According to a report written by ArchDaily, the average shipping container cannot be used at a home due to its exposure of dangerous toxic waste.

Here is a further comparison between shipping container homes and tiny homes.

Are shipping container homes more affordable than other types of housing?

Even though shipping container homes aren’t always a cheaper option, especially when compared to traditional stick-built homes, but guess what, they can be if you consider a lot of factors. For starters, there are a lot of variables that can significantly impact project costs. These factors include design, location, interior finishes, and size. Here is the thing, the cost of buying a shipping container ranges between $1,400 for a smaller container and a staggering $6,000 for a much larger shipping container that measures at least 40-foot. And just so you know, newer shipping containers will cost more than older ones.

What makes shipping containers pretty cost-effective is that they come with exterior walls, flat metal roofs, and a metal frame that easily doubles as a foundation. All these brilliant features are often considered by experts as cost savings. Nonetheless, it will still cost you some extra bucks to transport the shipping container to your building site. Also, you will spend additional money on insulation and interior finishes.

Let us also add that you’ll still have to pay for the land where you plan to build your structure. That said, shipping container homes can be erected on land that may not be zoned for standard construction without a lot of site work. If the land is steep or rocky, you can still build a shipping container home, and that’s because these types of structures can sit on elevated or sturdy pilings. This will save you extra bucks that would have gone into a pricey excavation.

And if you’re interested in pre-built shipping container homes, get set to pay between $33,000 or less for the smallest home, especially those with basic features.

Are shipping container structures faster to build?

Let us set the record straight from the get-go; shipping container structures are much faster to build than most traditionally built houses. The smallest and simplest shipping container house can be wrapped up within a couple of days or weeks, depending on the structure’s design and the finishing required. More complex shipping container homes will take at least a couple of months to finish. And just to add, shipping container structures have the same construction delays you’ll experience when building traditional homes.

If you want your shipping container up and ready within a few weeks, then we suggest going for prefabricated shipping container homes that you can easily transport to your building site. Even though these prefabricated shipping container homes may appear smaller, we like the fact that these structures come pre-built with most of the basics you need to move in right away.

Best shipping container home builders

Now that we have given you some background about shipping container homes, it’s time we take you through our list of the best shipping container home builders. So before you start searching the internet for shipping container home builders near me, read through our list for some of the best container home builders we have come across. Trust us when we say these shipping container home builders are the best in the business. Plus, they have years of fantastic track record and experience in handling some of the most complex projects in this industry.

CargoHome

Are you looking for the best shipping container home builders in Texas and you don’t know where to start? Well, you’ll not be disappointed to give the guys at CargoHome a try. This small Waco-based company has many years of experience up its sleeves and specializes in converting shipping containers into some of the sleekest and elegant living spaces. Some of the gorgeous shipping container homes built by the guys at CargoHome are sturdy, sleek, and will make a perfect weekend or guest home. They are more than ready to discuss your shipping container home project along with some custom designs needed in your home.

While the company built its very first tiny home in 2016, by the fall of 2020, the company had moved into their current 18-acre facility located on 1-35, north of Waco.

At the moment, the company has over a dozen CargoHome units and is currently shipping across the country. If you’re looking for a prefab container home or you want something custom-made to your taste, you’ll be thrilled to do business with the guys at CargoHome. And guess what, they are more than happy to work with your budget.

California Tiny House Inc.

Are you in California and searching for the best shipping container home builders in California that can make your dream home a reality? Then say hello to the guys at California Tiny House Inc. With a specialty in turning shipping containers into some of the most exciting living spaces, the guys at California Tiny House Inc. have all it takes to turn your ideas into some of the most iconic container homes the industry has ever seen.

Although the company is family-owned and was established in 2014, they are responsible for some of California’s brilliant container home projects. The company was founded and owned by Nick and has been in business for more than seven years now. Their team of experienced builders works round the clock to deliver on the company’s promise of building the best shipping container houses.

Without mincing words, California Tiny House Inc. has played a significant role in advancing the shipping container home industry in the country, especially in California, where they have partnered with top ROP and CTE programs throughout the state to build tiny house curriculums for schools.

Want a reliable company in California to handle your shipping container home project? Well, you’ll be hard-picked to find any company better than the guys at California Tiny House Inc. right now.

Cargotecture

If you are in Washington and want to do business with shipping container home builders in Washington State, then the guys at Cargotecture have you covered. Thanks to over a decade of experience in the shipping container industry, the company builds some of the most iconic shipping container homes you’ll find in Washington state.

During the design phase, the company works with you to build your dream home. They can either spruce one of their impeccable models or custom-build a house that features all of your specs. Also, the company works with your budget, so you don’t end up paying through your nose.

When doing business with Cargotecture, keep in mind that there are several steps before your home is completed. The very first step is metalwork. Once that’s done, the company moves to framing, electricity, plumbing, and then finishing. After the construction is over, the company goes through everything to make sure everything is working as designed.

Crate

Do you live in Los Angeles and only want to do business with shipping container home builders in Los Angeles? Then today is your lucky day as the guys at Crate Modular have all the experience and technical know-how to build your dream tiny home. Crate Modular is Los Angele’s first and only proven builder of school buildings and multi-family housing using recycled shipping containers.

Over the last couple of years, the company has led the pack in the shipping container building industry. More so, they have designed and built over 250,000 SQ feet shipping container buildings. The company single-handedly handled the Potters Lane project, a multi-family affordable container housing specifically designed to house homeless veterans.

While traditional building methods can take quite some time, negatively impact communities, and produce an insane amount of unnecessary waste, the company loves the thrills that the shipping container home industry offers. On the one hand, shipping container homes are fast to build and super-efficient. And good enough, they don’t take a long time before the project is completed.

Relevant Buildings

Even though there aren’t a lot of shipping container home builders in Oregon, but guess what? The Relevant Buildings company has earned its place as one of Oregon’s finest prefab shipping container home builders.

The company specializes in converting shipping containers into some of the sleekest, affordable, sustainable, and UBC-compliant buildings you’ll ever come across in the State of Oregon. The company also designs and constructs prefabricated multi-family and residential container buildings that promote an alternative housing model, which will undoubtedly solve the lingering affordable housing crisis. In terms of design, the company has many units, including those with modern amenities and net-zero energy options.

Honomobo

It’s not every day you come across shipping container builders in Ontario like the team at Honomobo. This shipping container building company specializes in using containers to build beautiful and rigid steel homes. Their units are carefully designed for efficiency, extreme durability, and affordable modern living.

The company also has fixed floor plans and defined options for upgrades and finishes. The designs will absolutely wow you as they pay attention to detail while ensuring that customers’ expectations are met. And guess what, their units aren’t as expensive as you’ll imagine. Compared to other shipping container builders in Ontario, Honomobo offers some of the best and cheapest container housing we have come across.

Another thing you’ll love about this company is that they take transparency pretty seriously. From project development to budget to put together drawings all the way to final delivery and installation, the company works with you every step of the way to ensure that your expectations are met.

Containers In Motion

Containers in Motions is one of the leading shipping container home builders in Florida. The company is one of the top global brands in Florida that has the technical know-how and experience in transforming shipping containers into all types of recreational, commercial, residential, and farm-type buildings.

The company delivers an incredible range of products to a diversified client base, including government agencies, individuals, corporations, and more. And just so you know, the company is headquartered in Florida. The company has put together some of the finest shipping container builders along with a support team that ensures that each project is handled to perfection.

We love Containers in Motion because they offer some of the most competitive pricing the industry has ever seen. So regardless of your budget, you’ll certainly find a home that ticks all your boxes when doing business with this firm.

Raynor Container Home

Raynor Container Home is among the best shipping container home builders in Virginia. The company sits as one of Virginia’s first shipping container home firms responsible for building some of the impeccable homes the states have ever seen. Raynor Container Home is paving the way for brilliant container homes that will easily be permitted. The company is known to build some of the finest custom homes in the whole of Virginia.

When all you want is affordable housing with the necessary amenities that will guarantee a comfortable living experience, you’ll not be disappointed to give the guys at Raynor Container Home a try. And guess what, the company offers tons of brilliant units you’ll love right from the get-go. And as if that’s not enough, the company also works with you to build custom units that tick all your boxes.

Gold Container Homes USA

Gold Container Homes is one of the finest shipping container builders in Phoenix, AZ. This innovative and cutting-edge company is dedicated to providing affordable housing, especially the very best modular structures. Whether you’re interested in infinitely customizable do-it-yourself designs, or you want a container home delivered to your unique specifications and handled by professionals, you’ll not be disappointed to give the team at Gold Container Homes USA a try.

The team at Container Homes knows that the world is changing. With the clamor for affordable housing gaining momentum every day, the company knows that traditional structures no longer meet today’s requirements, so it’s no surprise to see the company beam attention on the container home industry.

Today, the company is responsible for some of the finest shipping container homes in Phoenix, AZ. And sure enough, they have a container home for every budget. With the team at Gold Container Homes, you’re sure to get your dream home.

Backcountry Containers

The team behind Backcountry Containers has long enjoyed dismantling things and putting them together. While the founder is an aeronautical engineer, he has always been intrigued about tiny living.

Thanks to his engineering background, he has always experimented with building unique and structurally brilliant living spaces. And like every supportive wife, his wife encouraged him to quit his job and pursue his dream. Having left his job, he proceeded to build the first Backcountry Container home.

Being a stylish and talented director, his wife brought her experience to their various building projects by blending modern and stylish decor with rustic finishes. Their very first 20 ft blue container home laid the foundation for a booming business.

Container King

Shipping container homes come in many exciting designs today, and guess what? The guys at Container Kings build some of the most fascinating shipping container homes we have ever come across. From office containers to mobile office trailers to multi-family buildings and more, you’ll be spoilt for choice when doing business with this company.

The company ensures that each container used for its building project is carefully handpicked and thoroughly examined to ensure quality standards. Plus, they go the extra mile to ensure that every container used for their project is wind and watertight. When it comes to quality and satisfaction, no other company does it better than Container King.

Frequently asked question

Are shipping container homes all that expensive?

Shipping container homes come in different shapes, sizes, and styles. And just so you know, some of the smaller basic units cost between $10,000 to $35,000. More so, larger structures, especially those with multiple shipping containers put together along with other relevant amenities, can range between $75,000 to $175,000. Let us also add that some container structures can cost half as much per square foot when compared to traditional buildings.

Does Oregon currently allow shipping container homes?

Currently, most states have favorable laws that allow people to build their dream container homes, and Oregon isn’t left out. Besides Oregon, other states with favorable laws for shipping container homes include California, Missouri, Texas, Tennessee, Alaska, and Louisiana. You can build your shipping container homes in all of these states, provided your structure meets all of the relevant building and zoning requirements.

Do shipping containers make great homes?

Shipping containers make for excellent building materials, and that’s because they are easy to customize, affordable, and above all, durable. Compared to conventional housing, shipping containers are cost-effective and require fewer building materials.