It’s official! In the last year, California legalized the use of building containers for construction. What does this mean for you? Well, a lot. If you live in the more urban areas of California where land is scarce and highly expensive because of that, buying a plot of land for building your dream home is a major expense in and of itself, forget that then you actually have to erect a structure that’s up to building code standards, meets zoning requirements, and functions with style. According to national averages, building a new home ranges between $178,000 and $416,000. At the very least you can expect to pay $155,000 but that can easily extend to $1,000,000. 

Building containers are the easier, more affordable solution to creating a home that is all yours without blowing up your credit score. The Taj Malodge is built with two 40-feet shipping containers, providing over 600 square feet, and all for only $35,000. Larger homes can land you in a price of upwards $175,000. But for someone with the right experience, a well-constructed home could cost as little as $10,000. Granted, there are too many variables that affect the overall cost, so don’t assume these will be your final number. Even so, the cost to get the same square footage, comfort, and style as a traditionally built home is so vastly different there’s not really a comparison, is there?

Well, What Are They?

Right on the tip of your tongue, huh? As you may have guessed, Building Container Homes are homes or buildings constructed of shipping containers. They can be lined up, stacked up, or end up looking like the top of a Jenga game. Frames are cut out of the metal for doors, windows, and interior walls. The standard material is steel which means they’re not only strong and durable, but they can be painted or finished to look however you like. The only thing you’ll lack is curves. But you can make up for that on the inside with furniture and art. You can build with brand new containers, or go the really green route and procure used containers. Unless there is severe damage to the steel, they’ll work just fine.

Comfort And Style?

Indeed! With the right insulation, there’s no need to worry about staying at a comfortable temp. Spray foam is your best option, as it’s sure to fill the space evenly. For a truly green option, ask your contractor about hemp insulation. Non-toxic and sustainable, hemp insulation (or hempcrete) is mixed on site, so can easily mold to fit your walls. In all the money you save on general costs, you could invest in geothermal heat and air for a lean, mean, cozy green machine. As previously mentioned, the exterior of your home from its shape to its color/finish. Veneers can be added for a stone or wood effect, or you can paint it any color you like. The options are limitless. Finish off your masterpiece with a green roof that sprouts native grasses and flowers to double down on your insulation and curb appeal. 

With all the money you’ll save by using shipping containers for the main build, you can invest in green efforts such as these. Your home will be beautiful and function with a dainty little carbon footprint. In the age of simplicity, sustainability, and personal expression, shipping container homes are the fine wine to this aged cheddar; made for each other.