Shipping Container Homes Are In Vogue

Dwellings come in all shapes and sizes, but no matter the type of abode, everyone deserves a place to call home. These days, with so many job losses and threats of eviction, a large number of Americans are faced with the prospect of not having a roof over their heads.

Last year, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and other city officials came up with a solution and broke ground on a housing complex which consists of stacked shipping containers to house formerly homeless citizens. Before images of being crammed inside a tin can form inside your head, consider how creatively impressive this concept has evolved over the years. Add in how eco-friendly, durable (built to withstand earthquakes and 100+ winds), and inexpensive these homes are. In fact, you could scoop up one shipping container for less than $20,000.

The “Isla de Los Angeles” development, for instance, gives off an apartment complex vibe with a walkway connection to rooftop terraces and gardens. Residents are privy to onsite social services like job training, counseling, and life skills workshops.

Living in Wilmington, North Carolina’s sleek Cargo District provides residents with one of the most ultra-urban experiences around. Aside from residential shipping container units, the community includes container-built retail shops, eateries, a barber and hair salon, and more. There is even a workspace unit that brings freelancers and entrepreneurs together.

Square 2 at The Cargo District is a nine-unit, one-bedroom container home complex. The units have heated concrete flooring downstairs, vinyl plank flooring upstairs, a custom-built staircase, European-style custom cabinetry in the kitchen and bath, matte black plumbing fixtures throughout, floor to ceiling tile in the shower, and black stainless steel kitchen appliances. The units also come with a custom built-in queen-sized bed, walk-in closet with washer and dryer, and aluminum balconies for outdoor enjoyment.

Alternative Living Spaces delivers luxury living in 20-foot containers starting at $36,000 and 40-foot containers priced at $63,000. Even at a starting price of $29,000 buyers will receive basics like windows, flooring, insulation, light fixtures, and more. Based in Texas, Backcountry Containers homes are equipped for hookup to city drainage or to greywater and blackwater tanks for off-grid living. They also come with plumbing, wiring, AC, and heating units. These are only two out of dozens of shipping container companies to peruse for information.

A word of caution. Not all localities allow this type of alternative housing. It would be wise to check into the zoning codes and building regulations in your area of consideration, but for the most part, you should not have a problem. Louisiana, for example, is the number one state where residents enjoy the most land freedom. Alaska has a very expansive terrain with a low population rate, making it the ideal place for such a lifestyle.  In fact, there are a number of existing shipping container homes in the Last Frontier state.

Shipping container homes are on the verge of being more than a trend and is definitely something to consider especially if you have access to a spot of land and possess a creative, adventurous spirit. You could turn a dour-looking steel box or two (or three) into a coveted DIY project where your Home Sweet Home plaque hangs proudly on the wall. Think Legos for Grownups.

-Sharon Oliver

Photo by Jack Foster on Unsplash


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