Is it Cheaper to Build a House or a Tiny Shipping Container Home?

Are you looking for a more affordable and innovative way to own a home? If so, you may be wondering about the cost of building a tiny container home versus a traditional house. Tiny container homes, also known as shipping container houses, have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their unique aesthetic and their affordability. In this blog post, we will compare the cost of a traditional house to that of a tiny container home, discuss the pros and cons of each, and explore why more people are choosing to go the container home route.

Building a Traditional House

Building a traditional house is a major undertaking, requiring planning and a significant financial commitment. The cost of building a home varies depending on a range of factors, including the size of the house, the materials used, the location, and other design elements. On average, it costs around $200 to $400 per square foot to build a traditional home. The average build time for a traditional home can range from 6 to 12 months, depending on the complexity of the project and the availability of contractors.

The timeline for building a traditional house typically includes designing the home, securing financing and permits, excavating the site, pouring a foundation, framing the house, installing windows and doors, siding and roofing, electrical wiring, plumbing, finishing and painting, and landscaping. Although most people choose to hire contractors to handle the entire process, it is possible to complete some of the work yourself as part of a DIY project.

No matter how you choose to approach building a traditional home, it’s important to be aware of the high cost associated with this type of project. Many people look for ways to reduce costs by searching for DIY shipping container house plans, small container home designs, and DIY container home kits. However, these projects still require considerable planning and resources in order to be successful.

Building a Container Home

When it comes to building a tiny home, one of the most affordable options is to use a shipping container. Shipping containers are becoming more popular in the tiny home world as they provide an affordable and versatile option for those looking for a smaller, more sustainable living space.

The process of building a container home starts with selecting and purchasing a suitable shipping container. Shipping containers come in a variety of sizes, so you can find one that suits your needs. The cost of shipping container houses varies based on size, condition, and the distance it must be shipped. Prices typically start at around $3,000 USD for a 20-foot container and go up from there.

Once you have the container, you will need to prepare it for construction. This usually involves cutting windows and doors, making sure the roof and walls are properly insulated, and making sure the interior is well-ventilated. You may also need to reinforce the walls and floor of the container before you start building out the interior space.

The actual construction process for building out a container home is similar to building any other type of home. You will need to install plumbing, wiring, insulation, floors, walls, ceilings, and any other features that you want in your tiny home. This will require some knowledge of carpentry and plumbing, but most people with basic DIY skills should be able to tackle this project.

Once your container home is complete, you will have a comfortable, stylish, and sustainable tiny home that is significantly cheaper than a traditional house. While the cost of building a container home can vary depending on materials used and any customization needed, most people who build their own tiny homes report spending between $10,000-$40,000 on their projects. That’s significantly less than what you would pay to build a traditional house. Additionally, it only takes a few weeks or months to complete a tiny home project, compared to the several months or even years it could take to build a traditional home. 

Building a container home can be an excellent way to save money while getting the tiny home of your dreams. It may not be as luxurious as a larger traditional house, but with careful planning and creativity you can create a unique and beautiful home that meets all your needs.

Pros and Cons of Each

Building a traditional house is a great investment, but it is not always the most cost-efficient. The cost of materials and labor for a traditional house can be quite expensive, often exceeding $200,000. In addition to the high costs of construction, there are several other factors that should be considered. For example, the process of building a traditional home can take months or even years to complete, and there are many regulations and codes that need to be adhered to.

Alternatively, tiny shipping container homes can be built quickly and easily. These structures are made of shipping containers and require minimal construction time. Therefore, container homes can be constructed at a much lower cost than traditional houses. The process of building a container home can be completed in a matter of weeks instead of months or years. Their smaller size and modular design also make them easier to maintain than traditional homes.

One advantage that DIY shipping container houses offer over traditional homes is the opportunity for customization. With a wide range of shipping container house plans available, one can create a unique tiny home tailored to their needs and budget. Furthermore, small container homes' designs can be changed and updated more easily due to their modular construction. DIY container home kits are also readily available, allowing one to purchase all of the necessary materials at once and assemble their own container home without having to hire professionals.

The main disadvantage of building a shipping container home is that it can be difficult to find the right property to build your shipping container home on. It's important to contact your local zoning department to make sure you are able to build a shipping container home on your property. Furthermore, it may also be difficult to find contractors who are familiar with the process of constructing shipping container homes. Finally, while the cost of tiny homes may be cheaper than traditional homes, they still require some investment, especially if one decides to not perform a DIY shipping container home build. 

In conclusion, building a traditional home or a tiny shipping container home can both be worthwhile investments depending on one's circumstances and needs. Traditional homes are more expensive but offer more stability, while tiny homes are cheaper but require more planning and effort. Ultimately, the decision between the two will depend on one's financial situation and lifestyle. Those looking to save money may benefit from researching shipping container home plans and attempting a DIY container home kit project.

Save with a DIY Container Tiny Home

One way to save a lot of money when building a tiny shipping container home is to take on the construction yourself. A DIY Shipping Container House requires that you gather all of the necessary materials and resources, and often includes plans or kits to guide you through the process. There are many resources available online to help with the design and construction of a DIY Shipping Container Houses. These range from detailed step-by-step instructions, complete plans, and even pre-made kits to help you construct your own tiny shipping container home. 

By building your own tiny home, you can cut down significantly on the cost of the build itself, as you don’t have to pay a contractor to do the work for you. This can result in substantial savings, even though you may end up spending more time on the project yourself. The cost of materials for the build is also an important factor to consider, as shipping container homes require fewer materials than traditional houses. A typical small container home design could cost less than $20,000 in materials alone. Depending on where you purchase your materials from, you can find DIY Container Home Kits which contain almost all of the components needed for a quick and simple build. 

Overall, when taking into account the cost of traditional houses and comparing it to the cost of tiny homes, it is easy to see that by constructing your own DIY Shipping Container House, you can save a considerable amount of money. Taking on the project yourself can also be a rewarding experience, as you can customize your home exactly to your specifications and preferences. All in all, DIY Container Homes offer significant savings over traditional houses and provide an exciting opportunity to create a home that is truly unique to you.

Check out our recent YouTube video where we share 10 Budget Hacks to save you money on your shipping container build!
👋 Looking for Discounted Models? Click Here!