Overall container homes do cost less than the traditional stick-built houses. There are several reasons for this. First, a big portion of the home is built in factory allowing for a controlled environment with economies of scale and less waste. Secondly, a container home tends to be smaller in foot-print, requiring less material overall. And finally, they are faster to build and more efficient.
When a shipping container is used as the structure for a house, one is re-using and repurposing a structure that would otherwise be sitting abandoned. For every shipping container that is upcycled we are saving around 3500KG of steel.
Shipping containers are steel boxes that are designed to hold thousands of kilograms, to be stacked one on top of the other, made to endure violent conditions at sea and by cranes, making them strong, durable, weatherproof alternatives for housing structures.
There are three main types of foundations: Pier, Slab and Strip. A Pier foundation is usually the cheapest and the fastest one to build. The piers are generally laid at each corner of the container. With a Slab Foundation, the weight of the container is spread over the entire slab, vs just the piers. However, because of the additional concrete used and the vast amount of space which needs excavating, slab foundations are significantly more expensive than pier foundations. A Strip foundation is just as the name implies: a strip of concrete which is laid to support the containers, is normally 1-2-foot-wide and 4-foot-deep and runs the perimeter of the container.
The Tiny home movement is one that stars small houses on wheels, or with the ability to be mobile. Even though modular homes share many of the Tiny Home attributes, they are not Tiny Homes. Container hoes are small, efficient homes that are permanently affixed to a foundation. They are the small and efficient version of the big house.
Usually the factory portion will take about 4-8 weeks. The structure then is transported to the permanent site where, depending on the complexity and scope of the finish work, another 2-4 weeks will be needed to complete the bathroom, kitchen and detail work.