Is it possible to build a shipping container House for under $55 000 CAD?

Question by Matt: Is it possible to build a shipping container House for under 000 CAD?
I have $ 55 000 to build a house. Property is there, I just need a house. Is it possible to build a shipping container house with 1200+ sq feet of usable floor space for under $ 55 000?

Best answer:

Answer by GARY G
If you are a do it yourselfer, yes

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4 thoughts on “Is it possible to build a shipping container House for under $55 000 CAD?”

  1. Hi a used container can range from 8000 to 25000–and that is depended on what was carried in it, how old it is and the condition. So it would probably depend which one you got.

    You’ll see a water hookup, electricity hookup to the property and a drive way. Those aren’t cheap–around $ 5000 just for the driveway. Getting water & electric to your property if you aren’t purchasing a serviced property is at least $ 8000 together.

    So worst case scenario you are already at $ 38,000

    Next you have to build a inner space–so can you do that for 17,000? YOu can probably build walls, insulate, drywall & paint if you do a lot yourself for around $ 8-10K.

    The frame would be helpful if done by a professional and spray foam would probably adhere best to the metal inside of the container but you’ll have to check that. A professional can help a lot!

    Purchasing used building materials from a restore such as these (they also exist in the usa). Also consider kijiji craigslist or neighbors.

    You can get used and in good condition sinks, toilets, showers and tubs, appliances, kitchen cabinets, etc from 2nd hand sources.

    You can get porcelin things reglazed or resurfaced for much cheaper than buying brand new.

    Furnishings can be purchased 2nd hand.

    Subfloors can be painted with a heavy duty scrubbable paint and then throw rugs down until you can afford to add more.

    You don’t NEEd baseboards however it hides the edging of the whole insultation–good if you have little kids living with you as they may pick at it and accidently injest it. just plain cheap mdf can be used until you can afford something nicer.

    Paint works wonders! So consider that. The restores sell paint too.

  2. not a building container, but I built a house using a barn kit and modifying into a livable space. I started with 40 x 20 kit and a 60 x 40 deck. When building the deck I placed extra footing to support more weight, them built the barn on top of the deck, then finished the interior with insulation and drywall. I designed it with two beds and one bath with a kitchen that opens to a small den. Plumbed with septic tank and pressure tank water system. Also electrically wired and setup for propane.

    If you don’t include the cost of the land, drilling the well and installation of the septic tank, the house itself cost me about $ 50,000. A 150′ well cost me $ 15,000 complete with pump and plumbing to house. I was within 100′ of a utility pole, so power wasn’t too bad, but still about $ 2,000 for hook up.

    Luckily, because of zoning and where I was building, my building permit was not too restrictive. but total cost, minus land was about $ 70,000 and I plan on adding another section, also using a barn kit that will ad another 500 feet to it with a cost estimate of about $ 10,000 (master bedroom and bath & walk in closet.)

  3. containers make excellent houses, your imagination is the key to its success.Remember you can weld them together, sit them on top, bury them, I live in the Philippines and have plans to use 4 containers welded together in one of the provinces

  4. Shipping containers are only a cost effective solution if there’s a ready supply of shipping containers already bought and paid for. Unless you’re near a shipping port that has been receiving far more imports than exports, you’re unlikely to get shipping containers at a reasonable price compared to other options. The value of a shipping container home isn’t necessarily in the initial economy of construction but in the long run as an insulated steel structure will likely be more efficient energy wise and more durable. Shipping container homes can actually cost more than conventional homes which is why you still see conventional construction outnumbering shipping container construction.

    They’re currently talking about building homes out of shipping containers for the quake victims in Haiti but that’s because it’s a port city and the foreign aid is all being shipped in in shipping containers so the containers are basically free anyways, at least in comparison to everything else as even cement must be imported into Haiti which is why their weak low cement concrete just crumbled in the earthquake. Here in Houston, shipping containers are a viable option but this is a port city with a surplus of empty containers and even here it’s more expensive than conventional construction.

    A group of survivalists in Ontario that banded together to build a bpmb shelter called Ark Two, looked into all the various construction techniques and found that the least expensive was a scrapped school bus. Shipping containers aren’t the only source of a steel enclosure and may not be the cheapest.

    There are also methods of constructing steel buildings that are likely to be more economical than building out of shipping containers.

    I would suspect that unless there happens to be shipping containers available dirt cheap, your best solution will be a double wide trailer, especially once you take into account, foundation, interior walls and wiring. If you are on the cheap, you can probably get trailers that are unfinished and do the interior yourself. Some mobile homes are very comfortable and traditional looking, the dream home given away at the Calgary Stampede every year is by definition a trailer home yet it looks like a conventional construction and indeed a dream home.

    Personally, I would prefer to do an insulated concrete form house or a monolithic shotcrete dome.

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