Durable, steel shipping containers average a 25-year lifespan and require minimal maintenance. That’s just one reason why many resourceful homeowners have transformed shipping containers into their humble abode.
“They’re sleek. They’re innovative. They’re metal. They’re eco-conscious and sustainable…It’s little wonder that shipping container homes have become a national obsession, threatening even to overtake traditional tiny homes in the hearts and imaginations of new home buyers looking for something way out of the ordinary,” writes Angela Colley on Realtor.com.
Though shipping container home are highly versatile and customizable, they do require a significant level of planning and maintenance to construct — a level of maintenance that many people underestimate. But with that in mind, shipping container homes are also a sustainable and eco-friendly alternative to traditional housing. A 2017 Unilever study found that 33% of consumers prefer to choose brands that support social or environmental causes, so it’s no surprise that shipping container homes are growing in popularity. But before you invest in a shipping container home of your own, it’s important to have realistic expectations regarding cost and maintenance. Here are just a few points to keep in mind if you’re considering investing in a shipping container home of your very own.
Avoiding Rust and Roof Corrosion
Experts say that rust is one of the primary elements you’ll have to worry about after getting your shipping container home. Shipping containers homes near the ocean are more prone to rust, so expect to have to paint and de-rust more frequently.
“Special attention is required if you live near the ocean and the salt air becomes a concern. The ocean dwellers must inspect their container homes a few times a year and in most cases are required to de-rust and paint more often,” writes Jimmy Lee on ContainerHomes.net.
Similarly, you should be aware of the potential for roof damage during transportation and construction of your shipping container home. Many containers sustain roof damage when being transported by lower quality companies, especially when the containers are being shipped overseas. Plus, an inch of summer rainfall pours nearly 1,500 gallons of water onto your roof, and most shipping container roofs have dents around the sides that collect rainwater and corrode the roof over time. Experts say the dents sustained during transportation should be repaired prior to construction, and all rust and corrosion should be treated with high-quality rust and corrosion prevention paint.
Getting Financial Help Through Grants
If you’ve looked into the maintenance involved with a container home and are committed to keeping up with it, you can move onto looking into opportunities to receive federal grants for help with your container home construction costs. These opportunities can be particularly helpful for first time homebuyers, which is estimated to be about 32% of people looking to buy new homes. There are a number of different grant opportunities that have helped people just like you complete their container home projects. If you find a grant you want to apply for, just make sure to keep a few tips in mind.
First, it’s always a good idea to submit more than one application to raise your chances of approval. Make sure you fit any and all criteria set for the grants you’re applying for. Finally, always be patient and adamant when it comes to the application process.
Ultimately, understanding these tips can help you buy a shipping container home of your very own.
“It’s the great new building block of the 21st century,” said Washington D.C. architect Travis Price to MarketWatch.