So You Want to Build a Shipping Container Home? Avoid Making These Mistakes

You can’t hear the word ‘shipping container’ these days without thinking about all the different creative buildings that have become extremely popular over the last few years. From homes, to leisure buildings, to restaurants – it’s a trend that has well and truly taken off.

We’re not surprised by the rise of shipping container buildings – especially shipping container homes. Not only are they affordable and easy to build, they are also tremendously eco-friendly.

colorful cargo containers used as home by students

However, with every successful home built from shipping containers, there are also those that have failed. This is often because they have made little mistakes that could have easily been avoided.

If you’re thinking of building your own extra special home – avoid making these same mistakes.

Don’t Purchase the Wrong Type

When it comes to building houses from shipping containers, it’s important that you purchase the right type. You don’t want to get half way through a project and realise your mistake – it’s much better researching everything to begin with.

There are two main types of shipping containers: regular height and high cube. High cube containers are basically the same but they add an additional foot in height – around 9 foot – something that you definitely need when converting into homes.

The extra foot is perfect for those who want to insulate their home without having to compromise on any space.

Not Seeing the Containers in Person Before Purchase

There is absolutely nothing wrong with purchasing used shipping containers – some of them can be in brilliant condition. However, we can’t stress the importance of seeing the shipping containers in person before letting go of any money.

You could end up with shipping containers in a really bad condition – unusable or expensive to repair. You also won’t be able to check for damp or corrosion – these can’t always be spotted on photos.

Cargo distribution

Insulating it in the Wrong Way

Wherever you live in the world, you need to think about your countries climate. For those of us in the UK, we know that the country is likely to get an awful lot of rain throughout the year – therefore this must be taken into consideration.

For rainy climates, you’ll need insulation that presents you with a seamless vapour barrier – something not needed in places that are much dryer and warmer.

If you don’t use the correct type of insulation – you’ll run into a lot of problems further than the line.

Not Paying Attention to the Local Planning Regulations

Unfortunately, you can’t just build on land wherever you want or build something as big as you want. You need certain permission before starting any building plans.

Therefore, before you start any planning, you need to find out what the local planning regulations are.  You should be prepared with all information about your building – what you want to build and how much space it will take up.


We’re not just shipping container experts here at Flintham Cabins, we also specialise in a number of different things. If you’re looking for security guard huts, welfare units or sectional steel units throughout London – we have you covered.

For more information, please contact us on 020 8459 6972 and a member of our friendly team will be happy to help you out. You can also find us over on Twitter too.



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