Many Filipinos are looking to purchase a home in the country for many reasons. And while being a homeowner has its perks, the customization of the house to best suit one’s style is one of the most attractive aspects of homeownership. For some people, the exterior of the home is an important aspect of design, which is why many are considering purchasing shipping containers to create durable, unique, and highly versatile homes.
Shipping containers converted into homes is a growing trend for many property owners, not just in the Philippines, but all over the world. The concept of utilizing shipping containers has appeared as a surprising trend in homeownership, but shipping container homes have been around since the Second World War. Truly, shipping container homes can become a wonderful property to own, if done right. However, due to its rarity, hopeful Filipinos who are interested in building a home out of shipping containers have a lot of factors to consider and information to understand. In this article, we will discuss 7 important things one should know before building a container home.
1. Shipping container homes should be suitable for the Philippine weather.
Image from Lamudi
Before purchasing a shipping container, it is important to first identify what type of container you will be purchasing. Sea containers are usually made out of lightweight materials like corrosion-resistant steel. While this material is suitable for holding materials on a ship, it is not ideal for a home without a few modifications first. Adding insulation to the container is necessary to regulate the temperatures.
2. The location should be accessible for the installation of plumbing and electrical wires.
Image from iContainerHome
Constructing a home out of shipping containers is ideal if done close to where drainage and electrical systems are located. While extensions can be made to achieve the distance the homeowner desires, building the shipping container home near the drainage and electrical systems is more practical and makes for easier installation.
3. Find out if your local building regulation laws allow the building of container homes.
Image from Your Neighborhood
Shipping container homes are not very common in the Philippines. Before deciding to build a shipping container home on your land, it is important to first become familiar with your local building regulations and laws.
4. Shipping container homes are different from prefabricated shipping container homes.
A shipping container home.
Image from The Constructor
A prefabricated home.
Image from APPU
Shipping container homes are made out of refurbished or brand-new sea containers. Cutting, welding, and adding fixtures are usually done to turn a sea container into a shipping container home. On the other hand, prefabricated shipping container homes are created specifically for residential or commercial purposes and may already include plumbing, electrical wiring, and other home fixtures.
5. Shipping container homes do need foundation.
Image from Container Homes
Shipping containers need to be anchored safely on the building site. According to ARCGO, the National Building Code of the Philippines includes all buildings in the country, including shipping container homes. Because of this, shipping containers need to be structurally sound and compliant with the Code.
6. Shipping container homes can last up to 50 years.
Image from Sullex Internationale
Shipping home containers are not only unique and versatile, but they are also durable and can last for decades with proper installation and upkeep. Just like any other property, maintenance of a shipping container home is necessary to sustain the integrity of the structure. It is also important to consider the condition of the shipping container before it is turned into a home. Retired sea containers may deteriorate quicker over time, but proper refurbishing and installation can still prolong the lifecycle of the item. New shipping containers turned into homes can last up to 50 years, according to ARCGO.
7. The price of your shipping container home.
Image from Curbed
One of the most important things to know before building a shipping container home is the price of the container. While it can be relatively cheaper than building a home in Metro Manila, buying a shipping container, prefabricated or not, can still be pricey for those who are hoping to make a big cut out of their construction project. Both the size and the condition of the shipping container will influence the price of the home. According to Homify, a 20 ft container costs from ₱60,000 to ₱80,000 while a 40ft one can range from ₱134,000 to ₱140,000. A prefabricated shipping container can cost from ₱200,000.
A Sustainable and Safe Home
Whether you are interested in a shipping container home for its sustainability, or because of its unique and multiple combination and design possibilities, building a shipping container home is still building a home. This means that the structure should follow the National Building Code of the Philippines and that the safety and security of those who inhabit the space should be a top priority. Above else, hopeful Filipino homeowners need to know that building and owning a shipping container home is unconventional and that challenges may arise where extra care and attention are required. But with the right approach and sufficient resources, anybody can transform a shipping container into their dream home.
- Homify India. (2020, March 4). 7 important things to consider before building your container home | homify. Homify India. Retrieved November 21, 2023, from https://www.homify.co.za/ideabooks/7127375/7-important-things-to-consider-before-building-your-container-home
- Homify India. (2020, October 16). Different styles of container homes for the Philippines | homify. Homify India. Retrieved November 21, 2023, from https://www.homify.ph/ideabooks/3852614/different-styles-of-container-homes-for-the-philippines
- Neuvasa. (2021, April 30). 9 Facts About Container Homes You Must Know. Neuvasa. Retrieved November 21, 2023, from https://neuvasa.com/facts-about-container-homes/
- Roca, M. (2021, October 6). Where to Buy Container House in the Philippines & FAQs Answered – ARCGO. ARCGO General Engineering. Retrieved November 21, 2023, from https://www.arcgo-ph.com/where-to-buy-container-house-philippines-faqs/
- Stott, R. (2015, April 29). 11 Tips You Need To Know Before Building A Shipping Container Home. ArchDaily. Retrieved November 21, 2023, from https://www.archdaily.com/625449/11-tips-you-need-to-know-before-building-a-shipping-container-home