How to Make a Home in a Cargo Container

Large cargo containers are great for storing and transporting furniture, of course, but turning these containers into homes is becoming an alternative for affordable housing.

There are many uses for cargo homes, from temporary housing for disaster relief to college dorm housing. Cargo homes are becoming more and more popular because they are inexpensive and so easy to build.

Find a cargo container. (See How to Choose a Cargo Container for more information.) They come in many different sizes, but the most popular is the 8'x40'. These can be purchased new or used. If you don't wish to build one yourself, many companies offer homes already built and ready to be shipped.

Cut openings in the steel for your windows and doors. Then you can run your electrical wiring and add walls.

Hire an electrician to do all the electrical work and a plumber to add your toilets, sinks and showers. Most units that you can purchase come standard with 120-volt or 220-volt wiring for lighting and outlets. If you already have access to electricity, you can plug in the unit or it can run off a generator.

Add walls and flooring. Drywall where needed and add any framing for separate rooms. Two inch insulation can also be added. Once the walls are up add the flooring of your choice.

Furnish your new home, and you're done.

Tips

  • Use solar power as an alternative energy source.
  • If you need a larger home, you can connect several storage units together.
  • Many companies design and build cargo homes. Most come standard with carpet/vinyl flooring and full electrical, phone and computer capabilities.
  • Cargo homes are durable and able to sustain 100 mile-per-hour winds.