They are cost effective without skimping on quality. Containers are built in a hyper-efficient automated process. These processes bring the production costs down dramatically. They are then shipped to the US where a severe trade deficit often strands them here. This gives even more opportunity for cost savings where the actual cost of a container is only ½ of the cost to build it new. The price saving is not from shortcuts. It is the reality of the shipping industry. Containers are sturdier and longer-lasting than standard construction.
Containers are modular. The International Standards Organization regulates shipping containers to tight standards. This allows high confidence of the initial product and modularization throughout the construction project that doesn’t exist normally. Containers can be worked on at ground level with premade framing/wall sections and then craned into position on-site. This yields tremendous efficiencies during the construction process.
Containers are manufactured efficiently, further reduced in price because of shipping industry realities, and can be utilized modularly and at ground-level to further reduce construction costs.
Is it moveable? What is the foundation?
Not typically. We utilize helical pier foundations custom engineered for our houses. A helical pier is a metal drilled pier that extends a minimum 16’ below grade. These piers reach depths in Houston that have more stable soil and thus resist decay and settlement better than concrete foundation systems. Once in place, our containers are welded to these piers and resist hurricane force winds. While this foundation is typical for our Houston projects, a different foundation design may be recommended by the project engineer depending on soil conditions on site.
How is it permitted?
Our container homes are fully permitted as single-family residences and pass FHA guidelines for standard construction projects. Our projects pass the most recent IRC and IBC code requirements. Consult your local permitting office for city specific code regulations.
Are containers safe?
See my blog post about container toxins. The short answer: After a little bit of precautionary work they are safe for residential usage.