Tips on Making Your Own Container Home Plans

Tips on making your own container home plans

Container homes are homes that have been built using containers. They have been gained much more popularity recently due to the reasonable amount of money people need to invest in building them, the characteristic of being eco-friendly, the high speed of construction and their amazing look. The above reasons could make you feel interested in building a container home as well, and we are here to give you useful tips for making your container home plans before you start building it.

Watch this video to see how a container home looks like:

Tips for your budget – How to save your money

One of the reasons that attribute to the people’s wish to build a container home is that it is affordable. Thus, it is important for you to make your home plans thoroughly to save your money, yet still get a good result.

Regarding the budget, you need to take several amounts of money into the account. The most significant expenses among them would be the amount of money you spend on the container and structural components.

Set your budget

Setting your total budget is the first requirement. It could be calculated from your saving money and the amount of money you could loan from the bank.

You should also allocate from 10 to 20% of your total budget to a contingency fund in the case of unexpected situations. In other words, you should only make plans with from 80 to 90% of your total budget to build your containers and other components to build your home to ensure you could deal with difficult circumstances.

Which containers to build with

Choosing the right container is important to build your container home. You could choose a new or a used container, depending on your amount of money. Besides, there are one or two points you need to notice to plan to buy the right fit for you:

  • Not make plans to purchase used containers before checking them: You need to do that to avoid unwanted containers and avoid spending extra money to return or to fix the used containers. Additionally, checking them before adding them to your container home plans would enable you to save your time as well.
  • Make sure to add all the containers from one brand to your plan: It is easy for you to build your home container from the containers having the same measurement tolerances.
  • Take the distances into consideration: When making container home plans, you need to add the cost of transportation as well if the containers are too far away from the place you want to build your home. Doing that helps you know the actual cost of the containers and make a wise decision of buying them.

container home plans

The costs of structural components

To save your budget, you need to make container home plans with most of your money spending on structural components that could not be altered. In other words, you should allocate less money to the components that could be altered in the future.

You could check some tips as following to find out more details about saving money when making parts of plans related to structural components:

  • Do not cut down on the costs of foundation and insulation: Although building an affordable container home is important, your safety is important too. Hence, you need to make plans to spend a reasonable amount of money on foundation and insulation to live comfortably after building your home.
  • Consider cutting down the costs of things like carpet, paint or kitchen kits: You could improve those after finishing your home and live in it for a long time. Therefore, it is wise to save those costs at first and spend money on more important components instead.

Tips for your design – How your home looks like

The beautiful look of your container home would come from your container home plans with a good design. Knowing what you want and what you would enable you to determine which the design is the best for your home.

What do you want from your container home?

As you could design anything you want, from a tiny house to a mansion, it is crucial to know exactly what you want from your container home. Knowing the purpose of the house and the different parts you want to build up in the house would help you to design all the parts of them.

You could find some of following questions beneficial to help you find out the specific need of yours regarding the house:

  • What will the home be used for?
  • How many bedrooms do I want?
  • Which concept is suitable for my house?
  • Where would I like to put my kitchen or my living room?
  • Would I like a one-story house or a three-story house?

The more specific questions you ask yourself, the more detailed your design would be. It is better to do it to save a lot of money from changing things in your house because you change your mind.

What you have when building your container home?

‘What-you-have’ factors are the elements that you could not change to meet your wishes. Therefore, your need to think about them to match with your expectation to finalize a good design of your home:

  • Your budget: It would not make much sense if you have a tight budget, but you want to invest in a luxury building. That is the reason why you need to take a look at your budget before making plans related to the design of your house.
  • The location of the house: Choose the place to sit your container, this location would exert impacts on how your home to be built to deal with the conditions in the surroundings.
  • Size limitation: The dimensions of your containers would have a significant impact on the design, such as the arrangement of rooms to fit perfectly with all the space of containers.

Different parts of the design when you make your container home plans

You should need to know the following parts in the design that need to be included in your plans to ensure you have a good design to stick with:

  • Foundation: There are three basic types of foundations, namely full basement, crawl space and slap-on-grade. As the costs of foundations could be potentially expensive, you should consider the soil type and the number of containers you use to decide which types of foundations is the best for your home.
  • Core envelope: It is made up of exterior walls, ground floor, roof, and glazing. It would be designed depending on the requirement of insulation. Thus, you should review the heating and cooling strategy before working with this part.
  • Section Details: When it comes to these parts, you will make plans of the design of all the rooms in your house such as bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, living rooms or dining rooms.
  • Utilities: The design in your home also needs to give information about water supply, sewage, electricity, and other similar things.
 container home parts
Source: Residential Shipping Container Primer

How to make your home in plans become the real home?

Your container home will not be implemented properly if you do not add the information of building plans to them. It is because the stage of execution would determine how your home in plans looks like in reality.

Required permits from building authority

It is undeniable that in some areas, you would not be able to build your container home until you get the required permit from the authority. You should make sure you are given permission before making plans related to other parts of the building plan.

If you find it quite difficult to do this thing, you could consider building your home in another area under different rules of the building.

Who will build your home?

If you have enough practical skills and experience, it would be rewarding and pretty cheap to build your home yourselves. Moreover, you are the one who knows the container home plans the best so that you could track the progress and take improvement if needed shortly, compared to when your home is built by other people.

However, if you do not have enough skills and experience as well as enough time, you should think about hiring a contractor that build the house for you. Although it would cost more money, hiring a contractor would enable you to have your home completed faster.

In the case of hiring a contractor, you should make sure something before adding the name of them to your plans:

  • Asking the references
  • Their guarantee policy
  • Their great insurance on liability

Making your own container home plans - Tiny Spaces Living

How to build your container home?

Although you could hire a contractor to build the home for you, you should make thorough the best plans with steps of building a home to track the work of the contractor. They could include the following steps:

  • Site work: You should prepare all required utilities and bring them to the site. After that, you could start grading work like required excavation for foundation, utilities or water management.
  • Container modification: In this step, you would do steel cutting, framing and welding with your containers before setting them to each other and the foundation.
  • Setting the containers to each other and the foundation
  • Installing windows, exterior doors, flashing and any skylights
  • Installing interior parts like heating and cooling systems, plumbing and electrical devices, etc.


Now you have more information that could help you to make your container home plans thoroughly. You should consider your total budget to break it down and allocate properly to different parts.

Besides, you also know the design of your home in your plan could be determined by what your need and what you have. Finally, you could make your building plan complete by adding the vital parts to it.

Do you know any tips that are not shared in this post? Please share with us as we are looking forward to hearing from your experience of building your container home.

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