Shipping container homes are beginning to gain popularity, given their affordability. As a prospective container homeowner, you are about to tap from the durability and convenience it offers.

However, making your container home an amazing apartment depends on you completely. Some container home mistakes might stop you from getting your dream building.

Without wasting much time, we will be highlighting common container home problems you should avoid when building your home.

container home foundation

1. Building On A Poor Foundation

Before anything else, the foundation comes first for every type of construction. You might not be aware. The foundation is one of the components of your shipping container home. Without a strong foundation, you may run into container home problems.

The unpredictable nature of the ground needs consideration before you begin to build. Sliding and sinking may occur at any time, which might lead to the separation of your container home.

The material composition of the ground affects how your shipping container home reacts. Therefore, planning the foundation for your container home gives the ground stability. Also, it makes it solid enough to withstand pressure.

A well-constructed foundation ensures equal distribution of weight throughout the entire space meant for your container home.

2. Miscalculating The Shipping Container Size

Many shipping container homeowners found themselves in this trap. This may erode your satisfaction with what the outcome would be after building. We found this to be a common mistake of container homes through our research and survey.

You should know that a standard shipping container isn’t the same as the one meant for constructing homes. They both come in different heights, with the high cube containers meant for a home being a foot taller.

Insulation installation takes a foot out of the container. So for each shipping container (Standard & High cube), there will be a reduction in the height. Using the wrong size of shipping containers implies dealing with unfavorable situations.

Although shipping container homes are expensive, they offer more benefits than their counterparts. The length, feet, inches are much bigger because of the purpose they serve.

container home mistakes

3. Shipping Containers Not In Good Conditions

If there is a container home mistake every prospective owner should avoid, it is buying containers in poor conditions. Do your due diligence properly before purchasing your shipping home containers.

Used containers offer endurance and can withstand pressure. However, most of these containers require proper care before you used them in the building. A common container home problem is rust and decomposition, given its contact with water.

Therefore, you must be ready to cut and replace damaged metal, painting to change the appearance, and other related repairs to keep it in good shape. In most cases, there is information asymmetry, where you don’t get every detail about the container correctly.

Pictures can be deceiving, especially if the dealer is not truthful. For this reason, you may receive containers of low quality when you order online. However, with the existence of advanced technology, you can request video coverage of the proposed containers. 

4. Not Knowing Zoning Codes And Building Regulations

Information adequacy is essential to avoid displacement after building your container home. This is a container home mistake that can steal your happiness if told you to violate building regulations.

How would you feel if you were asked to demolish the construction you put a lot of effort into the building? Don’t neglect the importance of applying for a permit before building begins. It will hurt so much to waste time and resources.

Ensure you are conversant with zoning codes and associated regulations to avoid unnecessary delays. You can do this by getting the right information from the zoning office and other relevant regulatory bodies.

Construction of homes, including shipping container homes, should not be taken with light hands. It is a common mistake of container homeowners who take things with levity hands.

Get all the information needed about your dream shipping container home, the location, and the exact place before construction begins proper.

insulate container home

5. Not Using Correct Insulation

Climate plays a significant role in the selection of the right insulation for your shipping container home. Climatic conditions, especially rain, can cause your container home to rust. In this case, insulation will be helpful.

Location with higher rainfall requires spray foam insulation that prevents water flow from destroying the container home. During warm temperatures, you should consider insulation that offers coolness to your shipping container home.

Using the wrong type of insulation without considering the local climate is a big mistake you need to avoid. The two possible challenges you could face are freezing containers or hotness in winter and summer, respectively.

You can get more information about insulation for shipping container homes for better understanding. 

6. Removing Too Much Steel From Containers

Although steelworks and repairs are crucial, you should not be removing too much steel from your shipping containers. When this happens, you will need to incur a higher cost to keep your shipping container in good shape.

Modification is normal, but it becomes abnormal when a significant part of the steel gets cut off. This might be the reason why your shipping container will be weak and may lose balance as well. 

Your top priority for your shipping container home should be solidity and strength to stand against different forces it may encounter. Cutting of the segments for windows and doors is ideal. However, ensure to maintain considerable distance between them for the structural integrity of the shipping container.

If you are cutting off sections for some purposes, you should endeavor to use steel beams for support.

7. Hiring Wrong Container Home Builder

One of the container home mistakes you can make that might cost you a lot is hiring the wrong contractor. To prevent misinterpretation, you can hire a container home builder if you have the time to build by yourself.

You need a contractor with the right technical know-how to take up the responsibility of constructing your container home. To employ the right person, you need to consider many factors, including skills and experience.

Does the contractor possess adequate knowledge about building container home? Does the container home builder know every component and its uses? Accuracy and efficiency depend largely on the knowledge possessed by the contractor.

We are sure you don’t want to waste money on the wrong builder and not want the construction to take forever. Hiring the right contractor is a step closer to getting what you deserve.


Ever thought of owning a house that doesn’t cost much? You should consider building a shipping container home. With the right materials, knowledge, and effort, your apartment will bring immeasurable happiness to you. 

However, you need to keep in mind common issues of container homes. You can avoid these container home mistakes by following the hints highlighted above. This starts with not forgetting a strong foundation is the key to incredible sustainable building.


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