Shipping Containers: Are They the Key to Your New St. John’s home?

Posted by The Hann Group on Thursday, December 18th, 2014 at 10:38am.

shipping containersI recently watched a program that talked about alternative style homes and how the green movement is being integrated more and more into new home builds. Towards the end of the broadcast, they touched on a new home style used mainly in Australia and parts of Europe that’s catching on in a big way. 

What do you see when you look at this picture? Most people would say “I see multi-coloured shipping containers waiting to be used.” And you would be correct. I see that too, but I also see your new home. Now if you can bear with me and quite literally think outside the box for a second I will show you just how these containers can make a very stylish, eco-friendly home.

As you probably could’ve guessed by the intro to this blog, I’m talking about homes made with shipping containers.  Most shipping containers measure up to be approximately 40 feet by 8 feet and are structurally designed to withstand the toughest climates and weather conditions. Their unibody design allows them to be structurally superior to any other container design and also lends to their modular construction abilities. In the world there are over 25 million of these containers and it is estimated that in the United States alone there are between 700,000 and 2,000,000 containers lying around unused. This leaves a very big opening for the construction of these homes.

Why you should consider a shipping container home

You may be thinking “why would I want to build a home from these containers?” and there are a few key points to take into consideration.

Cost: A brand new shipping container costs $6000(USD) and a used one would cost around $1200(USD). A new shipping container home can be built with anywhere from 1 to as many shipping containers as you want. shipping container home  

Sustainability: When purchasing a shipping container home, you’re not using up any new resources to make it. It’s a pre-fabricated structure to which only minor changes need to be made. Some people choose to cut out the top of the container which will create higher ceilings and allow for more of a natural look to the home.

Room for Expansion: Once you have your house made, what’s to say you can’t add on more space? All you need to do is add another container or two and that dream sunroom that you’ve always wanted is right before your eyes! The possibilities for expansion are endless

Shipping containers in Newfoundland

In satisfying my own curiosity while writing this blog, I wanted to see if this could actually be done in St.John’s. I called up SME Limited, a local company who deals with shipping containers and asked how many of these containers are there around the city which are unused, and how much do they sell for?

I was startled to hear that there are hundreds and hundreds of these containers right here in our city and that a used container sells for approximately $4500! That’s a lot of potential homes that could be built and these materials are just lying around, unused and taking up space.

As we move into the 21st century, we need to start looking for other ways to build homes which won’t use up our resources. Shipping container homes are just one way that we can recycle old, useless items and turn them into a true cornerstone of human thought and ingenuity.


There's an enormous amount of information online about using shipping containers for homes.

Here's a few links to check out:

Could you see yourself building a shipping container home?  Do you know anyone who already has one?


We'd love to know your thoughts on container homes, and we'd love to help you with any other aspect of real estate in and around the St. John's area.  Please feel free to contact us. Our qualified, knowledgeable team would be happy to help.

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