construção de casas contêineres - Some myths have arisen about shipping container homes. - Siete Mitos Sobre la construcción de casas contenedores

If you have been interested in shipping container homes for some time now, you may have noticed one thing: there is an enormous amount of information online. And along with all that information, some myths have emerged. In this article, we will address seven of the most popular shipping container myths and debunk them.

Myth 1: You must always use spray foam insulation.

Spray foam insulation is definitely the most popular option when it comes to insulating containers. People usually use spray foam insulation because it creates a seamless vapor barrier that does two important things:

  • Prevents the container from getting too hot or too cold.
  • Stops condensation.

Due to its ability to create a seamless vapor barrier, there is a myth that it is the ONLY type of insulation that should be used in container construction. This is incorrect.

Spray foam is not the only type of insulation you can use in building container homes. Refer to our article on techniques for insulating your home for additional ideas. For example, if you plan to insulate the EXTERIOR of your container, you have plenty of space to work with, and a high R-value per inch is not as important. Or if you are not building in a cold or desert area, condensation is less of a concern.

For more information, refer to our articles on Moisture Protection from Condensation in Walls and Why It’s Important to Consider Condensation in Homes. So, while we prefer spray foam insulation and it is worth the investment, it is not always necessary.

Myth 2: All container homes are eco-friendly.

It is commonly believed that all container homes are eco-friendly. This is incorrect.

Unfortunately, not all container homes are eco-friendly. Why is this? Newer containers are ideal for certain situations, but they are not as environmentally friendly as used containers. Therefore, it is not terrible to use a new container, but consider a few things if you want to be eco-friendly.

For a long time, we have known that one of the best things about building with used containers is that you are reusing something that would otherwise rust away until it becomes unusable or gets converted into new steel at a considerable cost of energy and emissions.

Furthermore, when you build with used containers, you don’t need to use as much traditional building material like bricks, wood, and concrete (which have many environmental disadvantages and are not as easily reusable as steel).

Some of these advantages don’t apply when building with new single-trip containers, but in some cases, it is actually a better idea to use new containers anyway. However, if building an eco-friendly container is a top consideration for you, then you should plan to build with used containers.

Myth 3: Containers can be buried without additional structural additions

We are often contacted by people who want to take containers and bury them to create an underground home for potential energy savings or a more bunker-like building for security. Some have been inspired by Steve Rees, who built the first underground container in California.

If you have watched the video above, you can see that it is certainly possible to build an underground bunker with containers. Here’s the myth: “You can simply bury the containers underground as they are, and they will be structurally sound.” Incorrect.

Containers are designed to be incredibly strong, but only when used in certain ways. They are designed to be strong when stacked on top of each other, transferring the weight through their corner posts. Additionally, they are designed to have all the load-bearing weight placed on the floor.

By burying the containers, the weight is applied to both the roof and the side walls from the soil surrounding the containers. Containers are not designed to withstand substantial forces on the side areas, and you will need additional structural improvements to bury your container.

Therefore, you can certainly build a bunker using containers, but there are some important warnings and restrictions.

Myth 4: Shipping container homes are for wealthy people

If you have been following the shipping container home trend for a while, you may have seen million-dollar container homes being built in recent years. This has led to our next myth: “Container homes are only for the rich looking to build mansions.” Incorrect.

In fact, if you look back far enough, you’ll see that people looking for an affordable solution to the housing crisis initiated the container movement. More and more people were being priced out of the homeownership market. People want an affordable way to build and live in their own homes without taking on a large amount of debt.

Therefore, containers were used as a replacement for more traditional building materials, significantly reducing the cost of housing. Since then, hundreds of affordable container homes have been built, including many for less than $50,000.

Myth 5: Building container homes is complex.

After seeing container homes like these, you may be left with the idea that building container homes is complex and should not be attempted alone. Clearly, the complexity depends on what you are trying to build. It is not recommended to try to build a container mansion without any experience.

However, we have seen numerous examples of beginners building their own simple container homes without prior experience. So the myth that “all container home construction is complex.” This is a misconception. Just like any type of construction technique, there are simple homes and complex homes that can be built.

If you are looking to build your own container home and have limited experience, we recommend starting with something small and uncomplicated. Perhaps you could start with a single-wing home with a simple rectangular design.

While many of the skills needed to build a more complex home are similar, the design becomes much more important when you start joining containers and stacking them. This is when it becomes important to have professional assistance, at least with engineering.

Myth 6: Container homes can survive hurricanes.

The popularity of the belief that container homes can survive hurricanes increased after recent hurricane stories and an understanding of the conditions shipping containers endure. The idea that container homes can survive a hurricane is: True.

As long as the containers are properly anchored to a suitable foundation, they can withstand very strong winds. Their survival and longevity are also affected by structural improvements made to counter any metal cuts, as well as the presence of shutters and storm protection on windows and doors.

For more information, refer to “Is it Safe to Live and Work in a Shipping Container Home?”

Myth 7: Building container homes is cheap.

You may have read about who was the first to build a container home. It was built for a simple reason: Cost. The movement of building homes with containers was created by people looking to use alternative building materials to reduce costs.

As housing prices continue to rise, people are looking for ways to own a home without taking on a lifetime of debt. One of these solutions to this problem is building container homes. However, the myth that all container homes are cheap is: False.

We have already shown examples in this article of multimillion-dollar container homes. Just like with all construction techniques, containers can be used to create a variety of homes, both cheap and expensive.

However, it is true that most container homes are relatively inexpensive compared to traditional construction methods. Since this movement started, we have seen hundreds of container homes built for less than $50,000.


We hope this article has shed some light on the myths in building container homes and the truths about container construction. Remember that, just like with any construction method, use common sense, logical thinking, and always start with a good plan.

Please let us know in the comments below what you think about some of the myths we have discussed.

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