Why shipping container homes are overrated

They’re fun. They’re also way more difficult to build than they seem.

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Shipping container homes have been a trend for a while, from reality TV shows to housing policy discussions. But the truth is that these homes are a lot more difficult to build than you might think.

It’s easy to think that housing solutions are purely technological, but many obstacles to housing aren’t in construction but in the policies surrounding homebuilding. Moreover, many of the supposed advantages of shipping containers turn out to be more complicated in reality.


Vox’s Phil Edwards spent a night in a shipping container home to see how the experience of staying in a shipping container compares with the reality of building one.

Further Reading:

Mark Hogan’s 2015 opinion piece about shipping containers is a great introduction to the topic: https://www.archdaily.com/773491/opinion-whats-wrong-with-shipping-container-housing-everything
Belinda Carr’s debunking of shipping containers gets into more building science detail: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7yEDz6bCfU
She’s also an even-handed critic and made a video about five shipping container successes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkG3gmPUPQg
You can check out Michael’s Airbnbs here: https://www.airbnb.com/users/show/329149776

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