2008 was a very interesting year for the vast majority of Americans. Michael Phelps took home a record 8 gold medals in the Summer Olympics, the New York Giants shocked the previously perfect New England Patriots in the Super Bowl and the country suffered the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression. The housing market crashed, thousands of people were foreclosed on and temperatures for the summer hit a record high. Needless to say, many Americans were forced to move in with anyone who would have them.
While the economy has since recovered to a small degree, the market for low-cost housing that has a low impact on the environment is rapidly growing. Thankfully, there are several housing options that fit this specific market, the most popular of which are old, renovated shipping containers.
Shipping containers are typically made of a steel and aluminum casing, with corrugated siding and a hollow interior. Many shipping containers measure around 40 feet long, so some companies are combining several of these containers together to form split-level housing units. The key to keeping these housing units low-cost is that they are primarily built out of recycled and refurbished shipping containers. This eliminates the need to use costly wood, steel support beams or even true foundations. In fact, numerous monetary estimates for these units puts the total cost of a shipping container house at approximately $89 per square foot. One fully completed, furnished 2 bedroom, 2 1/2 bathroom model was recently priced at a total of $100,000. Compared to a normal brick and wood home construction, a shipping container house can save a home buyer hundreds of thousands of dollars. Here is a site, for example, to find used shipping containers in Dallas.
Aside from the low-cost, another benefit of living in a shipping container housing unit is the low impact it has on the environment. A shipping container’s outer shell is already made, reducing the need to cut down trees for wood and make steel and cement for solid supports. Not only that, but buying a shipping container housing units keeps old containers from being put in the dump, or used purely for scrap metal. In fact, the steel and aluminum shells of the units are easily modifiable, meaning that energy saving measures like solar panels, superior insulation, and even high quality window panes can all be installed. Not only do these eco-conscious improvements make earthly sense, but all of them may be tax deductible, saving consumers even more money.
Shipping container houses aren’t for everyone, but home buyers who are looking to save money and the environment would do well to look into buying one.