You will often come across negativity on building shipping container homes as people generally see a big metal box with a logo written up the side of it but at the same time these same people will never understand the concept of why you are doing it in the first place.
At the same though nobody says it has to be a simple box design although for many they choose this type because of environmental reasons or budget. Personally if even a box on the outside it doesn’t mean you can’t grow plants on a trellis to give a bit of shade as well as a practical wall cover. For me its not just about looking at a box but more the thought of children getting a Christmas present disregarding the present for the large box it came in to fill 101 dreams all day with the box the gift came in. Shipping containers offer that for the person who isn’t the architect or house builder a box to build from, a modular piece of a puzzle that they can envisage their ideas and turn from a simple or complex idea into a home that has their personal stamp on it. I’m an environmentalist, i’m a designer, I simply love living in my shipping container! whatever it is the point is that metal box became a home for generations and I haven’t heard anyone yet complain about living in one everyone seems more than happy and if that’s the case then I too will be happy to be “living in a box”.
I was never 100% on shipping container homes as a solution to the housing problem until I started looking at the skill level and availability of capital people have.
Where does the negativity come from that puts people off? Maybe its the fact even poor people on TV land have huge houses which makes people think they aren’t doing so well themselves and should look to do better.
Maybe its that they aren’t brick built, yet timber frame is a lot more flimsy. In fact I look at everything about a shipping container home and wonder why not?
For a start its a basic model that most people can adapt a home from. Which starts getting into the realms of conspiracy theories of why people are trying to put others off the construction. Remember when you worked on your car and repaired it yourself? Today its got to be plugged into a computer that identifies the problem reducing your ability to fix the vehicle even though you own it yet the garage extracts money from you that you may not have had to pay before. I think this is the issue in the housing industry with codes and legislation to try and make it impossible to do things yourself and in the end relying on contractors who in turn rely on their suppliers giving them information for the latest products, that the goes back to the manufacturers who in turn go back to shareholders. Is it a conspiracy theory to stop people doing their own thing? I really don’t know these days and as a surveyor I come across many a legislation that makes no sense yet is followed because its taken as gospel even if nobody thinks there is a valid reason.
ISO’s for example some are relevant some are not. Did you know that some are just about a process being in place and copied over and over again rather than actually putting a value on if the process is correct? Well companies have to pay for these and the more companies have to pay the less the people on the street can decide what they want in their own life. A big rubber stamp will come down with the biggest excuse of all “safety reasons”. Based on what?
Now the shipping container units themselves are already ISO approved as container units and have specific weights that they adhere to. They are built to a much higher specification than many homes ever will be and at the same time the mopping up of excess shipping containers for homes is still slow moving. I know myself that specific areas are never keen on such developments as it bases things as “in keeping with the area”. There is very little thought into the fact as social housing these buildings can offer up a very cheap alternative to the normal buildings. But even that falls into a funny area in the UK as houses were taken from council ownership into housing association the reason being that council housing is bound by law to provide a home where housing association is more inline with a rental agent being able to evict and choose its residents. Many people believe this came about due to the coal mining strikes in the UK as the social housing at the time may have meant back payment in rents had to be paid but at a negotiable rate to suit the miners and the courts. This isn’t how private enterprise likes things to work. Create social housing with a threat of eviction you remove the ability to strike and this is why people believe housing associations exist.
What’s this got to do with shipping container homes? as I showed on my previous post you can be debt free within no time as well as be the owner of land and the shipping container home. This makes many people self sufficent which also means that governments may see this as a threat because your not bound by debt or portfolio development. Which for me pretty much says everything about a shipping container home being viable. If it makes governments feel uncomfortable as your land area is smaller, so less tax and your more likely to utilize the land to the max as well as more likely to be smart investing with the spare capital you have it doesn’t paint a pretty picture for government but it does make sense for an individual or family.