Container Homes Research

By: Ryan Ullman

Standard Sizes

20 ft.- 20 ft. long, 8ft. wide, 8'6'' high (interior square ft.: approx. 133 sq. ft.)

40 ft.- 40' long, 8' wide, 8' high (interior square ft.: 273 sq. ft.)

45 ft.- 45' long, 8' wide, 9'6'' high (square ft.: approx. 308 sq. ft.)

48 ft.- 48' long, 8' wide, 9'6'' high (square ft.: approx. 376 sq. ft.)

53 ft.- 53' long, 8' wide, 9'6'' high (square ft. approx. 416 sq. ft.)


20'- 5,050 lbs.

40'- 10,846 lbs.

45'- 11,130 lbs.

48'- 18,000 lbs.

53'- 19,340 lbs.

Local businesses selling containers

Caru West Gulf Containers

423 W. Langdon Road Hutchins, TX 75141

Finn Container Cargo Services, Inc.

3000 Weslayan St. STE 375 Houston, Texas 77027

Yes, plumbing and electrical can be included and constructed to fit within the 4 × 8-foot modular unit, which is a standard size for a prefabricated unit.


First what needs to be considered is the amount of containers you're using and the type of soil you're building on to determine the type of foundation you will use.

Concrete piers

These are the simplest of foundations. They are concrete cubes which have reinforced steel bars within them. A reinforced steel bar is either a steel bar or a mesh of steel wires and is used to strengthen the concrete. 6 piers are used for each container, 1 placed at each corner.

Slab on Grade

Good foundation to use on softer soil types. These foundations are mainly used in warmer climates and are better because of no hollow spaces, which prevents termite infestation. There is the potential for heat loss if the ground temperature is below the interior temperature.

Pile foundations

This foundation is used when the soil type is to weak to support a concrete base. This foundation is also the most expensive. Cylindrical concrete columns are hammered into the ground until they can support the weight of the structure. Once they reach above ground they are covered with concrete to cap it off.


If you are in a very cold climate, you will need lots of insulation to keep your home warm and also, more importantly, to protect your containers against condensation. If this cold environment is also prone to lots of rain and is very moist then you would need to use spray foam insulation to create a seamless vapor barrier.

If you are in a very dry, hot, climate, you certainly won’t need much insulation and you should focus on designing your insulation around keeping your container cool.

Using spray foam insulation ensures you get a seamless vapor barrier of insulation- this helps to prevent against things like corrosion and mold.

Panel insulation is the most DIY friendly type. You can buy the panels at predefined sizes and simply fit them in between the gaps in your stud walling. Panel insulation is quicker to fit than blanket insulation; however you normally find panel insulation is slightly more expensive.

Blanket, or roll, insulation is DIY friendly and is the cheapest of the insulators discussed here. It requires stud walls to place the insulation in, but once the stud walls have been fitted the insulation can be placed in the gaps very quickly.

Cost of homes

6 shipping containers- about $119,000, including all amenities, windows, plumbing, electrical, insulation, floors, etc.

Single container- $2,600 for a single shipping container home.

Design and building companies


115 W 18th Street

Third Floor

New York, NY 10011

Numen Development, LLC

Houston, TX

Shijiazhuang Ningzhi Color Steel Products Co., Ltd.

Hebei, China (Mainland)