The housing industry in today’s time is one that is undergoing a major shift. The industry and the consumers are witnessing a shift in what housing truly signifies. The entire narrative has shifted form simple brick and cement homes to something much larger and unique than that.
One of the changes seen is the entrance of the prefabricated homes category. The idea of prefabricated homes, as indifferent as it is, is being embraced by homeowners and designers alike. A prefabricated home is basically a house structure that is manufactured as a whole or in ready to assemble pieces off site in a controlled unit.
There are a lot of different variants in the pre fabricated building segment, especially in terms of residential solutions. From mobile homes, to modular homes, this category has a lot of variation and new advances bringing about a shift in how we picture the construction and housing process itself.
The latest trend of this segment is the wave of container homes. The term borrows from its basic foundation i.e.e shipping containers. Designers and consumers across the globe are embracing container homes as a modern housing solution. From simple to luxurious approaches, the container homes are capturing the market.
Here’s all you need to know about them.
WHAT ARE CONTAINER HOMES?
The name itself clearly shows what container homes really are. Container homes are modular home structures built by modifying and putting together used shipping containers. A rather surprising use of shipping containers, this concept has actually been catching a lot of attention in the market.
Since shipping containers are pretty spacious and large, it gives the option to actually be able to freely modify it and create a humble abode out of it. As millennial homeowners are looking for starter homes or simply more affordable housing solutions, modular or prefab homes are starting to make more of an appearance.
The container homes too, yet another feature of this category, are thus being welcomed by people. The use of shipping containers in particular has a lot to do with the idea of sustainability.
Since they are built to larger sizes, it makes it easier and less resource consuming to actually transform the space while solving the problem of thousands of used shipping containers going to waste around the globe.
The surprising new union of containers and construction is one to look out for. Much like any other option, container homes too have a set of advantages and disadvantages associated with it which must be kept in mind while making a pick.
A big plus for container homes is its affordability factor. In a world where real estate prices and decent housing prices are skyrocketing, it has become rather hard for people to own a good home of their choice, especially for those just starting out.
A Bloomberg news article recently noted that the housing prices have been increasing so rapidly that “an entire generation may be left behind” in the housing market. In such a situation, people have been turning to alternative housing solutions such as container homes.
Since they are built into existing structures and that too in a factory setting, simply transported on site for installation it racks up a much smaller bill than conventional housing making it a pocket friendly choice.
REDUCED CONSTRUCTION TIME
Traditionally to build and create a house from the ground up requires months, sometimes years at the end of work in order to bring it to completion. Further, delays due to weather, labor fluctuations amongst other factors can stretch the process of longer lengths ultimately increasing, time resources and costs incurred to finish up the project.
A container home does away with these problems. While the biggest advantage comes from the basic frame being ready as it is, it becomes easier to quickly modify it. SInce it is finished in a factory setting in a line of assembly, these homes usually have fixed periods of construction times that are significantly shorter as compared to conventional home construction making it a convenient choice.
Another plus point to container homes, is that one can customize it to their heart’s content. While most people believe that container homes would have a sort of scrappy and makeshift look, the reality is quite the opposite. With the right design approach, a container home can be just as luxurious as a mansion.
Designers around the globe have been toying with the idea of modern container homes and have been able to prop up some rather exquisite designs. It is thus possible to have the container modified into the house of your dreams and furnish it just as you like for a truly pleasant abode.
Even if you wish to have multiple floors and rooms, shipping containers can be customized to stand as one whole unit put together replicating the spaciousness of a conventional home while being cheaper.
Container home’s biggest usp has been their claim to sustainability. The very sentiment behind customizing a home out of used shipping containers is to reduce such material going to waste and rather come up with creative ways to put it to use.
The containers that would otherwise sit around gathering rust and dust, are flipped into effective living/working premises reducing the amount of waste generated in the environment. Further, since the containers are made of rather sturdy and strong metals to withstand weather conditions, they have a great durability reducing the resources and costs needed to cope up with wear and tear.
Most importantly, container homes utilize a lot less resources and energy as opposed to traditional homes in their whole production process making such homes a more responsible pick.
There has been a lot of concern around the safety factor of container homes. This is primarily due to the previous use of the shipping container. When one steps out in the market for a container to turn into a living space, there are thousands of options.
However, in such a scenario, tracking the origins of each container is nearly impossible. Many concerns have been expressed over what the history of a container may be and how it would affect the residents.
For instance, if a certain container has been used to transport some sort of toxic substances or chemicals in the past, there is a chance of it retaining the harmful smell and fumes which may ultimately prove a danger to those living in it making it a rather tough pick.
ISSUES WITH PERMITS
The unconventional quality of container homes can actually sometimes prove to be a nuisance. Due to the fact that the concept of modular and container homes is rather new, not all places have set norms and rules regarding zoning permits.
This can often prevent homeowners from setting base in a place of their choice due to zoning and norms that are either restricted or non-existent. This usually means having to move away to places that are able to house such structures which may well be away from communities making one feel isolated.
Even if one is able to manage the permits, special permits can end up costing a lot posing as a trouble for those looking for affordable housing.
Another drawback of opting for a container home is the issues with insulation that may arise. The structure of a shipping container in itself has no insulation properties whatsoever.
Further due to their L shape rigid build, it becomes harder to find a way to provide insulation to the space. Mostly, polyurethane foams are the only option for such a home which are not the most eco friendly pick.
Such foams may have a short term toxic effect as well as be harmful to the environment in the long run stealing from the aim of sustainability which is the backbone of container homes.
Overall, a new innovation such as container homes gives one a new outlook on living and construction. The container home structure has become rather a trend not just for residential but also being welcomed into the commercial sector. With the rise of prefab homes, container homes too are bound to receive a lot of attention. It'll be interesting to see the future of construction and the place that repurposed homes play in the field.