Living in a Shipping Container – WHY would you want to?

Living in a shipping container is not as strange as you might think. Something about living in a shipping container captures our imagination.

My former boss and friend told me that for him, it’s like a dream house. I know he said that partly because of our great location.

A very similar concept of shipping container living has been around for a while.  The history of Mobile Homes started in the 1950s. Aka: Trailer houses or Travel Trailers, as an inexpensive temporary or permanent living space.

Unfortunately, trailer home living has been stigmatized somewhat over the years.

The idea of Container Houses is also closely related to the notion of inexpensive and somewhat portable housing. But currently with less stigma. With the exception that some people may think you’re a genius, while others a crazy lunatic.

Some questions we will answer in this article are:

  • What are the PROS and CONS of living in a shipping container?
  • Are Shipping Containers Safe to live in?
  • Are Shipping Containers Comfortable to live in?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a shipping container house? 


  1. Relatively Inexpensive
    • We say relatively because frequently, it’s commented that converting a shipping container isn’t necessarily the most inexpensive housing option.  
  1. Faster construction times
    • Your basic structure comes already assembled; shipping container houses’ real work is the setup (moving, positioning, joining them together) and the finishing.
  1. The Great Recycling Project
  1. A Fully Customized Tiny Home
    • Unlike prefab or mobile homes that come with only a limited amount of options, Shipping container homes you customize to your own needs.  If you compare that to a custom-built standard home, then containers are a lot less expensive.
  1. Unique and Modern
    • You’re limited only by your imagination or maybe your wallet. 
  1. Safe and secure
    • In areas where bars on windows are typical, a shipping container is an ideal place to live.  Only when you cut out the doors, and the windows does that protection lessen.
    • One thing we have seen is, leaving the container doors intact and creating a sub wall for your doors and windows, then you could lock up securely when you go, and no one can break into your house or cabin quickly.

4 Walls Overnight will focus on both the rapidness and cost of setting up these tiny custom homes.


Small spaces – If you’re not ready to simplify your life, downsize, or don’t like small spaces, think twice about container house living.  Your first step should be, ridding yourself of unnecessary possessions and by organizing. I really love the Marie Kondo method.  

Limits on where you can live – Not all cities or states allow for shipping container homes.

Which states allow for shipping container houses?

  • Texas
  • California
  • Tennessee
  • Louisiana
  • Missouri
  • Oregon
  • Alaska

According to, this is the current list of states which allow shipping container homes

Our construction is in a foreign country where there are fewer housing restrictions.

Climate Control and Ventilation – One issue that can become a significant problem is ventilation. Shipping Containers are a metal box. It must be adequately insulated, have enough windows that allow for cross ventilation. And Or Air Conditioning.  

We’ve also added a secondary roof to create extra protection from the Caribbean sun and attic space. 

We just moved into our partially completed Shipping Container House. We have to tell you, that it’s been very cool for sleeping at night. And during the day, as hot as the weather outside can be, it’s always at least 10-15 degrees cooler inside. And we still have more work to. (update 6/13/21)

-Alfredo and Stephanie Sanchez

Starting with Junk – According to Scott Lilja junk will always be junk. While it is true that usually, the containers for purchase are generally not brand new, You can find some reasonably decent shipping containers to use.

Significant water damage has been one of our biggest challenges, only because one of our containers was left abandoned and near the ground for over ten years.

Our other container is a 35-foot aluminum cargo trailer, so rust is not as much of an issue.

In Summary

You can get a fully customized and modern home that is more affordable and faster to build than a traditional house.

If you are ready to downsize and simplify your life, then living in a shipping container is for you.

Shipping Containers are safe to live in.

Shipping Containers are Comfortable if you put in the work and properly insulate and ventilate it. And make sure you get Containers that are in decent shape. It will save you work in the long run. 

Tell Us about why you want to live in a Shipping Container?

**We are an affiliate partner of We get a small percentage of the sale when you buy something through our links. This helps us keep the site running and provide you with great content. Thanks again for supporting us!


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