Skip to content
Home » Blog – News, Great Ideas & Facts » Shipping Container Homes: The Perfect Tiny Houses

Shipping Container Homes: The Perfect Tiny Houses

  • by
  • 12 min read
PopUpHut-eco-friendly-shipping-container-home

Upcycled shipping containers are great for creating new space to work and relax in, plus they’re cost-effective and hassle-free. But are these innovative tiny houses right for you?

More and more people are investigating innovative and eco-friendly ways to live, work and relax. And because of this, the shipping container movement is becoming increasingly popular throughout the UK.

Owning a shipping container house is a fantastic way to create more space for whatever you need. Not only do they look incredible, they’re also very practical. Plus, due to their ease of transport and mobility, their value stays high, making them a great investment for the future.

Our PopUpHuts make incredible additions to any garden thanks to their versatility, stylish appearance and long-lasting value. But with so many things to consider when it comes to owning a shipping container house in the UK where do you start? 

Here you’ll discover all about shipping container houses, have all your questions answered and you’ll be able to decide if they’re right for you.

To see pictures of PopUpHut, take a look at our Gallery.

What are Shipping Container Homes?

The term ‘Shipping Container Home’ covers a broad range. Not just homes, they can be offices, gyms, garden buildings and much more. They’re made from upcycled shipping containers, the huge steel containers you see on boats and on the back of lorries. Most recently you’ve probably seen them stuck on a ferry on the Suez Canal!

Once they’ve seen enough of the world as a shipping container, there’s still loads of life, strength and character left in them. By being recycled into shipping container homes, they become a valuable, lifelong asset, ready to be used for any purpose.

Although their popularity has soared in recent years, shipping container homes date as far back as the late 80s. It’s hardly surprising that someone tried to recycle them. After all, there’s a whole host of benefits that make them an ideal part of the growing trend of the Tiny House Movement.

You can find out more about the history of shipping containers and their transition into homes and offices here.

Strong, Versatile and Durable – The Perfect Tiny House

ISO shipping containers are the strongest modular structures in the world, they’re built to be waterproof, fireproof and crush resistant. Not to mention incredibly secure, the value of the goods they transport means they have to be very difficult to break into. They’re also stackable, easy to cut and are cheap to produce. 

This all makes them ideal to be recycled into container houses and offices. And due to their size and versatility, you can use your transformed shipping container for whatever you need. They’re easily personalised and adding your own style creates a unique character for your shipping container. When it comes to uses, the sky really is the limit.

Our Container Houses

Bliss Hut 13,4m2

A PopUpHut Bliss is the ultimate Tiny House. Bliss is equipped with a toilet and shower room, can be used as a tiny home, office, guest accommodation, etc

Studio Hut 13,4m2

A PopUpHut Studio Hut is great for home offices, yoga studio, personal Gym, man cave, extra bedroom, receptions, and visitor centres, music rooms etc.

Sauna Hut 13,4m2

Sauna Hut is delivered 100% ready-to-use, just plug in and take a sauna on the same day as delivery. Complete interior and exterior decoration, Harvia 6,6kW heater.

Family Hut 27 m2

If you need more space then our Family Hut is for you. Perfect for a country house or even for everyday living. Family Hut is equipped with a toilet and shower room.

What Are the Advantages to Shipping Container Houses?

As with anything in life, Container Homes come with their own ups and downs. But what are the advantages to owning one?

Cost-Effective

Shipping Container Homes are far more cost-effective than building an extension to your existing house or building a house from scratch. This is because they require much less building materials and labour than a traditional house or extension. 

Easily Transported

Mobility is one of the keys to the success of shipping containers and it’s a vital reason behind the popularity of pre-built, ready to go container houses. They can be built off site, then easily transported to wherever you need them. 

This helps to make them a fantastic investment, because if you’re moving, you can bring your container house with you. Or, if you decide that you no longer need it, they’re quick to resell and retain their value because others can easily move them as well.

Add Your Own Character

Your container home can easily mirror your personality and character. Whether it be a fresh paint job to the exterior or decorating the interior. The compact size and versatile structure means decorating and modifying takes no time at all.

Low Maintenance

Again, thanks to the strength, compact size and versatility of the shipping containers, keeping on top of your shipping container home is a breeze when compared to the stresses, strains and expense of maintaining a regular house.

Durable and Long Lasting

Shipping containers are built to withstand even the harshest weather out at sea. Because of this, when used as shipping container homes they provide you with long lasting protection against the elements. 

Insulated for All Weathers 

Our PopUpHuts are heavily insulated using Polyurethane (PUR) foam. This long-lasting foam has a lifespan of over 50 years and keeps the containers warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Meaning you can enjoy your shipping container home in comfort all year round. This helps make them much more practical than other garden buildings like summerhouses which are too hot in summer and too cold in winter.

What Are the Downsides to Shipping Container Houses?

The majority of downsides to owning shipping container houses are faced when people look to design and modify shipping containers themselves. However, the savvy amongst the tiny house movement have discovered that buying theirs pre-built and ready to go means they can enjoy all the upsides whilst avoiding most of the downsides.

Appliances Can Be Difficult to Install

Shipping containers were not originally designed to power appliances, so have no electricity supply or plumbing connected. This can cause headaches if you’re modifying your shipping container from scratch and need to install an electricity supply and plumbing.

Some Areas May Require Reinforcements

Shipping containers are built from strong and durable materials. Although when it comes to making certain modifications, installing windows or doors for example, attention needs to be paid to make sure the structural integrity of the container is kept.

Some Shipping Containers Can Be Damaged

The life of a shipping container is fast-moving and ever-changing. Damage is sometimes inevitable, whether that be through being dropped, transporting unsuitable goods or misuse. 

Therefore, it’s vital to check that your shipping container is in good condition before buying and is suitable for being converted into a shipping container home.

All these downsides create a strong argument for buying your shipping container home already converted, as everything is done for you. For our PopUpHuts checks are made on the suitability of each shipping container. Every step is taken to ensure the structural integrity of the container is kept whilst rejuvenating and refurbishing them into luxury garden buildings.

An Eco-Friendly Way to Enjoy Your Garden

Shipping container homes are proving vastly popular amongst those who are concerned with their carbon footprint. After all, by recycling a used shipping container that has already served a great purpose you’re saving a lot of steel from otherwise being melted down. 

Not only this, but recycling shipping containers and transforming them into homes saves a whole host of other materials that would be used to make houses. For example, bricks, tiles, plastics and other materials that aren’t sustainable. Whereas the materials added to our high-quality PopUpHuts are all high-quality, natural and sustainable.

This means that by owning a shipping container home you’re not just relaxing in luxury, you’re also safe in the knowledge that you’ve helped the environment.

What Can You Use Your Shipping Container House For?

Almost anything! 

People use their shipping container houses for so many things. They’re great for home offices, especially with the abundance of people now working from home. Home workers love being able to have their own dedicated space that’s peaceful, luxurious, and vitally, is not part of their home. This means they can still separate their home life from their work life.

Other uses include:

  • Accommodation
  • Luxury Garden Pods
  • Gyms
  • Yoga Rooms
  • Music Rooms
  • Massage Rooms

And of course, the growing trend of using them as homes. Whether it be from a single shipping container or several connected together, the strength and versatility of the shipping containers mean you can use them for whatever you need.

How Are They Insulated?

One thing that the shipping containers do lack is insulation that makes them comfortable in harsh weathers. 

Our PopUpHuts are insulated using Polyurethane (PUR) foam. PUR foam has an extremely low thermal conductivity, eliminating air gaps or air transfer. This helps to keep your shipping container home warm during winter and cool during summer, helping you to enjoy it in comfort all year round.

You can find out more about PopUpHut specification here.

How Long Do Shipping Container Homes Last?

Your shipping container home is a big investment. But with just a little effort to keep yours freshly painted and maintained, it’s an investment that will last you a lifetime.

Shipping container homes are built to last at least 25 years without regular maintenance and upkeep. Although they’re made of metal, obviously they’re built to withstand a lot when travelling around the world.

Shipping containers are manufactured from alloys, a process that is commonly referred to as weathering steel, or corten steel. This helps to form a surface level of rust which mitigates any further rust.

By maintaining a fresh coat of paint, you can be confident to keep rust away, ensuring your shipping container home lasts a lifetime.

Does It Hold Value?

Due to the multitude of qualities we’ve already covered, like strength, versatility, ease of transport and much more, shipping container homes hold their value extremely well.

Demand is increasing as more people look to make great use of their valuable space and have more need for innovative buildings for work and play.

So, whether you want a shipping container home to last you a lifetime, or just for a few years, you can be confident that you’ll not only have years of use out of it, but you’ll also be able to resell it a great price too.

What Preparation Is Required?

Your shipping container house carries a lot of weight, and because it will last you a lifetime it pays to make sure the foundation it sits on is solid. Fortunately, this can be done easily at not much extra cost. 

Concrete bases are great for ensuring your shipping container home stays level and well supported throughout its lifespan. Or, if this isn’t an option, Pier Foundations are a simple and cost-effective way to create a foundation. This is done by placing concrete piers at each corner.

You can learn more about building foundations here

Before your shipping container home arrives be sure to picture exactly where it’s going. Is it going to get enough daylight? Will each entrance be easily accessible? A little preparation can go a long way towards making sure you enjoy your shipping container home for years to come.

Beautiful, Natural, Luxury

As you’ve seen, the benefits of owning a unique, eco-friendly shipping container house are vast. Our PopUpHuts give you everything you need in a garden building. Upcycled from only the best quality shipping containers and rejuvenated to the highest standard using top quality natural materials.

With beautiful spruce and larch cladding, PUR insulation, eye catching oak flooring, all complemented with luxury units and appliances. Our shipping containers are delivered anywhere in the UK and will provide you with a lifetime of luxury, comfort and enjoyment.

Learn more about PopUpHut specifications or simply contact us to discuss your requirements or if you did not find the answers you are looking for. We`d love to hear from you!