Shipping container home builders: Our top 7 picks

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From industrial modern to country cottage style, shipping container home builders across North America showcase the diverse design possibilities of reusable steel boxes.

It’s simply astounding what can be dreamed up by container home companies with this unassuming material.

What at first appears to be a shabby box can be transformed into a chic home with a keen architectural eye and creative reuse building savvy.

Container home companies expertly stack them, arrange them in L-shapes, or completely reinvent a single container resulting in a wide array of layouts and sizes for their customers to choose from.

As you might imagine, the cost varies significantly by size, as well as the level of customization and finishes, just like other tiny houses for sale

The most affordable option is, of course, to build your own. Learn all about how to do just that with container home plans here.

Alternatively, the next best option is to choose from available pre-designed builder models.

Though, if you are looking for a house tailor fit for your needs and desires, you definitely want to work with custom container home builders.

Whatever route you decide to take, your dream home is waiting to be discovered inside big, rugged steel boxes.

Let’s take a look at seven awesome shipping container house builders creating swoon-worthy ‘cargotecture.’

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CargoHome container house builders

Modern container home by CargoHome container house builders.

Not sure if you want to build your own container home or commission one? CargoHome has got you covered.

This Texas-based shipping container home builder offers three stylish, space-efficient models to choose from, with DIY kit options–beginner, intermediate, or expert. 

To help you make your decision, fill out their easy-to-use Price Your Own CargoHome online worksheet to get a price quote. Choose a floor plan, then from a small assortment of exterior and interior options, like siding and a rooftop deck.

Before you commit to one of their designs, rent one of their 13 container houses on Airbnb!

“We are a small, family-owned business and are passionate about tiny container homes. Our combined years in all the building trades, as well as drafting and design work, adds up to decades of experience.”

-CargoHome

Test drive the Helm model, available on Airbnb, to help you decide if this layout is right for you.

It’s an eye-catching two-story home, crafted from a 20-foot container stacked on top of a 40-foot container.

By combining these two, CargoHome shipping container home builders creates a space-efficient two-bedroom floor plan with room for a luxurious rooftop deck.

If DIY kit options are on your mind, you’ll love this list of tiny house kits. Added bonus, they’re all under $5,000!

Backcountry Containers custom container home builders

Backcountry Containers Rustic Retreat XL red shipping container home with rustic wooden finishes.
Photo credit: Backcountry Containers

Do you recognize Backcountry Containers shipping container home builders from season four of Tiny House Big Living?

The owner, Jon Meier, built the Rustic Retreat XL (pictured above) for his sister-in-law, Emily Flowers. This darling country cabin launched the family business into a booming enterprise.

Now the Backcountry team are completely custom container home builders—offering almost endless design options.

“Designing unique and simple solutions to complex problems has always been one of Jon Meier’s strongest attributes…While Jon was working as an aeronautical engineer, he became intrigued by the concept of tiny living. He knew with his engineering background, he could make a unique, functional, and structurally sound dwelling space. 

With the support of his wife Kristen, he quit his job and built the first Backcountry Container. Kristen has always been a talented decorator and was able to balance out Jon’s practical, modern design with stylish decor and rustic design finishes.”

-Backcountry Containers

No matter your needs or location, these custom container home builders can create your dream home from a combination of adjoined or stacked shipping containers.

Though, they can also work wonders with a single container. Beginning at $40,000, this option is less than half the price of more complex multi-container designs.

4 digital renderings of possible container home configurations by Backcountry containers custom container home builders.
Examples of possible container home configurations

Keep in mind the cost of shipping too. The closer you are to Backcountry Containers headquarters in Houston, Texas, the less expensive it will be. On average, shipping costs $3-4 per mile.

Alternative Living Spaces container house builders

Nevada-based, Alternative Living Spaces shipping container home builders embraces the industrial vibe of shipping containers in their tiny home models.

Their muted metal exteriors pair beautifully with minimalist chic interior design. Choose between a 20′ Studio, 40′ One Bedroom, or a custom home.

Unlike most other shipping container home builders, Alternative Living Spaces offers a trailer-mounted option for their two main models.

What’s more, as RV-certified tiny houses on wheels, these can be towed by the owner with a heavy-duty pickup, can be placed in RV parks, and most importantly, are eligible for RV financing.

So if you’re looking for location flexibility in a tiny home with a downstairs sleeping area, you definitely want to consider Alternative Living Spaces’ fully-mobile models. 

You can also opt for their economy models. While these are meant to be placed on the ground, the company will deliver to your property—no matter if it’s rural acreage, in a backyard, or a tiny home community.

Have you wondered what a container home village would look like? Take a look at the Cliffside resort between Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon in Utah. It features five Airbnb rentals built by Alternative Living Spaces.

Interested in the tiny home village? Check out these 12 amazing tiny house communities around the country to find your perfect home!

Custom Container Living custom container home builders

Do you want a container home that doesn’t look like a shipping container?

Custom Container Living shipping container home builders offers several cottage or modern cabin style exterior options.  

Available floor plans range between 320 and 960 square feet, made from a single 40-foot container or by combining various configurations of 20 and 40-foot containers. Add-on any custom upgrades you fancy, like high-end fixtures, space-efficient furniture, and a wood stove.

Digital rendering of inside of a container home by Custom Container living, contains a one bed, one bath container with open living and kitchen area.
Photo credit: Custom Container Living

Because modern tiny houses and container homes are relatively new housing styles, many municipalities don’t know how to treat them. Fortunately, most of Custom Container Living’s standard floor plans, like the one shown above, are state certified as manufactured/factory-built homes. 

As a result, it will be much easier to permit and legally place one of their container houses in a variety of locales across the United States.

Delivery is indeed available across the country with flat rates based on distance from Custom Container Living’s shop in Archie, Missouri.

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Relevant Buildings shipping container home builders

Relevant Buildings Teahouse container home model.
Photo credit: Relevant Buildings

Calling all Pacific-Northwest lovers! Relevant Buildings container home builders is your source for Uniform Building Code (UBC) standard compliant container houses.

That means they can be permitted and installed on ANY lot zoned for a residential home in Oregon. Approval in other northwestern states to be available in the future, as well. 

Beyond the legal perks, Relevant Buildings container house builders transform shipping containers into cutting-edge sustainable homes.

All of their models come with the highest Energy Trust EPS rating—energy efficiency and overall carbon footprint score.

“We design and build prefabricated residential and multifamily container homes that promote an alternative housing model, addressing the affordable housing crisis of our time. Our units range in size from 320 to 900 square feet and include modern amenities with net-zero energy options.”

-Relevant Buildings

Shown above is the Relevant Building’s Teahouse container home model. It’s 773 square feet, composed of one 40-foot and two 20-foot containers. The result is a spacious floorplan with an open great room and two bedrooms.

Need a place to set your tiny house? Learn how to find land for your tiny house here!

Flophouze shipping container home builders

Flophouze hotel, with multiple container houses with decks lined up in a row, ready for guests.

Have you ever fallen in love with a vacation rental that you wish you could turn into your full-time digs? If that happens at the Flophouze Shipping Container Hotel, you can commission them to build you one! 

Their upcycled rental fleet showcases the striking look of a raw shipping container.

What appears unassuming on the outside downplays the interior design drama, an eclectic mix of western and vintage styling. Each is decorated with artifacts, art, and fixtures gleaned from the owner’s travels across the world. 

“Our uniquely designed interiors are cladded with sustainably harvested wood from our farm in upstate New York and reclaimed lumber from a distillery in Kentucky. To capture the vast pastoral views and great natural light, windows were installed that were salvaged from a school in Philadelphia that was slated for demolition.

We keep the funky vibe going with kitchen cabinet bases from a laboratory in Brooklyn, and for the counter tops, we used old bowling alley floors from Texas!”

-Flophouze

Book a stay (or two) at their hotel in Round Top, Texas. Then, if you fall in love with their design aesthetic, hire Flophouze container home builders to build you a turn-key container home of your dreams.

Liking the sound of Texas? Check out these fantastic tiny houses for sale in Texas!

Honomobo container home builders

Honomobo container house builders is taking shipping container homes to a whole new glamorous level. 

They manufacture modern, incredibly energy-efficient modular homes, available in both Canada and the United States.

Honomobo’s signature H-Series ranges from a 160-square-foot studio from a single 20-foot container to an expansive 1,920 square feet, built from six 40-foot containers.

With clean lines and giant window walls, the overall design appeal is stunning. 

“A Honomobo has a lot of glass. The indoor-outdoor experience is a defining feature of our design, and it means that from your main living space, you will feel connected to the outdoors. Whether a vibrant urban setting or a peaceful retreat, part of living in a Honomobo is feeling connected to the place in which you choose to live.”

-Honomobo

As plug-and-play shipping container homes, their team handles all steps of the construction process—local engineering requirements, permit submittals, and on-site installation.

Due to this expansive service offering, Honomobo is on the high-end of container home companies.

Of note, they do not offer stock pricing for base models. Final cost estimates are dependent on a variety of factors; the average is between $380 – $700 per square foot.

To avoid placement issues on the local level, Honomobo impressively meets both factory-built modular status and municipal building codes. And because of these factors, your H-Series home is eligible for traditional mortgage financing. 

Conclusion on shipping container home builders

Whether you’re looking for a minimalist modern tiny home or artistic custom cabin, these shipping container home builders have got you covered. Which one most appeals to you?

Get more inspiration for tiny home living in the posts below:

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