Container Homes Land in Cedar Rapids
An innovative home design is making a splash in the Corridor. Container homes - literally, custom houses built from giant metal shipping containers - are becoming popular because the modular structures are easy to move, usually prefabricated and predictably priced.
The first of its kind in Cedar Rapids, is a two-story home at 527 30th St. Drive SE is made from four K-Line America containers and offers almost 3,000 usable square feet, enough for a whole family.
Benefits of Container Homes Container homes share many advantages with other kinds of prefabricated, modular homes. Most of the work is completed in a factory ahead of time, as are many elements of the code inspection, saving time and money that would otherwise have been spent creating your home from scratch on-site. However, there are a few aspects that are unique to container homes. For instance, container homes are much easier to transport than other prefabricated houses. Because they begin as shipping containers, you can take advantage of the sophisticated transport system that exists solely to move these containers from place to place. You also stand to benefit aesthetically; container homes aren’t common yet, so you can create a house that’s sophisticated and modern, yet able to blend into the rest of the neighborhood.
Container Homes do have drawbacks that need to considered before jumping into the container home lifestyle, it’s important to be aware of the possible pitfalls. These can include:
- A need to shore up the structure: The corners of shipping containers are very strong, but the roof typically is not, so you’ll probably need to build a new roof that can withstand the elements.
- Also note that the corrugated design of the containers is part of what makes them so strong, so anywhere you have to cut an opening for windows or doors needs to be reinforced.
- Previous uses of the container: There’s a possibility that a shipping container could have been used to ship something hazardous, and it’s hard to find out what the container has been through on its way to becoming a container home.
- The boxes used for container homes also tend to have been used only for a single trip because those containers are in the best condition for building, so if the recycling aspect of container homes appeals to you, it’s important to know that they may not be as green as they seem at first glance.
- Insulation requirements: Shipping containers aren’t meant to keep people warm or cool, so you’ll likely have to add insulation to make the structure livable. There’s not much space to add insulation on the inside, so you’ll probably want to go with a thin material with a high R-value. Exterior insulation is also a possibility, but the industrial look of container homes is usually part of the appeal and adding insulation and exterior walls to the outside would complicate that.
Container homes can be an interesting and affordable way to build a custom home, but like any style of house, the cost and the end result ultimately depend on the specifics of your project. Research the options for container homes before you make the decision to invest.