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How to Design a Container Home

How to Design a Container Home

Building a home is a rewarding and challenging undertaking no matter what type it is. Shipping container homes are becoming more and more popular all the time due to their low price and sustainability. However, if you are going to build a container home, the design process is crucial. Knowing how to design a container home and what to consider will help you make the most out of it. 

design a container home

When you design a container home, there are a lot of things you have to keep in mind. Planning properly will ensure that you and your family will be happy living in the home for many years. By taking the time to learn how to design a container home, you can be sure the results will be top-notch. You only have one chance to get it right, so knowing everything you can is essential. 

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Why Design a Container Home? 

When you build your own home, you have a unique opportunity to make it perfect for your needs. The chance to design a container home allows you to stretch your creative muscles and make something unique. While you can certainly get help from a professional designer, you can also do a lot on your own. The first steps, where you gather your ideas, are the most important. 

You should design a container home with your needs and the needs of your family in mind at all times. Being able to gear the home to your schedule and your daily life is the whole reason to design a container home. Take your lifestyle into consideration to make the process worth it and get the perfect house. With the right design, you can save money and get the home of your dreams. 

How to Design a Container Home 

When you design a shipping container home, keep the below things in mind. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from a professional if you need it. This is especially true if you have never done any design work in the past. However, if you take the tips below into consideration, you should be able to come up with something amazing. 

Choose the Number of Containers 

The first thing you should do when you design a container home is think about the number of containers. Since container homes are constrained to the structure the containers come with, this will be a big factor. If you are just going to be building a single-container tiny home, this will be relatively simple to design. If you are building a multiple-container house, there will be much more to keep in mind and work with. 

One of the best ways to design a container home is to get the containers first. Since shipping containers can sometimes be difficult to find on the used market, you may have to compromise. It is always best to know how many containers you will be working with. This will help you avoid redesigning the whole project if something falls through with your container source. 

Use the Build Site 

It is also helpful to already have a building site when you design a container home. This way, you can use the space you have on the build site to come up with layouts for the containers. You may have to work around things like trees and land features when you build the home. Knowing this before you start to design a container home will be helpful.

You may also face space constraints when you design a container home. This can limit the number of containers you can include in the design. If you know that your plot of land will be relatively small, this is important to keep in mind. It will also help narrow down your options and keep things as simple as possible. 

Utilize Outdoor Space

One of the great things that can happen when you design a container home is you can find use for outdoor space. Many people use the large, flat roof of the containers to build decks and patios. This is especially useful if you build a tiny home with one container. Using this outdoor space will essentially double the usable square footage of the home. 

design a container home

You can also stagger the containers if you set them on top of one another. Doing this will give you not only a patio, but also a covered porch area with the container on top. Creative solutions like this are some of the fun things you can do when you design a container home. If you live in an area that allows it, you can get a lot of extra space outside the walls of the container. 

Use Space Wisely 

Perhaps the most important thing to do when you design a container home is to use space wisely. You will have to work within the limitations of the container’s square footage. This means that you may have trouble fitting everything you want into one area. However, this can be a blessing in disguise if you know how to work around it. 

When you design a container home, understand that you may have to move rooms around. Even if you don’t get the design you had in mind, you can still end up with something incredibly unique. The interesting flow of a shipping container home is one of the things that makes it, so fun to design. Come up with different floor plans and mix and match designs until you find one that suits your needs. 

Use a Container Home Design Software

The best thing you can do for yourself when you design a container home is to use dedicated software. There are plenty of programs available with various degrees of difficulty. One of the most popular is 3D ISBU Shipping Container Home Design Software. It is specifically designed to be used for container homes and allows you to create a home using preset container shapes. 

design a container home

The important thing to remember when using container home design software is that it doesn’t have to be perfect. Even if you are just getting a rough outline, it will be helpful in the long run. Take your rough sketches to a draftsman, who will be able to finalize them. You do not have to be an expert to design a container home. 


Being able to design your own home is incredibly exciting and very fulfilling. Knowing what you should consider when you design a container home will help. With the right mindset and some creative ideas, you can come up with your perfect, eco-friendly dream house.  

If you would like more helpful guides like this one, check out the rest of There, you will find all kinds of tips and tricks from the pros. You will also find featured container homes to help get you inspired and thinking about your dream home.

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Container Home Hub is not a shipping container home construction company. While we do our best to make sure our information is accurate, please contact a professional shipping container home builder for information. Container Home Hub is also a blog and does not independently sell shipping container houses and/or shipping container house plans. Container Home Hub currently uses advertisements from a third-party advertising site in addition to occasional affiliate links.