Building houses in containers

If the concept may seem curious, the container house (or container) takes the lead and is of interest to a growing number of potential builders. In addition to being environmentally friendly, its attractive price could also convince you.

Price per m2 for the construction of a container house

SURFACE Price house container Price house container delivered Price house container turnkey
40m2 36.000€ 44.000€ 52.000€
50m2 45.000€ 55.000€ 65.000€
80m2 72.000€ 88.000€ 104.000€
100m2 90.000€ 110.000€ 130.000€
120m2 108.000€ 132.000€ 156.000€
160m2 144.000€ 176.000€ 208.000€
200m2 180.000€ 220.000€ 270.000€

Prices are based on several companies specialized in the container house.


 Price: if you decide to become a self-builder, you can save a lot of money by choosing the container house. Some estimate its price at only 400 euros / m², for a house totally equipped

Construction: you do not need to be a skilled handyman, because the layout is very fast thanks to a structure already in place. In addition to being easy, the construction of a container house is fast. In addition, the container house is easily adjustable. So you can expand your home … or even move to another region!

 Insulation: already waterproof, the container house does not need a roof and it is easy to create openings for doors and windows. It must be provided with a native insulation, able to withstand water, thermal shocks or even dust.

 Ecological character: ultra-waterproof and to reduce energy consumption, the container house is often made on the basis of old iron containers. Its fast construction and (almost) without foundations adds to its low impact on our environment.

The inconvenients

 Dimensions: a classic container measures just 2.34 m wide. The disadvantage is major and it is important to have it in mind when designing of the house, but also during its development …

Aestheticism: a container is not really beautiful and it is not always easy to integrate it in a place where it can blend in its environment. Attention therefore restrictions on obtaining building permits.

Sizes and weight of the containers

Here is a representation of the classic sizes of containers:

10 × 8 feet, or 2.991 m by 2.388 m, for a height of 8.5 feet (2.591 m)
20 × 8 feet, or 6.058 m by 2.388 m, for a height of 8.5 feet
30 × 8 feet, that is 9,144 m by 2,438 m, for a height of 8.5 feet
40 × 8 feet, 12,192 m by 2,438 m, for a height of 8.5 feet

In addition, it is more and more common to meet containers “high cube”, a width of 9 feet or 9.5 feet (2,743 m or 2,896 m).

The container “half height” offers a height reduced by half (4.25 feet) to carry heavier loads in a volume yet reduced.

Finally, the mass of a container varies between 1.8 tons (for a 20 feet) to 4.2 tons (for a 40 feet “high cube”).

Cost of used containers

Used, you can find containers between 890 and 2100 €, In nine, to from € 4500 for 40-foot containers

Pitfalls to avoid for construction

Two main traps directly concern container houses. Firstly, if the economic and ecological appeal of the container is great, do not think that it is guaranteed that you can integrate a container house in the district or city of your choice. Building permits are subject to strict rules and it is imperative to take all necessary information beforehand.

Second, consider the design and interior design of your future home before you make an irrevocable decision. The narrowness of the containers will force you to burst with inventiveness and creativity, and it will be too late to backtrack once the construction process begins.

Find more information on our page: the pitfalls to avoid

Traps to avoid

If many pitfalls are already mentioned in detail on our various pages, we offer here a summary of the main pitfalls to avoid at the heart of your construction project.

A good deal can sometimes turn into a disaster. But do not panic, it’s up to you to take every precaution to avoid such an outcome.

Pitfalls related to the field

The most common difficulties are related to the purchase of the land: its viabilisation on the one hand, the adaptation of the foundations following the communication of the results of the soil study on the other hand.

As a reminder, the viability of your land concerns all the costs necessary to connect the various networks: water, electricity, gas, telephone, … Also included are the costs related to the realization of the path (s) of access to your future home.

Most often, these works generate significant costs. So be careful to have them done by seasoned professionals, who will have provided you with quotations in good and due form beforehand.

Before, think about the importance of this work before confirming the purchase of your land. Indeed, the distance between it and the different existing networks directly influences the cost of future work.

In the case where the soil study undertaken confirms a real risk for the realization of the works, you will have to adapt your site on the ground before going further, and this in order to avoid problems of subsidence, slip of ground, cracks or stability that could turn your dream into a nightmare.

Adaptation to the soil consists of determining the correct foundation system in relation to the findings of the soil study. The cost of construction can be modified and can constitute a major trap for your overall project.

So it is often advisable to opt for a piece of land already serviced and most often with a precise and detailed soil survey. This is the case of land subdivision.

The pitfalls of choosing partners

In addition to the various precautions to take, listed in our various pages, we offer here a summary of the main guarantees you may wish to obtain.

The architect offers you the civil liability guarantee. This is also the case of the manufacturer.

The manufacturer offers guarantees as complete as essential, among which: the civil liability guarantee, the biennial guarantee, the ten-year guarantee, the guarantee of payment of the subcontractors, the guarantee of perfect completion, the guarantee of refund of the deposit and the delivery guarantee at agreed prices and deadlines.

The contractor does not offer any guarantee.