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admin | Category: Build A Shipping Container Home | 01.06.2016
Like traditional houses, shipping container homes can cost varying amounts depending on various reasons; location, size, quality, materials used, type of container used etc.
This home was built a few miles outside of Costa Rica’s capital for a staggering $40,000 and is named ‘Containers of Hope’. Patrick Bradley a farmer and an architect, designed and built this stylish dwelling for $202,000; slightly over his original budget. The ‘Manifesto House’ was built back in 2009 in Chile and only took 90 days from start to finish. Here is an incredible example of what can be achieved when you combine shipping containers with a fantastic architect. This home can comfortably sleep a family of three or four; it can sleep up to six people if you have guests over! Like any project that is undertaken, and a shipping container home is no different, it’s bound by the project management triangle paradigm.
We can build a high quality home, for a small amount of money but this will take a long time.
We can build the house quickly and for a small amount of money but the quality won’t be incredible.
Don’t worry if you’re not fully getting this yet, below we will be un-boxing this paradigm and showing exactly how this relates to us. So if our deadline can’t move the only two factors that can be changed are time and quality.
In the event that your scope (quality) is not fixed we can maintain the initial cost of the project however this will be at the expense of the quality. It’s not all bad news though, because time can be your best friend if you decide you aren’t in a rush and are willing to take more time to build, to get your dream home within budget! You start with a budget of $100,000 and after a month of building your home you realise you’d like to make your container home slightly bigger. The only way to do this without massively increasing the cost of the build is to extend your deadlines significantly.


So you’ve sat down and planned your dream container home (If you want to find plans, look at our blogpost: Shipping Container Home Plans) and two months in, the project is running being schedule. If you increase your budget, you still get the home you design and chances are if you increase your budget enough you will keep to the deadline.
However, if you’re budget is fixed and you don’t want to change your design, then all you can is extend the deadline and allow the project to overrun on time, which will keep the cost down.
Hopefully now you have a good understanding of how time, cost and scope affect the price of your shipping container home and you can understand why the examples shown above cost the amount they did. For this reason we have broken this post down into two halves, the first half will use examples to show you what you can get for your money. However he said he could have produced the home for a lot less as he spent a whopping $25,000 on the bathroom and $53,000 on the kitchen! The two archtects, Jaime Gaztelu and Mauricio Galeano, claim the home was made with 85% recycled materials. This spacious pad has three floors, four bedrooms, a double garage, art studio, gym, swimming pool; the list goes on! It has an outside deck to sit out on during the summer and is fitted with technology like solar panels and micro heat recovery units. The paradigm shows us that time, scope (quality) and cost are constantly in conflict with each other.
And if your quality is fixed (which is normally the case) the only factor left which can move is the cost. For example, because we have a smaller time scale and no more money we have to reduce the scope of the project, meaning that three story house just turned into a two story house! We can allocate a huge amount of time to build our home, say one year, this will allow us to produce a really impressive container home for a fraction of the cost. Now practically everyone I know who has built a container home, or any other home for that matter, starts with a fixed budget in mind.


After a few months of building you are starting to fall behind schedule due to a few unforeseen events. This factor is twofold, it includes both the scope and the quality but they are often interchangeable. Well obviously you don’t want to change your design because this is what you’ve been dreaming about so you can change either your budget or the length of time to build the home.
The second half will drill into costings in more detail and explain the various factors that impact on the cost. The home was built for the Peralta family who wanted to be debt free and grow vegetables off their land.
The home was made from four shipping containers and was built on his farm in Northern Ireland. A crucial thing to remember with this paradigm is we can only prioritise one; time, scope (quality) or cost. Most of us will answer as soon as possible to this but unfortunately this will drive up the cost of your home. Now if your deadline to finish your home is fixed your only option left is to drop the scope (quality); install a slightly cheaper kitchen, or make your home two stories instead of three… you get the idea. Four months is fixed so and so is the quality so cost has to give and it inevitably goes up because both your time and quality are fixed. Because of this it means we can only adjust the scope (quality) or the time it takes to build our house; let me show you a few examples.



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