Chicago- Shipping Container Homes

17 Replies

@Crystal Smith I'm researching shipping container home viability in Oakland California. What interests you about shipping container homes?

@Alex Hancock we've had properties in Chicago on large lots w/ 2 pins.  We've considered subdividing to build another home on the lot but we couldn't justify the building costs.  The area demographics would only support sale prices up to $250K max with the majority of sales between $150K & $200K.  So we've started investigating shipping container homes as an alternative option.  Bob Villa did one in Chicago a few years ago.

@Crystal Smith

 I have been interested in this as well. Definitly interested if anyone has any information on how well this has worked. 

@Crystal Smith you may want to check out SG Blocks. They're an NYC based firm specializing in shipping container structure design/build. 

Originally posted by :

 Fantastic.

@Alex Hancock

SG Blocks is doing some great work. Thanks for the link. 

Oakland is a great location to develop housing out of the abundance of shipping containers. If you ever want to talk offline or if you move forward on this venture, keep me posted. 

Cheers

Ben

Great posts! I've recently started considering getting into shipping container homes here in Charlotte,NC. Im still at the preliminary stages but I'd love to keep this dialogue going.

This post has been removed.

While I do not know anything about container houses, as a logistics professional, I do know Chicago is a major transportation hub with access to lots of containers.

It will be interesting to see how the city/suburbs' building departments would react to this. 

Not to mention there are a lot of older houses which cost too much to tear down/build new in up and coming areas.

Hmmm this is something that never crossed my mind. I feel like its something that the City wouldn't allow. Would it be classified the same way a mobile home would be?

We have a lot of containers in Houston too and can get 40 foot high cubes delivered for about 2K each.  My wife and I looked into constructing a commercial property out of them thinking that the price would at least be the same as stick construction and look cool, but found out that in the city the engineering requirements to get approval from Planning and Development more than offset any underspend in materials.

Engineering companies would only quote us on a time and material basis because they could not predict how much re-work the city would have, or if it would even be technically feasible.  These companies do not have the same type of data on these structures compared to stick or other common building materials that go through this all the time.

Other cities are more friendly though, so it might just be a problem here - call your planning department if this is a concern.  I would still consider it out in the country where permitting isn't as strict - might be good for like a wedding venue outside Austin, for example.  You could probably also mount it on a trailer and call it an RV from a code perspective.

Originally posted by @Matt Boyle :

Hmmm this is something that never crossed my mind. I feel like its something that the City wouldn't allow. Would it be classified the same way a mobile home would be?

 There's not classified as mobile homes.  They are classified as residential single or multifamily fixed in place homes.

@Crystal Smith Thats very interesting. Does the City have any foundational requirements? Im surprised you can just toss down a container and the City is ok with calling it a residence. If legal, I wonder why the City hasn't used them or something similar for low income housing.

Originally posted by @Matt Boyle :

@Crystal Smith Thats very interesting. Does the City have any foundational requirements? 

YOu'll have to check w/ the city on foundation requirements.

Following is an article regarding pre-fab homes in Chicago that were done w/ containers.  The project was completed years ago by Bob Villa.  

Bob Villa Pre-fab

I wonder why the City hasn't used them or something similar for low income housing.

Following is an article about a developer who is attempting to develop some low income housing using containers in Chicago.

Englewood Container Homes

please build them; this would be a great leap into eco friendly living.

Donzell Clement Jones

President of

Container Homes & Hauling by Don Company

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

Lock We hate spam just as much as you

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here