Conex Box (shipping container) as Short term rental.

31 Replies

Brain storming with a friend about short term rentals. The idea of using Conex boxes was brought up. Has anyone don't this yet? The biggest problem that I've thought of so far is insurance. I contacted an agency and they said that they wouldn't do it. Now that I think about it, I need to investigate how they would withstand against a hurricane. I was thinking, purchasing a lot on a canal w/ ocean access, placing a conex box SFH on it, and adding a dock w/ a boat slip that would be used w/ the rental. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Originally posted by @Chad Pantel :

Brain storming with a friend about short term rentals. The idea of using Conex boxes was brought up. Has anyone don't this yet? The biggest problem that I've thought of so far is insurance. I contacted an agency and they said that they wouldn't do it. Now that I think about it, I need to investigate how they would withstand against a hurricane. I was thinking, purchasing a lot on a canal w/ ocean access, placing a conex box SFH on it, and adding a dock w/ a boat slip that would be used w/ the rental. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

It is going to cost you more than traditional construction methods and you run into insurance, zoning issues, etc. People who do this are looking for a certain vibe, so it may be cool for themed STR. I am just not sure it is worth the extra expense and challenges as an investment. You could still build a cool themed rental using common construction practices that meet insurance requirements for hurricane zone.

@Chad Pantel I'm building a home out of four 40' boxes at the moment. I plan to use it as an STR. I ran into a lot of problems that neither me nor my contractor anticipated. I was able to get permits and in the end will have a very unique product, but it wasn't cheap.

I'm probably still 2 months away from completion, and I'm on my 3rd contractor. At the end of the day, it will end up being almost as expensive as a stick built house. I think if I built a second, I could bring that down a bit. There were some expensive lessons.

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@Chad Pantel I currently have a 20' shipping container home rented on Airbnb and I also worked with a 40' container that is being used as a primary residence, that will be eventually turned into an Airbnb.  I will probably never do another one.  That being said, our 20' Airbnb rental is one of my best performing units.  My location is in a very rural county with no zoning and we were able to use an RV electric service and an existing well and septic.  It is a very cool concept but be prepared for a slog with inspections, insurance, engineering, financing, etc if you are in a heavily regulated area.  It is totally doable but will require some effort, but the end product is very unique.  Here is a picture of my 20'.

@Chad Pantel Basically got a non permanent structure policy (in essence an RV policy) coupled with a g/l policy.  Total cost was around $300/year.  If it was permanently attached to a foundation it actually would have been easier.

@Kyle H.

That looks amazing!

I’ve been thinking of doing a similar thing in FL with a friend. He actually converts containers into offices etc for a large company so I have the crew to get it done, just wondering if it would actually be profitable.

@Heidi Kenefick

I only have my experience to go off of, but I would say if you have a good location you should be able to get the occupancy to support it. We made a lot of mistakes and probably could have shaved a good $15k off the cost. Ours cost right at $60k, which included all construction, some storage costs, moving/crane work, landscaping, exterior utility work and outfitting it for STR. This was a project with a friend who owns 25% of the container and we placed it on an existing parcel we own and just charge the rental $125 lot rent/mo, so we have minimal land cost. We are on target to gross $32k including cleaning fees.

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Turning a con ex box  into a house sounds cool .Sounds like too much work for such a small area . There are much easier alternatives .  Such as a park model RV . Or the premade cabins that are used at campgrounds . 

@Chad Pantel

No one lives in these but theyre still "STR"

My buddy converted some of his hook lift roll off containers ( think conex box without a lid) into swimming pool rentals. The same hook truck that hauls for his construction debris company picks up the pools empty and we broker in a water truck or use pumps if water source is near by. Extremely scalable and a popular item because in ground pools are on 2 year wait list where im at!

@Joseph Cacciapaglia , I'm surprised to read that it was cheaper than traditional construction. The few people I've known who looked into it all said that it was more expensive once you accounted for higher permitting and labor costs. Did you build in San Antonio, or somewhere else?