Out of some people’s ingenuity, nontraditional building materials instantly come in handy for needed home additions and renovations under budget and time constraints. One of the trendiest nontraditional building materials right now is the shipping container. Who would have thought that those plain, huge, sturdy cargo containers could be repurposed into tons of other amazing uses? It turns out that these simple metal boxes are actually versatile.

If you need urgent home additions, or even if your project isn’t really urgent but you want to cut back on the costs that it would incur, you may opt for shipping containers as your main construction material.

What home additions can you build out of it anyway?

Garden Room

Wouldn’t you agree that the best afternoons every after tiring workday are those spent retreating to your fresh, airy, and lovely garden that blooms with colors and lots of greens? A good book, music, fresh fruit shake, snacks or coffee with a great company would surely complete your afternoon relaxation routine.

If this afternoon habit sounds cool to you, why not try creating a garden retreat for the whole family? It could be placed at the center of the garden surrounded by lots of flowers and lush greens. A time spent there either alone or with your loved ones will surely be something you’ll look forward to every time you’re tired and just want to slow down and appreciate the simple things in life.

Guest House

For families who love to frequently invite friends over but don’t have enough space for them in the main house, a guest house made out of shipping containers could be added as an extension outside, especially if you have a huge backyard. This is also useful when your relatives are visiting in your city and staying there for a week or so. A guest house separated from your main home will give both of you some needed privacy.

Your teenagers may also use this home extension for slumber parties with their friends on some weekends. You know how slumber parties turn out—the kids can be so noisy because of all the fun they have with their friends. Imagine if your daughter’s room is next to yours in the main house, you might end up losing some sleep as well. A guest house would spare you from that. Besides, there’s always some heart-to-heart, late night talks they wouldn’t want you to eavesdrop.

Extra Storage

Those unused pallets you want to save for a future DIY home improvement project, those excess paint, your gardening tools, and so many random stuff that make the main house messy should have their own home, too. If your storage space in the main house isn’t enough for all the random things you want to keep for future use, why not build a storage room outside your home out of a cargo container?

Cargo containers make excellent storage spaces since they are designed to be disaster-proof and even pest-proof.

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Most artists need a quiet spacious place just for themselves whenever they want to squeeze out their creative juices doing some new crafts. Perhaps, you are a clay artist, a visual artist, a musician, a novelist—whoever you are and whatever it is that you do, you definitely need a permanent workshop that can give you lots of inspiration and help you be on the constant move to hit the ground running for every new project. Read some ideas for that on this page.

We know that you can really get excited about this idea. The good news is, it would only take a few weeks to get your shipping container workshop done!

Backyard Office

Work-from-home professionals would agree that they need a definite place around the house that would create a boundary between work life and personal life. When you experience working from home it’s easy that those two worlds collide and when that happens it becomes harder to eliminate distraction. A backyard office allows you to set a physical boundary between those two different worlds though they’re literally in one place at a time. When your family members see that you’re in your office, they would avoid disturbing you for unimportant matters.

What other alternative uses do you have in mind for shipping containers? We’d love to hear your ideas, too!


Zalmen Pollak is a specialized technician of electronic appliances. He has been working with Bestbuy since 2012 and helped thousands of customers to choose the right electronic gadgets offline. Now he is doing the exact same thing online. To know more about him, get in touch with him on zalmen[at]topreviewzone.com

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