Shipping Container Home Myths Debunked

Shipping Container Home Myths Debunked

Although they have been popular in various parts for the world for years now, shipping container homes are beginning to draw some interest here in Canada. There is a lot of information available on the internet regarding container home construction, but not all of it is as accurate or true as the authors lead you to believe. In this article we will briefly discuss the single most popular misconception when it comes to shipping container housing: THEIR COST.

A look at what the Hamilton Shipping Container Home will look like once complete - waiting for door and window install before site installation

A look at what the Hamilton Shipping Container Home will look like once complete – waiting for door and window install before site installation – Designed by Jason Halter of Wonder Inc, fabricated by Storstac in Toronto, Canada.

Shipping Container Housing Costs “a lot less” than traditional home building – FALSE

The cost of shipping container housing is the most popular misconception related to container housing that exists today. From internet articles, to news paper and magazine articles to TV shows, various sources have claimed that a shipping container home is an inexpensive alternative to traditional housing that will “save you thousands”.

Here are the facts: Shipping container housing costs nearly as much, if not as much as traditional home builds when you are comparing apples to apples. Let’s say you are building a two story home with a basement. If you were to build a two story home with a basement out of shipping containers, and then you were to build the same square footage home using traditional building methods, the end costs will end up being nearly identical. Using shipping containers to build your home or cottage comes with a number of advantages, but unfortunately, significant cost savings is not one of them. Compared to traditional building methods, a shipping container house could save you upwards of 5-10% of the structures overall cost once the build is complete.

Queen Street West Container Home Extension - Installed - Built at our Toronto, Canada modification facility

Queen Street West Container Home Extension – Installed – Modified at Storstac’s Toronto, Canada modification facility

Why do people claim Shipping Container Housing Costs “a lot less” than traditional home building?

There are various reasons why people claim Shipping Container Housing Costs “a lot less” than traditional home building. Reasons range from using used containers vs new containers, the other costs associated with home building (floors, electrical, plumbing, kitchens, washrooms ect), unaccounted costs of personal time invested in the project. When it comes to using New vs. Used containers for housing/living purposes, we always encourage our customers from to go with new containers instead of using used shipping containers for housing or living in for two reasons.

  • Age: Used containers are typically anywhere from 12-20 years old. They have most likely been around the world a number of times and thus, have been exposed to some of the harshest environments on planet earth. This adds wear and tear to all parts of the container including the exterior, interior and floors. Using a used container is a great way to save money, but the expected life of your shipping container house or cottage will have a much shorter life span with used containers
  • Contents: There is no way to track the contents of a container over its life span. Everything from harmless baby toys, right up to nuclear waste can be transported inside of a shipping container. The last thing you want is to live inside of a home that has transported hazardous materials across the globe.

Shipping containers only account for part of the homes overall costs. Shipping containers make up the structure of a home. Although the structures accounts for a chuck of the overall project cost, things like windows, doors, electrical, plumbing and most importantly final interior finishing (washrooms, kitchens, hardwood floors etc.) vastly outweigh the cost of the structure when all is said and done. Don’t forget that whether something is being installed in a shipping container home, or whether that same something is being installed in a traditionally built home, the costs are the equivalent.

Another dynamic people don’t take into consideration is the “sweat equity” that is put into the build. From shipping container cottages and homes, to “tiny homes”, when a project is undertaken by an individual, the material costs may be the only major element that is factored into a builds final price. What they don’t factor in is the hundreds, and even thousands of hours of their own time they put into their project. This again, significantly impacts the projects final costs further emphasising the misconception that container housing is an inexpensive alternative to shipping container housing.

In this article, we have discussed a few of the factors that contribute to the general misconception that shipping container housing Costs “a lot less” when compared to traditional home building methods. Factors can range from using used containers vs new containers, the other costs associated with home building (floors, electrical, plumbing, kitchens, washrooms ect) and the unaccounted costs of personal time invested in building out the project. If you want to learn more about the services we can offer, feel free to get in touch with one of our shipping container modification experts to discuss your next potential project.

Rendering of what the Queen Street West Shipping Container Extension will look like once complete

Rendering of what the Queen Street West Shipping Container Extension will look like once complete

Modified Container Office Space

Storstac custom fabricates mobile container office space out of 10′, 20′ and 40′ modified shipping containers. Our mobile office containers are some of the best made container offices in the industry and feature everything you would find in a conventional office space. Our modified container offices are fully insulated and feature a 100amp breaker panel, lights, heaters, air conditioning, wall plugs, phone jacks, two windows, and one man door. Once you step inside one of our modified container offices you will think that you just walked into a traditional brick and mortar building.

The advantages of a Storstac modified container office over a traditional trailer office provided by the other guys are easy to see. Our modified container offices are built within an all steel shipping container or sea can. The advantage of building an office inside of a modified shipping container is that they provide you with a sturdy, all steel structure that will outlast a trailer office multiple times over. Traditionally, trailer offices are made of all wood construction. The all wood construction can cause the trailer to smell and it causes the trailer to be extremely flimsy which significantly shortens the shelf life of the office. The Storstac modified container office is also placed at ground level. The man door is only 6″ off of the ground, which means there are no stairs or steps required to get in and out of the office. This makes winter maintenance very easy and straight forward. Trailer offices always require stairs, and they are usually made of wood. This can cause unnecessary tripping hazards and makes winter maintenance more difficult.

Buy one of our modified container offices that are pre-fabricated, or have one built to your specifications.

For more information about our 10′, 20′ and 40′ modified shipping container offices you can reach us at 416-231-9100 or come see one for yourself at our Head Office/ Depot @ 90 North Queen Street, Etobicoke Ontario.


Storstac 20' modified container office

Storstac Container Modification

modified container office

Storstac modified container office

Shipping Container Modification: Toronto and Beyond

(Toronto, Ontario) Shipping container modifications are in our blood. We take pride in our work, we love what we do, and it shows. Our modified shipping containers are everywhere. Whether its a custom modified vending kiosk used to sell corn-on-the-cob at the base of the Seattle Space Needle, an electrical enclosure used to store batteries that are charged via solar panels, a custom built generator enclosure that’s placed just south of the arctic circle, or Tesla’s “secret weapon” pop up showroom that has begun to make its way right across Canada and the United States; Storstac is your PREMIER source for custom fabricated portable buildings and custom modified shipping container projects. Big or small, Storstac is the only place you should consider for container modifications, fabrications and custom builds.


Storstac in Seattle

Birds love Storstac storage containers

(Toronto, Ontario) You never know who is going to drop by Storstac to say hello. Yesterday we had the pleasure of providing this large Falcon with a place to rest and hang out. Our PanAm Games rental storage containers provided this large bird the perfect place to rest, also enabling him to look far off in the distance so he could plan his next flight route. If a large event like the PanAm Games, as well as one of the largest birds in Toronto’s skies approve of our storage container rental fleet, then it must mean were doing something right. Feel free to drop by Storstac any time to say hello, have an espresso, and check out our shipping container modification facility. Were positive we’ll leave a lasting impression on you.

Rental Birds

Here we have a fully grown Falcon taking a rest and hanging out on one our storage container’s

Storstac Launches Pop-Up Shop Rental Business

(Toronto, Ontario) Storstac Inc. is proud to launch in which modified shipping containers can be rented to be used as portable pop-up shops.

The Canadian-owned and operated company modified multiple 20’ containers to be utilized as secure and easily deployable retail shops. From artwork to clothing, the modular design was built to maximize display wall space. These displays are perfect for special events, exhibitions, test markets, and new product launches.

“We always like to support and encourage the entrepreneurial spirit” said Vince Ruggiero, President of Storstac. “ gives the entrepreneur a secure and cost effective way to display and sell their goods.”

About Storstac

Storstac deals in the sales, rentals, fabrication, and the modification of new and used storage containers and portable buildings.  The company is dedicated to providing it’s customers with excellent quality products and service.  For more information, please visit


Alternative configuration

Alternative configuration

DSC_5146 - edited DSC_5959 - edited for website DSC_5930 - Edited for website


Corporate Contact Information:

David Pali

Director of Business Development

Storstac, Inc.

T: (416) 231-9100 x 205

M: (416) 677-6980

Container Modification Done Right

(Toronto, Ontario) Here at Storstac we take pride in our work. We believe in providing our customers with the highest quality products, period. Whether its a new or used storage container, a container modification, or a custom fabricated portable building built from the ground up, we always ensure our products are built to stand the test of time (check out our 3 year old retail container kiosks and restaurants located at Scadding Court, Dundas and Bathurst). If you have a container modification idea, feel free to give us a call or drop by our facility anytime to see how we can turn your container dreams into a reality.

Julio welding a door frame in our shop

One of our welders (Julio) welding a door frame in our shop