Container homes are taking the world, as well as South Africa, by storm.
They are fast becoming a popular and more affordable alternative to normal housing, which is priced beyond what the average South African can afford. A customisable and transportable container home can start from as little as R100 000.
This housing type began making waves in 2017 when the Drive Lines apartment block launched in Johannesburg. It is constructed entirely out of shipping containers and offers affordable living with rental costs as low as R4 000 per month.
The average house price in South Africa is approximately R1-million, while the average first-time bond applicant is only granted around R800 000. For less than the difference of R200 000, first time house-buyers can buy a small container to call their home.
Container Structures, an online container shipping purchasing service, offers a bachelor pad, made from a single 12m long container, for as little as R100 000. The price moves up as more features are added.
A two-bedroom unit will cost between R160 000 and R220 000, depending on the features and finishes added.
A bachelor pad container costs a fraction of a similarly-sized unit, which could set a buyer back by about R1.26-million in Cape Town. Two container units may even be fitted together or stacked, making it large enough for an entire family.
The added benefit of living in a shipping container home is that this is a recyclable item. By making use of discarded materials, a container home lowers the overall strain on resources. Homeowners can also boost eco-friendliness by installing solar panels, as well as insulation.
Container units are also fully transportable, meaning you can choose whichever location you would like to settle.
Although South Africans have shown an interest in container homes in South Africa, challenges remain with municipal regulations, as officials may not be familiar with alternative building methods.
Below are examples of how shipping containers can be used to build a variety of structures: