FAQ

How does the cost of container construction compare to traditional home construction?
As with any kind of construction, there are a wide range of variables that impact the overall cost. Many of those are driven by the owners’ preferences on mechanical systems, structural components, and interior finishes (much like options on a new car). These choices can affect the overall construction budget for a home to the point of doubling it. Our completed projects have averaged $125 per square foot for mid level finishes.

Using nationally published averages for construction budgets, containers replace approximately 13% of a standard construction budget.  This can increase for small space designs, but in every case, the majority of the overall construction budget is determined by the owners' choices for the items mentioned above.

Container construction is not generally less expensive than traditional construction, but offers additional "bang for the buck" in strength and sustainability.  Clients have also noted advantages such as reduced build time, increased job site security, and minimal weather impact.

Is rust an issue with this type of construction?
No, rust does not present any structural dangers as long as the containers are prepared properly. Prior to applying the ceramic coating we use for
insulation, we apply a rust remediation product. While rust is a concern for any type of steel construction, it is primarily a cosmetic concern for shipping containers as they are constructed of COR TEN steel (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weathering_steel) which was created for applications such as bridges to eliminate the need for paint. As with a wood framed home, it is essential that you properly maintain the exterior paint of any container structure to extend its overall life.

Are traditional loans available for these structures or are nontraditional loans required due to the type of construction?
Many of our projects have been financed by traditional construction loans. It is crucial to use the correct technical language in communicating with banks, permit departments, inspectors, appraisers, and insurance companies. We are available for consultation to guide you through this process.

Is it difficult to get these structures permitted?
We have not had any difficulty obtaining building permits for the projects we have done to date and we have worked with many municipalities across the country. The structure, mechanical systems and insulation of our designs easily exceed most code requirements.

How much does a used shipping container cost?
Although you can find containers advertised for as low as $1000, they are traditionally heavily used and often severely damaged. These containers, in general, are not aesthetically or structurally viable for home construction.

Our most common "raw" components  are 40ft, high cube (9’6” tall) ,“One-trippers” that have been used for import from Europe or Asia and are typically in pristine condition.  Although shipping container costs can vary significantly due to market conditions, they generally are available for between $4000-$5000. Containers that have actually been in rotation and are more used are typically available for between $1800-$2700 depending upon overall condition.  

How does Numen Development participate in the process?

Currently, we are taking consultation and design projects only.  We will assist clients in creating their concepts, assess feasibility of existing designs and provide modification/construction consultation.