How To Convert a Shipping Container into a Container Home Greenhouse

Container homes are becoming an interest among those looking for an alternative living life style.   Almost every state has somewhere a container home can touch down.  Just make sure that you are up to date with your county zoning and building codes and that they permit container homes.  

At first, shipping containers used as a home was frowned on.  Now, people are gravitating towards using them. In many states the government's first impression was negative, as shipping containers aren’t the most aesthetically pleasing to look at.  It was recommended that the container be painted in an earth tone like brown that is much more pleasing to the eye.  

Currently more places are allowing container homes because of the benefits they offer such as, they’re cheaper than the average conventional home.  Container homes are built much quicker than conventional homes. Shipping containers, with modifications, can have all of the conveniences and living space as a conventional home.  

For those who want to down-size or go tiny, a container home is the perfect option.  The same can be said for those that want to enlarge their living space.  Because container homes are less expensive than conventional homes, you can spend more on enlarging whatever rooms you want by adding additional containers.  

Reasons For Using a Container

Containers are modular, versatile and functional.  They have been used to make a garage, basement, gym, pool and balcony.   What about a greenhouse?  That’s definitely a possibility!  First, let’s look at why a shipping container would be perfect for a greenhouse.

Containers Are Durable and Affordable

Shipping containers are very durable, large hollow blocks of metal.  They’re made to protect overseas shipment and are able to withstand Mother Nature’s wrath like, earthquakes, hurricanes, typhoons, and tornadoes.   

Using a shipping container is a lot cheaper than a conventional building.  If you look at a conventional home there are a lot of materials necessary to build it where as a container is usually built with just metal and wood flooring.   It is very affordable!

Eco Friendly And Fast Off Site Construction

Another positive reason to use a shipping container as a home/building/room is if not purchased new, old containers can be reused, eliminating containers being taken to junkyards or left to rust.  

For new containers, building time for one that is 1,900 - 2,100 square feet is about 8 to 10 weeks, versus building a conventional house which could take anywhere from 4 to 6 months depending on the weather and other issues. 

New containers can be built off-site and then delivered to your prepared location. Again, saving time and money!

Suggestions For A Greenhouse

One pro about using a shipping container as a greenhouse is that it is made of metal which insects find unappetizing.  Whatever wood you use can be treated before installation.

Besides treating the wood, here are a few things that can be done to a shipping container to turn it into a greenhouse.  

Any size container will work.  

The container walls can be altered by removing square panels.  That would allow light to get into the edifice. It’s as simple as using transparent materials such as:

-Plastic film-fairly cheap but not the most durable

-Tuftex PolyCarb Clear panels- thicker and durable

-Corrugated Fiberglass Panels- heavy-duty commercial grade sheets

-Greca Corrugated Polycarbonate Sheets-Promotes uniform sunlight, sheets can handle hail

-Multiwall Polycarbonate Sheets-Offers a high degree of light transmittance, while blocking harmful UV rays, excellent thermal insulation, treated to have excellent condensation removal

Of course there are other materials that people can use but if you’d like the sun to aid in the growth of your plants, a transparent roof will aid with that.  

Also, there can be an irrigation system added to the container.  One easy method used is a mist system. This insures that the plants aren’t over hydrated.  There are also many options for this such as a low-pressure system to a high-pressure system.  

Lastly, the container will need to have some way to let too much moisture and heat out as plants can produce a lot of this.  By having a ventilated system this can help to keep the environment in the container at a steady, cool temperature. Turbine vents can help to distribute the air away and bring in air to keep the temperature stable and proper airflow to the plants.  

These are just some of the basic things needed for a greenhouse.  The possibilities are up to you!