How To Convert a Shipping Container: A Comprehensive Guide

20' Used TGHU Container

Shipping containers have long been the unsung heroes of global trade, but in recent years, their versatility has been recognised beyond the docks and shipyards. Many people are now turning to shipping container conversion.

From trendy urban lofts to cosy countryside retreats, the concept of shipping container homes has captured the imagination of architects, designers, and DIY enthusiasts alike. 

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of converting a shipping container into a livable space, blending functionality with style.

Understanding the Basics of Shipping Container Conversion

Before diving into the conversion process, it’s essential to understand the foundational aspects of a shipping container. Made primarily from robust weathering steel, shipping containers are designed to withstand harsh conditions, making them ideal candidates for long-lasting homes.

Why Choose a Shipping Container Home?

  1. Sustainability: Repurposing a shipping container means giving it a new life, aligning with the global push towards sustainability and reducing waste.
    2. Affordability: Compared to traditional housing, container homes often come at a fraction of the cost.
    3. Versatility: Whether you desire a studio apartment or a multi-storey family home, shipping containers can be stacked and arranged in various configurations.
    4. Durability: Built to endure the high seas, these containers are robust, weather-resistant, and built to last.

Steps to Convert a Shipping Container

Planning and Design

  • Purpose: Determine the primary use of your container home. Whether it’s a permanent residence, a holiday home, or a guest house, clarity on its purpose will guide the design process.
  • Layout: Decide on the number of rooms, their arrangement, and overall flow.


  • While there are many suppliers out there, it’s vital to choose a trusted name. Container Sales (UK) Ltd, the largest independent supplier in Scotland and the North East of England, offers a wide range of new and used containers, ensuring quality and reliability.

Insulation and Weatherproofing

  • Ensure the container is adequately insulated to maintain a comfortable internal temperature.
  • Weatherproofing will protect against rust and external elements.

Interior and Exterior Design

  • Interior: Focus on maximising space, using foldable furniture, and multi-purpose fixtures.
  • Exterior: Consider adding a protective paint coat, a rooftop garden, or even a patio.

Utilities and Amenities

  • Install plumbing, electricity, heating, and any other amenities required for a modern home.

Picking the right container

At Container Sales (UK) Ltd, we understand that every individual has unique requirements. As a family-run business, we can talk you through which container is best suited for your conversion needs.

Converting a shipping container into a home is not just a trend; it’s a lifestyle choice that blends sustainability with innovation. Whether you’re drawn to the idea of a minimalistic life or are looking to make a statement with a unique home, a shipping container conversion could be the answer.

Ready to embark on your container home journey? Contact Container Sales (UK) Ltd today for expert guidance on which container you’ll need to begin your conversion journey.