Every day, Kenyans are embracing the alternative home construction using shipping containers.
You have probably seen them in your area or in those fancy Airbnb vocation condors.
They are part of the remarkable transition from the traditional heavy and bulky brick and mortar to the light and flexible glass and steel.
Now, the constant question everyone asks is, what is the cost of these most hyped shipping container homes?
Using our experience in the container fabrication industry and our current research on container homes in Kenya, we have compiled a price guide that can help you when hunting for your shipping container home.
Table Summary of Container Homes Costs in Kenya
|House Specifications||Price Range (Kenya Shillings)|
|Lower Side||Higher Side|
|Bedsitter Unit/Studio Apartment||550,000||750,000|
|One Bedroom House||950,000||1,400,000|
|Two Bedrooms House||1,050,000||2,000,000|
|Three Bedrooms House||1,800,000||3,200,000|
|Four Bedrooms House||2,400,000||4,000,000|
Before we delve further into prices, let us clarify something about the mystery of container homes. Within the same spatial framework, container houses are likely to have different costs.
In other words, two different houses with the same number of bedrooms may have a gapping cost disparity depending on several factors as listed below;
Factors that Determine the Prices/Costs of Shipping Container Houses
1. The distance to the construction site from urban centers or the fabrication location
This will determine the costs of transporting the container(s), the personnel, and the raw materials to your location.
The further you are from the source of these requirements the more you are likely to spend.
2. Type of soil/nature of the site ground
In the world of freight containers, the foundation significantly affects the overall cost. You will pay more for foundation preparation if your site has dark cotton soil or is swampy.
Remember that dark cotton soil is soft and has a high water retention capacity. As such, excavating will be deeper (4ft or 5ft deep) for the erection concrete slab and or concrete pillars.
It also means more materials will be consumed in erecting the foundation.
The same applies to steeply sloping ground.
Normally, the lower end of the slope will require much more material fill-up to level with the upper end.
On the other hand, you will incur lesser cost if your site is blessed with red volcanic soil and is gently sloping or generally flat.
Red volcanic soils are firm, strong, and have low water retention capacity. As such, the excavation will not be deep (between 2ft and 2,5ft deep will be enough).
3. The specifications used in putting up the container house
Specifications are basically structural and design factors. Different clients prefer different specifications. We have listed them here;
1. Size/type/number of doors and windows
Believe it or not, houses with similar spacing and design can have variations in the size, type, and number of doors and windows.
There French doors and windows, Glass doors and windows, aluminum sliding windows, and wooden doors and windows.
Some builders prefer very large windows and twin doors, most prefer standard sized windows and ordinary single doors.
For some, wooden doors and windows are more appealing. It is from these differences that costs also vary.
2. Materials used to cover the interior wall and ceiling
Block boards, soft boards, plywood, and gypsum are some of these materials.
Each of these come at different costs.
3. Floor Materials
Some commonly used flooring materials for container houses include cement, epoxy spray, vortex, wood, vinyl, and ceramic tiles.
Just like walling and ceiling coverings, these also have differences in cost.
4. Structural Extensions and Additions
Some container houses are made into storeys and will require staircases. Others will have foyers and verandahs.
Some have more than one container and will preferably be roofed.
Depending on which of these are included or excluded from the final design, the costs will be affected.
Notice also that as far as roofing is concerned, different types exist and each one bears effects on the overall cost.
Now that we got that out of the way, let’s dive into the costs of different container houses in the Kenyan market.
Since the costs for transportation and foundation vary, we shall focus only on the container and the fabrication costs.
We also base our research on fabrication using the most common construction materials in Kenya; (examples include ceramic tiles for floor and washroom walls and gypsum boarding for walls and ceiling).
The Cost of Bedsitter/Studio Container Houses in Kenya
In the Kenyan market, a bedsitter shipping container house unit will cost between Kshs. 550,000 to Kshs. 750,000.
These are the smallest of self-contained houses. They are usually fabricated from 20Ft shipping containers.
At 20Ft long, 8Ft wide and 8ft6’ high, the container provides enough space for a bedroom, a kitchen, washrooms, and a living room.
The functions for this little one vary. It can be for a start-up family home, a bachelor pad, a children’s house, a guest house, a servant’s quarter, a suburban living space, a holiday home, or even a storage space.
One Bedroom Container Home Cost in Kenya
From a single 40ft shipping container, you can readily obtain a one bedroom house. This is merely a bedsitter unit fitted into a larger container to create an extra room.
With a kitchen, a living room, a bedroom, and washrooms all in tow, you will pay between kshs. 950,000 and kshs. 1,400,000 to obtain one.
The approximate measurements for the one bedroom container house are 40Ft long, 8ft wide, and 9.6ft high for a High Cube 40Ft container.
Price of a 2 Bedroom Container Houses in Kenya
Generally, a two bedroom houses from shipping containers in Kenya will cost between kshs. 1.05 million and kshs. 2 million.
For minimalist living, two bedrooms can be fabricated from singular 40Ft shipping containers.
Think of the one bedroom house we just talked about. Now, fit an additional bedroom next to the living room.
However, things can get interesting if you get a little creative.
Maybe you started with a studio apartment/bedsitter. Then you add another 20ft or a 40ft, redesign the interior, and create two bedrooms.
This can be such that the 20ft accommodates a kitchen while the extra container caters to the bedrooms and washroom.
You can also arrange so that one or both of the bedrooms are master en suite.
This means that you can construct your two bedrooms home from;
- A single 40ft container
- Two 20ft containers
- Combination of a 20ft and a 40ft
- Two 40ft containers( if you are an ardent lover of large interior spaces)
Three Bedroom Container Home Cost in Kenya
In our experience, three bedrooms are the most sought after container houses in Kenya.
Whichever design you go for, your 3 bedroom container house will cost anywhere from kshs. 1.8 million to kshs. 3.2 million.
Normally, these homes are ideal for young urban nuclear families. Often, there is extra space for visiting or live-in guests.
Here again, the options are limitless. You can use;
- A 20ft and a 40ft container
- A 20ft and two 40ft containers
- Two 20ft and a 40ft container
- Two 40Ft containers
If you are using two 40ft containers and an extra 20ft, you will be able to create extra spaces to accommodate master en suite bedrooms, dining room, living room, store, and even verandah/foyer.
Price of a Four Bedroom Container House in Kenya
In Kenya, and using shipping containers as your base structures, a four bedrooms houses will set you back anywhere from kshs. 2.4 million to kshs. 4 million.
If you are the type that thinks long term, then a four bedrooms home is perfect for you.
Because four bedrooms houses are built with a sense of finality. They are lifetime investments.
Much like purchasing a Mercedes Benz and deciding never to sell it come rain or sunshine.
Remember that in house construction, space is everything. And the modern lifestyle demands that we introduce a little more space into your home design.
That extra room in your home, in addition to the three bedrooms, will serve many purposes.
It could be a gym, a home office, a prayer room, a study room, a library, a guest room, a meditation space, or even an equipment store.
It can also accommodate youngsters who stay home after they graduate high school and college.
Therefore, to appropriately build a four bedrooms house, you will need a combination of one or more of the following;
- Two 40ft containers
- A 40Ft container and two 20ft containers
- A 20ft container and two 40ft containers
- Three 40ft containers
The table below is a summary of the costs of different house set ups in Kenya when shipping containers are used for construction.
If you are a keen observer of home construction, you will notice that people no longer build houses just to shelter in. People construct homes that influence how they feel.
Builders want homes that are both exciting and have character regardless of whether it is outside and or inside. They seek feelings of comfort, relaxation, recovery, and rejuvenation.
Yet still, the costs of construction remain a major concern.
Fortunately, shipping containers have actively promoted this feel-good attribute. The costs of using shipping containers are significantly less expensive compared to brick and mortar.
Aside from them being affordable, and highly flexible they are exceedingly beautiful.
Since price is an important part of building, we took the liberty of researching and informing you on the same. The bottom line is, you no longer have to be afraid.
You can take that step towards owning a nice-looking home at bargain prices and still enjoy the many blessings that life has to offer.
We hope you enjoyed this read.
Let us know if you have any container home projects. We have a dedicated team that is more than willing to assist you in your home ownership journey.