Container homes? It is just that – a home made from steel shipping containers. Given the prohibitive cost of building or buying a home, many households on Guam embrace storage containers as an alternative solution to create more affordable homes.
“Containers have been used for many things on Guam for quite a while including makeshift homes and room additions,” said Sharon Price, director of marketing and events at Landscape Management Systems. “However, with the rise in popularity of ‘tiny homes’ and ‘upcycled homes’ around the world, the container home revolution has taken hold and LMS is on the forefront of it here on Guam.”
Globally, the container homes industry is a growing market. According to Allied Market research, the container home market is projected to reach $73.07 billion by 2025.
“Aside from being a more affordable solution than most traditional site-built homes, there several benefits that make it a great solution. As a family grows, it’s easy to add on rooms and space. And although, these homes are secured on cement foundations or cement blocks, they can be easily moved to a new location at any time,” Price said.
While LMS has been providing modular housing and office solutions to military and government customers for five years, Price said the company launched in the commercial sector three years ago.
The container home option appeals to local newlyweds looking for an inexpensive first home they can call their own, she said. “LMS has a container space to meet the most unique needs, from a custom five-bedroom ‘designer’ home, to a mobile café/bar, to an affordable one-bedroom apartment, to offices, bathrooms, clinics, fitness centers and more. A buyer’s imagination is the only limit.”
Investing in property development can bring financial and mental strain. But Price said LMS offers prices that work with the buyer’s budget. “One of the best things about buying a container home is the variety of options,” Price said. “You can choose from a designer series at higher prices to the barebones reconditioned units that are inexpensive. It’s truly a modular solution so you can add or take a way pieces to fit your budget.”
Although LMS does not have a partnership with the Guam Housing and Urban Authority or Guam Housing Council, Price said the company provides emergency container office spaces to local government agencies and the Federal Emergency Management Agency when needed.
With a touch creativity, the otherwise sterile-looking industrial box can transform into a made-for-TV home.
The containers sold by LMS are both pre-used units and pre-fabricated for home use. “LMS sources containers from reputable suppliers around the world including U.S. companies,” Price said. “LMS has hired several designers to work with companies to build brand new container homes from scratch. Additionally, we have sources for high quality used containers that our expert builders recondition and modify to create functional modular spaces to fit many needs.”
Are container homes suitable for Guam climate? “When properly insulated, vented, and painted/coated, a container home is one of the best, long-lasting options for housing on Guam,” Price said.
However, acquiring a container and transforming it into a home comes with many challenges and factors that need to be considered. “You would need to consider plumbing and electric, a typhoon-safe location and installation, insulation, and structural engineering when cutting doors and windows,” Price said. “With used shipping containers, you must also consider what the container has been used for, how old it is, if it’s been properly cleaned and decontaminated, and is it still structurally sound.”
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