15 best cheap container houses in South Africa and shipping

15 best cheap container houses in South Africa and shipping

While container houses have been around for many years now, the building technique only became viable in the last decade or so. With innovative insulation, partitioning, and rust-prevention techniques, the modern-day container house now looks great, is quite durable, and can be fabricated reasonably quickly. Where can one get container homes in South Africa, and what are the average prices?

luxury container homes in South Africa
A beautiful container home. Photo: @containerhomeluxury
Source: Instagram


One may opt for a container house over conventional building structures for numerous reasons. The most obvious advantages include building time and cost.

Container homes in South Africa and their prices

Typically, container houses are usually made on a built-to-order basis to suit the varying preferences of the clients. This means that one often must make an order to the fabricating company, give specifications, and choose the feature options they desire. The fabricating companies usually have a set of designs to help the client conceptualize the final product.

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Here is a look at the various houses that can be made from shipping containers, their features, and average prices.

1. Bachelor house (6-metre): From R195,000

A bachelor house is among the smallest housing units one can have made from a shipping container. It is usually made from a 20-foot container and measures about 15 square meters when complete. These small units usually include an open-plan bedroom and kitchenette, countertops, a bathroom, and all the necessary plumbing and electrical installation.

The container bachelor house usually starts at around R195,000, with final prices varying amongst various companies.

2. One bed, one bath (6-metre): From R300,000

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A nice one-bedroom container house. Photo: @containerhomecentral
Source: Instagram

This is one of the most common container house designs in South Africa. Unlike the bachelor house, this one features a fully partitioned interior, with a separate bedroom, kitchen, and small living room. The kitchenette and living room occupy a single open-plan space to maximize the space.

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Additional features include laminate flooring, insulated walls, a bathroom with a pedestal sink, and sliding bathroom doors, again to make use of the limited space.

3. One bed, one bath (12-metre): From 450,000

This is a larger variant of the one-bed, one-bath design. It is made from a 12-metre container, giving more room for a larger bedroom, living room, kitchen, and bathroom. Besides the significantly larger room sizes, all features and amenities are as found in the smaller 6-metre variant.

4. Two beds, one bath: From R615,000

This one usually measures about 60 square metres and is ideal for small families or couples. Unlike the one-bedroom variants, this one gives the owner ample space to accommodate a guest or two. The extra bedroom comes in handy for families with one or two small kids. Some of the house’s main features include wall insulations, tiled walls and floors, and adequate plumbing and electrical installations.

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5. Two beds, two baths: From R650,000

This is another incredibly popular configuration of the container home. It is typically fabricated from a 6-metre container, and a 12-metre variant joined at the corner. This house comes complete with standard bedroom and bathroom doors, an open-plan kitchen and living room, and laminated flooring.

The house typically measures about 70 metres squared, with actual measurements varying amongst the different fabricators.

6. House with patio: From R660,000

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A nice container home with a patio. Photo: @tinyhouseperfect
Source: Instagram

This design is quite common among those looking to have container homes in rural areas. The patio can be designed with numerous materials and often includes laminated flooring. The sides of the patio are made from the same metal that is found on the container’s walls. The patio’s size is determined by the customer’s preferences and budget.

7. Three beds, two baths: From R925,000

This house usually measures about 90 square metres, making it ideal for a medium to large family. It is typically made by combining two 12-metre containers. In addition to all the features found in the two-bedroom variants, this house comes with an IBR roof-over unit and a closed kitchen.

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8. Metal and wood container house: From 750,000

This design is the perfect blend of wood and metal and is quite common for luxury container homes in South Africa. The shipping container provides the framework for the house, while the wood elements add a touch of elegance to the otherwise bare metal. There are numerous ways the wood can be incorporated into the design.

9. Container coffee shop: From R120,000

If you are looking to build a coffee shop, you might want to consider purchasing one made from a shipping container. This can be designed to be as beautiful and functional as any other conventional coffee shop. You will get to choose design elements related to decking, roofing, cladding, and furniture installation.

10. Mobile container homes: From $900,000

As the name suggests, these houses come fully fitted with wheels on one side and a tow bar on the other. This makes it possible to tow the entire home to another location using a pickup truck, lorry, or vehicle with sufficient engine capacity.

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11. Storey container house: From R700,000

How much does a container house cost in South Africa?
A storey container house. Photo: @containerslove
Source: Instagram

Modern house-building technology has made it possible to design and make storey container houses. The upper floor is usually accessible through a staircase on the house’s exterior. Depending on one’s budget, such a storey house can come equipped with a mini balcony, glass sides for an uninterrupted view, and an internal staircase.

12. Container bar (6-metres): From R170,000

This is the perfect container house for those looking to set up a small to a medium-sized bar. Most fabricators will include features such as counters, shelves, and seating spaces within the unit. Additional features include rooftop seating, patios for outside cooking, and extra electrical installations for appliances such as refrigerators.

13. Container office: From R69,000

This is quite possibly the cheapest container house one can order in South Africa. The small size of a personal office means that these units start at about R69,000. Depending on the company one orders the unit from, the office can include convenient features such as wall-mounted desks, electrical outlets, insulation, and plumbing.

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14. Container boardroom: From R95,000

This can be used to hold meetings of up to 20 people, depending on the size one chooses. Like the personal office, the shipping container boardroom can be retrofitted with numerous features, including inbuilt tables, electrical outlets, soundproofing, and laminated floors.

15. Container classroom: From R260,000

These are usually made for use in remote areas where constructing conventional classrooms is either too expensive or not viable for other reasons. The containers come complete with windows, doors, flooring, and soundproofing if needed.

What is the shipping cost for container homes in South Africa?

This depends on the shipping distance and the company from where one purchases the home. It is advisable to confirm the exact figure with the prospective seller.

Container home design

Cheap shipping container homes do not have to mean ugly ones. Here is a look at some cost-effective designs that look amazing.

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Rooftop seating space

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A container house with a rooftop lounge. Photo: @containerhomesliving
Source: Instagram

This design is perfect for those looking to relax on their rooftops, perhaps enjoying a beautiful view.

One open side

luxury container homes in South Africa
A house with one open side. Photo: @containerslove
Source: Instagram

This design has a functional space at the end of the container that is left open for versatility. This can be sued as an outdoor kitchenette.

Metal and glass

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A container house with a glass side. Photo: @tinyhomeblueprints
Source: Instagram

This design has one side of the container fitted with a single panel of glass, giving it a feel of luxury.

Wooden top

cheap shipping container homes
A container house with wooden planks on top. Photo: @rustic_pines_cabins
Source: Instagram

This design combines the metal in the container with thick planks of wood fitted on the top of the patio roof.

Simple design

How much does a container house cost in South Africa?
A simple container house. Photo: @container.houseplans
Source: Instagram

If you like to keep things simple, why not consider this simple yet functional design?

Companies that make container houses in South Africa

Here are some of the top companies that make shipping container homes in South Africa.


Blockhouse modular homes are built at the company’s main fabrication centre and delivered to the site for installation in a day. This quick turnaround is because most units are usually prefabricated and only require minor finishing.

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Blockhouse’s units are designed for maximum comfort and aesthetic appeal for modern living.

  • Telephone: +012 001 6745, +0860 148 348
  • Email: info@blockhouse.co.za, orders@blockhouse.co.za

Container Home SA

Container Home SA is one of the top companies where one can get container homes in Johannesburg. The company has a wide range of standard designs designed to guide clients in making their orders. Still, the customer can easily change any interior to suit their needs. These changes include adding an extra bathroom, changing the kitchen or wall colours, or moving doors to different sides.

  • Location: Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Port Elizabeth
  • Telephone: 065 127 5026
  • Email: admin@containerhome.co.za

Container Homes Cape Town

Container Homes Cape Town specializes in providing its clients with beautifully designed and constructed homes that are comfortable and stylish. Its collection of prefab homes is built using high-quality materials and construction methods, which means that they are built to last.

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  • Phone: 060 090 0102
  • Website: containerhomescapetown.com


Afripanel’s products are tailored for quick and efficient buildings to reduce construction time. Its main factory manufactures modular buildings that are energy efficient, aesthetically pleasing, and built to last.

  • Location: 349 Dacosta Drive, Corner Fourth Road, Bredell, Kempton Park, Gauteng
  • Postal address: PO Box 14232, Bredell, Kempton Park, Gauteng,
  • Office telephone: +010 822 5806, +27 (0) 11 396 2402, +27 (0) 11 396 1379

A&A Containers

prices of container homes in South Africa
A mobile container house. Photo: @containerhomeluxury
Source: Instagram

Are you looking for container homes for sale in Gauteng? Look no further than A&A Containers. This company began operations in 1991, making it one of the oldest firms in the South African container home market. The company deals with the creation of cost-effective containerized solutions for the container industry and prefabricated industry.

  • Location: 9B Ridge Road, Laser Park Honeydew, Gauteng.
  • Email: info@aacontainers.co.za
  • Telephone: 011 794 6571/6
  • Fax: 011 794 6577

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How much does a container house cost in South Africa?

The prices of container homes in South Africa vary depending on factors such as design, features, container size, and finishes. A small bachelor home starts from about R195,000.

Do South African banks finance container homes?

At the moment, South African banks do not offer financing for shipping container homes.

Is it cheaper to build a house or a container home?

Yes, container homes are significantly cheaper than their equivalent conventional houses. The cost differences vary depending on the design, shipping distance, and various other factors.

Yes, it is perfectly legal to purchase and own a container home in South Africa. Like any other building structure in the country, such a home must comply with local building regulations and need to be council-approved.

There are numerous companies that manufacture and sell container homes in South Africa today. The prices of these houses vary depending on numerous factors such as size, features, and shipping distance.

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DISCLAIMER: This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!

Briefly.co.za recently explored the best business funding sources in South Africa. For numerous potential entrepreneurs, the issue of capital sourcing is among the trickiest ones to navigate. Generating inexpensive capital is among the biggest hurdles that business owners must jump.

Luckily, there are several options one can consider when it comes to business funding. These vary in structure, capital limits, ownership implications, and other attributes.

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