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Main Blog How To Create Your Own Winter Home Using Shipping Containers

How To Create Your Own Winter Home Using Shipping Containers

December 19, 2023
Coast Containers

Are you looking to build your own festive retreat for the winter holidays that can withstand both the cold and snow? As shipping container homes become increasingly popular across Canada, the idea of creating a shipping container holiday home or cottage makes perfect sense. Due to their simple, yet durable design – they can be easily transported and modified to suit your unique needs.

In this blog post, we will show you how to create your own winter home using shipping containers.

The Benefits of Shipping Container Homes Vs Standard Homes


Shipping containers are relatively cheap compared to purchasing a home or building materials. Depending on where you’re located, you may find them as cheap as $2,000 for a standard 20ft shipping container with some variation as you adjust the condition or size. Keep in mind that all companies will also charge a shipping fee which can vary, again, depending on your location.


Shipping containers are made of steel, which is highly versatile and has a long lifespan. Thanks to their design, they can easily withstand harsh weather conditions, such as snow, wind, and rain. On their own, without any modifications, they are also fireproof and rodent-proof, which can protect your home from potential hazards whereas standard homes typically are not.


If you’re looking for a sustainable choice for your new holiday home, shipping containers are one of the most eco-friendly choices you can make, as you can easily find a recycled or reused container for your project. Using one will help reduce your environmental impact and carbon footprint and you can also incorporate sustainable features such as solar panels, rainwater harvesting, and insulation.


Much like Lego, shipping containers are modular, which means they can be easily customized & combined. By stacking or placing two or more side by side, you can create different shapes and sizes of shipping container cottages or homes, depending on what your goal or need is. You can easily customize them with windows, doors, electricity, heating, and more to ensure that you’ll be comfortable staying there during the winter or other seasons.

The Steps to Plan and Design Your Shipping Container Home

Now that we’ve talked about the benefits of shipping containers and shipping container homes, next, we’ll discuss how to build your own shipping container holiday home or shipping container cottage. For this step, we highly recommend that you consider hiring a professional or company that specializes in container customizations. This will ensure that things are done properly and that your container will last for years to come.

Step 1: Choosing a Location / Creating Your Base Budget

If you already have a property in mind, you can skip this step. However, if not, you’ll want to find a suitable location or property for your shipping container cottage or holiday home. Before you purchase anything be sure to check the local regulations and municipal permits. Additionally, you’ll also need to set a budget for your project, this will allow you to carefully plan for everything you need (modifications, delivery, materials, etc.) so that your container home will have the necessary customizations that you need/want for your dream home.

Step 2: Create Your Plan / Design

Armed with your location and budget, next you’ll want to decide on a design for your container home or container cottage. For this, you’ll need to decide how many shipping containers you want to use (if you’re looking to create a larger home) and then how to arrange them (side by side, stacked, etc.). There are a lot of design plans available online that you can use or build off – or you can take it a step further and make yours from scratch for a truly unique project.

Step 3: Choose To Use Professionals Or DIY

Again, for these types of projects, we highly recommend that you use a professional or company that specializes in container modifications. Alternatively, if you’re confident in your abilities or have extensive experience in the trades, you may be able to accomplish this yourself or with some friends. Even if you choose the DIY route, we do recommend using a licensed professional for electrical and plumbing to ensure that nothing is missed and there’s no chance of any issues in the future (as these can be life-threatening if done improperly.

Step 4: Prepare Your Delivery Site & Container

Next, you will need to prepare your location for the container delivery. To do this you’ll first want to build a solid foundation to place the container on. Be sure that the foundation is levelled as well. Once the foundation is complete, you’ll then need to inspect your container to ensure that it’s in good condition and ready for the task at hand. If there are any issues, make sure to resolve them before construction begins.

Step 5: Complete Your Modifications

We’re almost done! For this step, you’ll be completing all the modifications that you budgeted and planned for in the previous steps. This is where your container cottage/holiday home starts to come to life! If you’ve chosen to hire a construction company to help you with this phase, they’ll likely be experience enough to handle the project from here – otherwise, you’ll want to make sure that you plan your modifications out step by step. This will include anything you’ve chosen to add such as insulation, plumbing, electrical, ventilation, heating, windows, doors, and other modifications.

Step 6: Decorating, Finishing, and Furnishing Your Container

Once the modifications are complete, you’re pretty much done. However, you’ll now have one final task furnishing and stocking your container with your things/decorations. You can also take this opportunity to paint and decorate the outside of your container as well (since there shouldn’t be any more construction). If you’ve added electricity to your container, you’ll also want to pick up some appliances to make your stay more comfortable.

Getting Your New Shipping Container Home Ready for The Holidays

Now that your new holiday retreat is complete, you’ll want to add some more festive touches to make your stays during the holidays/winter months more enjoyable and cozier. For this, you may want to add a fireplace or a wood stove. Either of these fixings can help create a warm and cozy atmosphere to relax in during the winter.

If you’re unable to add in the fireplace or stove, you can also look at purchasing an electric fireplace. These often simulate the look of flames to provide the same ambience without any of the risk. They are also available in multiple sizes, depending on your available space, or even as flameless candles.

Next, you should try to add in as much seasonal décor as possible. This can include things such as pinecones, wood pieces, wreaths, mistletoe, or other festive arrangements that can help provide that traditional cottage/rustic feel to your new home.

Lastly, you can also choose to add additional festive decorations, including colourful blankets, bedsheets, rugs, tablecloths, photos, stockings, Christmas trees, and other seasonal decorations. Doing so will help create that holiday atmosphere in your container and ensure you’ll never want to leave – even when the holidays are over!

Looking to Buy a Shipping Container or Sea Can?

At Coast Containers we specialize in the sale and modification of shipping containers and sea cans in Canada. With both new shipping containers for sale and used shipping containers for sale, we have just what you need to build your perfect winter/holiday retreat. Give us a call or send us a message to learn more about our containers and get a quote today!

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