10 Tips for Turning Your Shipping Container Into an Amazing Airbnb
Dec 2021

10 Tips for Turning Your Shipping Container Into an Amazing Airbnb

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There is no doubt that Airbnb gives travelers the chance to stay in accommodations other than your typical hotel. Offering a unique short-term rental is Airbnb’s specialty and potential hosts usually offer a range of listings from standard bedrooms to rent in their homes to 1-to-2 bedroom condominiums units. 

There is a current trend going on that has Airbnb owners investing in turning shipping container homes into unique getaways. The main benefit of turning a shipping container into an Airbnb paradise is that you can get really creative and turn it into a modern hotel, naturistic cabin, or offer a bed and breakfast experience on properties situated in rural areas. 

Compared to renting out a room in your house, transforming a shipping container into your own Airbnb accommodation is a good idea. It can be separate from your own residence, enabling privacy for your guests and not affecting yours. On top of guaranteed privacy, you can decorate it the way you want and be your own interior designer and Airbnb host. 

The interest in shipping container homes is gaining popularity as the cost to buy one isn’t expensive, and you’ll be able to get your return on investment once it starts getting bookings on Airbnb. That’s why the demand for shipping container modifications is on the rise since there are so many interesting things you can do with transforming them into a viable business. 

At Sigma Container Corporation, we have the expertise in helping you bring your shipping container designs to fruition. Let’s take a look at ten tips for turning your shipping container into an amazing Airbnb. 

1. Design your Airbnb

The first step is to imagine what you want your Airbnb shipping container home to look like. Have fun with this part by checking what other Airbnb shipping container accommodations look like.  

Turn it into your very own home away from home or a shipping container hotel. Once you have decided what kind of accommodation it is going to be, here are the following factors you should consider:  

  • How many rooms will it have? 
  • How much space do you need? 
  • Will you need multiple shipping containers?
  • Where will the windows go? 
  • Where will the kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom(s) go? 

Draw a floor plan, and be sure to keep the typical dimensions of shipping containers in mind. Consider logistics too. But let your own imagination guide you. 

2. Speak to an engineer

If your shipping container design requires removing any part of the wall or any load-bearing walls, it’s best to speak to an engineer to get their expert advice on keeping the shipping container in place. By breaking down walls, it could destroy the structure of the container, deeming it unsafe. 

Along with structural questions, here are other factors you should discuss with an engineer:  

  • Partition walls to put in place to separate rooms
  • Location of windows to allow proper ventilation and natural light 
  • Ramps to be in place for wheelchair access 
  • Types of doors to be installed that promote easy access and locking

When speaking to the engineer or design team, it’s important to cover ease of mobility. Since you are planning to rent it for guests, they should be able to pick up and move easily and move freely within the shipping container.  

3. Get the proper permits 

After getting approval from your engineer or design team, you need to apply for the proper permits in the jurisdiction where the shipping container home will be permanently located. 

If the container home you are planning to build will be situated on existing land that you own, you still need to check with the land permits office in Ontario to get permission to proceed with your project. 

4. Prepare the land

Once you get permission from the land permits office, you’ll need to prepare the land where your shipping container home will be placed. You need to clean the area, remove any debris, and ensure you clear a path for when the container will be delivered. If your receptacle will be elevated above the ground, or if you will be purchasing multiple shipping containers, you should consider placing them on steel plates, concrete strips, or slabs. 

5. Cut the openings

Now it’s time to get your hands dirty and cut the openings on the doors, windows, and walls to start turning your shipping container into an Airbnb rental. The process of cutting shipping containers might result in some of the anti-corrosive paint being removed and gaps being exposed. Be prepared to re-treat it after and reseal the holes to protect elements from entering the container. 

6. Purchase the shipping container

When purchasing your shipping container, it will be delivered to your location. You will need to hire a forklift or crane to move it properly. If not, ask your shipping container supplier about a delivery, and they might be able to arrange it for you. When arranging delivery with your supplier, be sure to discuss if your container will be attached to your foundation by hooking it or welding it into its place. 

7. Change the flooring 

Since the manufacturers of shipping containers treat the floors with factory chemicals, you need to consider if you should leave it as is or remove the flooring and replace it with untreated floors. If you decide to keep it, you should add a subfloor on top of it. Plywood flooring is a great option because it protects yourself and future Airbnb guests from getting exposed to such chemicals. 

8. Add insulation

When it comes to the type of insulation, you should use in your shipping container. Spray foam insulation is the quickest way to insulate a container home. Many shipping container homes are insulated with spray foam as it acts as a chemical deterrent. For instance, shipping containers are coated with toxic paints to protect their colour. Using spray foam insulation can trap the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from getting released back into your home. Ask your shipping container company about its modification services if you don’t have time to do your own insulation.  

9. Decorate your shipping container home

Once your shipping container is good to go, add the rooms such as a kitchen, bathroom, and bedrooms. This is the fun part: now it’s time to bring your design ideas to life and decorate! Since shipping container homes come in narrow space, styling it with a minimalist look with a neutral colour palette like off-white or medium gray will highlight the elements of a contemporary home.  

10. List your shipping container on Airbnb

When the decorating is done, now it’s time to show off your hard work designing and decorating the interiors with outstanding pictures. Hiring a professional photographer to capture the best images of your Airbnb getaway is a small investment in your business. But attractive photographs will garner the attention of future Airbnb guests and bookings. 

Shipping container homes getting transformed into Airbnb accommodations is a hot commodity that is a reasonable investment if you’re interested in becoming an Airbnb host. 

To learn more about our shipping container modifications in Ontario, call Sigma Container at 855-340-3342 or toll-free at 1-877-225-7762 or contact us here

Tom Bray is a freelance writer with over five years experience writing for online publications and over ten years in business and sales. He studied journalism and media and has written for various online outlets on multiple topics. His specialty subjects are shipping containers and transport logistics.

Tom’s passion for writing and transport logistics motivates him to provide frequent direct marketing content that can show you how a shipping container can be effectively utilized and modified to each person’s needs.

You can connect with Tom via email at