Why Expats are buying shipping containers in Costa Rica

That’s a good question.

Are they all planning to leave? Do they want to hide inside it? Not exactly!

Many of the arriving expats are deciding to buy/keep their container that is shipped over here from their home country, which is filled with their stuff. Most people who keep their incoming container, or those who quickly buy one here in Costa Rica, realize that they enjoy having a portable storage box for all their stuff.

Many folks have converted their steel box shipping containers into a combination storage “bodega” and laundry room. They’re keeping their washer and dryer inside with their motorcycle and BBQ. Not everyone stores their stuff inside the container; some expats have been quite handy these past few years at converting their shipping container into a tiny home. They say it’s their “get-away” place or a “guest home”, but most wives will tell you that her husband is building it for his mother- in-law, or “suegra”, in Spanish.

Anyhow, these shipping containers sure are useful. A garage for the car is a fun idea until you realize that you have 8 inches of space to get out of your door and that your belly you worked so hard to create is in the way. It’s a tight squeeze getting out of a car inside a shipping container, which is why you would want to cut a side door in the container for the driver.

I personally have built almost everything you can imagine with a shipping container, except a pool.

Roof top decks are great and require a lot less material because the container top is solid steel.

Using a container for a restaurant would be complicated but exciting.

My favorite is the small, simple 20ft container home. They are easy to move around and easy to join with additional containers, if you wish. I have one for my car, one for my laundry room and one for my storage. They can be stacked, which we have done. They can be cut open and merged for more space, which we have done. You can cut out all the metal and replace it with glass, which we have done. Made into a swimming pool, “which I really do not want to do… but people keep asking.” Shipping Container Homes are fun, they are like building blocks, which can be put together and then taken apart. Put on trucks and shipped around.

We are located in San Ramon de Alajuela Costa Rica. The next time you are driving by stop in and walk through some of our model homes and see if it’s your fit, or your mother in law’s.

James Lee

The author, James Lee has lived in San Ramon Costa Rica for 18 years.? He is a Chiropractor and Container Home Builder. He has built over 40 projects in the past 11 years. Located in La Union San Ramon de Alajuela.

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One thought on “Why Expats are buying shipping containers in Costa Rica”

  1. I’ve seen these here in the states and really like how they turn out. The whole tiny house thing is really cool and something I’d like to do one day possibly.

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