How to Make a Container Home Successful on Airbnb

Since launching in 2008, Airbnb has offered millions of home-owners the chance to generate extra income by becoming ‘hosts’ on the platform, offering up their properties to guests for short stays.

You might be surprised to learn that you don’t need to have a brick-and-mortar home to become a host, with Airbnb users increasingly seeking out unique, one-of-a-kind experiences, such as homes made from converted shipping containers. 

Shipping containers are gaining popularity due to the large range of conversion possibilities, and with a bit of work, you can create a stylish and fully functional home that can also be a great investment. 

Here, we teamed up with the team over at Cleveland Containers who put together their top tips on how to turn a shipping container into a coveted Airbnb destination:

1. Look online for inspiration 

You might not be aware of all the amazing things that can be created out of a seemingly humble shipping container, so sites such as Pintrest and YouTube can be a great source of design inspiration.

Netflix’s ‘Tiny House Nation’ has also created a whole new audience for shipping container homes, and offers advice on minimalist design tips on how to best utilize space in a smaller home. 

2. Think about size 

When it comes to shipping containers, there is a lot more variation in size and dimension than you might think. 

Once you’ve decided on the size of your shipping container, you can start thinking about how to best utilize the space to create a beautiful home.

3. Remember planning permission 

Planning permission may be the least exciting part of creating your container home, but it is still vitally important.

If you’re building a container home on land that you already own, you are still likely to need planning permission for the project to go ahead. If you’re unsure about planning permission, make sure to contact your LPA (Local Planning Authority). 

4. Create space

Shipping container homes can be surprisingly spacious, and you can maximise the space by installing smart storage solutions, sticking to a light colour for walls and ceilings, and opting for a shower rather than a bathtub. Many container homes also have an outdoor decking area which is perfect for the warmer months and creates a feeling of added square footage without the cost.

Avoiding clutter is important to make guests feel comfortable in any Airbnb home, so invest in solutions such as under bed storage, pull out drawers and floor to ceiling bookshelves for extra storage and to make sure everything has a place. 

Wherever possible, you should avoid too many dividing walls as they can make a space feel much smaller, and instead opt for curtains or sliding doors which provide privacy, but can be opened when rooms aren’t being used. 

5. Make it picture-perfect 

When the time comes to list your container home on Airbnb, it’s important that it looks as great in pictures as it does in real life- especially when you’ve put in plenty of hard work designing the interiors! Hiring a photographer to capture your container home in the best light possible might seem a little extravagant, but consider it an investment into your business, as beautiful pictures will catch the eye of potential guests. 

When it comes to decorating, you should aim for a minimalist style, with a muted colour palette that is likely to appeal to all of your guests. Simple touches such as plywood floors instantly create a luxurious look, and are easy and relatively cheap to install. 

6. Don’t forget those thoughtful touches 

There are plenty of inexpensive ways that you can make your guests feel at home (and ensure those all-important 5-star reviews!). 

Simple touches such as providing tea and coffee and toiletries for your guests, or providing a list of activities or restaurants in the area is an easy way to go the extra mile for guests. “It’s the thought that counts” after all! 

7. Talk to the experts

It takes time and effort to transform an empty shipping container into a 5-star Airbnb home. Features such as commercial roofing, heating, plumbing and insulation are absolutely essential, and will all require time and investment to install.

When setting out on your renovation journey, you should always consult the experts, especially if you are working on residential plumbing repairs, electrical inspections, roof repair and replacement, hvac installation, etc.

At Cleveland Containers, the team have 15-years of experience with shipping containers, and have helped to transform shipping containers into homes, music studios, and even pop up restaurants!

We hope these tips have helped you on your journey to creating a beautiful container home. To speak to one their experts, and to get a quote for your project in seconds, visit the Cleveland Containers website here.

Riya Sander

Riya is an inspired writer, passionate about traveling, lifestyle and encouraging startups. As a freelancer she understands the importance of productivity at work. She never stopped finding new ways to create her work productivity. Follow her on Twitter @sanderriya