The CanDwell Process



We’ve streamlined the CanDwell process so that your entire shipping container project—from conception to completion—will take approximately half the normal time it would take a traditional builder. This is achieved through the process outlined below:


Get in touch with one of our experts to discuss what and where you’re looking to build. They’ll help you scope out your project, estimate the price, and determine how you should prepare your land. 


Once a building design has been created and approved, we’ll start prefabricating the pieces at our manufacturing facility. By using either standard-size (40’x8’ which encloses 320 sq ft) or half-size shipping containers (20’x8’ which encloses 160 sq ft), we join the material side-by-side and/or cut side walls for an open concept living space. Sea-cans also stack vertically to build structures of 2, 3, 4, or more storeys tall.

FOundation preparation

While the shipping containers are being modified at our facility, the foundation must be prepared to exact specifications on site. There are two foundation options: poured concrete, and screw piles.  Poured concrete will allow your dwelling to have a basement, increasing the size of your space. This comes at a higher cost, and is also weather dependent. On the other hand, screw piles are less expensive and can be prepared any time of the year. However, they do not allow for your building to have an underground component.


Our sea-cans are prefabricated to be easily transported via flat bed trucks and railway. Once they reach your lot, cranes are used to place the pieces on the foundation to which they’ll be fastened. 

Building Completion

On-site work takes 2-4 weeks to complete for single container dwellings, and 4-8 weeks to complete for multiple container dwellings. This includes time for completing the finishes, hooking up utilities, basic landscaping, obtaining permits, and passing inspections.

CanDwell is working towards obtaining CSA A277 certification, which will bypass the need for extensive local inspections on site and further compress the completion timeline.