Cost Guide to Buying and Selling Used Portable Buildings

used portable buildings

Anyone working in construction knows that having a proper office space is vital to the success of a project. From small week-long jobs to longer jobs lasting several months, having a place to lay out plans, hold meetings, take calls, and adapt to changing client demands is crucial.

However, getting into the market for used portable buildings or a mobile construction trailer can be a challenge. Here’s everything you need to know about buying and selling portable offices.


Different Types of Portable Buildings

Portable buildings are used for a wide variety of reasons and come in various styles with plenty of amenities. Working out the type of building you need is the first step in deciding how much you want to pay and whether or not you are better off renting.

Reasons you may require a portable building include:

  • Office space
  • Meeting rooms
  • Medical treatment room
  • Health and Safety requirements
  • Overflow storage
  • Guard Shack
  • Toilets/changing rooms

When looking to buy or rent a portable building, the function and your planned usage will dictate the style of building, size, and the amenities you need.

For example, if you need a secure building to secure important data, you may not need to pay extra for plumbing, air conditioning, windows, and a deck. However, these things may be vital for an on-site medical facility.

Buying a Portable Building

Buying a portable building to use a construction trailer or office can be an excellent investment for small to medium-sized construction companies. However, they can be expensive and often come with additional features and add-ons that drive the price up further.

Depending on the function of the building, costs will vary considerably, with older used models costing around $3,000. Brand new models with all the luxuries can cost well over $30,000.

A simple storage building with security locks will set you back around $1,000 but shouldn’t cost over $3,000 unless you require additional features.

Larger buildings designed to be used by people daily, either for medical reasons or as an office, must have doors and windows and will cost more. You can expect to pay over $3,500 for a used construction trailer.

More expensive models with plumbing, heating, and/or air conditioning and electrical outlets will start from $6,000 and go up depending on the size and condition of the trailer. You can expect to pay around $12,000 for a small size new trailer. More extensive models cost upwards of $15,000.

What To Look for When Buying a Used Trailer

If you want to save some money and buy a used portable building, you still need to be sure you are getting a building that will suit your purpose. Used portable offices and moveable buildings can be excellent value for money, but occasionally you might find some that are not fit for purpose.

When buying a used trailer, check the roof for leaks and damage. Check for dampness inside and under the floor and on ceiling tiles. You should also look to see if the roof is dropping and dipping in the middle.

You will also want to check that the walls are still well-supported and that the windows and doors lock securely.

For buildings with plumbing and electricity, it’s preferable to see everything working; flush toilets, run taps, turn on lights, and plug items into outlets. Turn the heating or air-con on to be sure it works.

If you are unsure, you can call an expert to come and check the building with you.

If you have doubts, you may be able to negotiate the price. Often, used trailers being sold by individuals can be bought for cheaper than the advertised price. A company selling a used trailer will likely have a professional evaluation of its value and will not negotiate.

Renting Used Portable Buildings

If you aren’t ready to commit to buying a trailer or only need one temporarily, you can rent a moveable office.

Monthly rental costs will vary greatly depending on the size of the trailer and the available features. You should be prepared to pay between £100-$900 a month for a decent-sized trailer in good condition.

Here’s a more detailed look at monthly renting prices for approximate trailer size:

  • Small Trailer (8ft x 20ft): $100-$300
  • Medium Trailer (10ft x 40ft): $300-$600
  • Large Trailer (12ft x 60ft): $600-$900
  • Extra Large Trailer (30ft x 75ft): $900+

Renting a trailer can be helpful for remote worksites or short-term jobs. Some companies are also portable building movers and will install and remove the trailer, saving you moving costs and hassle.

However, it’s worth checking if this service is included as you may be expected to pay up to $1,000 extra for installation and utility hookup. Removal costs can also be over $500.

Selling a Portable Building

If you want to upgrade your portable building by selling your existing one, you may be able to sell the building in exchange for money off a newer model.

Some companies offer exchange programs. They may want to renovate, upgrade or use your building for scrap and will give you a discount on new models.

Alternatively, you can sell independently. Before setting the price, here are some things to consider:

Used buildings, even those with minor damage, will be sold at a lower cost than newer models. If your building doesn’t have up-to-date health and safety for the electrics and has noticeable damage, you will need to reduce the price further and be prepared to negotiate.

Get an Afford Portable Building Today

No matter why you need a portable building, there is something out there to suit your needs. From used portable buildings to brand new movable office spaces, we can help you find your ideal model.

At Mobile Office Deals, we work to source the best portable buildings to make every construction job as easy as possible. We find the best quotes and deals for buying, selling, and renting moveable buildings and construction trailers.

Get in touch today for a quote.