Shipping container homes:  
Need a solid home that won't blow over?

Shipping Container Homes and House plans
Graphic by Construible

Solid, resilient shipping container homes are really taking off as recycled small and tiny houses.

We've all seen them around - sometimes those lumbering 20ft or 40ft giants sit for years and years at the premises of a business or on private property. Up until the last few years, storage containers have mostly been storage for things, not so much for people.

However, necessity is the mother of all new ideas and our current global economic situation is no exception.  The lean times always spawn unique perspectives on budgeting and living more frugally.
The recession of 2008 brought along with it the beginning of the small and tiny house revolution and with that, shipping container house plans.

And what a revolution it is!

Shipping Container Shelters/Homes: Unit styleWhy a shipping container home?

Container houses are one of many choices for living in small spaces.

Yes, they're a bit unusual for a house however more and more people are catching on to the benefits and multi-faceted uses for shipping container housing.

So, what makes a shipping container a great option for a dwelling?

  • Cheap and available - 20ft and 40ft containers are found in every country and, compared to regular building materials, are inexpensive.  They're also plentiful the world over. 
  • Sturdy and long-lasting - Given that they voyage the seas on top of a ship in the open air for much of their lives and are always stored outside, containers are built for longevity.   Ever tried putting a dent in the side of one of those things?
  • Flexible + Deconstructible - you can remove one or many of a container's walls, floor or ceiling and replace them with other materials for a unique little small house or join them together with another container (or many) for a larger space. 
  • Green Roof - With the flat solid nature of a container home's roof and no possiblility of leakage into your living area, I've seen a lot of these container houses with a 'green' roof on top. Vege gardens, small lawns with flowers or even a putting green for avid golfers. You can be sure your mates won't have one of those at (or on) their house!  Alternatively, you could place your solar panels on the roof.
  • If you have a container, you have a roof over your head - Need a place to stay and short on cash?  Just add one container and a bit of DIY nouse and you have ... a house!  It's likely this rudimentary living might be only a short term solution but if you're dedicated to saving money, living frugally and improving your storage container housing for cash, you may just be on to some small, inexpensive living.  

Simple shipping container housesArchitecturally designed and inexpensive container home Custom made container homes

Storage container housing plans to suit you and your budget

While looking at container homes for the purpose of reducing your mortgage, there are a few choices to make about the style you desire:

  • DIY, small and inexpensive container homes are usually put together with a pre-purchased plan - DIY style.  The majority of us may not have experience on the tools but maintaining overall control of the process will help you stay on top of the cost of building your own house.

    That's where architecturally designed container home plans come in handy.  Using plans already designed to be as easy to follow as Ikea flat-pack furniture instructions, do-it-yourself owner builders are in a great position to build their own storage container house.

    These are the ultimate in mortgage-savings to be had for a handy home owner.  Take Lulu, the owner of the container home in the video below ...

    While exploring container houses further myself (these are one of my absolute favourites) I've sourced quite a few smaller, specialised companies who supply both Do-It-Yourself Plans as well as pre-built, delivered-to-site Container homes worldwide.

    Personally, I would only purchase a container house from a specialised supplier who has quite a bit of shipping container house building experience behind them.  This way you have the knowledge that they've already worked out any kinks or anomalies that may occur with this kind of house design before you lay down your money.

  • Architecturally designed and pre-built container housing would suit a large portion of frugally-minded people.  These have just a little more pizazz than the latter as you'll have a company who do this for a living taking charge of all the details from plans to construction to delivery to site.

    Existing plans are used to build your container house in the safety of the supplier's warehouse and, when it's finished, it's delivered all ready to go to your chosen house site.  Traditionally, building a house on site is subject to a lot of different elements and aspects such as bad weather can cause your building time to stretch out.

    Pre-built storage container houses are built inside a warehouse, safe from the elements, which gives you the advantage of a fairly solid idea of what day you'll be able to starting living in your new home.

    We're starting to see more and more all-inclusive,  delivered-to-site options here.  Some even include a full house of furniture!

  • Custom-made to your design shipping container homes often look nothing like the original product by the time they're complete and may be more expensive in the long run.

SmallisSmart Shipping Container HomesSmall is Smart House - Kitchen

SmallisSmart House - Kitchen
Images: SmallisSmart Homes

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