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admin | Category: Modular Container Homes | 16.03.2015
With US house prices back on the climb and many people being unable to afford rent, it’s no wonder that countless people are now starting to look for a cheaper, more affordable way to build their own home. I think it’s one of the main reasons why the ‘Tiny Home’ movement has continued to grow and is now more popular than ever before. For lots of people, shipping container homes can be a cost effective solution for their housing needs. I’ve no doubt that if you’ve seen much of the news recently you will have already seen Joseph Dupuis’ home.
Joseph is a 29 year old engineer from Canada who researches renewable energy at Algonquin College in Ottawa. He decided to purchase three shipping containers and build a home on his family’s land which is about 35 miles west of Ottawa. Dupuis built the 355 square foot home during the summer of 2012 and in total it took him three months- at times working up to 14 hours per day. He said building his home was “like a giant science experiment so I’m observing and making modifications”. You can see in the photos, Joseph has removed the interior walls of the containers to create one large open plan room. What makes this home so impressive is the fact that it’s completely off-grid, which means it isn’t connected to local utilities such as electric. Solar panels on the containers’ roof provide electricity and there is a wood-powered stove to keep the home warm. It appears he is a container fanatic as he has also made a workshop out of two shipping containers to allow him to build his motorbikes.
In addition to the roof, Larry welded the floors together and also the doors of the containers to prevent any wind blowing through them. Foam insulation was then sprayed on the outside of the containers and also in the air pocket between the two containers. You can see inside the containers there is an arch which connects the two containers and creates a living room. The roof of the containers has been fitted with solar panels which provide the home with its electricity. The total cost of Larry’s home was $35,000 USD- this figure includes the cost of purchasing the land. Tin Can Cabin was built back in 2009 and is based in the beautiful countryside of Northern Wisconsin. Steve’s primary concern was security and he said that shipping containers’ large steel doors can be locked to keep his home secure and free from vandals whilst he is away. Unlike the two homes above, Steve opted to build his home using brand new shipping containers.
The containers were insulated internally with spray foam insulation which was sprayed 3inches thick. Similar to Joseph Dupuis’ container home mentioned above, all the internal walls were removed to allow for a single open plan home. For heating Steve installed a wood burning stove which is capable of heating up to 800 square foot. Gabriela Calvo and Marco Peralta wanted to live in the countryside, but they were worried about rising property costs and getting themselves in debt.


With a plot of land in the suburbs of San Jose (Costa Rica) they wanted a home which would provide them with lots of views of the beautiful natural surrounds. They decided to purchase two used 40 foot shipping containers and space them 3 feet apart on top of concrete pier foundations.
You can also see on the photos the home has several large glass windows which provide the Peralta family with stunning views out into the countryside of San Jose. Insulation and heating isn’t as much of a concern in San Jose because their weather rarely goes below 64 Fahrenheit.
If you want to find out more about Containers of Hope, we interviewed them in our: what I wish I knew series (They are number 7). This shipping container home was the first built in Ireland and was completed in Christmas 2014.
The 360 square foot home was coordinated by Carol Tallon from Ceardean Architects as a low cost model of housing which she says “was inevitable after the property market crash in 2008”. This home can sleep up to six people at once, however it’s primarily designed to sleep a family of four people comfortably. As previously mentioned the $60,000 price tag seems expensive, however the home is fitted with solar panels and micro heat recovery units which generates hot water and electricity for the home.
Now perhaps you can start to see why people are turning to shipping containers as an affordable housing solution. I’ve just gotten to youtr website after researching about building a home using containers. I read the first 2 free chapters of your book and if I continue moving towards building a house with containers I will definitely buy your book. It won’t be a walk on the park from the the very begining because I plan to use 40ft containers but they can only be delivered to my site with a crane and using containers to build a house in NZ can be more expensibe than building with wood framing or steel framing as the idea pretty much has just arrived here. I am from Uganda East Africa, i have been searching through how i can build an affordable home debt free and also stop renting possibly this year. I’m interested in creating several units in hopes of building affordable housing for the masses. Your alternative could be to build the homes on the outskirts of these areas, so the land would be cheaper. I am building a resort on the beach in Vanuatu, I am a little worried about the rusting underside of the container villas I wish to build, as Vanuatu has cat 4-5 Cyclones and earth quakes to cat 8 I am extremely interested in using containers my thought is to split a 12 container and opening it up to 5 m internal width and installing a high part dome steel frame roof and after placing color bond roof install thatching to give a tropical look, I will also use unique type cladding external. Back in 2012, he was looking for a way to build his own home without racking up debt in the process.
The shipping containers had previously been used to ship cargo from Asia and were purchased from a port near Toronto for $2,600 USD each. He wanted the home to be self-sufficient yet have all the normal comforts of home associated with it.
Internally rock wool insulation was rolled out in-between battens to provide an additional layer of protection. He chose to use new containers because they are in better condition which makes them easier to work with. The delivery of them from China was free because Steve let the freight company ship goods inside his container (this is commonly referred to as ‘one-trip’ containers).
They decided to build their home out of shipping containers so they could lead a debt free lifestyle that would allow them to spend the majority of their time out in the countryside.


Carol goes on to say that container homes “are new housing solutions available to accommodate different lifestyle choices”. The fact that containers are building blocks and are easily sealable makes them tremendeouly attractive to build durable homes. This is what I would like to do in the future, but need guidance to see my plan go into motion.
Shipping container homes are cheap to build, however my concern with building them in major metropolitan areas is that the land is very expensive there. I have read a lot about ceramic external paint which may help keep out the heat ( I will be cladding external also). Concrete piers were used instead of a full concrete slab due to them being both cheaper and quicker to build. I live in Wellington NZ where unfortunately earthquakes are a constant threat making containers even more attractive. We already have a good well for water, & are working on a septic system that will be acceptable to the county, perhaps a sand-system or bermed-system. There are a good number of projects needed to run a shipping container home in a setting of preparation, construction and.
We are hoping to keep our costs under $50,000 for the house (& perhaps garage from 2 containers). Although generally required for building codes, you may give up a foundation in some areas.Door and window frames cuttingIt seems easy enough, but how to cut through very thick and heavy steel?
They work well because they adhere strongly to metal.These paintings inhibit mildew and rust in the building.
Mixed with chemicals and additives that have been demystified for any insulating value of goods. However, the tank was originally designed for storage, and the roof is not fixed when two or more containers are connected best structure.
This is because the design runoff water from a single container is negated by the additional joint. The water begins to accumulate on the roof and severe corrosion can occur.Within hours, a covered four classic water can be installed with metal straps, welding and clamps.
The benefits are better runoff water harvesting potential additional heat reflection and shadow on the doors and windows Solar rain.Floor coveringShipping containers come with flat ? inch plywood. One thing about it, however, is that hazardous chemicals into the wood is treated with, for example insecticides, fungicides and preservatives. They are easily transferred to anything it touches the ground.For a map of the container carriage house, it is a good idea, either remove and replace the existing soil or cover the soil with an industrial epoxy or polyurethane paint. For a 20-foot container, it will take about 5 sheets of plywood and double that for about 40 feet.



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