Inside Five MORE Shipping Container Homes

Case Studies

Inside 5 Amazing Shipping Container Homes

Some time ago, we published a collection of shipping container home tours. This page remains as one of the most popular for those of you wanting to explore shipping container homes.  People thinking about beginning the journey frequently ask, “What is it really like to live in a shipping container home?”

These shipping container home tours will help answer that question.  The virtual tours are especially beneficial to those of you who are unable to visit a container home in person.

In today’s article, we are going to take a tour of some additional shipping container homes.

Portable 20-foot Shipping Container Home

The first shipping container home which we are going to tour is owned by Evan, a boat builder from Australia.

What is interesting about this particular home is that it maintains its external structural integrity, which means that it is still portable.

Evan is a boat builder and works all around the world building yachts.  The home was designed so that it can be shipped with him whenever he moves to a new location.  He simply loads the shipping container up with his belongings inside and ships it to his next destination.

Incredibly, out of a 20-foot space, he has managed to fit a lounge area, kitchen, bathroom, and bunk area.  The bunk area also includes a sofa which pulls out into a double bed.  Evan had a rough design in his head but he commented that for the most part, I made it up as I went along”.  

The home is insulated with half inch wooden panels laid over a 1” high-density polystyrene panel.  The ceiling has the same insulation panels used in truck bodies.

To keep the home warm, a 12-volt wall heater has been installed in the bunk area.  The home is powered by solar panels and batteries, but it also can be connected to electric power or a generator if needed.

Finally, what’s really impressive is the homes’ modular capabilities.  Evan commented that he intends to convert another 20 foot container which will join to this one.  They will still be transportable and simply joined together at each destination.

The total cost for this home?  A very impressive $18,000.

Brenda Kelly’s Second Spectacular Container Home

We previously interviewed Brenda Kelly when she had just finished building her 20-foot shipping container home.  Read more about Brenda’s first fantastic container home.

Since then Brenda has been busy.  She has built another container home.  This time she used both a 40-foot and a 20-foot shipping container.

Unlike her previous smaller home, this home was required to be compliant with local building codes because of its size.

During the interview, Brenda mentioned building the original smaller 20-foot container home as an experiment.  The original smaller home let her learn the nuances of container home construction on a small scale.   So, when it came to building her larger home, she already had lots of experience.

In her new home there are two bedrooms, a large kitchen/dining area and a huge outdoor space with a pergola.

Like with Evan’s house mentioned above, Brenda uses a lot of multi-purpose furniture.  Some great additions are a desk that turns into a single bed and the couch which turns into a queen sized bed.  Using multi-purpose furniture really helped to create more functional space.

A highlight of the home is the use of affordable timber pile foundations in each corner of the shipping container.  If you watch the video, you will see that this allows the container to be placed on the side of a steep cliff which gives spectacular views.

This home was built for around $84,000.

Tiny Two-Story Shipping Container Home

This shipping container home was built by Todd Clayton.  Todd owns Boxed Haus, a company that builds shipping container homes.

This home has a 160 square foot surface area, but, including its upstairs bedroom, it has a total of 240 square feet of livable space.

Since this home was built using a one-trip container, the exterior of the home is in great shape.

A highlight of this home is the entire upstairs setup.  To access the upstairs, there is a set of pull-down stairs which can be retracted when not in use.  Off of the main upstairs bedroom is a large outside deck area which is built on top of the container’s roof.

An interesting feature is the canopy which hangs over the side door.  The canopy was made using the steel which was cut out for the door.  It is also hinged so it can be dropped down and locked for extra security.

The home is finished off nicely with an on-demand propane water heater, a split heater/air-conditioning system and a surround sound system.

The Pod-Tainer

Next in our lineup is the ‘Pod-Tainer’ which was built by Shane Blind in New Zealand.

As you can see from the video the home was built using a 20-foot high cube container.  The real striking characteristic of this home, though, is the pods (pop-outs) which are attached to either side of the container.

These pods each add an additional four feet of width to the home.  They are fixed in place, but Shane says with a few more modifications they can be made movable.

In one pop-out is a relaxing area which can be used for reading and the other pop-out is used for the bathroom.

Pop-outs are certainly a growing trend in shipping container homes as they offer much more space at very little additional cost.

Shane has also wisely utilized space underneath the bed to allow for more storage.  Since this home was built as a guest house for his family who often visits from overseas, the under-bed storage allows for suitcase storage.

Shane’s top tip was to make sure you thoroughly insulate the home.  He decided to use spray foam insulation as it offered a vapor-proof barrier.  He also recommended paying real attention to the design phase so you can make mistakes during this phase, rather than making a mistake when you’re actually building.

Shane hopes the home will inspire younger people to build a similar home and to be debt-free.

In total, the home cost around $20,000 to build.

Tiny Double-Decker Home

The final home we are going to take a tour of is this tiny double-decker home built by Seth from Nelson Tiny Houses. It’s technically not a container house at all, as it’s build with wood, but it has many shared design themes with a container house so we thought we should include it.  It certainly does look like a container home!

Much of the home was fabricated offsite. One of the advantages of constructing with shipping containers is having options on where to convert vour shipping container home.  In certain situations, having the ability to actually convert it at one location and then deliver the finished product to the land would be a huge benefit.

The upper level of the home opens out onto a huge 400 square foot deck.  The deck also has a waterproof 400 square foot outdoor space beneath it.

So, in total, this home provides over 1,000 square feet of usable living space.


We hope these homes have provided you with lots of ideas for your own shipping container building.

By watching these videos you can find designs that you like and also, most importantly, learn from other people’s mistakes.

We recommend trying to actually visit a container home in person before you build.  However, if this isn’t possible, the profiles above and these additional case-studies will help get you started.

The key point to remember from all of this information is the importance of good planning.  This allows you to experiment and make mistakes on paper, which is far cheaper than making mistakes when you’re actually building!

In the comments area below, let us know which container home was your favorite.