Inside Five Shipping Container Homes

Case Studies


People often ask what it is like to live in a shipping container home. We are biased, but we think living in a shipping container home is amazing!

We decided to show some tours of shipping container homes, so you can get a feel for what shipping container homes are like. If pictures speak a thousand words, then how many words do videos speak?

We have chosen to unveil our favorite 5 shipping container home tour videos in this article. Each includes a small description about the home, why the home was built, and how much the container home cost to build.

Tiny Shipping Container Home

This is certainly one of the most popular shipping container homes we’ve seen to date. Built by Brenda Kelly, this example really shows just how affordable shipping container homes can be. In total, the 106 square foot home was built for $24,000.

It wasn’t the price which first attracted Brenda to container homes. It was their structural integrity. In our interview with Brenda she commented that: “The structural integrity of shipping containers is second to none. Not only are they fire, earthquake and hurricane resistant but they are affordable, and easily transported”.

After she had designed the home, it took Brenda around three months of evening and weekend work to build her home.

The home has been built off grid, meaning that it isn’t connected to city electricity since it generates its own using solar panels.

If you watch the video tour above you will see that Brenda really does have a creative mind. She has installed a mezzanine floor above her bed to create an upstairs lounge area!

If you want to learn more about Brenda and her home, take a look at our interview with her.

The DeWitt and Kasravi Sea Container Home

This Sea Container Home was built by Kam Kasravi and Connie Dewitt.

Check out the video to see a favorite feature of the home: nine skylights installed into the containers roof.

The home was built using four high cube containers which provides more than 1,000 square feet of living space for the family of four.

Initially, they considered buying a traditional prefabricated home, but soon realized that this wasn’t possible as the roads that lead up to their land are too narrow.

They turned to shipping containers instead. These were constructed offsite before having them delivered to their plot of land in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California. Once the containers were delivered they were re-assembled in less than 6 hours to create their new home.

In total, Connie says they saved around $50 per square foot when compared to traditional home building.

However, it wasn’t all smooth sailing. They had difficulties with their contractors because they had to use two separate contractors. One contractor was to modify the external aspects of the containers. The other contractor was to convert the inside of the containers.

This meant two separate construction firms had to work together.

In our interview with the owners, they commented that in hindsight, it would have been best to find one contractor to work the whole project.

If you want to know more about the home, check out our interview with Kam and Connie.

The SurfShack

The SurfShack, is a beach side hut used by Hartman Kable. He built the home as a weekend retreat from his busy city job, to use when he comes down to Seattle to surf.

This home has some great space saving and innovate design ideas. A favorite is the fold down table and bench which, when combined, make the dining area.

We got in touch with Hartman and asked him what he wish he’d known before building his own shipping container home. He said that you need to frame the internal walls of the container to make them flat so you can paint onto an even surface.

Taj Malodge Container House

Affectionately known as the Taj Malodge, this two-container home was built by Larry Wade.

Larry built the entire home himself and he estimates it cost him around $35,000. This figure is for the structure only and doesn’t include the cost of the land.

He used two standard 40-foot containers which provided him with over 600 square feet of living space. He divided this space up into two bedrooms, a living room, bathroom, kitchen/dining area, and a storage pantry.

Larry has created an earth mound around one of the corners of his containers to keep his storage pantry cool during the summer months. Also he has installed solar panels on the roof to provide electricity and hot water.

We contacted Larry to talk to him about his container home. He mentioned that you should make sure to see your containers before you buy them. Larry purchased his containers without seeing them and when they arrived they were in pretty rough shape!

Fortunately, Larry was able to work around the dents and has created a pretty stunning container home. He also recommends purchasing one trip containers instead of used containers if you have the extra budget.

Lego Shipping Apartment

For all of you who are fans of larger shipping containers homes, we have included the Broadmeadow complex, also affectionately known as the Lego apartment home.

Broadmeadow was designed by Christian Salvati, an architect from Marengo Structures.

This huge container complex was built using 27 shipping containers. These were separated into six different apartments. The apartments are now currently rented by students and young professionals in the New Haven area.

Christian mentions that “building with shipping containers can be challenging and the aggravation is still the same as traditional construction, however the costs are reduced”. He also commented that in addition to reduced costs, shipping containers make great building blocks, and in time, he hopes it will become an affordable and quick method of building homes.

Have these tours inspired you to build your own shipping container home now? Let us know in the comments below which home is your favorite!


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