Best Shipping Container Tiny Houses

Case Studies


The tiny homes movement has really gathered steam over the last few years. It was only a matter of time before it crossed with the container homes movement. The result of which is now being called “Tiny Shipping Container Homes”.  Tiny Shipping Container Homes offer all the benefits of a larger container home, just in a smaller space.  You’ll probably need to utilize some space saving techniques, but in the end you’ll have a great home at a great price.

Today we’ve decided to put together a list of our top 10 tiny shipping container homes. This top 10 list adds to our growing collection of top 10’s including the Top 10 Shipping Container Offices.

If you want to see other great uses of shipping containers, it’s worth reading 7 Surprising Uses for Shipping Containers.

All Terrain Cabin

An architecture and design company called Bark Design Collective’s built this All Terrain Cabin from one regular 20-foot shipping container. The amazing feature about this shipping container home is that it has a open/close deck big enough for patio furniture. When you close the deck, the home becomes mobile and can easily be moved because of its lightweight and well kept box structure.

All Terrain Cabin is only 480 square feet, but fits four people comfortably and includes a kitchen with a dining area and multiple bathrooms. It is estimated to have cost $38,000. The home is off the grid with solar panels, a generator that runs off of bio diesel fuel, and a rainwater collector.


New Zealand had a demand for cheap homes which could be relocated. A company by the name of Kiwi began to construct homes from shipping containers. These container homes cost around $55,000 USD. They are easily transportable because it only uses one regular 20-foot shipping container. New Zealanders are using these container homes as vacation homes, permanent homes, and mobile homes.

The home fits two adults and two children comfortably and its end doors can be opened up to allow easy access onto the decked area. The home includes bunk beds, a double bed room, dressing room, kitchen, and bathroom. Port-a-Bach are consciously made to be transportable with a noninvasive foundation that may be placed in various types of ground conditions.

Like the All Terrain Cabin mentioned above, this home can also be used off grid.

Source: Gizmag

Tiny Shippping Container Palace

Brenda from IQ Container Homes now has a collection of various container homes including: Coromandel, Tekapo, Waiheke, Hobbit and Great Barrier. Each home is made from Corten steel which is 100% recyclable, and comes with insulation, solar panels, ventilation, and rainwater collectors.

Her famous, Tiny Home Palace, is made using a 20-foot recycled shipping container which provides her with over 120 square feet of living space. It is made for one or two people but is not as family friendly as the previous homes.

The home comes with a fully equipped kitchen, office space, bed, and living room with TV. The genius in the design is that the living room is located above the bed, providing privacy for the sleeping area with a curtain. The living area above the bedroom has a window and comfy couch for entertainment.

If you want to know more about Brenda’s tiny shipping container home, check out our interview with her at My Palace Container Home.

Source: Jetson Green

Nomad Living Guest house

The Nomad guest house was designed by Arnold Aarssen in Portugal using one long 40-foot shipping container. The goal of this container home was to make and provide an economical and mobile home with cheap materials. This home is meant only as a guest house because it does not have a kitchen, but has an open floor plan for the living room and bedroom instead.

The guest house has a beautiful deck with the shade of a tree and screened roof. To make up for the sun and hot climate of Portugal, Aarssen had to build a second roof which provides extra ventilation for his guests. His intention was to make an welcoming and open style guest house, which he succeeded in doing, since the entire front wall is made from sliding glass.

Again, if you want to know more about Arnold’s Nomad guest house read his interview with us here.


Container of Hope

Perhaps the most famous tiny shipping container home is Container of Hope designed by Benjamin Garcia Saxe Architecture. The home was built for the Peralta family in Costa Rica who wanted to live outside of the city with lots of land to enjoy the environment and their horses.

From every angle, the home has spectacular views of the mountain range which surrounds it.

The key consideration for the home was to make it affordable because the Peralta’s didn’t want a mortgage to pay for their home. With this in mind, the home is made using two recycled 40-foot containers making a total of 1,000 square feet of living space. As seen on the photo, the central hallway has an elevated roof to allow for better ventilation. It keeps the container cool in Costa Rica’s tropical climate. In addition, the living room has huge glass windows which have been used to replace the shipping containers’ doors.


Cinco Camp

Cinco Camp is in Texas and uses 5 shipping containers that are separated from each other. The camp is based in western Texas and rented out for weekend retreats.

The owner wanted a home that could be easily removed without leaving a mark, so no foundations were used to build the Cinco Camp.

Texas is hot and dry, so the architect of the camp placed shed metal canopy covers for roofing over each container so the heat could be deflected away from the shipping container home.

Three of the containers are used as rooms with bathrooms, one is used as the kitchen, and the last one is used as storage.

C192 Nomad

The Nomad can comfortably sleep four and is meant to be self-contained with off-grid capabilities. The C192 was built with a bunk bed, double bed, kitchen and living area. The kitchen is fully equipped and there is a deck area for enjoyment.

The C192 is a prototype and can be purchased. When purchased, you get a 20-foot shipping container with soy-based insulation, aluminum clad doors and windows, bamboo finished floor, IKEA fixtures, appliances, a 30-gallon electric water heater, and factory plans with state permits and inspections.


Surf Shack

The Surf Shack was built by Hartman Kable. He wanted to have a place where he could stay while on retreats on the Washington Coast when it gets too cold to go camping. This home is more basic with not much being done to the outside of the shipping container. Most of the modifications are inside of the shipping container home with a kitchen, couch, bedroom, and table. Glass doors and windows have been added to allow sunlight and ventilation into the Surf Shack.

If you want to know more about the Surf Shack, see our interview with Hartman here.


Nederland Colorado Springs Container Home

Andrew McMullin built this home and it took him 18 months to build. He says the idea came to him when he saw a train of container homes in Wyoming. The home is built using two high cube containers with 9-foot ceilings, which provides a total of 1,650 square feet.

With the weather conditions of Colorado, making a home of recycled shipping containers was not as economical as it would be in other areas. McMullin had to spend a fair amount of money in insulating the containers and anchoring them down.

The home has two bedrooms and two bathrooms with a kitchen and open plan living space. His home is Eco friendly with solar panels, a wood stove, and concrete floors which trap heat to radiate into the home when it is cold outside.


WFH House

WFH House was built in Wuxi, China. It is 1,900 square feet with a slanted roof and living garden on top. The slant of the roof allows for the water to trickle down and be harvested.

The home has four bedrooms and a fully equipped kitchen. The living space is ideally placed in the middle of the home, below the slanted roof, making it a cool place and perfect for entertainment.


Which of these 10 tiny shipping container homes was your favorite? Tell us in the comments area below.