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    • I've been living on the road since 2011 and I know someday it will end, so looking forward, I have been thinking about a mix of half the year maybe still on my bike and the other in a secure tiny home or possibly building a container home.

      I have the opportunity to buy around 6 acres of land in a nice rural setting that has minimal building code issues and thinking a container home might be the way to go.

      My thoughts are that it would be easier to secure while i'm away, cheaper to build than a conventional home and I get to be the designer.

      Is there anyone who has taken the plunge and built there own container home or had one built for them?

      What would you consider the positives or downfalls? And is it a cheaper way to go than doing a stick built?

      ***screenshot photo for interest, and a design I kind of like

    • I love the idea and think it would be quite awesome if you could pull it off reasonably! Getting to pick a great location you like to wake up to, every day, and build the home exactly as you want it. With all the natural phenomena such as tornadoes, etc, I'd think a well put together container home would be more resilient for sure vs. our traditional built wooden matchboxes.

      I recall seeing companies that actually do help spec, build and deliver them, maybe that was in Europe... can't remember it for sure.

      Interesting to research how much would it's cost would be vs. a traditional home, I guess things start adding up. Being off the grid may pose other challenges, such as not having power, or no road there, during the building stages.

      My other considerations would be safety of property while I am away extended time, again that depends and am sure can be mitigated.

    • the little bit of research i did showed the costs are 10-50% less depending on location and how much you can do yourself.

      I like the security aspect if you keep the doors the place can be closed uptight. The area i am offered land is in Louisiana miles down a dirt road but utilitiesare in places so that is a plus, it gets great sunsets in that area so like you say it would be good to place your 'building' exctly to make the most of your property.

      Also for that area the possibility of hurricanes is real so as its a very strong structure intially that is good.

      I actually own a container already and bought a single use one and they cost on ly a few hundred more than a multi use one, main key to getting them for home use is buying the taller 9'6" versions to reduce claustropbic feeling of low ceilings

    • I know I can spend all day once I get started on something like this.. so I am not going to! But it's now in the back of my mind whether I want or not... ;-)

      But just from doing a search and following some of the results - seems Amazon sells them too (how did i NOT think of it, after all it's their business model ?!)

      Between this, thinking about perhaps a mobile home for "retirement", and how much and where I'd want to travel in the future it's sure to keep me preoccupied.

    • Crazy! I've seen some gorgeous photos that make container homes seem like the ultimate in design. I'm like Dracula and get sucked into this stuff so naturally I had to watch this, sped up some to aid the monotone narrator. Pretty informative.

    • My wife and I built on a mountainside, and we seriously considered containers for at least part of the plan. So much so that I have the book "Intermodal Shipping Container Small Steel Buildings" on my shelf; and you'd probably want a copy if you get close to serious design. However, much of the security of a container arises from the strong side panels. If you start cutting holes, some thing is lost and not easily replaced - at least not where we live. And no matter what you do, it will still look like a shipping container (which maybe the industrial look fits your location, or maybe you don't care; but some will find it unattractive). We thought the ideal use of a container would be for in-ground construction; so what if there are no windows?! But the side panels of the container are for supporting a stack above, not so much a side load of earth. So you have to protect the sides from earth loads if you bury. Anyway, we decided to take another route. But it was a close thing.

    • for me I would do it as a multi year project, land, concrete pad and buying and placing containers in fixed position over a two year or so.

      Then after that do a build out over the next year or two, not having a home or needing onein a hurry is a great help I think and it would allow me to disperse the costs as i see fit.

      As the containers are weather proof unless they are cut into as @CadeJohnson mentioned then they are stable.

      I know a lot of people in the mass metal working industries and building contractors, plus having been a metal worker in the past there is a number of jobs i could do to keep costs down.

      It's funny you found that video, why they feel the need to use monotonus voices or computer generated voices is beyond me, but it does make me doubt a lot of the information is just copy and paste and not researched.

    • Things I would worry about.

      1/ Foundation.
      Straight line winds, tornadoes and hurricanes blow away structures which don't have a secure foundation. Mobile homes, for example, are not good places to be when the weather's violent.

      2/ Insulation.
      Thin metal won't keep the heat and cold in, nor out.

      3/ Noise.
      That metal creates an echo chamber.

      4/ Windows, plumbing.
      How much will it add to the cost, to custom build your container into a living space with normal features?

      These are just thoughts which crossed my mind when I read your post.

    • This is a little off topice but it will make sense in answer to your question #1

      when i worked in Louisiana at a CNC facility we received a new machine, one of the best multi axis CNC machines money can buy. Before they will deliver they send you a floor plan and very precise instructions.

      The base of the machine need to be placed on a solid specific formed concrete base and secure so as not to move at all, tolerence was 2 mm, the machine is as big as a shipping container

      We built the foundation, placed the machine, secured it and contacted the manufacturer for further instructions.

      "is the mahine 100% secure?"


      "good it cannot ever move, AT ALL otherwise we will shut it down remotely!"

      The reason for all this drama is the machine works at such tight tolenences it is capapble of making parts for a necular weapon.

      The machine shop is in the hurricane belt for sure, a few have gone thru since I worked there and it was never shut down so securing it, yep got that

      #2, very easy spray foam insulation

      #3 see #2

      #4 same as a normal house, everything runs under the false floor or in the walls

    • I've always liked container houses. I looked into it briefly a year or so ago. The only thing I can add is that I heard it can be a bit more difficult to secure a loan to build a house yourself out of nontraditional materials. If you don't need a mortgage then obviously that's not an issue. But otherwise it might be something to look into before getting too far into the process.

    • some ports receive more goods in containers than they dispatch. Moving empty containers by ship is unprofitable if the containers have any damage or are aged; but harbor storage yard space is scarce and expensive. The empties accumulate and prices drop - sometimes quite low.

    • i would self fund, nd to me the nice thing is i wouldn't need it to be built ASAP, i could do it over a few years. As the containter is weather tight, they could be positioned on a pad, and left until the next amount of funds is requied and gained.

      I actually had a friend look into funding, and he was told no, then he went a different direction and two years later the bank actually called him and offered a loan (too late) they said they had changed their way of thinking!

    • Hey Paul, look what I stumbled upon..

      I think it's just amazing, and the ideas quite inspiring a variety for everyone to choose from... what do you think? I am now sa drawn to this idea that am almost considering buying some land and plan something similar. Personally I think one of the major advantages would be that once built, it would be a much, much stronger durable and maintenance free than any conventional average wood & sheetrock home. Not having to worry about termites, etc, etc. Heck, they could probably be even fireproofed...

    • Just make sure before you buy that land there's no building restrictions, some areas it can be tough, you see steel barns and think they are considered similar, but sometimes they aren't.

      In the article i like the sloped roof, container cost is cheap x3, but stuctural work would be very expensive, I actually looked into this one and the costs were prohibitive because of that.

      So i looked around and the lead photo is now what i would lookd to go with, 4 containers 2x2 stacked and offset, balcony at the back, at a later date easily add a few more to make it a 'T' shape and have a garage/ workshop and additional bedrooms and potentially a large roof terrace. Just need to make sure the concrete slab is all poured at the same time for the future.

      The other thing i considered and you could too if its in a good area, have individual containers to rent out on Airbnb to generate residual income, $2600 for a container, slowly make it a casita, if it seems to work add another etc...if it doesn't sell it as a small home, new owner can pick it up and take it away

    • Someone shared this video, and while not container related per se, to me the idea of printing a home seems fantastic! I'd order one, of course with a garage..

    • That is such a good simple idea, but like someone said in the comments, why build in El Salvador for $4000 per home!

      Why not build in the US for 2-10 times the price and use the profits to build in poor countries for free?

      $4000 in savings in El Salvador is like lottery winnings.

    • very doable, i already have one 20 footer, $2500 for a single use, so another $5000 for the basic structure.

      Then according to them it worked out at $105,000 USD total cost, so for me another $100,000, i think i could call in a few favors to come in under budget

      Thanks for sharing