Shipping container home

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by KCThree, Mar 9, 2004.

  1. KCThree

    KCThree Guest

    Any one have experince turning shipping containers into living spaces?
     
  2. snoozy

    snoozy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I lived in one for 7 months while I built our house. I bought a 20 ft-er, had a 4x8 ft skylight put in, and two windows on what would be the south and away from the road side. I should have had them put in a "man-door". Instead I had to lock the end doors at night with a padlock, and then crawl in the side window, and reverse the routine in the am. (Dumb!) Since my land is deep forest, overheating in the sun was not a problem, but cold was. And mold. At that time I had no electricity. (Or phone, or running water.) I rigged up a stainless sink to drain into a bucket (I was going to drill a drainhole in the floor, but never got around to it.) I would haul water from the city when I went in to work, and used a large urn (coffee-type) as a spigot. I had a two-burner Coleman campstove. A composting bucket outhouse up the path. I got a little propane heater, but it wasn't a whole lot of use except for warming up my jeans before I put them on in the mornings (I would watch them steam while I waited for the teakettle to boil...) Jesus, it got cold sometimes! And every so often there would be great efflorescences of mildew and green fuzz on any wood, leather or paper. Even the cat smelled of mildew. If I were to do it again, either I would get an insulated container (they do have them, though they are more expensive) in the first place, or I would surround it with strawbales on the sides and roof and stucco it. Eventually, I did put bales on the top and some on the sides -- it made a big difference and it was a lot quieter when it rained -- in a hard rain it could be absolutely deafening. Oh, cell phones don't work well inside them...

    People would say, my God, you live in a tiny space! A tin can! My mother thought I was going unibomber. But I looked at it as living on 5 acres. None of them had that. Would I do it again? -- you bet! It was one of the best times of my life.
     

  3. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    I have been in one made into a summer cottage at a lake. They put it up on blocks, cut out window openings (and installed alumunim windows) and put in a couple of bubble-type skylights. They built a falsewall inside the back gate with a regular house-type entry/screen door with a window to the side. That way they could leave the steel doors open while they were there, but lock them when they left. Bars on the side windows gave it a bit of a jail-look, but it did keep out predators (human that is).

    Basic layout was a table at the entry where there was the most light, a walk through kitchen on one side and storage on the other and then two bunkbeds at the front end. Quite cozy actually.

    When I was going to college I lived in an 18' trailer for two years and they had more room than I had there.

    Ken S. in WC TN
     
  4. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    My mother lived in a shipping container for a while when she moved back to Australia.
    She had problems with moisture and the like.

    MtnwomanAR lives in one I believe,you might try contacting her over at TH.
     
  5. BCR

    BCR Well-Known Member

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    In Smithsonian Magazine, August 2004 on page 42 is an article of interest about shipping containers as home. Seems an Australian architect named Sean Godsell designed one called "FutureShack" to work as a self-contained home easily transported to areas where refugees might need it.

    "The peaked roof, the iron ramp leading to the front door, and the footings are all tucked inside for storage and transport."

    Though he isn't making them to sell, you might find the photos inspiring.
     
  6. ShipConner

    ShipConner New Member

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    Does anybody have photos of these shipping container homes? I own and run www.shippingcontianernews.com and am currently trying to find actual examples and interview the owners to determine the advantages and disadvantages of their chosen abode.

    I personally think, if done right this could be a wonderful housing solution. I have priced a single container home for under $10,000 and a two container home for $18,000. Anyway if anyone has any insights feel free to post or visit my site.

    Thanks alot!

    Brett
     
  7. e.alleg

    e.alleg Well-Known Member

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    it might be cheaper to buy an old school bus and convert it to a "motorhome" do a goggle search and you'll be amazed what $5000 and some elbow grease can get you in the way of a comfortable home.
     
  8. rickd203

    rickd203 Well-Known Member

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    :cowboy:

    I found an ad for a 40' storage container for $600.00. Is this a typical price for the containers? At that price, it would make a good cabin, shop or barn.

    :)
     
  9. Westwood

    Westwood Well-Known Member

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    We have a friend who lives in a reefer trailer off grid. SUPER insulation, sure easy to heat in the winter. She's thinking of getting another when the land is paid off soon, paralleling them and roofing over. Just a thought. :)
     
  10. Esteban29304

    Esteban29304 Well-Known Member

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    In MY opinion, it sounds like more trouble than it is worth. I would just get a SW mobile home to live in. Already plumbed, wired, heat & A/C system, & insulated. Older ones are given away for moving,at times, & the better,newer ones , { 1985 up] costs a few thousand $$.
     
  11. tallpaul

    tallpaul Well-Known Member

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    Do you have a link to TH and what is it? TIA
     
  12. tallpaul

    tallpaul Well-Known Member

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    I'd grab it for that if it was in decent shape. I have not found one that cheap by a long shot. As far a the reference to a moble home instead. I'd rather ride a big storm out in the converted container for strentgh. The am wondering if the moisture issue could be controlled with vents?
     
  13. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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  14. Randy Rooster

    Randy Rooster Well-Known Member Supporter

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  15. Grandmotherbear

    Grandmotherbear Well-Known Member Supporter

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    check www.metaefficient.com and check the housing archives. They reported a contest for small quick cheap efficient housing and I believe several entries involved shipping containers.
     
  16. snoozy

    snoozy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Nice link, Randy Rooster!
     
  17. donsgal

    donsgal Nohoa Homestead

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  18. Mountaineer

    Mountaineer Well-Known Member

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    They get so hot inside in summer. So hot you can't even enter. You'd need a shade of some sort.
     
  19. ladycat

    ladycat Chicken Mafioso Staff Member

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