DailyDirt: Living Out Of A Box (Literally)

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

The real estate market hasn't recovered from the financial crisis, and it looks like lots of folks are asking themselves whether or not owning a home is really that important anymore. Cheaper housing options could offer some answers, so here are just a few examples of homes made out of shipping containers. By the way, StumbleUpon can recommend some good Techdirt articles, too.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    ShellMG, Sep 29th, 2011 @ 7:57pm

    Mr. Shipping Container House, meet Mr. Building Inspector, Mr. Zoning Enforcer and Mr. Tax Assessor.

    Bye bye, Mr. Shipping Container!

    (Sorry, we self-built a house and after our experience I couldn't resist.)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 29th, 2011 @ 9:52pm

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    teka, Sep 29th, 2011 @ 9:58pm


    this one is a big annoying problem in most areas, i have heard.

    Run into an ordinance that states that something must be built out of "suitable material"? Now, what is a suitable material?

    Is it, say, a carefully engineered steel structure built to withstand great pressures and stresses in a world-spanning variety of places? Well, its not in Jim-The-Inspecter's little handbook, so.. no.

    This can be fought, but it can quickly run into an uphill battle. A relative spent 3 years 'living' in a trailer in his front yard, his secure, safe (and creatively constructed) home technically uninhabitable.

    iirc the solution turned out to be waiting for the old county inspector to retire and getting a certification a week later.

    As for being the savior of the housing industry.. no, no. The very idea that someone would not sink a few hundred thousand into a mcmansion in the suburbs terrifies the industry. They really want things to go back to the way they used to be. "Used To Be" in this case meaning "incredible untenable levels that defy rational thought"

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. icon
    Jimr (profile), Sep 30th, 2011 @ 7:12am

    I have seen those shipping contain 'homes' at a local trade. Impressive what they do. I saw the ones from 3twenty Solutions. Theirs where not quite as elaborate was the ones in you article, but very functional at a very good cost.

    I would not mind one for a remote cabin by a secluded lake.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Rekrul, Sep 30th, 2011 @ 8:38am

    I'd happily live in one of the larger ones shown in the article, like the ones made from three containers. However, while the containers themselves might be relatively cheap, by the time you get done connecting them together, modifying them, adding all the internal walls and structures, and adding the utilities, the cost will probably be close to that of a small house anyway.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. icon
    Michael Ho (profile), Sep 30th, 2011 @ 2:46pm


    yah, these places seem like they might serve as nice remote vacation homes... So maybe they should sell them like timeshares? :P

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 30th, 2011 @ 4:54pm

    The only problem with containers is the complete lack of any accoustic protection whatsoever and the fact that if you use something that vibrates a lot(e.g. washing machine) every connected unit vibrates too.

    Now that can be fixed but it is not cheap at the moment.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 30th, 2011 @ 5:04pm


    Hmmm...at the moment you may be right, but like the luxury motorhomes one can see how they can improve on that.

    I believe the guy on the steampunk article transforming an old bus into a motorhome spent around $6 thousand dollars to do it all, so on the cheap you could do it to 3 containers for around $20 thousand.

    Q. How much did it cost?

    A. About $2000 for the bus, $750 to have it delivered from about 300 miles away on a flat bed, and I figure I've put about $3500 into the conversion - but some of that was for tools which don't really count. I bought the bus on eBay and I was lucky. A bus like this is usually about four grand.

    Source: http://steampunkworkshop.com/bus1.shtml

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 30th, 2011 @ 5:12pm


    I was also imagining an under carriage that folded and could have some sort of skirt to hide it.

    And with up to 2 fts those containers could have some sort of extending internal parts that would connect with each other like the modern day motorhomes have, or like the space station.

    I see those things I immediately picture space habitats.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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