Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Shipping Containers - Tiny Home Option

Two 20 feet shipping containers
I am still trying to decide the best option for housing on my land. I've looked at modulars, RV's, log cabins and more. Today, I went to look at shipping containers.  The idea of using shipping containers as homes is hard to imagine for some people. But I've seen plenty of examples of beautiful living spaces that began as a shipping container.

Baltimore - An Endless Supply of Shipping Containers

A good thing about living just barely outside of Baltimore City is that it is a port city. And shipping containers come in an endless supply.  Not long ago, my daily commute included driving past a shipping container and temporary office company.  So today, I stopped by there.  What I had in mind was checking out the price of one of those "mobile office" boxes.  I was thinking that if I choose to tear down The Shack and replace it with something that takes a bit to build, I'd have shelter in one of these little offices (imagine a small guard shack - the small offices are similar to those).  One of those small mobile offices should be easy to haul on to and off of my property.  Or I could use it for a shed when I'm finished living in it. Right? 

But that thinking was derailed as soon as I walked into the Wilmot Modular Structures office and met Lori.  

Lori was thrilled to talk to someone who didn't think using a shipping container as housing was odd.  In fact, she'd love to have her own shipping container home.  But that's her story and she should tell you her story. Back to mine.  I told her that I had considered shipping containers for a home, but I was too inexperienced to cut the windows and doors, and such.

"We do that for you" she said. And she happily showed me a shipping container that was being worked on and the plans she has worked up for several other shipping container abodes. 

I apologize to you that my only photograph of my adventure today was of a pair of the "many trip" containers.  I wanted a reminder about size.  Which reminds me - Lori talked to me about making sure to purchase a "one trip" container. That is a container that has only been shipped to the states once. They are in almost new condition, as I could easily see. I just wish I had taken photos of some of the one trippers. 

My Piece of Land and Situation

We chatted about several of my concerns about my lot... the drive up to my lot is a major concern. The road is nicely maintained, but it is a gravel road with switchbacks.  Long loads may not make it past the curves. Also, my lot is steeply sloped.  A fork lift or crane may be hard to get down to my spot.  

But the great news is that I could stack two or three shipping containers on top of each other. And doing that would most certainly get me high enough to see over the top of my lot... giving me a 360 degree, long range view.  Ah, heaven. I could place a smaller container on top of a larger container, and have a second story patio.  I could do so many things with this.

Small Homes and Big Decisions

I have so many decisions to make. And I think I'm still leaning strongly toward the log cabin on wheels.  But the containers are exceedingly tempting. Especially when you read what others have to say about their shipping container homes.

If you are at all interested in shipping containers for living space there are several awesome video tours to see, but this video is a must see:

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  1. Oh Dawn Rae, I so hope that you will make your decision soon. I'm dying to see what you are up to....with lots of pictures of course.

  2. I've seen (on TV) some very nice-looking tiny houses from shipping containers, but I don't recall the details and, specifically, I didn't know you could stack them. It would be awesome to do that so you could have a "crow's nest" with a 360 degree view! Love all the possibilities you've been exploring!

  3. What a very creative idea! I really would be a great vacation "cabin" for a lot of the hunters and campers in our state. I loved the video! It really makes you start thinking about all kinds of neat things and ways to use shipping containers converted to a small home or office. What a very talented man!!!

  4. I have seen a lot of photos of shipping container houses and some of them are awesome! Good luck figuring it out!

  5. I live in a Port City area and have often seen container ships come into the Savannah River from the Atlantic Ocean at Tybee Island, Georgia heading for Savannah and loading/unloading. I never once thought these containers could be used for anything other than 'shipping'. Who knew? This is fascinating (and educational)!

  6. I've only seen small homes on television programs but I have seen some truly interesting ones. Good luck with your decision!

  7. I think shipping containers are a unique and creative idea. You can stack them and I have seen some amazing homes been made like this. You get box rooms which are easy to furnish and they are different. The only thing I don't like is they aren't appealing on the outside. This is something to consider. Have fun and good luck in making your choice!

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