Categories: Tiny House

What I Wish I’d Known Before Building My Shipping Container Home Blog Cover

by containerhomeplans.org

“What’s the one thing you wish you’d known before you built your shipping container home?”

The responses are in and it’s time to learn the most important things you need to know before you build your shipping container home…

Why make the same mistakes twice?

Top 3 Most Important Things You Need to Know:

  1. How to purchase the correct shipping containers (5 votes)
  2. The importance of building regulations and planning: (5 votes)
  3. Finding a contractor with previous experience: (4 votes)

1. PV14 House

Matt Mooney, a principal at Corgan based in Texas, decided for his next home he wanted to use shipping containers. More than 14 containers were used in total to build this goliath 3,700 square foot home.

It has three bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms and an outdoor swimming pool to name but a few of the features!

PV14 Shipping Container House

Wade Griffith

Matt’s Response:

As far as what I wish I would have known…it is very hard to say since I have wanted to build one for almost 25 years…I have been thinking about and studying it for a long time.  We (thankfully) had very few surprises.  If I had to pick something, I would say that the actual process of buying & shipping One-Trip containers from Dolphin Containers in Shanghai was an interesting experience…and navigating the used container market here in the region before we decided to go with One-Trips. Other than that, I enjoyed every minute of the experience of building this thing.

2. Tiny 20 Foot Off-Grid Shipping Container Home

Brenda Kelly from iqcontainerhomes has been dreaming of living in a shipping container home since she was 13, and she has been modelling and creating designs for shipping container homes for as long as she can remember!

Her new home was made from a single 20 foot shipping container and due to its size it doesn’t require any building permission or council consent.

20 Foot Off-Grid Tiny Shipping Container Home

© Hayden Spurdle

Brenda’s Response:

In answer to your question, I thoroughly researched prior to embarking on my first container home so I’m not sure there’s anything I wish I knew that I didn’t. However, this was a non-consented model.

If I was building a larger home that requires council consent and I wish I knew more about the application process for a building permit!

Hope that helps!

3. Nomad Living Guesthouse

The Nomad Living Guesthouse was designed and built in 2013 by Arnold Aarssen from Studio ArTe. It is based in the Algarve region of Portugal and uses only one 40 foot shipping container which provides over 300 square foot of living space.
Nomad Living Guesthouse

© Luis da Cruz

Arnold’s Response:

I wish I knew how to insulate the shipping container, we ended up soldering elements on the walls and then sprayed them with a foam anti-fire insulation.

Also I wanted to know how to keep the sun off the roof; in the end we did this by double ventilating the roof.

Finally how could we utilise passive solar energy for the container. We did this by placing large windows in the container facing south west.

4. Taj Malodge

Larry Wade from seacontainercabin, built his shipping container home back in 2010 and in total the home cost around $35,000 USD to build. Larry used two 40 foot shipping containers to make his new home and it features solar panels on the roof which are used to provide electric and heat water.

Taj Malodge Shipping Container House

Larry’s Response:

Everything about building out a container was new to me and there wasn’t any useful info that I could find, so for me I really can’t think of anything that stands out from the rest. I can say that the one thing that I wished I had not done was buy my containers without seeing them- I took the company’s word that they would be in good shape. They were beat all to heck.

The good thing was that most of the really dinted places would end up being cut out of the containers anyway. And I wished I had known that it doesn’t cost that much more for a One-Trip container and they are like brand new.

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