How To Build A Shipping Container Home

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How To Build A Shipping Container Home
How To Build A Shipping Container Home – Graphic © off-grid.info. Images: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QA5fh29rhLs


This fantastic series of 9 videos from The Modern Home Project takes us through the build of a “high-end” shipping container home – from start to finish. The overall cost of the build was around $240,000!

Some of these costs are non-negotiable, though, in order to do things by the book: Permits cost over $25,000 and took over 4 months. This includes engineer’s report.
Concrete slab: $6,000 – this was probably elevated because of the stringent California restrictions regarding earthquake safety.

This really is a build that is “done right” and so this is a full tutorial that I think anyone considering a container home should check out – even if you are not spending anything like this on your build! Seeing the work in progress shows you much of what you will need to do if you take on a container home project. He gives a detailed rundown of the various materials chosen and their benefits. Seems like most of what was used came from good ole’ Home Depot!

There is also tons of information in this video that could be useful for anyone doing a home construction or renovation project – container or not! You can see various tradespersons in timelapse and in combination with the commentary this gives much insight. He gives some recommendations on which tasks are more “DIY friendly”

One thing that is interesting is that our intrepid home builder understands well the art of delegation and takes a “hybrid approach” to the work – taking on the tasks that he feels comfortable with but assigning more specialized and highly skilled tasks (such as kitcen countertop installation) to the pros.


Another interesting point is that due to the “long and thin” dimensions of a shipping container, much use is made of low-profile fittings in order to maximize the available width.

“High Cube” shipping containers were used, which are 9’6″ instead of the typical 8’6″ tall – to give that more luxurious feel that high ceilings always provide – in addition to a space for insulation, wiring and a sprinkler system, which is a California code standard. Interestingly also, California has a law that “one trip” containers must be used for housing. This is so that documentation can be provided that ensures that the container has not been used for toxic or radioactive materials – which would become an unknown if the container had had long term use.

Here’s the full set of videos:


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What REALLY Happens When You Bury a Shipping Container? (Hint: It's A Bit Crazy...)

Shipping containers are all the rage - but if you are thinking about buying one, you MUST watch this video first:

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There's a general belief that if you bury a shipping container you can create an awesome root cellar / storm shelter / survival bunker.

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What Really Happens When You Bury a Shipping Container? (Click To Watch Video)