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Thinking Inside The Box

Whether it’s the mortgage collapse, or our desire to live more simply, we have grown weary of homes made up of thousands upon thousands of square footage, towering great rooms and gilded master bathrooms.


As the cost of housing and building materials continues to increase and values fluctuate many homeowners and architects are redefining what the word “home” means. While some have gone modular, mobile or micro. Others are taking up-cycling to entirely new levels of creativity and sophistication turning to the humble shipping container to push creative boundaries and cutting building costs.

Designers have transformed this rudimentary “room” with metal siding into luxury housing that blows us away. This emerging trend has people building homes, offices, guesthouses, summer getaways and even pools out of lowly shipping container. To begin building a home out of shipping containers, all you need is $2,000. That $2,000 will buy you a shipping container. What you do with that shipping container… well, that’s completely up to you.

Not only are containers cheap, strong and durable, they also allow for interesting design opportunities, drawing the attention of many architects looking to work with a less conventional material. In fact several design firms have even started developing standardized plans for installing and constructing your very own container house.


While the whole concept of designing and building your own home using shipping containers can be a rewarding experience. It’s a good idea to explore different methods of construction to assist costs, echoing the sentiment of many-an-architect.

Either way, the concept has spawned such a dramatic change in the way we look at what we call home. Not only are you recycling a used cargo container and transforming it into your own geometric abode, but you can save a bunch of coin by walking away from the traditional approach to constructing a new home.


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