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  1. #1

    Shipping Container home?

    Has anyone here ever considered building a shipping container home?

    I've researched it before, and the cost to build such a home seems significantly lower than a traditional wooden frame, which could be nice because you could use the savings toward accessible elements and technologies inside the home.

    Thoughts?
    Don't call me Barbie, my name is Jen!

  2. #2
    I have not considered it. But now might be the time if you are serious. There are lots of containers stacked up way high going idle around here.
    I have had periodic paralysis all my life. I lost my ability to walk in 2011 beginning with a spinal block, which was used for a hip fracture caused by periodic paralysis.

  3. #3
    One of the major stumbling blocks I can see is getting building/occupation permits and zoning approval. In addition there are the individual city or town architectural review boards that may think this kind of housing is not appropriate for inclusion in most neighborhoods. I've seen some attractive make overs of containers. Amazing what can be done.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by gjnl View Post
    One of the major stumbling blocks I can see is getting building/occupation permits and zoning approval. In addition there are the individual city or town architectural review boards that may think this kind of housing is not appropriate for inclusion in most neighborhoods. I've seen some attractive make overs of containers. Amazing what can be done.
    There aren't any codes regarding what kind of architectural design a house can be. But if was an issue it's easy to make the house look more conventional!
    Don't call me Barbie, my name is Jen!

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by wheelchairbarbie View Post
    There aren't any codes regarding what kind of architectural design a house can be. But if was an issue it's easy to make the house look more conventional!
    Maybe not in Canada, but in the United States, many city and township design review committees can dictate many features about housing from roof lines to siding material to roofing material to square feet of windows to fencing to, to, to....and more. There are certain communities that "uncoventional" housing designs would not be allowed.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by gjnl View Post
    Maybe not in Canada, but in the United States, many city and township design review committees can dictate many features about housing from roof lines to siding material to roofing material to square feet of windows to fencing to, to, to....and more. There are certain communities that "uncoventional" housing designs would not be allowed.
    I know, I've heard about those towns! I know there was an uproar from people, in the community where I live, about a house with modern architecture, but there wasn't anything the complaining people could do because there are no guidelines on what style of house can be built. It's a beautiful house, imo.
    Don't call me Barbie, my name is Jen!

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by wheelchairbarbie View Post
    I know, I've heard about those towns! I know there was an uproar from people, in the community where I live, about a house with modern architecture, but there wasn't anything the complaining people could do because there are no guidelines on what style of house can be built. It's a beautiful house, imo.
    I totally agree with you, the modern architecture of most container homes is very appealing (to some). That said, I know in my community/town, the design review committee would rip you a new one before container housing would be allowed.

  8. #8
    Why wouldn't you just go the trailer route. If you did build a shipping container home, you would basically be building a trailer w/ no wheels from scratch. Would be cheaper just go grab a existing used double wide.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by t8burst View Post
    Why wouldn't you just go the trailer route. If you did build a shipping container home, you would basically be building a trailer w/ no wheels from scratch. Would be cheaper just go grab a existing used double wide.
    Because I want more space than a double wide, plus I want to design the inside by myself, and cut costs as much as possible.
    Don't call me Barbie, my name is Jen!

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by wheelchairbarbie View Post
    Because I want more space than a double wide, plus I want to design the inside by myself, and cut costs as much as possible.
    I think you misspoke and meant you "need less space than a double wide". I imagine things are more or less the same in Canada as here. A double-wide trailer is around 24 feet wide by however long. A shipping container is 8.5 feet wide by up to 40 feet long.

    I like the idea though. I know I'm not up for the challenge of setting everything up, but it would be awesome to have your own space that you created.

    My current apartment is something like 500 square feet, so not that much bigger than a shipping container, though it is more square. I'd think the one problem (for me at least) with a shipping container would be the narrow width. I've got a pretty skinny chair at less than 24" wide, but to give myself enough room to turn around I would have to eat up about half of the room (it takes me about 4' diameter to turn around... the curses of being 6 feet tall).

    Obviously any shipping container home for a wheelchair user would just be a studio like one bedroom (which is what I prefer anyway). Tiny spaces do give you some cool efficiencies though. In my current studio apartment I can see the TV (which is also my computer screen) from bed, the couch, my kitchen and the washing machine... pretty much anywhere but the bathroom, so there's no need for an extra TV, and the fact that my apartment is so small means I can afford to light it with a half dozen Phillips Hue lights which means I can use voice control on my phone to turn them on and off (at $50 a bulb this would be unrealistic in a 'typical' 2600 square foot american home).

    You should draw up some plans and post them here. Like I said there's no way I would take on a project like this, but I like the idea so much I've even done some little sketches just as a thought exercise.

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