Inside 5 Amazing Shipping Container Homes

Inside 5 Amazing Shipping Container Homes

Posted By: May 11, 2017 In Featured

Want to build your own shipping container home? Start Here.

Back in 2015, we first published a collection a shipping container home tours (you can see them here).

Since then people have continued to visit this page to explore those shipping container homes.

To this day in fact, it’s still one of the most popular questions I receive: ‘What’s it like to live in a shipping container home’?

I hope these shipping container home tours give you some insight. I find these ‘virtual’ tours offer a good alternative if you’re unable to visit a container home in person.

Our last video tour article was back in 2015, and there have been a lot of new shipping container homes built since then. So in today’s article we are going to take a tour round some of the very latest shipping container homes…

Portable 20ft Shipping Container Home

The first shipping container home which we are going to tour belongs to Evan, a boat builder from Australia.

What I really like about this particular home is that it maintains its’ external structural integrity which means it’s still portable.

Evan is a boat builder and works all around the world building yachts, the home was designed so that it can be shipped with him whenever he moves location!

No more packing up his suitcase and living on the road- he simply loads the shipping container up with his belongings inside and ships it to his next destination.

Incredibly, out of a 20ft space he has managed to fit a lounge area, kitchen, bathroom and bunk area. The bunk area also includes a sofa which pulls out into a double bed. Evan had a rough design in his head but for the most part he commented that he “made it up as he went along”!

The home is insulated with half inch wooden panels laid over a 1” high density polystyrene panel. And the ceiling is fitted with the same insulation panels used in truck bodies.

To keep the home warm, a 12 volt wall heater has been fitted in the bunk area. The home is powered by solar panels and batteries, but it also has the provision to be connected to the mains or a generator if needed.

Finally, what’s really impressive is the homes modular capabilities. Evan commented that he intends to convert another 20 foot container which will join to this one. They will still be transportable and simply joined together at each destination.

The total cost for this home? A very impressive $18,000 USD.

Brenda Kelly’s 2nd Spectacular Container Home

We first interviewed Brenda Kelly back in 2015 when she had just finished building her 20ft shipping container home.

Since then Brenda has been busy. She has built another container home, this time using both a 40ft and 20ft shipping container.

Unlike her previous smaller home, this home is required to be compliant with local building codes because of its size.

During the interview Brenda mentioned building the original smaller 20ft container home as an experiment and I think she’s onto something here. The original smaller home let her learn the nuances of container home construction on a small scale. This meant when it came to building her larger home she already had lots of experience.

In her new home there are two bedrooms, a large kitchen/dining area and a huge outdoor space/Pergola.

Again, like with Evan’s house mentioned above, there is a lot of multi-purpose furniture in here; such as a desk that turns into a single bed and the couch which turns into a queen sized bed.

Using multi-purpose furniture really helped to create more functional space.

My personal highlight is the use of affordable timber pile foundations in each corner of the shipping container. If you watch the video, you will see that this allows the container to be placed on the side of a steep cliff which gives spectacular views.

This home was built for around $84,000 USD.

Two Story Tiny Shipping Container Home

This particular shipping container home was built by Todd Clayton, who owns Boxed Haus- a company which builds shipping container homes.

This home has a 160 square foot footprint, but due to its upstairs bedroom has 240ft square foot of live-able space.

The home was built using a one trip container, which means the exterior of the home is in great shape.

I think my favorite aspect of this home is the entire upstairs setup. To access the upstairs there is set of pull down stairs which can be retracted when not in use. And off the main upstairs bedroom is a large outside deck area which is built on top of the container’s roof.

Another great feature is the canopy which hangs over the side door. The canopy was made using the steel which was cut out for the door. It is also hinged so it can be dropped down and locked for extra security if you are going away.

The home is finished off nicely with on demand propane water heater, a split heater/air-con system and an inbuilt surround sound system.

The Pod-Tainer

Next in our lineup is the ‘Pod-Tainer’ which was built by Shane Blind in New Zealand.

As you can see from the video the home was built using a 20ft high cube container, but the real magic comes with the pods (pop outs) which are attached to either side of the container.

These pods each add an additional 4ft of width to the home. They are fixed in place, but Shane says with a few more modifications they can be made removable too.

In one popup is a relaxing area which can be used for reading and the other popup is used for the bathroom.

Pop outs are certainly a growing trend in shipping container homes as they offer much more space at very little additional cost.

Again like other tiny homes in this article, Shane has utilized space underneath the bed to allow for more storage.

The home was built as a guest house for his family who often visits from overseas, so the under-bed storage allows for suitcase storage.

He used a shipping container because it gave him a solid useable space to build from.

Shane’s top tip was to make sure you thoroughly insulate the home. He decided to use spray foam insulation as it offered a vapor proof barrier. He also recommended paying real attention to the design phase so you can make mistakes during this phase, rather than making a mistake when you’re actually building.

He said the he hoped the home would inspire younger people to build a similar home and be debt free.

In total the home cost around $20,000 USD to build.

Double Decker Tiny Shipping Container Home

The final container home we are going to take a tour of is this double decker tiny home built by Seth from Nelson Tiny Houses.

The home was built in two stages.

First the base shipping container was placed on the foundation block and converted on-site. Whilst this was happening, the upper deck was being developed off-site.

The top half of the deck was then craned into place on top of the first shipping container. This upper deck increased the floor space from 240 to 480 square foot.

As I’ve previously mentioned, this is one of the great advantages of shipping container home construction. You can actually convert them at another location and then just deliver them finished to your land.

Moving on to the top shipping container, you can see it leads out onto a huge a 400 square foot deck which also has a waterproof 400 square foot outdoor space beneath it.

So in total using just two shipping containers this home provides over 1000 square foot of useable living space.


I hope these homes have provided you with lots of ideas for your own shipping container home.

By watching these videos you can find designs which you like and also, most importantly, learn from other people’s mistakes.

As always I’d recommend trying to actually visit a container home in person before you build. However, if this isn’t possible I’m sure the tours above and also these tours, will help get you started.

I think the key thing to take away from all of the builds is the importance of good planning.

This allows you to experiment and make mistakes on paper; which is far cheaper than making mistakes when you’re actually building!

Let me know in the comments below which tour was your favorite…