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Free Kindle eBook, Shipping Container Homes: Learn How To Build Your Own Shipping Container House & Live Your Dream @ Amazon US

Here is what it says you will learn..

What Are Shipping Container Homes?
The Benefits of Shipping Container Homes
What to Consider Before Purchasing a Shipping Container
Choosing the Right Shipping Container
Are Shipping Container Homes Safe?
How To Build A Container Home
Where To Purchase A Shipping Container
Building Permit and Other Legal Requirements

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  • +1

    Just what I've always wanted to build.

  • +5

    American. Land of the free.

    This is going to be useless here at getting anything past your local council.

  • Written by Wombat ??

  • Laugh all you want now, these are going to be a real luxury few years down the line.

    • +1

      In Sydney you mean?

  • Australian Standards?

  • +2

    I think I read you can purchase containers for 2 grand or so. Plus delivery.

    • Delivery $98k mind

      • lol.

    • Usually damaged 20ft containers at that price or heavily damaged 40ft containers.

      Then again, with the slow economy and shipping lines struggling, they maybe trying to reduce the number of containers they own.

  • +1

    Sad to see the squeeze being felt by people caused from the crazy housing prices and having to resort to tiny homes.

    • +8

      Shipping container homes aren't necessarily cheap or small! Some are architect designed like the 3 level one I linked to above.

      Cost: Due to their structural integrity in most cases they only require minimal foundations so are an ideal cost effective solution for steep or sloping sites. Brenda warns, while affordable they should not be seen as a "cheap" alternative to conventional housing. Container designs range from around $29,500 – to $300,000 in Australia. https://homes.nine.com.au/2017/03/15/15/33/woman-built-home-...

      Many who live in small homes, choose that lifestyle option. Not something to be sad about!
      Architects often have their dream small home designs. Designing & living in them requires creativity which can be rewarding. Few people design their own living spaces!
      I lived for years in a shack on a friend's acreage overlooking the ocean. There were quite a few small houses nearby. Was a wonderful lifestyle. Musicians gathered at my place on Sundays as the sun went down. Very different experience to living in most normal houses in Oz.

      Media often portrays small or different houses as if no one would choose this lifestyle… As people who can't afford a normal house & huge mortgage. A curious aberration to write about / exploit. There must be a reason (high house prices) to cause this problem, rather than it's much more complex or personal.
      High house prices are good for the commercial media bottom line. Of course their real estate advertising revenue needs to be protected. Stories are written to sell advertising (& papers).
      I've walked out of a News Ltd interview as the questions showed the bias they wanted to give the story to titillate their conservative readers.

      Tiny houses often are designed to get around Regs - they are temporary & mobile like a caravan. Often located on someone else's land. I think that is the main reason they are popular. Very different to shipping container homes.

      • 'I lived for years in a shack on acreage overlooking the ocean.' This sounds genuinely lovely. I've lived in a semi-rural area my whole life and the idea of the suburban 'lifestyle' makes me cringe.

        • +5

          Was only 15 minutes drive to beach & shops… Hardly isolated with people popping over all the time.
          Had a bath under the trees - lit small fire to heat the water. Just lay back looking out to sea. Wildlife was marvelous. Large wingspan sea birds rode thermals up to my place, then glided back to sea.

          Even on holidays in Japan in May, I rented an artist's studio in forest beside a rocky beach. Spent my days walking the rocky coast or soaking in natural hot pools. Wonderful isolation for 12 days. Others don't leave the lights of the big cities.

          Living in suburbia now (against my wishes) to care for family member. But local birds fly around inside the house & wake me to be fed. I still cringe a lot😢

          But most live in the cities & suburbia for an income (to afford living where they do). I worked in a city, but only needed a relatively small income so worked few hours. It's always an issue for most. (My business helped people understand who they are & discover how to bring in an income that suited them. To think outside the normal confines.)

          It's interesting how some people desire different lifestyles, homes, and where they live. It's good to know what suits you.
          Enjoy what you know you love.

  • The shipping container house - bogans fantasy. Actually ugly and a lot more difficult to make it look nice and be done cheaper than conventional construction than people think. Only any good as quick and dirty housing. - ala Wombat.

    Tiny houses - er, they’re just glorified caravans people!

    • +3

      And here I was thinking the bogan fantasy was a McMansion on a 450sq block? They form an outer wall around Melbourne. Trying to keep us white walkers from the country out.

  • +2

    Just here to read comments ..

  • +1


    Really good video by a local mob, container build group.

    They go through the process of the build, then the reveal at 2:00 minutes in.

    Pretty impressive…


    • Nice. Visitors would not know that 450 sqm home was made from 7 shipping containers - and 6 weeks earlier was bare dirt.

  • +2

    Side note: I'd need a 40foot container just to put all the purchases I've made via ozbargain


  • Whats the cost for a 40' container in good condition?

    Three containers could add a second storey to my home, and avoid the expense of replacing the aging timber & tile roof.

  • -1

    Still yet to understand the fascination with living in a shipping container. Looks from afar like an astroturfed (as opposed to grass roots) solution to cramming us into as small a living space as possible in a Communism 2.0 world.

    • +1

      It is capitalism driving up house prices (and down wages) now. WTF does Communism have to do with it?

      yet to understand the fascination

      Have you ever played with Lego?

      • -1

        Some terms to look up: UN Agenda 21, Cultural Marxism, eco-Socialism. Google is in the habit of censoring links it doesn't like from search results now, but it's somewhere to start anyway. YouTube could be worth a look as well.

        And by Communism 2.0 I really mean Bolshevism or a 1984-type scenario, your country being run by a hostile foreign elite (as Alexander Solzhenitsyn can attest).

        • +1

          So something you don't want to understand (or are unaccustomed to like due to lack of experience) automatically leads to the destruction of society as you see it. Oh boy!

          Strange you think freedom to be able to make a housing choice shows this is "Communism 2.0".

          A different choice of housing (required to meet more rigorous building approval) = country being run by a hostile foreign elite!

          What's your view on apartment living as a housing choice (beloved of many Communist places & popular here)😉?

          So you choose to believe considering sustainable development is part of an international conspiracy…
          And (a very few) people choosing to live in different homes is part of that "Communist
          2.0" conspiracy😦

          Unfortunately, when you choose to believe in ideology & conspiracies, you limit information that may be useful in making choices.

          Your prejudice is showing.
          Or were you just trolling?

        • +1

          Did a quick search as you recommended…

          Probably the main local proponent of your conspiracy theory is the failed One Nation's Malcolm Roberts.

          He told the Senate that he "chose to believe"…
          people are waking to the UN destroying our national sovereignty through implementation of the UN’s 1975 Lima declaration and 1992 Rio declaration for 21st century global governance, often known as Agenda 21 – more recently as Agenda 2030.

          The Rio Declaration is an entirely non-binding and voluntary agreement which 178 countries entered into at the Rio Earth Summit 25 years ago.

          It’s not a treaty, does not override national sovereignty and does not allow the UN to dictate what governments do. It has no legal force.

          Its aim was to promote a vision of sustainable development by combatting poverty, disease and overpopulation; fostering conservation, atmospheric protection, pollution controls and biodiversity.

          How dare they suggest to consider those extreme fields affecting all of us…😉

          No wonder some extreme conservatives see a great enemy😱

          What I've learnt: people believing this theory choose to believe - a freedom to choose = Communist world order!

          You're (ultra-) Right, all different housing choices are a Communist plot to take over the world😁

      • Don't bring Lego into this.

    • Since you consider choice of housing from an ideological framework, consider it is Capitalism, not Communism that is driving people to live in smaller spaces.

      Capitalism as it is structured here gives us housing primarily as tax free investment & as tax minimization… And gives us the largest houses anywhere in the world. And some of the highest average house prices & lowest affordability.

      Your solution is the McMansion?? - occupying almost all of the smaller & smaller blocks, requiring larger & larger mortgages so more work to afford, & a long way from where they work.
      As these became the norm in a lot of new construction, investors were driven to buy these to ensure resale value (speculators usually avoid alternative housing as it's resale value & potential number of buyers are likely to be less). I'd say fewer are being able to afford that Capitalist wet dream / nightmare.

      Capitalism also brings some of the smallest home areas 15 m2 (161 ft2) a person in (pre-Communist) Hong Kong has just a quarter of the floor space of the average Australian.

      Don't know of anyone who chose large structures like shipping containers as a "solution to cramming us into as small a living space as possible in a Communism 2.0 world"!
      Quite the opposite… Usually located well away from neighbours in holiday or rural settings in Oz. Some are large, even by Australian averages. https://www.realestate.com.au/lifestyle/house-made-of-31-shi...

      My small house was over 500m to nearest neighbour on an expensive acreage overlooking ocean - definitely not in a "Communism 2.0 world"😉 With other spaces to use outside the house (sheds, bath under trees, etc) it was effectively larger than many homes.

      And we tend to choose housing we are used to or what is seen as "normal" in our society, as a secure investment. So it's usual to not see benefits in (or romaticise) what we have never experienced. But it can be a wonderful experience as I discovered.

  • No pictures or diagrams other than the cover.

  • +1

    Many get carried away with romantic notions or think of cost savings than may not be there in alternative housing solutions. With $$ they can be elegant award winning design solutions.

    Without adequate insulation, air flow, heating / cooling as an important part of their design, shipping containers can be unbearably hot or cold. Same with living on barges etc (was asked to help in design with these in London - interesting & enjoyed a few parties on the Thames, but unbearably cold in Winter).

    The containers are only a small part of the solution, and in urban areas - mainly expensive structures as they need to meet stricter Regs & look good enough to fend off tough public opinion toward any different designs (that may "decrease the value of my investment").

    There is plenty to consider.

  • +1

    Are there cleaning and certification services? That is, to make sure there are no dangerous substances in the container, and confirm structural integrity. What would it cost?

    • That's a good question. And possibly an expensive one with health implications. Certainly made me rethink using containers.

      Suppliers of containers specifically for house construction should be able to answer questions🚧

      Long life on the sea will lead to rust, which may be a structural rather than just cosmetic issue. For housing use a structural engineer's report would likely to be necessary on the containers to meet Regs. Have containers inspected before buying & paying for delivery!

      But the prior use of the container (could have carried harmful chemicals that leaked, asbestos, etc) is something to carefully consider!!
      Containers are often sold for storage, where exposure time to any contaminant is limited. Living & sleeping in them is a very different matter.

      It's something I have dealt with advising on small projects (not involving containers) - reusing farm sheds that may have stored dangerous chemicals (dioxins & DDT). Just writing this I can 'smell' one such building that had not been used in decades.
      Usual & safest process was to seal & arrange careful removal rather than reuse. That would have increased the cost to the client who expected a cheaper renovation (they left the remote building sealed). But it is cheaper than finding out after completing the building.

  • I've been influenced by Japanese minimalism which influences some small home design. Space in homes has traditionally been limited & led to some interesting solutions. Without space for bathing, neighbourhood bath houses were the relaxing & social solution.

  • Just remember that your will end up living in a giant Faraday cage……so your mobile signal and wifi are going to suck.

    • Great if you don't like EMR😉

      Plenty of homes built. Doubt it would be an issue with windows & other cut outs necessary to make into a house. Haven't experience issue myself when visiting these homes.

      Especially not a likely problem in a shipping container home like this.

      Mobile & WiFi works in a metal car, caravan, bus, plane,… Most modern homes are wrapped in metal foil.

      Reports by people living in these homes that it hasn't been a problem - if you searched rather than assumed.

      • OK then, from a quick google:

        "We use shipping containers exclusively in the ROV industry; we convert them to control vans for the vehicles. And yes, they provide a measure of shielding; cell phones, radios, and hand held VHF radios do not function inside without an external antenna"

        "#9. Is a shipping container a Faraday cage?
        Yes, but just remember that you can’t just put the electronic devices directly in contact with the metal. Some people board the interior of the container with wooden panels."

        Holes for windows and doors etc will help, but you will probably end up with some dead spots.

        Dual markets for these homes. Architects and doomsday preppers.

        • First one seems they trying to create a Faraday cage. Quite some discussion is for this use rather than housing.

          Second - response comes from people like yourself with theoretic knowledge rather than practical use. Did you look at the container home I linked to near me? You don't need an architect to achieve interesting results. None I have visited were so grand.

          Container homes here are usually quite open & well ventilated. Whereas use in colder US areas usually lacks that important aspect. People think of container homes just as a container - only very poor use them like that. So people give advice based on that misunderstanding.

          I have used Faraday cages & understand the theory (BSc in Physics). But hasn't seemed a problem in well designed container homes here. I thought it would be an issue.

        • @Infidel: Probably true in a well designed home. But it is something that not all architects are going to be familiar with, so you are bound to have some buildings with problem areas.

        • @fenric:
          It is something extra to consider in the design phase. That's why people need advice from those with practical experience in this field.
          I had a client who wanted complete EMR shielding - could have recommended shipping containers with few opening😉

          Using shipping containers is not so straightforward or necessarily a cheap solution.

        • @Infidel: Delicate equipment or more "I pick up the radio on my fillings" side of things?

        • @fenric:
          The latter - I gave up on the project. He refused to have building plans submitted to Council etc.

        • +1

          @Infidel: Dodged a bullet there I think :P

        • @fenric:
          The client is not always right.

          He hoped it would be ages before anyone noticed & would then accept his ideas. It was a novel design, which the builder made up as it went along. I was only advising about some minor design aspects like off-grid power, solar siting, & minimising electrical interference.
          Unfortunately the neighbours with million dollar houses had other ideas… The Council stopped work, but I had left long before that.

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