Shipping Container Home–Gainesville,Fla in the U.S.

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A Gainesville, Fla., man explains the benefits of owning a home made of old shipping containers. WTLV’s Heather Crawford reports.

Viability of shipping container homes is contested on a regular basis yet we are finding more and more examples of people who have already made the leap into container living. The fact is the negativities people come up with for not living in a container are always sorted out before people who actually “live” in a container home even move in.

Even the look of a home that is seen as ugly by some will find others see it as an industrial look that breaks up the look of the area. In reality a shipping container home because they are primarily built by the people who live in them they aren’t like normal homes. I think there is more thought going into them as profit isn’t the key to the home but environmentally friendly, cost affective and functional. As you can see in the video the guy is more than happy with his shipping container home to the point he has nothing negative to say about living in one.

With house prices still struggling in the recession moving away from borrowing and into cash buying a lot then buying in sections seems more viable for many.

Minimalist or container living is just a joke and fantasy.

Minimalist living or container living can often be shunned due to people not understanding the concept but what is there to understand?

  • Fact is most households have at least 2/3rds more stuff in them than they did over a decade ago.
  • Fact is that costs are going up on not only space but on resources needed to use them such as heating and cooling.
  • Fact is house prices have been spiraling out of control for some time and even right now when people are complaining their houses have “lost value” they are often still way overpriced!
  • Fact is socially people are spending too much time in the home and not enough time amongst real people.
  • Fact is we are in a social decline but it doesn’t have to be that way!

Odd thing is not everything has to be negative. I live out in the Philippines and a friend of mine lived in a very small house after meeting his girlfriend and deciding to partner up. Its 2 rooms for him,her and the children from her previous marriage. The first room is the sitting room,dining room, kitchen and the other room is the bedroom. He lays in bed and can touch 3 of the 4 walls while lay in bed. Showering and general chores are done in a centralised pump area. Is this minimalist living that is impossible?

In reality this is the life for the majority of Filipinos and has been like it as far as people can remember. But its not all doom and gloom as they probably spend a lot more time outdoors than you do. The tropical climate in previous times and in remote areas will find people sleeping under trees relaxing. No issues of getting cold, maybe getting hot. The land was plentiful where people just took from the land what they needed.

In reality I would say judging by what I hear from people that those times were happy times. Going round to the neighbours because its the only house in the village with a TV or even today on some of the remote islands the town hall.

Electricity is something people can and do often live without. The irony here compared to the Western world is that “minimalist” living isn’t a fad but the way of life and has been for centuries. I have never heard anyone complain about space and generally you will find people live together as a family until married. Its not uncommon to find adult children still living with their parents in fact its the norm. Minimalist living is probably done by the majority of people on the planet without the “vocal” minority even realising.

Could you live in a bamboo hut on a tropical island? Because many in the West dream of it yet its a reality in the tropics that people often leave for western ways. Things have begun to change in the Philippines to become more like the West and places like Hong Kong. Not all good news with an over population issue in the cities but at the same time people are still living minimal.

Bedspacers are common which involve renting a room with a bunk bed often with 4 people to a room. Workers, transients and students often live in this type of accommodation.

Odd reading this I wonder how many people are saying “I couldn’t live like that”. But my question is how big does a shipping container feel now?

 

Own A Shipping Container Company?

Advertise your shipping container company on Container Living for a small fee of $20 for a permanent article.

I was sitting looking at the number of emails I get from companies offering me container buildings, custom made containers and other modular structures from around the globe and although they all seem to be wanting to sell me something they forgot one thing. I’m not here to buy!

But if your willing to put together your own unique article I will add a new section into the blog so you can advertise your business and what you do. I can’t say fairer than that as it will have a better response than you spending $20 elsewhere on the planet for advertising.

What is the catch? There isn’t one for the readers they get to start seeing a picture of suppliers from around the globe develop on the site. From our perspective on Container Living we get a lot of unique content and an improved ranking for shipping containers for the website. So its a win for everyone and just as importantly $20 is within everyone’s budget.

If you want a bigger advertisement on a main page slot then its a different kettle of fish but still available but just not for $20. What your $20 will buy though is a permanent link to your website, telephone number, photos and a bit about your business and products. Which is why its important you take the time to create a good article for the site.

Now if your not good at the articles themselves then you can ask me to take a look at your photos etc. and build the article for you. But I think it would be better coming from yourselves as you know your company.

Shipping Container Dream Home.

With a budget of $150,000, Marti Montgomery used shipping containers to build a home on the land she’s dreamed of living on for decades. They had purchased the land during the 70s when it was much cheaper but now looking to take it from lot to a home. Another wonderful example of a shipping container turned into a home.

What do you think about the home is it suited to your lifestyle? Would you live in a shipping container home?

What is an expert in shipping container home conversions?

Matt Wilkie

Personally I am never keen on the word expert as I prefer that everyone keeps an open mind and constantly learning.

The fact is that container conversions are not a new technology but many of the products on the market to do with the conversions as well as the way people live and think have changed.

The other side of that being the arguments between what products to use and if they work or not. Ceramic paints for example are an on going argument. Personally I think multiple solutions to insulation are worth the effort but isn’t this all to do with container living?

The fact people have choice and more control over the home they are building?

Bit like people who say that its not viable and they get too hot yet I have just recently returned from Oman and guess what container units are used for workers all over the place. The company I was working for has their own pre-fabricated modular unit structures and that camp houses 5,000 people. So is it viable? Of course it is and extremely cost affective.

Even if you looked at container living for a short period of time as often you hear the 10 year life span of container units used. I would estimate this is based on little to no maintenance rather than regular. But even if you worked on that scenario and the cost of constructing the unit how much would you have saved in that period of time on what you would have spent on a mortgage elsewhere?

Basically for me an expert in container living needs to way up all the options and not what often seems to be narrow opinions. Because its not all about sustainability or living green. Sometimes its about cost affective other times bringing food to the arctic circle. There is no outright expert.

Should the UK look seriously at container housing for homelessness?

Brighton,homeless

Big problem in the UK these days is the fact housing prices are over valued. You will still get people argue the fact that there is a huge demand but at the end of the day the market cannot support the pricing structure that is currently in place.

In fact so much so things like the government buy back schemes that were introduced when the last Labour government were on their last legs politically are a prime example of propping up the market.

In reality though many people struggle to make it on the housing ladder or in a lot of cases are literally living destitute in the streets all over the United Kingdom. For years now though I have been watching to see if anyone will grapple with the strict housing laws to introduce a bit of common sense on. Because lets face it a container house is better than no house at all.

Also after working as a Building Surveyor for many local authorities and housing associations I can see a market for these types of home and I will explain why.

Its not from the clean bit of promotion of container living but dealing with parts of society that are often difficult. For example drug addicts that have rights of housing often destroy the place they call “home”. Containers are easy to strip out and refit due to their design. The minimalist structure also reduces costs on refits.

But what about the people don’t they deserve better than this? Have you seen the container homes that exist in Amsterdam? They are more than sufficient for housing needs and its supposed to be a home not a palace.

 container housing,shipping container home,container,shipping container

You have a nice size kitchen, functional bathroom and sleeping area how big do you need to have a property when living alone? Even as a couple these homes are extremely functional.

Now I take you back to what I was saying earlier about damage done to properties because often these figures get hidden from the public eye. Imagine this home with the plasterboard punched through, a lighter used to burn names in the ceiling, kitchen smashed out, door on the toilet punched, windows smashed.

Now your talking about many properties I have dealt with over the years. But the advantage of a container home is you can rip it out same day and start a complete refit the following. Because lets face it one of the key factors here is that everything is to shipping specifications which means all the dimensions are fixed. No measuring of the kitchen counter as you know how big it is. No funny shaped walls or doors being a different size. You can refit as modular units.

These types of homes could save councils and local authorities a fortune for the rough tenants they often get stuck with. But moving forward from that you also have care in the community projects. These are also ideal for that part of the community as they can be easily adapted for people with special needs who still want independence.

Students, first time buyers you name it there is someone who would say I would live there! So what is stopping it happening?

Planning regulations and artificial inflation of property prices. That’s pretty much it because the need for it is there and personally if I was single I wouldn’t have an issue with living in one as my first home. In fact I know many working men (I say men because its primarily them!) that are stuck in crappy old bedsits due to the costs of maintaining an ex-partner and at least one child. These could be a cost affective,clean modern solution to housing problems all over the place for multiple needs.

Yet I think we would have to argue with the government and protest to actually get them to accept that these types of homes are a real solution to part of the UK housing issues.

Container Homes Hit Vancouver!

container house,vancouver,shipping container housing,shipping container,home

We have had a few container homes in Canada but this is definitely the most recent. 12 Containers are being utilised to form social housing for women in the downtown Eastside of the city.

The project is looking to complete by April 2013 and is the brainchild of the Atira Women’s Resource society, which bought a lot in 2009 to build traditional housing.

The idea was put forward by the society to BC Hydro who were giving away two containers to a non-profit organisation. Which eventually seen a further two containers donated by Atira with the remainder being purchased from the Port of Vancouver.

The design has been modelled on existing shipping container homes in the Netherlands and Europe. Which to me makes sense as you learn from other peoples mistakes and experiences.

The residents will be women over the age of 55 who currently reside in a shelter.

“What we hope is to set up an intergenerational program,” Abbott said. “We have housing for young women next door and we’d like to set up mentoring relationships between them.”

The accommodation will see the older women paying $375 a month rent while younger tenants will be charged 30% of the market value to help pay the $500,000 mortgage on the project.

The containers which give a floor area of 320sqft are going to be stacked 3 high and offer private bathroom, kitchen and in-suite laundry to the tenants. Window coverings from floor to ceiling offer up a lot of light on the ends of the unit with an external staircase linking each unit.

There will be an open house on completion before the properties become occupied with an estimated $100,000 per unit in construction and material costs.

“While getting them here and getting them stacked is extremely satisfying and exciting, what I’m really looking forward to is handing over the keys to the women who will live there,” Abbott said from the site where the containers were being unloaded Friday.

On a green note if the containers hadn’t become housing they would have very likely been shipped back to Asia and eventually melted down as scrap. That’s if they didn’t sit at some port rusting away.

Shipping container houses are still a bit of a Taboo subject when people talk and think about housing but good to see the market is changing. Not only for recycling but also container housing often means downsizing the excess that people often live with. So whatever way you look at it container housing offers some valuable and environmental lessons for sustainable living.

Largest Container Ship In The World

The Maersk Triple-E vessels are the largest shipping container ships in the world and there are several design reasons why.

Ok not going down the route of the obvious being “its bigger” but there are some design features including the altering of the hull shape to allow more cargo to get carried as its designed to go slow and work more efficiently. Sacrificing some aerodynamics to gain space at the same time the ship is designed for load not speed.

Maersk Triple-E vessel hull

Maersk Triple-E vessels

I think when Maersk started looking at the Triple-E vessel they were realising the world markets were changing and being more efficient doesn’t just lead to reduced running costs but adapting with a changing market. Going bigger than other large container ships that it has in its fleet while getting running costs down have been a major feat in the success of the Triple-E vessel.

Maersk Triple-E vessels

Another interesting feature of the Triple-E vessel the largest container ship in the world is that as speed is not its primary goal optimisation of its fuel use has taken more of a priority and they actually utilise the exhaust gases to make more energy making it one of the most efficient ships on the planet.

What many people don’t realise is due to the scale of ships the faster they go the bigger the Co2 problem becomes. Not in that 1 knot = 1 pollution but as you increase in speed the problem of Co2 emissions magnify to a much larger scale. Making a ship that runs at lower speeds and more efficiently reduces this problem and this is partly why the Triple-E vessel has become a world class leader in efficient shipping. What this realistically means that we are seeing on average a 50% reduction in Co2 per container moved from Asia to Europe.

The worlds largest container ship Co2 emission comparison against other transportation.

  • The Maersk Triple-E vessel has 3g of Co2 per container per 1 Km.
  • Average train has 18g per 1km Co2 emissions per container moved.
  • Truck 47g of Co2 emissions per 1km travelled per shipping container.
  • Airplane 560g of Co2 emissions per 1km travelled.

All in all you can see why shipping is one of the most efficient ways to transport goods but also why the largest shipping container in the world is also extremely green.

Shipping Container Homes Reach The Hamptons

Shipping container homes seem to be becoming not only for the DIY and emergency housing market but also as a trendy green choice.

The shipping container home that has appeared in the Hamptons is a symbol of what you can do with a shipping container home even if your moving away from being green and looking to be a bit more upmarket.

Beach Box - shipping container home

Meet Beach Box, its a shipping container home in the dunes of Amagansett, New York, off Montauk Highway. The home isn’t so striking externally but internally its a completely different thing. The idea was developed by Andrew Anderson with six container units from New York-based SG Blocks.

Beach Box - shipping container home

What may seem a little strange is that the SG Blocks containers on the upper level house the kitchen whilst downstairs there are four bedrooms. The upper though has been utilised as open plan allowing for the sea breeze and light to carry through the home. A large kitchen, sitter and dining room upstairs gives a feeling of space due to the layout. With an exterior roof deck gives somewhere to unwind in the evenings enjoying the scenery.

2000 square feet of home with 1,300 square feet of exterior deck space this isn’t a cramped shipping container home.

Beach Box - shipping container home

Beach Box - shipping container home

To help with cooling and the look of the home the exterior has been cladded with fiber-cement and the windows are all low-E glazing to make them energy efficient.

This won’t be a cheap beach home though by the way your looking at an asking price of $1,395,000 and with more lots already purchased by the developer there are more shipping container projects likely to be appearing in the Hamptons with asking prices of over $4million.

Beach Box - shipping container home

Beach Box - shipping container home

Beach Box - shipping container home

Beach Box - shipping container home

Shipping Container Homes Flexibility In Being Modular.

Shipping container homes are the home of the future due to their extremely flexible structures.

Although many people have an idea of what their ideal home looks like in their mind ask them to sketch or design it and things start becoming rather foggy. In reality we are often told things or fed things via media without even realising it. Is your ideal home for example going to have a rather pitched roof? Why is that? This is a typical example of what I am talking about as its a TV stereotype that is often seen as the home we want. There is no real reason the roof has to have a pitch in the way people imagine except for the fact we are pre-programmed with many things as right and wrong without any thought to does it really make any difference?

In reality we are often put off things as being a bad idea or not the norm because everything is based round particular social designs and thoughts. But the funniest thing here being that shipping containers can be modular design and this is why it also fits into this even though its thinking out of the box.

The modular way to join containers side by side or stack means people can physically imagine an object when designing a shipping container home. Measurements are fixed into each container giving you fixed measurements for each module in the home.

What can put people off though is the space odd thing is living in Asia I have seen people living in single rooms with 6 – 10 people and pretty much everything is in that room including cooking facilities. That is taking minimal living to the extreme but the point being homes have gotten bigger and bigger over time. Yet our debts have grown with them as well forcing up land and home values with it and for what? Its an artificially inflated market and I am much  happier if living in a 4 bedroom home with 3 rooms rented out paying my mortgage off. Than I would be with an empty 4 bedroom house where I am working night and day to pay for it.

Quality of life is all depending on the routes you take in life, modular shipping container housing can give you low cost housing that can be adapted and extended as a family grows.