Plywood Furniture Good For Shipping Container Construction?

I have recently started looking into plywood furniture construction here in the Philippines and for multiple reasons. For shipping container homes it makes sense as you can construct some very multi functional furniture very easily which suits the needs of shipping container homes. But just as much so in many countries you can get things pre-cut at the store you buy it from giving you perfectly straight edges for your projects if you arrive with a cutting list.

On top of that budget wise plywood can offer some good finishes on projects and not look tacky. Here in the Philippines often furniture is overpriced and has poor laminate finishing which often breaks its seal and begins to blister and peel quickly. Plywood in many cases can replace a lot of this substandard products with something more unique,usable and custom made.

I used to look at ply sheeting as an inferior product until recent years where its mass produced nature and cost make it viable for many things and not just things like interior cladding of a shipping container. The fold down bed from the wall for example is one of those projects that can be done with plywood reducing costs of materials but also means the bed is only needed during the evening and conveniently folded away afterwards. I have prepared a space already for constructing the bed project myself as an experiment, but can already see the benefits of the double bed space if the bed is removed during the day.

Shipping container holiday home – Port-a-Bach – New Zealand

A bach is a name or term giving to a small building often holiday homes or beach houses in New Zealand.

Cecile Bonnifait and William Giesen of atelier workshop have built this one and the lowering of the one side that seems to be very common in single unit containers has been used to open up the container for more space and light. To maximise the space even the opening doors double as a bed space. It can boast enough living space for 4 people which is a bit of an achievement in such a tight space at the same time its a holiday home so the point is to spend more time outdoors. As you can see from the layout though a lot of time went into the design and I am more than impressed in the use of the limited space they have including the Murphy bed that gives a double usage for the central floor area.

On top of that the unit is designed to be mobile and I believe comes with its concrete blocks for its foundation. Only concern with that though is people buying or wanting one of these if they buy them is making sure they have level ground as for several years myself when furniture making you would get people order furniture who suddenly realised after it arrived it didn’t fit in the house even though they had been asked several times to measure doorways and stairs before they ordered anything. With a container home its a bit more complex as the delivery driver wants to go and won’t hang around when people start to get shovels out because they haven’t checked the ground. At the same time that responsibility doesn’t fall on the designers and builders of this home but a cautionary note if anyone buys one.



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Space the next frontier

Space the next frontier is the real problem that puts people off living in a shipping container home. The thing is how much space is enough? The dimensions of a shipping container home aren’t ideal due to its width if the building was actually shorter and wider it could probably encourage more interest for people. But then again if its utilized properly surely even that doesn’t matter as people live in narrow boats without any problem.

Its all about changing peoples perspectives as well as spending a bit of time in the mobile home and boating industries to see what they do about bed space and everything else to maximize the smallest of areas without compromising on quality and functionality.

A Plasma or LCD TV for example probably takes up 1/5th of the same space as the old CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) yet people instead of regaining space move up from a 22” to a 60” which makes sense on a blank wall but if its taking up more space inside a giant TV unit except for the viewing pleasure what else was the benefit of a reduced size TV?

If you look at coffee tables, dining tables etc. most of the time they are actually in the way are they needed full-time or can something be done to adjust the space they take up or even double function such as a coffee table being a lidded box instead of just somewhere to stick a cup.