2x 20ft Shipping Container Livable Apartment Size.

  Size doesn’t matter springs to mind in conversation but often it does in some strange way. Mainly because people don’t realise how much space they aren’t using or more importantly how much electric, cooling,heating they waste for floor space they don’t actually need. Here is the joke though this is the apartment I work from and rent out to tenants, none of which have ever complained about size if anything its bigger than a lot of apartments of the same budget :-

apartment bedroom

We decided to keep it as a studio type (no central wall) to help keep the air flowing as well as giving extra space when needed. There is actually now a wardrobe I built covering the electrical box in the corner to the bed, giving a lot of extra storage space. But as you can see there is even space for an extra sofa bed.

apartment sitting room

Now this is where its funny as you can see the sitting room area isn’t actually being utilised as generally people sit on the sofa bed and watch TV in what would be the bedroom. an 8ft by 10ft floor area not being used.

apartment kitchen

A galley styled kitchen keeps things simple but has everything that people generally need. This is the Philippines so microwave food doesn’t exist so neither does the need for a microwave. Bearing in mind I will add more shelving at the end of the kitchen above the refrigerator for the dry goods.

Well what is the point to all this nice look round an apartment but its not a shipping container?

Fact is I was sat working up here the other night and realised something its smaller than 2 x 20ft containers. But I guess if I did the same with a shipping container and gave more space I bet people would say its “too small” simply because they knew it was made from shipping containers. Yet this has been rented out for over 2 years now with several tenants the last leaving a couple of weeks ago while the next arrives in 2 weeks. Not one person has ever said “its too small”.

A bit of a plus on the shipping container side as simply people have been living in spaces smaller than 2x20ft containers but didn’t even realise. In construction terms though here in the Philippines you could build the same sized home with containers for less than P300,000 can’t give an exact figure simply because container prices fluctuate. But your containers come in at around P60,000 – P100,000 each (big price variance).

Upcycle Living – Shipping Container Home

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Upcycle Living who are based in Phoenix are looking to bring the affordable budget shipping container housing to the mass market. They produced a 2 bedroom home at a green street fair in Phoenix and already the orders began to roll in. Although still not cheap at around $100,000 but demand and interest still seems readily available.

The basic 2 bedroom home was 1,280 square feet built by utilising four fourty foot shipping containers. The exterior wasn’t modified to allow people to see the home was in fact shipping containers. In the future the addition of solar panels and a shade screen are already on the cards. Inside recycled hardwood floors as well as sustainable bamboo kitchen cabinets keep the home in keeping with the green feel.

The other side of the concept is the saving of around at least 2/3rds on traditional building methods which for people taking on mortgages could be a huge chunk of change saved.

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The other positive out of this home design is they have kept with the original stackable use of the shipping containers which also makes it faster and easier to construct with compared to fancy designs some architects go for. I quite like this design to be honest as its practical and shows what can be done to make a container a home.

Simple Shipping Container Home In Africa.

When designing or even building shipping container homes often being practical is overlooked. This shipping container home obviously does what the owner needs but also its ideal for the terrain and country that it resides in. DaveGoesToAfrica has some interesting posts but from a shipping container point of view I could easily see these sized units being ideal for travelers on a limited budget or just looking for short stay accommodation. When designing a shipping container home its good to take the practical side of the home into account and not let what you want stray from what you need or can afford.

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Cost Of A Shipping Container In The Philippines

Not sure if other countries suffer with the same but if you don’t want a shipping container they seem to be around P60,000 and as soon as you do they can be as high as P140,000.

Question is why are they so expensive?

In reality I believe its to do with a lack of safety standards and internal shipping. A lot of stuff moves around within the islands of the Philippines and neither conform to or need to conform to international standards. In the same way all the ferries that sank in the Philippines ended up with an investigation into why the ships sank but all comes down to a lack of safety and poor maintenance every time.

So how do you get a good price for a shipping container in the Philippines? I found the best way is to look and ask but never mention you want to buy one. Just keep an eye out for when someone is trying to sell one. Generally I let people know I am after one but have a limited budget and sooner or later someone will turn up at the door telling me there is one for sale.

Most things in the Philippines exist like this though if your buying the price is high if someone is selling they are normally desperate and you can get a bargain.

Flat Pack Container Home

I Came across this video tonight for disaster relief in Haiti. The concept is very simple as well as the fact they are using very basic materials that also make it light to construct and if more budget the interior could be lined. In the West something like this may appear as sub standard but in the developing world and areas suffering with natural disasters they are a lot better than most other things provided. You can find homes made with plastic bags and other materials found from dump sites which offer up many other problems. Having a solid framed home reduces the risk of infestation of rats and risk of robbery adding to that a dry family home. You can see why this type of home would not only work in Haiti but around the world in many location as being able to stack up several homes onto a truck flat packed at the same time is extremely cost affective.

16 Year Old Builds Mobile Trailer Home–Tiny Home

tiny trailer home

The U.S. since the recession began has had a wake up call to the fact property is over valued but also the fact that getting on the ladder often is not only expensive but like a ball and chain that can financially ruin you if the markets suddenly changed.

16 year old Austin Hay in Sonoma, U.S. has been building a 130 square foot mobile home that he plans to take with him to college and wherever he needs to go from there.

Total cost around $2,500 but more importantly Austin has already got his head screwed on to housing market and being more of a responsible teenager than many adults have been prior to the housing crisis. Starting on a budget home means you can develop as your budget allows without taking on huge debts and its interesting to see that its the younger generations starting to take the lead.

BoxPark–Pop up Shipping container Mall Video

A perfect example of how a shipping container mall can enhance an area as well as being a bustling business environment. One of the big issues of starting businesses in a city is getting a store the right size for a budget. Shipping container malls could be a solution to the problem offering up starter business modules or as we see here geared towards a specific type of customer which brings all the brands into one place.

Yogu Shipping Container Coffee Shop, Banilad,Cebu,Philippines

I nearly missed this coffee shop as we drove past it today on the way to the Department of Science and Technology. Its a perfect example of a budget shipping container cafe but done in a very quaint way that is fully functional and the container actually gives it a bit of charm. The other important note here is the location as it slips quietly in between a condominium development and a petrol station which also shows how functional the building can be in a small space. The added canopy gives it a lit sitting area for evenings as well as canopies over the windows and outside area for shade against the Philippines sun.

Another great example of cargotecture in action.

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yugo shipping container cafe

Budget Shipping Container Home

I like this container home because its simple. But also because it shows with a limited budget and regular cash flow you can start with a container and work towards a fully functioning home. Yes its nowhere near finished but at the same time its got everything they currently need and is even open to the elements to allow a more natural surroundings way of life. If anything it shows you can go off the debt map and go your on way when it comes to owning your own home. Take your time, do what you can yourself and learn to salvage you can save fortune and get your own home for a small budget.

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.