Living In A Shipping Container–The Right Type Of People

the wrong crowd

The thing with shipping container homes is you will either get a “that’s cool” or you must be mad type of comment from the people around you. But myself I consider myself one of the right type of people for a shipping container home and I will explain why.

Initially through my first years of leaving school and struggling through college I was having to make do and maximise my cash flow sometimes would be a case of down to the last few pounds (UK money) and then buying something I could then sell later to make more money. Over the years this developed where I was cashing in my salary at the end of the week selling goods all weekend before putting money back in the bank on Monday.

This isn’t thrifty but it does go against the grain as we are told we should have the latest clothes, expensive car, nice house etc. the fact is everything is based around consumer spending and increasing personal debt. I will give a simple example of what I mean if you take a rawl plug its pushed on all the DIY shows as the way to hang a shelf etc but does anyone talk about a whittled piece of wood you just hammer in the hole and snap the head off? Something that is free, doesn’t damage the environment and most of the time actually does a better job due to a tighter fit? Of course not you go down to hardware store and buy the bits and pieces we are told are “right for the job”. The removing of thought from most things has been on going for some time.

Now for me I spend most of my life up and down financially as even when I was with my ex partner and having a great salary her expenditure was a struggle to control. We had the house, the car, 5 horses, ate out most of the time etc.

My salary then was around ten times greater than most of the people I knew from school and generally it was gone at the end of the month due to everything being on finance to keep up with my ex’s desire to compete with the neighbours. But here is what changed.

I left after a problem in the relationship and within the first month I had already saved nearly £3,000 even though was still burdened by debt left over from the relationship. How? because I didn’t eat out and if I did it was lunch time at work that meant my night time meal wasn’t a big curry take out but often was even skipped if not something simple. I began cooking more and at the same time because I had regained my financial control I started to use my remainder at the end of the month for paying off huge chunks of debt instead of thinking “hey lets party!”.

I began to get debt free to the point where I am today living in a completely debt free environment on the other side of the world in the Philippines. If anything I have learned we don’t need most of the stuff we are told are “essential” or this years big item! Even in the U.S. people are waking up to the fact they are sold lies daily and the American dream has changed including the idealism of consumerism. They have realised the last iPhone didn’t enhance their lives so generally don’t buy the new mobile because its irrelevant except as a fashion accessory. That’s all part and parcel of living in a shipping container because its not about “getting by” but actually taking control of your life.

Here in the Philippines Christmas is celebrated by church masses and giving food to neighbours the giving of presents is something being leaked in from the U.S. but thank god most people haven’t bought into it. Personally I actually tell people not to buy me gifts but instead save their money. Not because I am too tight to buy for others but simply most of the time people buy stuff for each other they neither need or want. I would rather someone took the cash and paid off a bit of their credit card because that’s a Christmas gift that keeps giving and not only makes me happy but also helps them get debt free.

This is how it gets on to the right type of people for Shipping container homes as its often down to what people want and need in life. There has been a lot of interest in the single mother living in a shipping container home she built for less than $4,000 but in reality it was her financial restraints that led her into this type of life. For others its being environmental,minimalistic or wanting control of their own lives. For me its a case of minimalist living and being debt free while achieving home ownership. Its not for everyone which is why people either get it or don’t.

 

House Building From Shipping Containers

There are many locations throughout the world that house building from shipping containers is not only viable but financially beneficial. The main reasoning behind this is primarily for those looking to do house building themselves. The shipping container as a building block is not only robust but is built above housing code expectations for a building. They may initially seem a small building block until you start cutting and adapting them something that those with even limited skill and knowledge around the construction site would be able to manage. In reality a competent DIY person could just as easily complete house building from shipping containers as a local building contractor.

Initially the project will seem daunting but that is another advantage you have with the shipping container as its already a completed unit. Your cutting away rather than trying to work out how do I build a second floor? how do I build a roof structure? In reality your actually going to be removing sections for doorways and the awkward bits such as insulation you can even get specialists in to help you.

The concept of house building with shipping containers has grown hugely throughout the current fuel and housing crisis. Some talk about it being green but I am not green in the way where I wake up and ride a bicycle to go to work and lets face it the green movement hasn’t grown that fast since 2008! In reality people are looking to save money on construction, others are looking to be able to build a sustainable home that is also minimalistic which also means reduced bills for electric,water and gas. If anything the shipping container homes are part of a price conscience revolution over anything else.

But what about all the negative stuff out there about shipping container homes? Look at them and how many are opinion only? to be honest I haven’t come across anyone so far that says its a bad idea that has even visited a shipping container home never mind constructed or lived in one. Everyone I know with a shipping container home loves them and on top of the reasons above you have the added benefit of being able to build modular and as your budget allows. How many other houses can be constructed that way?

If its not catching on with some people its probably more likely they lack the vision or the desire to own one rather than even looking at the benefits. For me it has one huge benefit at least 40% cheaper than conventional construction. Don’t know what that means to you but in the UK that’s 10 years of slave mortgage payments I will never make.

Showers And Electronics For The Shipping Container Home

Not everything runs smoothly and having the microwave mounted on its brackets ready to go, plugged it in and nothing! A quick call to Best Buy and a replacement was ordered for next Wednesday giving me two delays on the project as the kitchen cabinet parts are still due from Ikea.

faulty microwave 
When I thought about tiling myself I wasn’t too keen on doing it even with instruction from a friend who is a tiler. Surprising though once the first one went on everything fell into place and by the following day it was ready to grout. It also depends how fussy you are and how much attention you put into preparation for the grout. I made sure that after tiling the cracks were free of any excess adhesive and that there was none left on the tile faces. Although once done it means you get a really good finish when you grout as there is no residue from the tile fixing to spoil it. Next job shower door and glass.

newly tiled shower
After nearly a month of rain I am hoping we can get the water and sewer trenches finished as it looks like next week is going to be dry. Then its on to the plumber doing final connections and the home is ready to move in.

25 reasons for building shipping container homes

1. Utilizes wasted shipping containers that may never see any other use.

2. Economically its a cheap solution to home building.

3. Ideal for emergency and disaster relief.

4. Quick to construct and even fast if modular internal fittings.

5. Stackable giving a quick and easy solution to “adding the games room!”.

6. Easy to source shipping containers to buy internationally.

7. It will give a unique and interesting home.

8. Creates minimalist living allowing people to de-clutter their lives.

9. Almost anyone can build a container home or at least design it within basic metrics.

10. Ease of conversion from a shipping container to a home.

11. Able to say “I did that” when its finished.

12. Environmentally friendly and a symbol of environmental awareness.

13. Fashionable building concept.

14. Smaller homes mean a small land needed either giving a cheaper purchase price on land or a bigger garden.

15. going minimalistic also means that your electrical and water supply could go off grid due to drastically reducing your use/waste.

16. Sets the standard to show your kids you are doing your bit in helping the planet.

17. Friendly community of shipping container home builders professional and DIY.

18. Brings a house within reach of people who cannot afford one otherwise.

19. Hurricane resistant.

20. Earthquake resistant.

21. Typhoon resistant.

22. Can be constructed in modular form then transported to site making it easier to build.

23. Lots of great ideas on how and what to build on the internet to help you with your first shipping container home.

24. Can be made mobile or semi-mobile for those travelling such as in the construction industry.

25. Practical and in a frame structure that is easy to understand.