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.
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.
This style of installation is fairly common even here in the Philippines with the front panel being a complete unit. In the UK and probably most of Europe though we generally go for carcass construction which makes individual cabinets that are bolted together to form up the kitchen. Generally more expensive than the method in the video but also they do come raised off the ground which can be helpful for things like cleaning or avoiding damage during floods. A blown out plinth is cheap to replace but looking at either design as the one in the video is using treated wood it would probably hold up well in a minor flood. When I talk about flooding not talking about the burst banks of the Nile for example but things like burst pipes in cold spells when your out.
Finally the air conditioning is finished and running also helps maintaining a constant temperature with the front door also being installed even though still minus its handle. Wiring has also been completed in the apartment at least. Still need to get on with caulking and painting the skirting boards before the kitchen cabinets can go in. Hopefully all this will be done by the end of the month.
After reading about a smart home system in Popular mechanics I decided to go ahead and install the system in my home by replacing some of the lighting switches around the house. Instead of having a single switch the system uses multiple switching where the switches communicate with each other around the house. Things like being able to turn on and off the garage lights from the sitting room as well as the outside lighting from the sitting room. At the same time the system also allows all the lights to be rigged to one switch so you can switch all the lights off when going out, Pretty smart stuff.
Eventually the kitchen installation is going in and I had heard it was difficult to put these units together but so far so good its been pretty easy. It does take time to make sure things are level and lined up but its getting there. The refrigerator is supposed to be turning up next week and I hope the kitchen is finished in time for its arrival.
When I was researching the construction of shipping container home projects I was disappointed that there was little information on the conclusion of projects and I am beginning to see why. Its the end of the project or second fix as its called in construction that is time consuming. Putting the concrete floor or the framing may seem like major steps in the construction but then seem minor milestones compared to the hassles and effort going in to installing things like flooring, kitchen cabinets or painting trim. The garage apartment is an extension of the container house and I will be getting back to that as soon as I can with some updates more frequently.
The new Ikea kitchen cabinets have really finished off the kitchen, only downside was some of the parts are missing for the horizontal cupboards. This is stopping me from finishing the final installation of the glass doors for them. Ikea though are shipping the parts direct to me from Sweden and they should be here by the end of next week. The refrigerator and microwave though have arrived and I will be installing the microwave tomorrow.