Shipping Container House Project In Connecticut

The photos below were taken by the client owner of the shipping container home being constructed in New Haven, Connecticut.

What interested me most about this design is that they went for a more traditional looking home rather than leaving the shipping containers on view externally. Although it is a shipping container home it does seem miles away from the concept with its exterior finish.

shipping container home U.S.

Its not far off being a home and more importantly doesn’t look anything like a shipping container.interior,shipping container home

The interior finish is very typical of normal home construction and doesn’t stand out. If anything going down this route has helped hide the shipping containers completely.

shipping container balcony being framed

shipping container home,  Connecticut

Currently looks more like a school house until the cladding and windows are added below.shipping container home,  Connecticut

Nearly finished and the shipping containers start to disappear into the design.

Source :-

Adam Kalkin – Shipping container house


There are some shipping container designs I just ask the question “why?” when I see them and this is a typical example of why I am left questioning the point. The shipping container home by Adam Kalkin may have a transformers type conversion by utilising hydraulics for the shipping container home to open up by the single press of a button but its simply not practical. Adding roof canopies and slot walls to the dropped out areas would make it a working home but all I can see is a shipping container full of mod cons that needs a building to be housed in which defeats the object of it being a shipping container home.

It does have a kitchenette, dining area, books and shelving as well as a sitting room with sofa and tables. But no walls or ceilings on the exterior. Artist or architect making a name for a design maybe?

adam Kalkin shipping container house

adam Kalkin shipping container house adam Kalkin shipping container house adam Kalkin shipping container house adam Kalkin shipping container house adam Kalkin shipping container house

Podd – Australian Prefabricated Shipping Container Housing

podds - Shipping container homes Australia

Podd have also caught onto the niche of container/modular housing and are producing these modern designed homes for use in Australia. The construction takes an estimated 5 hours on site which isn’t bad going and internally looks great. The roof is also hydralulic to save time. Initially designed to help boost moral for mining employees but I can see a lot of people finding a use for these little homes.

The houses are made using shipping containers. The additional walls, ceilings, and floor structure are constructed using Austral exflam sandwich panel composite.

Podd Container housing - Kitchen and sitting room Podd Container housing - bedroom Podd Container housing - bathroom Podd Container housing - sitting area

Although the space seems small due to its design and colour and lighting affects the place does seem a lot bigger than it is. I love the design which is more inline with professional business than hobby farming or off-grid living. A rather unique shipping container house which others may find acceptable as a hotel chalet or conferencing rooms. Very professional finish love it!

Shipping Container House Construction From Start To Finish.

I came across a slideshow earlier today that shows how easy shipping container housing construction can be if its well thought out and the preparation is done properly in advance so wanted to share it with you.

marking out shipping container home marking out shipping container home

After all the planning is done the next important thing is marking out where the shipping containers are going to go but also to make sure all the levels are correct for the bases so that there are no problems later. As you can see here the outline has been set and height and length are being checked on the drop to make sure the containers will end up where they should do.

marking out shipping container home adding shipping container concrete base

Ground is then set with the bases which have been formed in concrete to allow the shipping containers to sit on top of them. Due to the robust design and nature of shipping containers they don’t need as much bracing and supports as you may suspect.

shipping container shipping container

Grounds all sorted next step is making sure the shipping containers are of good quality and no twisting or bad rusting or dents. There is another post on this blog regarding inspecting shipping containers so won’t discuss it in great detail.

cutting openings for shipping container home cutting openings for shipping container home

Any repairs that needed doing such as grinding out surface rust and cutting the openings that are needed are better off done at the depot where there is likely a team already on site that can do it quickly and cost affectively due to having the tools at hand and experience in dealing with shipping containers.

respray shipping container respray shipping container

Still on site another feature of a container depot is they often have refurbishments which means they also have spray booths big enough to take shipping containers. Spraying these giant beasts out in the open air isn’t advisable if you can help it to get a good finish. Here we see they have been sprayed on site and being prepared for loading and moving to their destination.

respray shipping container

shipping conainer home delivery

Construction of the prefabrication done and an assessment of the location and roads have made sure that the roads are not only accessible by heavy plant equipment but also trucks to deliver the shipping containers.

building shipping container home building shipping container home

Base shipping container is dropped into place and aligned with the concrete base. There may also be metal bars set of some description to help lock the shipping container to the concrete or to be welded later.

building shipping container homebuilding shipping container homebuilding shipping container home  building shipping container home

  Lifting equipment is expensive and advisable that you prep as much stuff for them as possible as an easy life for them if they are working per day or per hour basis is worthwhile as stuff that could have been done for them in advance may slow them down to the point an extra day is needed even if its minor work. Shipping container two is lifted into place and carefully aligned and put into position.

building shipping container home building shipping container home

building shipping container home building shipping container home

building shipping container home building shipping container home

building shipping container home building shipping container home

building shipping container home

Third shipping container needs complete turn to be the right way round to drop into position. Always worth trying to work out things like which way trucks need to be unloaded and if you do have limited space for things like turning that before they are loaded they are the “right way round!”. That is a something that can waste time if the plant has to move off site if you have limited space to turn the container round on a truck bed then drive all the way back. Not a problem in this case but have had more complex problems in the past on construction projects. Third shipping container is in place and now its starting to look more like a home.

building shipping container home building shipping container home

installing shipping container home roof installing shipping container home roof

With the crane still on site try and get them to do as much as possible as your paying! In this case getting the roof trusses up onto the top of the shipping containers will save the builders hours of lifting manually by being able to stack the trusses up on the roof with one single lift bringing them all up.

installing shipping container home roof installing shipping container home roof

installing shipping container home roof installing shipping container home roof

With the crane getting things up early means that the workers can lay out and get the trusses up in quick time. Surprising how fast you can do it all with the right equipment. Prefabricating the trusses off site is also worthwhile as they need to be made all identical and with this size not something your likely to knock up in your back garden.

welding shipping container

Once the trusses are in place and the shipping container fixed you can add hangers to help secure them as you can see here in the central area.

welding shipping container welding shipping container

Welding all the corners to fix the shipping container in position is the next job and whilst the welder gets on with that others can start fitting out the windows etc.

welding shipping container

Extra steel being added to the central area to create a new floor section.

welding shipping container welding shipping container

building shipping container house

All the welding done its starting to take shape well as a home and you can start to get an idea of how everything is going to look when finished.

building shipping container house installing shipping container roof

installing shipping container roof installing shipping container roof

Time for the roof to go on and its a time consuming job but generally as long as you get the other parts of the project level and in the right place it makes these jobs faster. Its why people will always complain if a base of a project is wrong because it creates a problem for every single job that follows after.

building shipping container house installing windows in shipping container

building shipping container house building shipping container house

shipping container house

The main construction finished its all down to the finishing work and glazing. Won’t be an overnight completion but now you can work under the roof allowing work in all weathers, all hours and a secure place to keep equipment while you finish the home.

Have to admit I am quite taken with the home, the design is simple and due to the majority of the measurements being fixed in the shipping container units themselves it does mean its less likely a construction project building a shipping container home is likely to have problems. All measurements are fixed dimensions and as long as you make sure the bases are right the rest of the construction will be pretty straight forward as you can see.

Source :-

Shipping Container house – Studio H:T

 Studio H:T - Shipping container house

This house was constructed and designed by Studio H:T and resides in Nederland, Colorado, USA. Its floor area is approx 1,517 square feet and to be honest the design they put together did get me first wondering if it was just a modular house until I seen the construction photos. The paneled walls make the home look rather unique but also to the point that its use of mixed colours contrasting with the environment actually make it blend in with them even more. Add to that the home is set in a V shape the sitting room opens up the wild open spaces and fantastic views. One of the most unique and interesting designs for a shipping container house I have seen so far and probably one of the best.

 Studio H:T - Shipping container house  

 Studio H:T - Shipping container house  Studio H:T - Shipping container house  Studio H:T - Shipping container house  Studio H:T - Shipping container house  Studio H:T - Shipping container house  Studio H:T - Shipping container house  Studio H:T - Shipping container house  Studio H:T - Shipping container house

Homebase Shipping Container House Advertisement

Not a functional house as such and more about promoting “rooms” than a home yet each shipping container module does show what can be done with a bit of thought and obviously the Homebase range!

The other positive side to this is obviously its brought shipping container housing to the main stream media without even discussing it but showing what can be achieved in a modern way.

Vertical Shipping Container Home?

vertical shipping container Its an idea I have been thinking about for sometime, I find people’s first complaint about shipping container homes as a “concept” is that they are simply too small to be viable. I totally disagree as it all depends on peoples lifestyles but also its very likely they have lived in a smaller space themselves at some point already.

But what if you took the shipping container for an urban situation where land is often at a premium, or more importantly bits of land people can’t imagine being useful due to the size available then take a shipping container and go vertical instead of horizontal. This is still an idea at the moment but thought maybe some of the whizzes out there with a bit of time and 3D imagery could come up with some interesting designs.

I’m sure it can be viable especially in locations that do have a high cost of land and positioning in even what once was a flower bed would be very possible.

The main issue I can see though is the stair access between floors, but like everything else this can be overcome with a good idea pool of people.

40ft container divided into 4 rooms of  10ft high each or at 9ft you could add a 5th floor with 4ft height for storage space. Each room would be 7’8" x 7’10" not huge but a workable space.

Interested in any ideas on the project.


Shipping Container House Plans

There has been a lot of shipping container house plans and ideas hitting the web and to be honest the majority of them are simply not practical. The design of a shipping container is for interlocking into other containers but often you will find architects and design enthusiastic letting their minds run wild without thinking of the practical uses of the shipping container and if the house plans will actually be usable.


Twisting out the side of the container such as the 3D image above is typical where the modular form of the shipping container is stepped away from and instead a second section added in a strange shape. Not only is this difficult to join onto the existing container its also likely to suffer with problems with the roof structure including leaks as you will have to alter the original design to make it work. As well as the issue of weight and the welds all hanging in mid air.


Adding to this is this shipping container house plan in sketch form. Although obviously an idea the staircase costs and issues of development of the shipping container building with its crane simply don’t make any sense.

Ideally when looking for shipping container house plans they should be based on interlocking containers into each other in the way containers were designed. Or on spans using the containers as exterior walls as this is also practical. Generally if it seems more hassle than its worth it probably is and likely to be more expensive than you need to be investing. Architects do have a habit of going overboard as chasing a prestigious award that brings them in more business can often be on their mind more than giving you a practical and functional home.

Is Container Living Green Enough?

When you go through shipping container homes you will find a trend in the majority of them that they are recycling and trying not to mess around with the area they are housed in, But is this enough?

Earlier looking at the shipping container house in Maui it hit me how they had added to the area by shading the building at the same time hiding it. What this also means is they had actually brought new plant life to the area as well as the new home.

Which gets me onto the subject of are we thinking enough “out of the box?” as obviously planning permissions and permits are often a headache but wouldn’t being over green actually hide the house and enhance the area making it harder for them to say no?

We are in the middle of a so called green revolution of some description, disappointedly it seems more of a middle class fad of fashion in the UK rather than actually trying to do our bit. Driving 20mins to offload the empty bottles at a bottle bank isn’t exactly helping the environment. In many cases the recycling isn’t even viable or green its more a case of “look we are trying something so give us a pat on the back”.

Don’t get me wrong I don’t have home knitted jumpers with a Greenpeace badge or smoke roll ups. I’m a realist not a green activist. For me its more about downsizing and being less of a consumer than bottle banks and paper recycling. Container homes are a step in the right direction but also have to think we could be doing more for the areas around our new container homes.