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).

Shipping container specifications

shipping container specifications

Even though standardisation of shipping containers has been in existence since 1967 its still not as specific as it may seem. Most people recognise 20ft and 40ft containers but in reality they vary between 10ft and 53ft in length (10ft are very common here in the Philippines for small loads). The heights also vary from 4.25ft to 9.5 so if buying a container getting the exact metrics internally and externally are important otherwise you could end up buying something unsuitable for your needs. The only thing that does seem to be standard is width at 8ft, what the containers are made from and internal dimensions vary between manufacturers and companies needs.

An example of this is Matson’s who after calculating the best sizes of container for their operations along the West coast of Hawaii set upon using 20ft and 24ft containers that fitted their converted freighters from WW2 and integrated a racking system into the freighters specifically for the containers. This allowed the containers to be stacked six high and to be easily offloaded at the dock side using specialist crane equipment.