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.

Constructing Shipping Container Dormitory Blocks–Manila Philippines

Concrete base being constructed by local workers with steel uprights.Initial concrete bases and supports being built

concrete base for shipping container

Shipping containers arriving to site and being dropped onto the supports and into position.

Shipping containers being crane liftedShipping containers being crane lifted

shipping container being unhooked and locked into place

Now the containers are in place work starts on turning them into a dormitory first job cutting all those windows.


Next job is the internal framework of all the beds to be used in the dormitory as well as a few partitions going up for privacy.

steel bunk beds being made

Dormitory starts to take shape and the beds and walls become more recognisable as a workers home!

dormitory in shipping container being built

Dormitory takes shape and starts to look good

shipping container dorm complete with bunk bedsshipping container dorm complete with bunk beds262548_134422619978258_100002315624289_238821_2582629_n[1]communal washrooms being constructedshower room at dorm building

Outdoor sink areas made from concrete start to take shape.Outside sinks made from concrete being installedconcrete sinks being installed

Staircase now installed into position and its starting to look on the road to completion.

metal staircase outside shipping container dorm

Extra roof over the container complex helps reduce heat in the building.

shipping container dorm gets its second roof

Handrails are added not just as a feature but also to help the guard monitor people entering and leaving.

Metal handrailmetal hand rail

shipping container building from the road looks very professional

Looking at the building from the road it gives a very professional finish to the property as it no doubt improves the look of the neighbourhood due to the amount of work gone into the design.


Container prefab home – ConHouse from Slovenia

Not my first choice of colours and design for the exterior paintwork but the Conhouse was introduced to deal with high housing prices and a declining affordable living space in Trebnje, Slovenia. The worst affected and no doubt why the designs and colour schemes were directed in the way they are is towards the younger more upwardly mobile generations who are likely to be struggling to get onto the housing market.

The design is based on two containers placed on top of each other with the upper unit overhanging the entrance giving shade and a pathway area while the other side creates a patio or rear terrace. With the way the containers are positioned it also allows a small roof deck type balcony to be available on the upper floor via sliding glass doors.

The staircase has been designed in a minimalistic way which suits the design and age group of the buyers the home is aimed at. With the added floor to ceiling windows although small and compact I can see the appeal of this style of home.



Compact Container Prefab Home - ConHouse from Slovenia

Compact Container Prefab Home - ConHouse from Slovenia

Compact Container Prefab Home - ConHouse from Slovenia

Compact Container Prefab Home - ConHouse from Slovenia Compact Container Prefab Home - ConHouse from Slovenia

20ft Open Top Shipping Container Dimensions

20ft open top shipping container The 20ft Open Top Shipping Container is ideal for a module of building a shipping container home specifically a staircase to the upper floors as it will reduce cutting away time of excess steel. When ordering a shipping container please make sure you have a good haulier that can accommodate your needs and always get a quoted price in advance of ordering your shipping container.







Maximum Gross Weight: 67,200 lbs.
Tare Weight: 5,070 lbs.
Payload: 62,129 lbs.
Capacity: 1,164 cu. ft.

Internal Dimensions

Length: 19′ 2"
Length (between top headers): 18′ 5"
Length (between corner gussets): 17′ 7"
Width: 7′ 6"
Width (between top rails): 7′ 3"
Height: 7′ 6"
Height (under top rail): 7′ 3"

External Dimensions

Length: 19′ 10"
Width: 8′
Height: 8′ 6"

Door Opening

Width: 7′ 6"
Height: 7′ 4"

Radio Station Made From Recycled Shipping Container

Pirate Radio - Shipping Container,cargotecture, shipping container architecture, Adam Kalkin, State of Design Festival, Melbourne University, Ian Potter Museum of Art, upcycled shipping container, green design, eco design, sustainable design,

Probably one of the most interesting and practical uses of a shipping container I have come across.Adam Kalkin’s creation is not only functional but blends in due to its use of bright colours and other towering buildings nearby. Its part of his latest work for a pop up pirate radio tower for the Mis-Design exhibition in Australia. Its location will be at the entrance to the exhibition and the project is being hosted jointly by Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne University, and State of Design Festival.

Pirate Radio - Shipping Container,cargotecture, shipping container architecture, Adam Kalkin, State of Design Festival, Melbourne University, Ian Potter Museum of Art, upcycled shipping container, green design, eco design, sustainable design,

The shipping container as you can see has been painted in some very bright but pleasing to the eye colours and design. The radio stations main need is height over space which is why the shipping container nestles on one end that was hoisted into place with a large crane. Inside a staircase zig zags up the interior to the where on the first picture you can see a pillbox cut window where the radio station will be housed. Funded by the Victorian College of the Arts they are hoping it will act as a catalyst for more funding for cultural development in Victoria, Australia with the radio station broadcasting news and information about local designers,photographers,architects and other art forms and artists in the region.

The interior of the container was completed by students from RMIT university by using reclaimed materials from Pumphouse design.

During the State of Design Festival, Anya Trybala of yarraReporter will be inviting local artists to come and speak about they’re art at the tower.