I have recently started looking into plywood furniture construction here in the Philippines and for multiple reasons. For shipping container homes it makes sense as you can construct some very multi functional furniture very easily which suits the needs of shipping container homes. But just as much so in many countries you can get things pre-cut at the store you buy it from giving you perfectly straight edges for your projects if you arrive with a cutting list.
On top of that budget wise plywood can offer some good finishes on projects and not look tacky. Here in the Philippines often furniture is overpriced and has poor laminate finishing which often breaks its seal and begins to blister and peel quickly. Plywood in many cases can replace a lot of this substandard products with something more unique,usable and custom made.
I used to look at ply sheeting as an inferior product until recent years where its mass produced nature and cost make it viable for many things and not just things like interior cladding of a shipping container. The fold down bed from the wall for example is one of those projects that can be done with plywood reducing costs of materials but also means the bed is only needed during the evening and conveniently folded away afterwards. I have prepared a space already for constructing the bed project myself as an experiment, but can already see the benefits of the double bed space if the bed is removed during the day.
If your looking at constructing a shipping container home one bit of advice I would strongly recommend is looking at other peoples first. Not only those constructed but concepts and ideas. Take for example the “Big Boom Design” above its utilized most of the shipping container and using it on multiple layers. May not always be practical to open the roof up to the elements especially above your sleeping area but at the same time a raised bunk idea could work. Its one of the beauties of shipping container homes is they are an empty box leaving you to decide what suits your needs and what is practical. A small shipping container home may suit many where others want multiple units for family units. The modular system of the shipping container makes all these ideas practical.
I am finding more and more people are thinking on the same path as me with shipping containers yet the designs are more varied as time goes on.. why?
In reality we are all experimenting and it means that we spend a lot of time looking at other finished projects which does mean as time has gone on our own projects improve even if a single thing hasn’t been done outside our heads.
So are shipping containers good to build with? in all honesty i can’t think of a better start module especially if you get it cheap. I have worked with modular homes previously and its one thing they don’t come with is a cheap price tag. Shipping containers allow the person with the most basic of skills to evolve and construct their own home. Many of the other projects I have worked on in my lifetime it would be impossible purely because of the amount of information you need to understand from an architects perspective and engineers never mind the hands on side.
Shipping containers are great to build a home with because you can physically do most of it yourself. They are a contained box which means even if it takes you a long time it doesn’t matter you can’t throw anything at it worse than the sea’s and oceans which means you can develop your skill level as you go and on top of that they are easy to join together and construct from in basic form. If your looking for a blank canvas for a home a shipping container suits that need perfectly.