Shipping Container Homes & Offices: Making the Most of Your Space

You’ve got on board with the shipping container movement and now it’s on its way, ready to become your new home or office. Clearly, space needs to be well utilized to get the very best out of the space. The key – shipping container home plans that actually work! It’s amazing what you can do with a small space. Read on for our handy guide.

Accentuate the Positives

OK, space is a little limited, but there are so many positives from living or working in a shipping container! Many companies online are now offering shipping container home plans to meet a variety of needs. Before selecting one from a range of shipping container home plans, think carefully about what you need from your home or office. Divide your list into three categories – a list of things you can’t live without, a list of things you’d like and a list of things that would be a bonus.  Knowing what you need will help you see the pros and cons in different designs.

Creative Use of Space

The space you have available will, of course, come down to the number of shipping containers you plan to use to build your home. While they may seem fairly uniform, there are different lengths, heights, and styles available. Consider stacking containers to create multi-level living. You can even consider stacking cross-ways for a unique architectural effect.

A great way to easily add additional space is to create an outdoor deck. This can also be disassembled and taken with you if you ever decide to relocate your container home. Open spaces work best in simple shipping container homes, as walls tend to reduce the space on offer. Naturally, you’ll want to section off a bathroom area.

One simple but effective design in single shipping container house floor plans is to create a bathroom area between two distinct living and sleeping sections. If you’re going down the tiny home or office route, consider a mezzanine floor. This utilizes the height of the shipping container, possibly allowing for a sleeping area below and a sitting area above.

In the kitchen and dining area, tables and counter-tops can be made to fold away after use. Wall-beds also fulfill the same space-saving function. You can even install seating areas that fold out into beds at night.

It’s All About Light

Light will make the difference between a home or office that feels cramped and claustrophobic, and one that feels open and inviting. Make sure that the shipping container plans that you choose to make good use of natural light, either through windows or skylights, to bring in those much-needed rays. They also provide a focal point to help plan your space effectively.

The Takeaway: The Best Shipping Container Home Plans

Shipping container home plans can help you to get the very best out of your new home. You’ll love the fact that you per square foot build costs are tiny compared with a traditional build. Clever design and use of space will mean that you don’t have to compromise too much on space either.

Do you still need some convincing? Check out our blog on why a shipping container office makes the perfect workplace.

5 Inspirational Designs for Your Shipping Container Home

The shipping container home movement is huge right now. These days, more and more people are using used shipping containers to build environmentally-friendly and affordable housing. Read on to see some of the most creative designs out there for shipping container homes.

5 Examples of Beautiful Shipping Container Homes

Here are some of the best designs for container houses around the world.

1. Zigloo Domestique, Canada

Zigloo Domestique was one of the first shipping container homes to be built in Canada.

Designed by architect Keith Dewey, it consists of 8 containers, each of which is 20-feet in size. Together, they’ve been fashioned into a 1,920 sqft, three-bedroom home. There’s also a spacious living room, a kitchen, and two bathrooms. The entire structure is made from recyclable materials, and even the exterior stairs were salvaged from another building. Dewey claims that by using sustainable materials, he saved 70 trees.

2. Manifesto House, Chile

If you don’t like the look of the metal exterior that containers have, you can draw some inspiration from this design. Designers James and Mau Arquitectura combined them with wood pallets, another item that is often recycled for furniture and other sustainable products. The pallets were used as panels to provide a more modern, aesthetically-pleasing finish for their Manifesto House.

These panels are practical, too. This is because they also provide shade, so the containers don’t get too hot in the summer. In the winter, they help to heat the metal panels. This makes it much more energy-efficient.

3. Flying Box Villa, France

This strangely-shaped house is one of the most creative container homes on our list.

The Flying Box Villa has three floors, which are all around 1,000 sqft each. On the first, there’s a garage and a laundry room. On the second, there’s a living room, a sewing studio, and a garden. Above that, there’s a sunroom full of greenery. On either side of the villa, glass facades allow inhabitants to enjoy panoramic views of the street.

4. Container Studio, New York

Real estate in New York is notoriously expensive. Shipping containers can provide a way around the extortionate housing prices, as well as red tape.

Maziar Behrooz Architecture used shipping containers and a budget of $60,000 to create a small art studio next to a client’s home. This meant they got an extension without having to apply for planning permission.

5. The Shipping Container Home, Colorado

This shipping container home was designed to be completely off-the-grid, with solar panels, photovoltaics and passive cooling techniques reducing the need for electricity. Two containers were placed on either side of a common living space to create a 1,517-sqft home, with three bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen, and an office. Wooden panels have been used to make it feel more like a cabin than a container home, and it fits right in against the mountainous backdrop.

Get Creative

These are just some ideas you can use to build a new home with containers. However, there are lots of other options available to you. For some more inspiration, see our list of features and modifications for shipping container homes.