Designing A Masterpiece: 15 Essential Shipping Container Designs For Modern Homes

The idea of living in a shipping container may sound bizarre at first. However, the national median cost of rent for a 1 BR apartment in the U.S. is $955. Depending on where you live, that could mean a place with less than 400 sq. feet. 

To the uninitiated, shipping container builds are more than sustainable living. These tiny homes are evolving into architectural marvels. We’re talking multi-story homes with outdoor patios made out of shipping containers.

Designs have gotten so impressive over the years that sometimes you can’t even tell where the shipping container ends and begins. If your curiosity is piqued, then check out these 15 shipping container design ideas.

Top 15 Shipping Container Designs

These designs are merely suggestions. Your preferences may vary based on the property size, elevation, and pricing.

15. The “Standard” Tiny Home

The shipping container movement essentially kicked off with the tiny home craze. You take a single shipping container and pack it with every living feature that you would need. A shipping container is 8ft x 8.5ft x 20ft or 40ft. 

You can find some that fall outside these standard definitions, but they’ll cost more. These can easily fit a very small kitchen, bedroom, and lounge area. 

14. Double-Wide Container

Placing two containers parallel with each other is a natural progression. You not only double the amount of floor space, but you also add more privacy. You can create separate spaces, where a thin wall separates the living room from kitchen/bathroom. Attaching the two containers can get a bit tricky but this is easily doable with the right container modification experts

13. The Courtyard 

Rather than placing containers next to each other, you can set them with a space in the middle. This space acts as a patio, which you can leave open or enclose. This increases the amount of living space and offers the potential for larger event gatherings. 

12. Multi-Level Complex

The more shipping containers involved, the more difficult it is to execute. That’s why, although multi-container stacks are impressive, we placed it further down our list. In this category, we include any home designs with more than four containers.

After you start reaching over a thousand square feet, you’re spending a lot on materials and labor. This doesn’t make it a bad decision. However the complexity of this build will require a lot of modifications and  the help of experienced designers. 

11. Penthouse Suite

The idea behind this build is to create a large living spaces on the second floor to host parties. A large kitchen and bathroom on the bottom will take up most of the first floor. The second floor includes big sliding glass doors that open up to a balcony.

The key is being able to transform your bedroom into a living space without much effort. A Murphy bed is a must. Extra points for making a DIY Murphy bed setup.

10. L-Shaped Home

We can’t say for certain why we love this L-shaped design, but it works. With this design, it allows for a nice little nook at the corner. This is a great place to set up a small reading corner or card table etc.

For those who don’t like how bathrooms are often placed near the kitchen, you can get away with one on each corner. L-shaped shipping container homes also work vertically, too. For an ambitious project, you could build out the spaces above and below each container.

9. Hollowed Out Design

You don’t have to work within the confines of the four walls of a shipping container. Knocking out two ends can open up a ton of breathing room. Replace those walls with either large shutters or large glass panes. A mix of the two would be best, allowing you to move furniture outside. 

8. Garage Flat 

Elevate two shipping containers on steel beams. Use all the additional space below to park your vehicles. An additional perk to this design is that you’ll never need to worry about getting flooded inside your home. This build is practical in the sense that you can build out the interiors first, then set them on top of the foundation. 

7. Criss-Cross Floors

There are a few different variations to this design, but we’ll start with the simplest. This requires four shipping containers as follows:

  1. Two shipping containers parallel on the bottom.
  2. Two containers parallel on top.
  3. Bottom containers spread out by the width of each top end.

What you’ll get is roughly a box-shaped system, with two upper floors. This is a really fun design and really shows the creativity of shipping container homes.

6. Zig-Zag Floors

This is the off-shoot for crisscrossing floors. The concept remains the same, except we’re going to open up more of the top floor by placing them diagonally. The build will require a decent amount of fabrication to get a good seal, but the end result is extremely unique. With this design, you lose some top floor real estate, but you can get creative with movable wood planks.

5. Tri-Stacked Containers

Take three shipping containers, stack the first two on top of each other. On one end of the containers, install the third container alongside them vertically. What looks like a private elevator alongside your home is actually a great hybrid solution. It allows you to extend the length of your core two stories while adding more rooms above. You can add an office, a loft, a meditation room, and more without dipping into your main living space.

4. Fold-Away Designs

This isn’t a specific type of home, but an emphasis on the power of fold-out walls. Shipping containers allow for a unique take on hybrid homes. It is so much easier to hide additional overhangs for outdoor spaces. 

Lift open your awnings and create a great space for a mini-bar. The potential is endless.

3. Double-Decker

The classic two-story shipping container design is easy and allows for the most comfortable living space for 1-2 people. Doubling this space makes it a realistic solution for a family of four. The design is eco-friendly and lets you decide how big you want each room to be. 

2. Sloped Roof Design

Ceiling height is often seen as a major con to living in a shipping container home. The best way to remedy this is with a raised roof. Going with a sloped room removes the boxiness of a container home.

You can choose to go with a traditional roof made of wood or opt for bamboo material for better durability and insulation.

1. Garden-Roof Design

By far, our favorite shipping container designs are ones with garden terraces. Plants are an important companion for boxy shipping container homes. By placing your garden on the roof, you get access to a large space of beautiful plants.

Grow your own food and live off the grid, it’s your own world.

More Inspiration to Build

We hope this list has opened your eyes up to the possibilities of shipping container design. You don’t have to think inside the box to build your own container home. Overall, you will have a lot more room in your budget if you decide to build one with multiple containers.

Make sure you get professional help to stay within building codes. Contact us for a free consultation on how to get started.

Turning Shipping Containers for Sale in Texas into Homes

As natural resources become harder and harder to find, people are starting to learn how to conserve. Whether it’s buying groceries or building a house, they’ve become more anxious about getting their money’s worth and saving more. Particularly, those who are planning to build a new home are looking for the most cost-effective option. They are now considering using shipping containers for sale in Texas.

 

Read More

Helpful Tips for Building Quality Homes Out of Shipping Containers

Having a good-quality home made out of shipping containers is not going to depend on architectural style and interior design alone. While these are important elements, they should not be the main focus of concern. Beyond aesthetics, functionality and safety are actually just as important. Here are some tips on how to efficiently use shipping containers for building your new home. Read More

The Many Benefits of Using Shipping Containers to Build Homes

If you’re just about to build your own home, or perhaps you would like to have a new one that’s more to your creative and unique tastes, you may want to consider using shipping containers as your main building material. People now consider alternative uses for shipping containers, including building homes from them, after learning of the many benefits of doing so. Here are some of them. Read More

What to Build With Shipping Containers

If you’re looking to build something durable, unique, and affordable, look no further than structures crafted from shipping containers. These versatile building materials can be used for a variety of projects, with the flexibility to create a wide range of custom structures.

Shipping containers can be quite easily repurposed and used as foundational building materials. Also, you’ll have a human habitable structure made from reused materials, helping to facilitate sustainability. The carbon footprint to upcycle excess shipping containers is  many times lower then cutting down trees or mining metals.

So, what can you build with shipping containers, and what are the benefits? To learn everything there is to know about using shipping containers for your building material supply, keep on reading.

Outdoor Bars and Restaurants

Houston and Dallas offer some of the best nightlife in Texas. You can transform shipping containers into stylish, trendy venues, including bars and restaurants.

Not only are shipping containers affordable, but their small and unique look helps draw in customers. Larger restaurants give the appearance of a longer wait time, while shipping container bars open designs make it seem easy for people to grab a bite to eat at their leisure.

Emergency Shelters

Emergency shelters are another excellent use for shipping containers as building materials. Their durability, especially against severe weather, makes them a great option for emergency shelters. There are a variety of ways shipping containers can be easily insulated to provide temporary housing to the homeless or a safe haven during a natural disaster. Shipping containers can swiftly be used to create these shelters, making them an affordable option.

Customizable Homes

A building materials supplier will be able to use shipping containers to build custom homes. Since shipping containers come in a variety of sizes and prices, you can easily customize shipping container(s) to meet any specifications. Shipping containers are easily moveable from one place to another, making them ideal mobile homes. Their durability, versatility, and affordability are great for any budget. Additionally, they can make for a fast completion of a tiny home building project.

Mobile Offices

Another excellent use for shipping containers is mobile container offices. Everything from construction sites to real estate developers can benefit from shipping containers. You can purchase them with electricity and windows, instantly transforming them into a comfortable workspace.  Also, they’re easy to move from one job site to the next and can be customized depending on your needs.

Sustainable Building Materials

There are countless ways to use these versatile building materials. You can use shipping containers to build a bar, restaurant, homeless shelter or house. They also make terrific mobile offices, providing a focused comfortable workspace on any job site.

Contact Equipment Management Services today for a quote and to discuss all your new and used shipping container needs. Whether you’re looking to create a custom home or are looking to expand your business, shipping containers allow you to reuse building materials for a one-of-a-kind structure that’s environmentally and budget-friendly.

What to Consider when building a Shipping Container Affordable Home

Have you been inspired by the idea of upcycling a shipping container into your new home?

Shipping container affordable housing is becoming more common as mainstream housing prices continue to rise. As this is still a relatively new idea, all the details have not yet become common knowledge. So, let take a closer look at some of the ins and outs of this alternative minimalist dwelling units.

Shipping Container Affordable Housing

What you see stacked high on ships are now being used as building materials for the latest tiny homes and sometimes even trendy businesses. The containers themselves are reasonably priced, especially for a used one.

Of course, there are a lot of other costs to factor in, but for the price of one or two months of a mortgage, you could easily purchase a pre-owned container and begin the buildout process.

Where Will You Put It?

Before we even begin talking about the details of living in shipping containers, you’ll need a place to put your new home. Do you have a piece of land, or are you planning on shopping for one? Flat land is suggested, and privacy (no neighbors) is always nice.

Also, will you go all the way and live “off of the grid,” or are you just after a non-traditional style home? If going of the grid, Solar panels or wind power can serve as a good alternative source of electricity.

Talk To Your Local Municipality First

Not to scare you off of the idea, but there are horror stories about people building a shipping container home, and having to tear it down because they didn’t have the proper permits. Don’t be like those people, get all of your permission slips before making this journey.

Shipping Container Providers

The best move that you can make is to purchase your shipping container from someone who deals with them all the time, and in a professional manner. Buying shipping containers from a local container depot is recommended over a random internet marketplace find.

Picking Your Pros

It is never too early to start planning on who will be doing the work on your shipping container home. Will you hire an architect, or will you design the floorplans yourself? You will need all kinds of home building experts. Electricians, plumbers and metal fabricators to name a few.

Advantages of a Shipping Container Home

This non-traditional style home comes with many perks.

Here is just a few,

  • Unique
  • Affordable
  • Sustainable
  • Mobile

The list of advantages goes beyond this short list, but this is a good start.

Disadvantages of a Shipping Container Home

As always, it is best to look at the cons, as well as the pros of the situation.

  • Challenging to insulate
  • Difficult to cut
  • Narrow in length
  • Finding building contractors with experience

The more of a challenge it is to build your shipping container home, the more you will appreciate it in the end.

Take that first step!

Yes, there is a lot to think about and plan for, but if you really want it then just go for it! Building a shipping container affordable home can be an unique, fun, and rewarding experience.

Do you have more questions about shipping containers? Texas-based Equipment Management Services (EMS) is the local leader in the container supply and modification industry. They are ready to help answer any/all your queries, contact them today!

3 Big Benefits of Living in a Shipping Container Home in the Dallas Area

We’re living in an era where possibilities are endless.

We can manifest tangible dreams that grow from our will into reality. However, when we look for our dream home, there seems to be a standard blueprint that many people follow.

But in the age of sustainable, progressive practices in every area of our lives, home’s can look just as unique as every person. One area where home building creativity abounds, is in the use of shipping containers for homes.

If you’re moving to Dallas or live in that area, unique and diverse shipping container homes are on the rise.

Let’s jump into the three main benefits of living in a custom shipping container home.

Affordability

When you’re searching for your new home, meeting your budget is ideal. What if there was a way to undercut your budget by…a whole lot?

The average cost of a shipping container can range anywhere from $1,500 for the bare minimum to $6,000 for a brand new, large container. So, from the very start, there are cost savings associated with using shipping containers as a base material – even if you end up spending thousands later to hire professional contractors for the build out.

Now if you want to save even more money, you may consider a do-it-yourself project. Especially if you are good with your hands and have the time to embark on such an ambitious project. This can be especially true if you are a person that is well versed in a craftsman-like trade.

The workings of this do-it-yourself project could look something like this. First review your circle of support to identify friends, family, or neighbors who are well versed in general contracting. Next begin rounding up a few of your friends who are fabrication savvy to help you with any welding needs. And then maybe along the way you reach out to an old architect friend for help with the design layout. All of these options can save you thousands in lieu of hiring professionals.

Mobility

The tough thing about the travel bug is that when it bites hard, it leaves quite the mark.

Living in a shipping container set up means you have the ability to pick up and go when you need to. A relatively simple deconstruction with some light packing and you’re on your way. Having this sense of ultra-mobility as an adventurous person or someone who lives in two places per year can be very empowering. It can reduce stress levels and concerns about renting, deposits, having two homes in two locations, and a myriad of other complexities.

Sustainability

Utilizing recycled materials is the only way we’ll pave the road to a greener future.

Shipping container homes are sustainable in the way that they don’t require standard production practices, which diminish access to natural resources and burden future generations with contamination. Shipping container homes also limit the space that needs to be filled with comforts like a TV in every bedroom. Instead the smaller spaces encourage a less consumer-centric lifesyle while at the same time increasing the desire to be outdoors.

Using a shipping container as a blueprint for a new home can reduce carbon footprint and encourage sustainable practices. By doing this, we invest in a future that will gift us a cleaner earth.

Build Your Shipping Container Home

Custom shipping containers are available to you in Dallas. With their ability to be affordable, sustainable, and flexible, it’s no wonder shipping container home popularity is on the rise.

To learn more about shipping containers in Dallas, connect with our us today.

3 Smart Reasons to Start a Shipping Container Bar in Houston

If you are looking to open a bar in Houston, then using shipping container(s) to build that bar could be your next adventure. The container industry has ballooned into a $12 billion a year market, with record growth predicted in the years ahead. Along with this growth, the modification of shipping containers into homes and businesses has also increased in popularity.

Constructing with shipping containers has become very trendy and cost effective. Especially with the great weather in Texas, its not a bad idea to consider opening a shipping container bar in this region.

But before you begin your search for new or used shipping containers, it’s worth reading up on why you should invest in a shipping container bar. Here are three great reasons why you should open your very own shipping container bar in Houston.

  1. Houston is the Ideal Market

If you are looking for shipping containers in Houston that can be turned into trendy bars, you are in the right city. It’s no secret that creative urban escapes are the venue of choice for high-spending hipsters, and Houston is full of them.

Two neighborhoods in Houston were recently named the trendiest places in all of America, as the city continues to attract fun-loving, bar-hopping millennials from around the country. Thanks to a huge range of street food markets, outdoor events, and year-round sunshine, shipping container bars are perfect for Houston. In fact, there is already at least one shipping container bar in Houston that has proven immensely popular with the locals.

Furthermore, in similarly trendy cities such as Chicago or New York, freezing winter temperatures mean that shipping container bars maybe only profitable during the summer months. In Houston, your shipping container bar can be used all year-round.

  1. Shipping Containers Are Cheap

It should come as no surprise that, when you search for a shipping container bar for sale, you will quickly find that the cost of buying and operating one is considerably cheaper than renting out a standard brick and mortar venue. Commercial rents have skyrocketed in Houston over the past decade.

This makes it increasingly difficult to turn a profit in a traditional bar environment, especially when there is so much competition. However, if you choose to invest in a shipping container bar, you may pay a tiny fraction when compared to a traditional brick and mortar bar. This gives you more opportunities to keep capital costs low and make a serious profit.

  1. Shipping Containers Offer Total Mobility

Finally, it is worth noting that shipper containers mostly allow you to take your business anywhere. A shipping container bar is completely mobile, meaning you can pack up the whole thing and move it in a matter of hours.

There are countless festivals, street food spaces, and open-air markets in a big spread-out metropolis like Houston. This will allow a mobile container bar to appear in the trendiest locations of the city during the best times. This is something that a traditional bar can simply not do.

Open a Shipping Container Bar in Houston Today 

If you are ready to open a shipping container bar in Houston today, we have got you covered.

Whether you are ready to buy a container or just have some questions about making your dream of running a container bar a reality, do not hesitate to get in touch with our friendly and knowledgeable team today.

We are here to make your dreams a reality.