Living OffGrid in a SelfBuilt 20ft Shipping Container Home
Twoandahalf years ago I decided to move out of the city and build myself a shipping container cabin. I drew it up on the computer first and then once I saw this site it just came together really quickly. The cabin is made of three standard 20foot shipping containers. I’ve done some modifications to them so you can walk through all three containers. This is my washroom. I had a roughed in toilet that I never used. I used the outhouse instead. This was my bedroom. Living room, kitchen, and then I guess. second living room. This is where I primarily spent all my time. Either in front of the fire during winter or most.
Likely outside enjoying the sun in the summertime. All of these doors are standard issue shipping container doors. They’re actually sealed when they’re locked and I initially designed the cabin around containers on the premise that once the doors are sealed and locked you can walk away for several weeks at a time. If you go traveling you can close up your house and you don’t have to worry about it. This is my utility room basically it was a a propane fired hot water tank that fed the infloor radiant heat system and also provided hot domestic water. There’s 17.4 million containers in the world and.
Threequarters of them are sitting empty and so they’re readily available and they’re relatively inexpensive and also they provide a great deal of structural properties. The largest challenge was to insulate the cabin I was hoping to stay here for four seasons. I came up with insulating the interior walls with spray foam and then the openings where the steel doors are insulated with bats. I was able to get an Rvalue about R22 for all the walls which makes surviving the winter more.I guess more enjoyable. Water sources were an issue. My neighbors were kind enough to let me fill up my water tote so I.
Would either drive my tractor over and pick up the water or make arrangements and travel into the closest town and fill up my water so I trucked all my water in. For the energy side I designed a two kilowatt solar system. I use the outhouse as my primary washroom. After watching many people before me make tiny houses I I really liked the idea of downsizing and simplifying your life. By moving to a smaller space it forced me to select what mattered in my life. I grew up around offgrid systems.my grandfather built his first hydro site in the 40s to power his house and his business and my father did the same and.
I wanted to do something similar so I guess it’s been in my family for three generations so it just felt natural. I enjoy simple wellthoughtout things and this incorporates a lot of my interests into just a smaller spot. I feel that being responsible and sustainable goes handinhand with welldesigned systems. My passion is design and having a holistic lifestyle is also passion of mine and they just they marry very well. I just graduated from school so I am starting my own business in the solar renewable energy field trying to, I guess, empower.
People to to do similar things that I’ve been doing. I lived in the house for twoandahalf years fulltime. the cabin is 355 square feet and most people would consider that small or tiny. To be honest I didn’t spend that much time inside the cabin. It’s where I prepared and ate food, and slept, and then read most evenings but when I was home I’d be outside where I prefer to be, in nature. Living here by myself for twoandahalf years with just me and my dog.
Some people might have thought it would have been boring or quiet but I was never bored. There was always something fun, or interesting, or new to discover, ,or to learn. The time I spent here was kind of like meditation. it was a time to reflect on my life, so I really enjoyed my time here.
Shipping Container Home Coming to Redondo Beach
Here in Los Angeles housing is expensive but there’s an alternative which could save about thirty percent on construction cost shipping container homes CBS News Tuesday market shows us more as the cost of living rises the way we live is changing people are living in modular homes prefab homes and even shipping container homes. containers get all the headlines countless shipping containers come into the ports of LA and Long Beach and many of them stay but some are being repurposed into everything from retail spaces to homes when Paula approached me about a shipping container home I thought this is insane.
And then I met Peter and I still thought it was insane. Matt and Paula dowd are using shipping containers to build two shipping container homes in Redondo Beach one for them and one for Grandma. I can age in place and my grandchildren will grow up here and I’ll be with my daughter and my son inlaw. they’re building with architect Peter DeMaria but it’s an idea that still stirs controversy. In this area you mostly find Mediterranean or craftsman style homes and you bring something like this to the city and they’re like, quot;yeah I don’t know?quot; it took several trips to the City Council to get their property approved with multiple modifications to the design and Matt had.
The same concerns as the city. quot;my opinion was oh my gosh it’s going to be boxy and corrugated but many homes built from shipping containers look like this and this all of these homes were designed by the architect very few people be able to tell wow that’s a shipping container home. containers are the thing that really breaks down the door and people say maybe I can do the little bit differently and I’m not going to sacrifice quality and I’m not going to sacrifice on the size of the house and all of it translates into doing it less expensively. most containers can be covered with any surface like.
Wood stucco or vinyl siding and it’s affordable while maintaining quality in general they’re around 30 percent less than traditional construction a great value but the quality of construction is a heavy gauge steel that that blows away wood frame house a comforting thought in quakeprone Southern California and by upcycling metal containers it’s one of the greenest options available so the containers become a means to an end we’re changing the way we think about building and we’re saving the planet. we’re taking material and upcycling it as opposed to cutting down.
Five or six acres of forest every time we put up a new wood frame house. DeMaria says there’s a revolution to change how we live and the Dowd’s are early adopters and I think this is how a great progress is made really this happen overnight and the fact that we’re building shipping container homes makes it less expensive so that we can actually build two homes and be able to have three generations on one piece of property where I can run to the store and take care of her and I mean it’s gonna be great. Marquez CBS two news.