Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

$28K Turnkey Shipping Container Home

There’s a certain elegance to shipping container homes. The basic structure is needlessly tough. There is an abundance of used containers to build with. They are infinitely portable. Their dimensions are perfect for compact living. They can be arranged and stacked in many different ways. And with a few modifications, you can make them pretty livable. Case in point is this 20′ shipping container home we came across on Tiny House Talk. Its builder Graham made the house working out of a storage unit, constructing everything except plumbing and electric himself. He listed the 160 sq ft unit for a mere $28,500 OBO.

shipping-container-bed shipping-container-interior

The house isn’t ideal for the packrat or the large (or even small) family, but it could be ideal for the lightweight single lad or lady. It has a real bathroom and very useable looking kitchen. The whole place is insulated and there are quite a few windows; with the addition of a mini-split HVAC system, we suspect it’d be solid for year-round use. There is not much (actually no) non-kitchen storage, but you could figure something out if so inclined. Like we said, it’s not for the heavy traveller.


Unfortunately, this particular unit was sold, but Graham is making another, and bet you could convince him to make one for you.

Before you drop your Benjamins on this thrifty little life box, you should note a couple things: 1. You’re going to have to find a place to put it. Like tiny houses, shipping containers don’t necessarily have straightforward zoning. This particular unit’s living area might be smaller than some municipalities’ minimum requirements. It’s probably best suited as an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU). 2. Some, like our good friend Lloyd over at Treehugger, have questioned the safety and sanity of using shipping containers as homes in general. They often use toxic paints and have pesticides on the floors and need a ton of work to make them safe for human storage, ahem, housing.

Zoning and safety issues aside (and I assure you, they wouldn’t be left aside if we were buying this unit), with its nice size, virtually indestructible structure, amazing portability and Toyota Camry price point, this shipping container home presents a pretty attractive little package.