There seems to be a trend sweeping across the nation where people are starting to kick out what they don’t need and live more simply so that others may simply live. People have been creating homes and dwellings out of unique structures for a while now but some of them stand out above the rest. This one is no exception. It started with two shipping containers and a plot of land. What this guy did with it is pretty phenomenal. It better be, because the project took about 2 years which is longer than it takes to build most houses 4 times this size. Take a look at his journey in building this livable dwelling.
To start, he needed the right piece of land.
After the ground was chosen, it was time to lay out the footings.
The containers have arrived.
Side by side on top of the footings.
About 6 feet of dirt was dug out on the back corner here. This will go back in place to insulate the food storage.
This is the water inlet which will be operated by a hand pump up near the kitchen sink.
He chained the containers together temporarily and used expandable foam to insulate between the two. They will eventually be welded together permanently.
Here are the original plans he drew up. Simple but they have everything he needs.
He used a marker tied to a wire which was bolted to the floor. This gave him a perfect arch that will be cut out to join the two containers into one room.
He drilled through the center so he could achieve the exact same cut on both sides.
After the first cut using a grinder.
These are very large pieces of scrap which gave him an idea to use them for other things.
The second wall was cut now opening up the space between both containers.
Time to weld. Lots and lots of welding.
He welded every inch and skipped an inch to prevent warping. After he went back and welded the skipped areas for a perfect structural seal.
Here he left openings for the door joints so they could still be used.
Time to primer the welds to prevent any rust.
Remember that interior wall piece. It looks like it will make the perfect awning over the front door.
This was no easy task after welding on flanges and tabs to hang it from. It was incredibly heavy.
He built some very strong supports to hold up the weight as well as rain, snow, and debris.
He had to use his tractor to lift the giant piece of metal into place.
Now it was time for insulation. This will help the interior of the house stay comfortable as well as offer protection to the metal shipping containers.
This process took about 3 hours to complete.
He added some pea gravel and drainage tubes around the containers so they wouldn’t settle after a long rain or winter. These pipes will be completely buried and drain water away from the foundation.
He used some old railroad ties to grade the front of the property and to hold in the dirt he was about to stack against the house.
Now it was time to fill with dirt. He stacked it almost all the way up on one corner because that is where food supplies will be stored. This will prolong their lives by regulating the temperature.
He added a little paint and marked out where the doors and windows will be placed.
This big entry will be the front door. There was a lot of grinding to cut this out.
Now the door is installed and it’s time for windows.
Here is the template he used so he would be able to make both windows exact.
The holes were difficult to cut but not they are ready for windows.
It’s starting to look like a home!
The house needed a back window as well.
Now that the exterior is almost complete, it was time to start framing.
Now he can run electrical and plumbing throughout the containers as well as give a finished look to the walls and ceiling.
He installed a washer and dryer, a fireplace and vented them both to the exterior.
After running a little electrical, he now has some lights.
And a warm fire!
Another layer of insulation was added giving the place more R value making it more climate controlled.
With all the electrical ran, it’s time to start covering the walls. He wanted an old cabin in the mountains look.
Then bedroom doors were installed and wood trim covered the gap between both halves.
Starting to look pretty awesome inside.
After lying down some tile,he placed furniture and a fridge into the kitchen.
Excellent choice on the wood color.
After collecting A LOT of cans he was able to build a solar heater. He cut open one end and drilled 3 holes in the other end of a can. He then washed and dried them.
He then stacked them into a frame and siliconed them all together so there would be no leaks.
After that, it was time to paint the solar heater dark black to absorb as much light energy as possible.
It was covered in plexi glass to protect it from debris falling or blowing around.
If you look underneath the patio cover you will see the tubes that feed hot air into the house while returning cold air to to be heated and sent back in.
Here are the vents. The top one feeds hot air into the home while the bottom one is the cold air return.
Now it was time to build the frame for some solar panels that will provide electricity.
Time to wire in the battery.
On the opposite end of the home, he installed a solar water heater as well.
It recirculates water from this water tank and keeps it at a perfect temperature.
There is a small storage area next to the water tank that fits a washer and a dryer with ease.
The same room contains the shower and a vanity.
He had to cut out the floor a little to run the plumbing for the shower.
Along with the washer and dryer lines.
These lines run to a gray water storage septic tank out and away from the home.
After covering it with dirt, this is the only thing you see.
The toilet is a composting toilet and actually is very low maintenance and allows the builder to stay off the grid.
He found a lot of the furniture at yard sales including this vanity that was very cheap.
Here is the master bedroom with a little decoration.
The second bedroom.
These are the doors leading to the two bedrooms.
The food storage turned out great.
The sink works great with a hand pump. The basin only cost $3.00 from a garage sale.
Remember the scrap metal he had from the cutouts? Take a look at these cool window shades.
One was used as a vent well to let air flow through the floor
Some was even used to make a firewood storage. This storage holds just about a cord of wood.
And here is the finished project! Can you believe that two old steel shipping containers were transformed into this awesome home? It took almost two years of building but he’s incredibly proud of how his new home turned out. His goal was to build something that he could enjoy on the weekends or in case of an emergency could be used as a permanent home. This home is capable of being completely off the grid with its power supply and solar heaters. Shipping containers are incredibly cheap and durable. This is a great idea to build an off the grid micro home that provides all the amenities you will need.
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