Here's Why Shipping Containers Are the Most Economical Solution for Building a Tiny Home

In the world of tiny houses, gone are the days of mere conventional timber framed housing. Tiny homes are built from a wide assortment of materials and structures. From micro eco-pods to converted buses, tiny homes are revolutionizing the way in which we view housing. One of the current trends within tiny home architecture is re-purposed or ‘up-cycled’ shipping containers. This Re-Purposed Shipping Container Turned into a 1 Bedroom ¾ Bath Home is a stunning example of the type of home you can manufacture with a wild imagination on a shoe-string budget.

Shipping container construction also referred to as ‘cargotecture’, is a form of architecture that utilized steel intermodal shipping containers as a structural element. Due to their relatively low expense, wide availability and inherent strength, the use of shipping containers as a building material has grown in popularity over the last several years. In many ways shipping containers are an ideal building material. They are designed to resist harsh elements and due to their strength, may be easily adapted for security. Shipping containers are the same width and have two standard height and length measurements, and, for this reason, are great modular elements that can be combined into larger structures should owners wish to up-size their living space. Shipping containers are also an eco-friendly solution within the housing market since when up-cycled into housing, thousands of kilograms of steel are saved through repurposing, and the amount of other traditional building materials are reduced. A patent granted to Phillip C. Clarke in 1989 documents what may be the earliest recorded plans for constructing shipping container houses. Since this time, many structures based on shipping containers have been constructed and vary widely in uses, sizes, locations, and appearances.

In many ways shipping containers make the ‘perfect’ tiny home. While homes that are part of the social and architecture ‘small homes’ movement tend to be less than 1,000 square feet in size, tiny homes are typically under 400 square feet. This re-purposed shipping container turned into a home is just 320 square feet. The purpose of the small and tiny home movement is mainly to live simply in smaller homes, and this re-purposed shipping container tiny home provides just that. Although tiny homes are not a new concept, and list early pioneers such as author Henry David Thoreau, their popularity really only saw an upswing in the last decade, around the time of Hurricane Katrina, which saw Marianne Cusato develop Katrina Cottages that started at 308 square feet. During the financial crisis of 2007-08, the small and tiny home movement attracted further attention as it was perceived to offer housing that was more affordable and ecologically friendly. Although popular, tiny homes represent only about 1% of transactions in the housing market.

This tiny converted shipping container home comes fully insulated, equipped with both air conditioning and heat, has both full kitchen and bathroom facilities as well as a livingroom and separate bedroom area. While this particular conversion demonstrates a standard floor plan, MODS International, a Wisconsin-based company, can design and build any structure of your dreams. With tiny homes, more emphasis tends to be placed on quality over quantity (size), and with a little imagination almost anything is possible.

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