Photos via faircompanies.com
Luke Iseman and Heather Stewart, a couple from San Francisco grew tired of paying high rents, so they decided to build a home out of a shipping container. They also wanted a home that could be transported to virtually anywhere, which is another reason they opted for a cargo container over other building options.
They purchased the shipping container for $2,300 from the Port of Oakland, which is roughly what they were paying to rent their SF apartment. Then they set about converting it into a home on their own. It took about 3 weeks to complete and the conversion cost $12,000. So, all told, they spent less than $15,000 on a new home.
Their new home measures only 160 square feet, but they managed to convert it into a very cozy dwelling. It features a lofted bedroom area, a bathroom with a shower, and a kitchen equipped to serve their basic needs, as well as a porch, which works to extend the living area considerably.
Since they wanted a home that can be transported to anywhere, they also equipped it to be fully off-the-grid. It features a PV array, a humanure toilet and an on-demand water heater. For cooking, they installed a camping stove, while their fridge is a $150 freezer from Home Depot, which they hacked with $20 worth of parts (sensors and an Arduino) so that it now runs on a third of the energy used by expensive Energy Star rated refrigerators. For lighting they used LED lights through out, which only cost them $50.
The home can be packed up back into its original shipping container state, meaning that it can be loaded onto a truck and driven to anywhere, just like any other cargo container.
The couple plan to build more tiny shipping container homes just like this one, which they are calling “Boxouses”, and sell them fully-equipped for $29,000 each. They will also be offering plans for those who want to do the renovation themselves.