40′ Shipping Container Home Plans

Container home inside

Looking to create a dream home with a small footprint? Join the growing movement of individuals and families living in shipping container homes. Floor plans for these types of dwellings can be surprisingly versatile considering the limited square footage. But to make the most of every inch inside your storage container home, it’s important to take your time in planning the final layout. Learn more about the perks of container living and check out our handy guide for creating cozy floor plans for a budget-friendly 40’ shipping container. 

Benefits of Shipping Container Homes

If you’re thinking about transforming a shipping container into a home, you’ll have these benefits of tiny living to look forward to:

  • Affordability: The low costs of living in a shipping container allow many people to live mortgage-free and cut down on their expenses in terms of utilities and home upkeep.
  • Efficiency: Tiny homes are very energy-efficient and reduce your carbon footprint. Homeowners can choose to repurpose an old shipping container instead of buying a new one.
  • Speedy build time: Shipping container homes can be completed in a matter of weeks rather than months, so you can move in faster.
  • Portability: You can move your container home to other places if you decide to relocate.
  • Durability: Shipping containers are made to be tough and withstand extreme weather conditions, making them sturdy tiny houses.
  • Customizable: It’s easy to put your own personal touches on this type of home with unique shipping container floor plans and interior design details.

Plan Out Practical Needs First

Once you’ve selected a shipping container, it’s tempting to dive right in with designing it to be your dream tiny home. But first, you need to think through the logistics of living in your home on a day-to-day basis. Here are some key factors to consider in the early planning stages:

container-home-outside-640px 40' Shipping Container Home Plans
  • Location: Where will your home be located, and how will it be positioned on the property?
  • Doors and windows: Plan out the locations for doors and windows, keeping in mind that the stability of the structure is affected every time you cut out holes for these additions. 
  • Roof: It’s a good idea to add a simple pitched roof to your container home to avoid water buildup.
  • Insulation: Think about how much and what type of insulation will work best based on your home’s location.
  • Utilities: Some container homeowners choose to hook up to local utilities, while others prefer off-grid living with solar panels and rainwater catchments.

Designing Tiny House Floor Plans for Container Homes

It’s time for the most exciting part of choosing a container home: planning out the interior. When designing homes from shipping containers, floor plans have to maximize every available inch of space. Simple container house plans usually feature a single 40’ x 8’ container, which gives you 320 square feet of living space to work with. However, you can expand that space by combining multiple shipping containers into one home; the containers can be arranged side by side and/or one on top of another.

Consider these ideas for when planning your layout:

  • Use a high cube shipping container rather than a standard one to get an extra foot of height in your home.
  • Consider creating a lofted space for your bedroom to free up some square footage. 
  • Select or build furniture with built-in storage, like a couch with a bench seat that lifts up or drawers built into stairs extending up to a loft.
  • Install a murphy bed to maximize your living space.

With the right planning and a smart floor plan, a shipping container home can feel just as inviting as a typical home for a fraction of the cost.