Homes made of shipping containers come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. One thing many off-grid shipping container homes tend to have in common is their creative design. Builders and architects love to take these geometric containers (millions of empty containers are waiting for repurposing) and spruce them up in imaginative ways.
Here are 10 of the best shipping container homes around, from unique residences to prefab homes you can purchase (or copy) yourself by buying storage containers for the design you like most.
1. Container Guest House
Poteet Architects built a simple but handsome guesthouse for a client in San Antonio. The firm stuck with the original blue container color but added a steel-frame rooftop garden, green landscaping surrounding the guesthouse, bamboo plywood, glass sliding windows, a deck with a shade-giving overhang and many other touches that gives this container home a breezy architectural aesthetic.
2. Flagstaff Container House
This lovely home in Flagstaff, Arizona was put together with six salvaged shipping containers. The two-story dwelling boasts multiple bedrooms and offices, a plant solarium, the capacity to store electric solar power and equipment for collecting rainwater on the second level (for use on the grounds). This charming container dwelling fits the very definition of sustainably and inventive engineering.
3. Backcountry Containers
Backcountry Containers, based out of Needville, Texas, focuses on custom container-home builds. The company works with 20-foot and 40-foot containers to construct single-container or multiple-container homes. They start with a core build, then customize from there, based on the client’s wishes. From container homes with mountain views to gorgeous modern farmhouses, if you’re looking for an affordable home-building option, these are the folks to call.
4. Redondo Beach Container House
DeMaria Design Associates’ Redondo Beach Shipping Container House demonstrates how shipping container construction doesn’t have to limit living space. This chic two-story beachside residence — built out of eight recycled shipping containers — features a spacious living space with 20-foot-high ceilings that opens onto the property via folding airplane hangar doors. Even the long swimming pool was built out of a recycled shipping container.
5. HO4+ Shipping Container Homes
If you’re in the market for a larger off-grid shipping container home, the HO4+ prefab design by Honomobo might be the answer to your single-level casa dreams. These stylish homes, erected out of four containers, offer 1224 square feet of space. Potential customers living in the US or Canada can choose from either a three-bedroom, one-bathroom layout or a two-bedroom, two-bathroom layout. Both layouts come with a modish dining room and a large, open kitchen.
6. The Beach Box
The Beach Box in the Hamptons was built out of four containers. This house is definitely on the high end when it comes to homes made of shipping containers. It’s been listed in the past for around a million dollars. With almost 2,000 square feet of living space and 1,300 of deck space, The Beach Box is one of the most ambitious container dwellings ever built.
7. The Helm
The Helm container home is a two-story house than you can own for less than a grand. It’s built by combining a 40-foot container with a 20-foot container. The design features an upstairs “master suite with a full-size bathroom,” as well as a “giant, full-glass doors that open onto the private upper deck.” The Helm could be pure shipping-container heaven for anyone looking for a new place to live.
8. Devil’s Corner
Cumulus Studio built the timber-clad Devil’s Corner as a visitor’s center for the Brown Brothers winery in Apslawn, Tasmania. It’s a unique looking structure, with an observation deck overlooking the vineyard, plus a tall vertical shipping container tower, which affords visitors incredible views across the stunning Tasmanian landscape.
9. Joshua Tree Residence
The Joshua Tree Residence by Whitaker Studio is one of the most artistically designed shipping container home you ever see. This California home created by James Whitaker looks like a white desert flower coming into bloom thanks to the off-set elevated angles of the containers used to build this architectural marvel. It’s truly one of a kind.
10. The Smithey Container Home
Zach and Brie Smithey built what is essentially a container home mansion in St. Charles, Missouri. This skillfully designed, 3,100-square-foot recycled shipping container behemoth only cost the couple $135K to build — plus sweat equity, of course. This spacious abode took just over a year to assemble and should serve as inspiration for anyone thinking about building a massive shipping container home of their own.