What if you could spend a fraction of what it would cost to buy or build your own house and instead build a unique home that you could make completely off grid?
Shipping containers exist in a massive surplus and someone like you or I can grab one for around $2000. Innovative ideas like this are getting popular as people seek alternate ways to like modern lifestyles.
Other off grid ideas and projects that are becoming popular are things like tiny homes and earthships. Below are some awesome pictures of various shipping container projects that were done by others. This entry was posted in Environment and tagged Environment, lifestyle, off grid living, shipping container, United States on October 16, 2014 by Gillian.
Say Goodbye to Wrinkles and Sagging Facial Skin After Washing It With Coconut Oil and Baking Soda! Reality modificationTime to clean house and power up Oracle Report – Thursday, April 21, 2016 Shutting Off Your Mind’s Spin Cycle Is Anger Blocking Your Money Flow? This 1720 square foot cabin is made from reclaimed wood and two recycled shipping containers. The design starts with 2 standard sized 4-‘ shipping containers, spaced approximately 20 feet apart. About Off Grid WorldAll about living off the grid, sustainable living, homesteading, prepping, survival, solar power, wind power, renewable energy, permaculture, hydroponics, recycling, DIY projects, and natural building. This man (Larry) wanted to build a self-sustained and off-the-grid home out of two shipping containers. He wanted all of the comforts of a home and to be able to live in it comfortably up to a year or more if need be. To do this he ordered two sea containers and welded them together to make one awesome cabin. Water is heated using solar power or by wood stove if necessary. Access to water is by well. Before they were welded together he chained them and spray foam insulated the space in between them.
Learn more about how he picked the land, got the containers, and how he adjusted them into the right spot here. He decided to cut the openings in arched shapes to retain the strength of the container’s roof and so that it will match the arched windows too. In total he spent about $35,000 to build it which includes the containers, well, landscaping, plumbing, interior, and the carport. If you enjoyed this shipping container to cabin conversion you’ll love our free daily tiny house newsletter with more! I have seen this cabin many times before posted online at facebook and other social media sites the last two years or so.
I used spray foam on the outside for a sealer and insulator, but you can simply use brush on water sealer just like they use for basement walls.
That it was built for only 35k is amazing, and off grid too – yet it is so spacious – like a regular house!
He did a great job — I have looked into using containers for a home and think it is a great cost effective idea. Sandi, I am working on some designs like that, When you insulate the insides, you actually will have even less room inside depending on what kind you decide to use. The design you were thinking about living in, was that a 20′ container or a 40′? A small tiny house village for the homeless in Eugene, Oregon goes solar with portable solar systems.
Here’s a great article on aquaponics and how you can use this growing method to increase your overall crop yield faster than you could ever imagine.
It could happen to you, you might have to drink water from a source you just don’t trust like the pond down the road, or a barrel of rain water. Being off grid is synonymous with being more self sufficient, it is also usually a more rustic way to live.
This is a way to keep your chickens where you want them and lets them have more freedom and access to more bugs and weeds. This solar powered vertical garden is an Off Grid World original design developed from a need to grow food in a small space using high-yield-high-density aquaponics growing techniques. Early on in the research for container houses I saw a picture of a container dwelling in Australia that had a large sunroof for shade and water collection.
With the containers in place on the temporary location it became apparent very quickly that I needed a water supply. I researched welders and with my friends guidance, purchased a lightweight MIG welder (inverter technology) 200 amp capacity. I watched 2 significant welding videos on you-tube that gave very clear advice for the novice. I also purchased a baby hand held grinder, 100mm, to allow me to clean up the sharp metal edges from the cutting process. After correcting for the difference in height between the casting and the roof section I quickly fabricated posts to attach to the brackets I had just welded on.
I cut two 3m lengths of tube and this was anchored at either end to the uprights on the castings. I selected the low pitch, metal sheet, roof tables, and then I simply had to look up the length of the rafters, and battens. I then bolted on some metal brackets I made from "unistrut" steel found in the environment and these allowed me to bolt on gutter boards. I placed the gutter section into the supports and then I secured the battens to the rafters with tech screws.
I located a source of second hand, reasonable quality, painted corrugated steel roofing tin. This picture shows the first flush water diverter that cleans the roof and discards the first 9 litres of water off the roof.

When the containers were placed on new foundations at the final site, the framework went back on in a day, and by the second day the entire roof was assembled and working. 10 Brackets to hold uprights to container frame, 50 x 50 x 4mm wall, galvanized,150mm lengths. Building homes, shelters, and survival bunkers from recycled shipping containers is a very economical and efficient way to build your home. Shipping container homes are the PERFECT base to start building you off grid home or cabin. 1280 square foot ranch style home for less than $10,000 in materials. This design, like most others I’ve designed uses a minimalist approach to maximize livable floor space. The two containers off the each side form the outer walls, and contain the bedrooms and bathroom. The rear of the house doesn’t have to be a glass wall, but I like it because it just looks nice, and will give the interior space a large feel opening onto the back patio. This is a more complex design than my first $10k 1280 Sqft Ranch Style Container Home using two shipping containers, however the cost of extra materials to complete the railing, upper decks, and extra structural materials needed to support the added weight should still have this shipping container home coming in under $40k including the solar panels.
The strawbale will be about $5 per bale and we’ll need about 200, so $1000 for the strawbales.
Not bad for a 3 story 3000 square foot house… This is cutting it close, and we can find tune these numbers, but this whole system is very doable for under $100k. 4 large helix wind turbines and a solar panel array with 48 solar panels generate a combined power of 44,000 watts.
Here is a simple yet practical design I made that accents the simplicity of the shipping container, yet is paneled and sided such that it’s indistinguishable from a traditional contemporary home design.
This unit is complete with Solar Power and a Atmospheric Water Generator to supply drinking water and power.
This next design is a spin on the above design, but with a sun deck and sliding glass door atop the ground floor. Container homes have always been considered environmentally friendly and an innovative way to build a house, and Studio A H:T has taken the concept one step farther. In terms of living space, the two containers hold sleeping and work areas, while the constructed area in the center serves as a living, dining, and entertainment area.A  The 2nd floor, lofted area has a bedroom and deck with a pull out bed. This container home was designed by Studio H:T, a design studio that seeks to create buildings, objects, and environments that heighten the senses and celebrate the unique qualities of place.
From there, you can get your creative juices flowing and build an awesome home, get away or cottage like structure on your existing property providing you have the space.
There is even a site called Zigloo who has released multiple plans and ideas for making structures out of shipping containers and more. Both ideas are gaining a lot of traction lately and can be built in very modern designs so it doesn’t feel like you are heading back to the stone ages. The cabin comes with 2 140 square foot lofts on either end of the home, and sports a living roof for growing fresh organic fruits and veggies. Larry was able to adjust them to the right spot (on his piers) with the help of the driver, his compact tractor, an old floor jack, and a 4 ton power-puller.
He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories.
No windows and it is a sea container made into a home so that this particular part of the “pantry” is built underground and made of steel so very strong, long lasting. To each his own and I am happy to see someone get the home of their dreams even if it’s not to my taste. If I could overcome that, I’d like to try something like that, to keep stationary during a tornado, and to help keep stable temperatures inside.
The Opportunity Village is a tiny house community for the homeless which helps them with life’s necessities.
So making your own super cool and extremely beautiful log furniture seems to be perfect for an off grid cabin or home.
But there are many types of greenhouses, some designs are better at letting more light in and others are better at  insulating the greenhouse from the cold. This would give me a crawl space to be able to access any part of the roof for repairs or modification. It consists of a plate that sits on the corner casting, with a metal post going vertically and a bolt and steel peg to hold the whole thing in place on the corner casting.
Under guidance, I purchased an inexpensive petrol driven Chinese generator with a good output. Armed with this information and some friendly supervision from my friend, I practiced welding on test pieces.
I made a trip to the local major hardware store (Australia - Bunnings) and purchased a large metal cutting saw (drop saw).
I marked out the center of the container and then divided that in two, which gave me approx 3m intervals.
This is the pipe that scaffolders use to assemble safety railing structures around buildings.
These are wooden planks mounted vertically to provide a surface to bolt the gutter brackets to.
Some people balk at the idea of living a a shipping container home, but if designed correctly, and smartly, you can design a home which is indistinguishable from traditional homes. From one extreme to the other, cheap and small, to extremely large and extravagant these are some of the most popular home design styles made from shipping containers. 1280 square feet is a good size to start out, and even if you were to splurge a little with more expensive materials you could double the cost to $20k and still have one very affordable, and very nice home. The bottom back glass wall faces west to catch the afternoon and evening sun, and the top deck is for viewing those beautiful desert sunsets over the mountaintops. The first design is small 2 story, but the second is a 3 story, and the 3rd is a massive Container Castle at nearly 10,000 square feet with at least 8 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms. 4 Stories, consists of 18 40? shipping containers forming a ring around a central atrium like vertical space 32 feet tall by 40?40 (1600 sqft) wide in the center.
This contemporary unit has everything the first has, and the addition of and additional 160 square foot sun deck.

They seek imaginative clients and innovative projects that allow us to contribute to the local and global communities through design excellence. If you’re able to put this baby on wheels, you won’t even need any form of permit to have it around. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Too many designs out there waste space, but this one is perfect and not only that, it doesn’t seem cramped at all like many other shipping container homes. It is kind of a Ford blue, with a white top, and a light grey interrior, but is hot as Hell on mild days. When full summer arrived and the temperatures soared, the inside of the containers became overwhelming without the doors wide open. The wind would provide passive air conditioning to prevent a layer of hot air building between the sunroof and the container top. I have since used my welder to weld to the metal castings and can recommend this as a purchase.
I cleaned the surface paint and welded a piece of box section steel, 50mm x 50mm x 4mm wall, galvanized, to the outer edge of the container roof.
They provided detailed tables that allowed you to work out the thickness and profile of steel you would need for any given structure and dimension of roof. It allows me to secure a ladder to the roof frame and not be leaning on the end of the tin. He allowed me to leave the 50mm welded on brackets in place but pointed out that the containers were now taller than legal and he could be in trouble if he was stopped and checked for height!!!
I seriously considered many different methods of combining the solar panels onto the sunroof.
A little bit of creativity, paneling, flooring, and siding and from the street you’d never be able to tell that a container home is made from large steel modular boxes. If you build a traditional home or cabin, and ever have to move, you can’t take your home with you, which forces you to sell it and start from scratch. When you turn a used shipping container into a home, you’re helping contribute to the betterment of the world. Technically, I could add another 8 feet to the width and increase the common area floor space by 33% to 960 square feet, but that would increase costs by $3000-$5000 more in materials. Adding more windows to the south facing side of the home will also capture more of the Sun’s energy. The four stories total a square footage of 5120 sqft not counting the 4 40? towers at each corner of the castle.
The primary idea of course being affordability and simplicity, plus the added benefit of a good sized 3 bedroom home design. This 2720 square foot workshop could be built for about $25,000 including foundation, roof, and electrical. The pricing presented here are for BARE BONES materials, does not include freight, moving, crane rental, or any amenities. Anyone is welcome to use this design under an Open Source Creative Commons Share and Share Alike License, with credit given to this page. This guide assumes the containers and the floor are supported by pillars or a slab foundation already installed. I believe a metal carport roof a couple of feet above, would help with that problem for my situation. What you have with the round top windows and inside paneling looks cute, and should appeal to the Mrs. We all know that an ICE (internal combustion engine) will run on hydrogen, so there’s nothing new there.
First attempts to use it were a little scary, but I am now quite used to the noise and sparks it makes when it is operating. To verify the results I started to look at all the buildings, carport's and metal structure roofs in my environment. He was correct, but I valued being able to dismantle the roof more highly than the price of the fixtures.
The jig is just two lengths of steel and some wooden blocks glued in place to align with my corrugation pattern. I build the sunroof on my own and I attribute this to the fact that all the metal lengths are approx 3 meters. Another very powerful incentive for creating your home from shipping containers is strength.
I’m not sure is this is a good thing in the desert, but, it’s probably good in colder climates. This means you can probably place these in the desert anywhere in the world and still stay cool in 100-120 degree heat. If you shop around you can buy an acre or more of land for about $30k-$40k here in southern California. Each tower level has a floor space of 64 sqft, for a total of 1024 square feet within all 4 towers.
However the holes are in the peaks and not the valleys of the corrugation, and it turns out it was highly suited to my purpose. I later extended the sunroof over the kitchen slightly to create a covered walkway, and I cover this in book two. There is a 10 foot round dome skylight on the roof which lets in plenty of sunlight to grow many species of plants and even trees INSIDE the castle. Much stronger than stick built homes, and in some cases, stronger than brick or stone homes.

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