Living OffGrid in a SelfBuilt 20ft Shipping Container Home
Twoandahalf years ago I decided to move out of the city and build myself a shipping container cabin. I drew it up on the computer first and then once I saw this site it just came together really quickly. The cabin is made of three standard 20foot shipping containers. I’ve done some modifications to them so you can walk through all three containers. This is my washroom. I had a roughed in toilet that I never used. I used the outhouse instead. This was my bedroom. Living room, kitchen, and then I guess. second living room. This is where I primarily spent all my time. Either in front of the fire during winter or most.
Likely outside enjoying the sun in the summertime. All of these doors are standard issue shipping container doors. They’re actually sealed when they’re locked and I initially designed the cabin around containers on the premise that once the doors are sealed and locked you can walk away for several weeks at a time. If you go traveling you can close up your house and you don’t have to worry about it. This is my utility room basically it was a a propane fired hot water tank that fed the infloor radiant heat system and also provided hot domestic water. There’s 17.4 million containers in the world and.
Threequarters of them are sitting empty and so they’re readily available and they’re relatively inexpensive and also they provide a great deal of structural properties. The largest challenge was to insulate the cabin I was hoping to stay here for four seasons. I came up with insulating the interior walls with spray foam and then the openings where the steel doors are insulated with bats. I was able to get an Rvalue about R22 for all the walls which makes surviving the winter more.I guess more enjoyable. Water sources were an issue. My neighbors were kind enough to let me fill up my water tote so I.
Would either drive my tractor over and pick up the water or make arrangements and travel into the closest town and fill up my water so I trucked all my water in. For the energy side I designed a two kilowatt solar system. I use the outhouse as my primary washroom. After watching many people before me make tiny houses I I really liked the idea of downsizing and simplifying your life. By moving to a smaller space it forced me to select what mattered in my life. I grew up around offgrid systems.my grandfather built his first hydro site in the 40s to power his house and his business and my father did the same and.
I wanted to do something similar so I guess it’s been in my family for three generations so it just felt natural. I enjoy simple wellthoughtout things and this incorporates a lot of my interests into just a smaller spot. I feel that being responsible and sustainable goes handinhand with welldesigned systems. My passion is design and having a holistic lifestyle is also passion of mine and they just they marry very well. I just graduated from school so I am starting my own business in the solar renewable energy field trying to, I guess, empower.
People to to do similar things that I’ve been doing. I lived in the house for twoandahalf years fulltime. the cabin is 355 square feet and most people would consider that small or tiny. To be honest I didn’t spend that much time inside the cabin. It’s where I prepared and ate food, and slept, and then read most evenings but when I was home I’d be outside where I prefer to be, in nature. Living here by myself for twoandahalf years with just me and my dog.
Some people might have thought it would have been boring or quiet but I was never bored. There was always something fun, or interesting, or new to discover, ,or to learn. The time I spent here was kind of like meditation. it was a time to reflect on my life, so I really enjoyed my time here.
Smallest Tiny House with All the Comforts of Home Full Tour
It is a small tiny house because we only used a 16 foot trailer. And then one of the features that a lot of people like about this house is that we actually used the triangle at the front and we’ve actually worked on it and put some storage on it. So if you go here, it’s the seating area, it’s like your living room. You can remove the cushions which are kept in place with velcro. You can move them and then you can lift this, and then you’ve got storage. This space is also there in case somebody would like to install solar panels on this house.
And then same thing for this one over here. This also opens. The dining area.if you’re only 2 people then you can actually have one person eating here and one person eating there. Let’s say you have guests over. This table isn’t fixed, it’s movable. You can actually take your table and move it over here. So you can be 4 or 5 people around this table.
Most of our models have a galley kitchen in them. We have lots of countertops. All the lights here are LED. Gas stove, gas heater, and then we have the hot water heater that’s underneath here. It’s for the sink and the shower, so all the plumbing is run through the cabinets. We didn’t go in the walls because you don’t want them to freeze. This is our electrical panel which is also a spice rack. You open it so you have 2 functions here.
Basically we did a mirror, and people tell us ah you’ve installed it on the wrong side and we’re like no no no no. It’s because I don’t have a mirror in the bathroom. So someone who gets out of the shower actually has the mirror to look at. And the other thing is.if you’re getting dressed and you want to look at yourself, if you do that, then you can move it. We don’t have a freshwater tank in this one but if we had to install one, it would be installed under the sink.
Once again, this is our prototype, you know, this is a learning curve. Some of the stuff.one of the things that we’re definitely going to improve is our shower space. Because it’s trial and error and because we maybe didn’t put enough emphasis on it at the beginning for the plumbing. So this is our shower space. Basically what it is.the reason why it’s high is because we have a grey water tank that we located underneath.
We wanted to keep it above the insulation because this is a tiny house that you can live in, in the winter. Basically what you’re going to have here is.this is our shower space. There’s going to be a step, we’re going to add a step. And we’re probably going to cut open the mezzanine, raise the roof up, and actually use that space for a night table upstairs. So that it serves as a shower and it serves as the night table. This unit is installed with a Separett toilet.
We need to finalize the connections but these are great. Before we go upstairs. This is one of the features that people really like about this house. We’ve taken Japanese stairs. You’ve got handles in it. You need to get used to getting into these. A lot of people come here and if they’re lefthanded, they’ll try to go up with their left foot. So it’s kind of hard.