Back to Back Issues Page
Container House Inspirations, Issue No. 4 -- Tips For Shipping Container House Construction
June 29, 2016

Hi Everyone, Deciding to build a shipping container house is exciting and knowing as much as you can about the process will help you build your own shipping container house. Your home to live in! These tips will help you!


The best place to start when you are thinking about building an 'Owner Builder' house is to read and find out as much as you can so you can be sure it is what you want to do especially from someone who has already built one.

Planning and more planning is the key to being organised and keeping your 'building' project on track and finished on time and within your budget.

Buying Containers

Buying shipping containers for a house depends if they are going to be cladded over or not. If they are not going to be covered they will need to be weatherproof, straight to make building easier, be in good condition for looks unless you like the rustic look. It is very important that you look at the container yourself and inspect them thoroughly for rust and damage that may make it not seal or be waterproof.

Cutting Openings In Containers

After the containers have been delivered and craned into position, the next step is to start cutting openings for the windows doors and other openings like large openings between rooms. Every opening that is cut out of a container wall must be re-strengthened with a steel frame which must be approved by a structural engineer.

Foundations and Stumps

The foundations are holding up the house on the stumps and they are also holding the house down from blowing away in a huge wind, cyclone etc.

The foundations and stumps must be designed and planned by a structural engineer, which must be built as detailed on the plans.

The steel stumps are 1 metre (3'4") high, they will be bolted onto the footings and the shipping containers will be welded to the top plate to keep them in place.

This page shows the shipping containers being placed on the stumps

The Roof

We used corrugated iron for the roofing and the walls. The insulation batts were placed between the timber framing, then the sisalation is attached and then covered by the wall cladding.

House Interior

The living room interior in our shipping container house is spacious, as the living room measures about 7 x 6 metres (23 x 20 feet). This room is the central area inside a square of shipping containers, this design and plan has worked really well for us.

The Verandah

The plans for the verandah had to be approved by a structural engineer and the local council prior to the verandah being constructed.

Starting construction of our verandah we had the footing holes dug to the correct depth and in a straight line. The footings were then cemented in and later the posts bolted on then the framing could be finished and the iron attached.

Our shipping container house is one of many container homes that have been built, check out as many styles and designs as you can so you can decide what your dream 'container' home will be.


Our Shipping Container House
Facebook - Build A Container House Ideas
Back to Back Issues Page