Container House

Introduction: Container House

     I am entering this contest to showcase my dream house (something that would be really cool for parties and retreats). I know it's not a room- more a house, but I guess the Main (connecting) room would be my favorite if I had to choose. I am a high school student that really likes designing all sorts of things, not just architecture. I was playing on sketch-up, and this is what I came up with.
     The house is a rural, standardized, and even beautiful home that would be easy(ish) and relatively cheap to set up almost everywhere. There are different kinds of houses with the same kinda look, but the way I use it and the furnishings inside of it are unique to my design. The following pictures are exported jpegs from skech-up (not 3ds max sadly) so they aren't exactly what I designed, so look in the descriptions to see my view. If you've ever used sketch-up, you know how temperamental it is, so not everything is perfect (like the second level floating 2" of of the first).

Step 1: The Main House

These are the main views of the house, four forty-feet containers stacked and anchored to a concrete foundation. The top two containers are placed past the half way point of the bottom containers and bolted together to keep the top floor where it should be. One of the views shows a front door under the top level of the house, and a garage door on the side. It is not for parking, but to open up the main room. Yes, a land rover (seemed like a fitting car) is parked out front but can be parked under the top floor where the door is to protect it.  On the top layer (where there is usually a solid wall) floor to celling glass has been placed showing into the office and bedroom. You can barely see the deck on the back (on the second layer), but it is there! Finally, the view of the adjacent side shows off two industrial rail-rolling glass doors which enter into the main room and kitchen.

Step 2: Main Room

You may want to come back to this step to place yourself (sorry for the bad views)
The main room is like the den where all of the rooms are connected. For structural rigidity, the bottom beam of the above containers still have to exist to keep the thing from ripping in half and falling on your land rover. Two ladders on opposite sides of the room lead to the bedroom and office (on the car side) and to the deck (on the opposite side).  The main view is through that garage door, open to show the outside. In front of that door (on the inside) is a projector screen (huge just because: football games, home movies, hey, I'm a guy, it cant be to big) connected to the hd projector conveniently hanging on the beam in the middle of the room. Where the beams meet in the middle of the room on the floor is a mistake, you don't need those on the concrete base, but Sketch-up would have deleted the entire beam, so ignore. The furniture is ikea stuff in my mind, not what is there. Since this is my dream home with a over the top budget,  I would hook that projector up to an Xbox 360, PS4, Apple TV, the Mac Pro in the office, and cable box. (apple haters, envision a chrome cast ) The office and room are next to each other on the top floor for clarification.  With the floor of the second level cut out, it makes a vaulted celling, loft-like feel which makes the room feel bigger. Note, next to the ladder that goes to the bedroom and office is the front door. Because Sketch-Up makes it hard to not throw the computer across the room, I didn't include walls, but you could easily insulate and apply drywall to it.

Step 3: The Bedroom

The bedroom is above the door, and you immediately enter the room once up the steps. The room is a total Ikea-box-combonation-unit of all the good-looking, expensive bedroom families (like the pax system, ect.) made to be effective in a small space. Adjacent  bed is (of course) a huge 60" tv connected to the same kind of stuff as th big projector downstairs for sick days and when your supposed to be sleeping or studying.  Next to the tv is the entrance to the office.

Step 4: The Office

The office is strait forward, being the same size as the bedroom with a desk overlooking the front of the house with that floor to celling glass (which can be covered with those cool cordless shades if your doing top secret assignments). The computer is of course a Mac Pro (most powerful) with a 30" monitor connected to the projector downstairs). The back wall is there to section a supposedly distraction free office (yea, right, with that mac pro.... all the gaming...) from the projector. That black frame was supposed to be a small window, but sketch-up hated me that day and wouldn't work. Near the back is a ikea expedit shelving unit. From that outside view, you can see the bedroom which has the same shades, probably some cool accent colors.

Step 5: The Kitchen

As you can tell, it isn't the most exciting part of the house, but the microwave burritos need to be reheated somewhere. It includes a electric or gas stove and oven (look, I even made the smoke vent thingy for when my dinner catches fire) with a sink and microwave combo countertop. In retrospect, it's nice that the microwave is out of the way, but underneath the sink is not the best idea. The fridge is  a fridge, and as long as it can hold ice-cream and soda, it's good.  There is another window, but of course sketch up didn't want to press through.  The kitchen is the second rolling glass door on the side, but what if a bad storm or you just wanted the doors sealed? I have a plan. It is complicated for me to try in sketch-up, but the panel that is cut out when constucting the opening is saved and hinged to the top of the opening to swing down and lock when needed. (it would be hydraulic with sensors to keep it from closing on you like a garage door)

Step 6: The Bathroom

Every house needs one for nightly reading, but it isn't the most exciting room. (you can tell the excitement of the room with the order it's in) It would have everything any bathroom would have, and would have one of those rolling glass doors doors from outside.(solid though to keep privacy) It makes it look better from the outside. It is located behind the ladder lading up to the deck. 

Step 7: The Deck

"Why is the deck last?! It should be first! This is where the party's at!" Well, this is the least thought out area in the house. There are two sliding glass doors (which sketch-up decided not to let me punch through)  to enter the deck, but the deck has nothing on it, and it isn't extendible like the ground is. It would be a real pain to try to get a bicycle or a grill up there. It has no drainage. And worst of all, I couldn't find a place to put a tv! I also don't know how bad drainage would be, and there is no way that it would hold enough people for a legit party. I would put it on the ground near the garage door so I could open it up to reveal the main den. Sorry.

Step 8: Final Thoughts

Because it is a big metal oven, placement of the house would be key. My dream was to have it in somewhere in oregon, like the picture, more suburban, but still aloneish. Not where I currently live in the desert, Santa Clarita. It would be ok, but AC bills would soon surpass the price of the entire house. I found shipping containers in the basic $2,000 range each, plus the furniture around $10,000 for high quality everything,  plus those hidden fees for building, moving, basic supplies, $10,000. That most likely doesn't cover everything, oh wait, land. Oops. Anyway, if you claimed land SOMEHOW for free, the house could cost possibly $40,000. I'm not sure. Plus the Landrover: $62,000. Yet,  I have to be missing some cost... 

That's my dream, so thank you for reading!

Please try not to copy directly. I tried really hard on this! Thanks!

Improve Your Room Youth Design Challenge

Third Prize in the
Improve Your Room Youth Design Challenge



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    20 Discussions

    I think this idea has been adopted by many business owners out there in the market especially in the food and beverage industry. This container concept has proven to be appealing to more than just a single age group – but mostly young adults and working adults. The container provides an ample amount of space to lay a nice dining setting which can accommodate an entire lunch crowd without much waiting time. Apart from that area, there is only additional room for storage purposes which are essential to store fresh foods and ingredients.


    3 years ago

    We're planning on building a container home to. A lot larger than yours (6 40' and 10 20') But you NEED insulation, regardless where you build. Use of spray foam gives an R7/40mm depth. We are going overboard and doing 80mm. This, along with double glazing, will give us a winter heating bill from $50-$75. Don't use bat insulation as it will cause moisture build up and corrosion.

    Don't forget that any window or door you cut needs steel reinforcement as you compromise the structural integrity.

    How are you wireless internet? (if you use wireless) My dad installed internet in some buildings like that, and he had to place a repeater in every container, becouse the containers steel walls blocked the signal.

    Very good work! I like the layout of the containers and the decks. It is simple, clean, and efficient. I also like to mess around with this sort of thing. Having remodeled my own house, I am naturally interested in the details like where plumbing, electrical, and insulation would be. With insulation, the spray foam stuff is really space efficient, so you can get decent insulation without pulling in your walls that much. The biggest challenge I can see with these units in HVAC. How do you cram a decent amount of ducting in there for a heat pump/geothermal unit? All good challenges.

    I love your design and hope you get to build it someday. Thanks!

    But way cool design!

    Where the hell do you get those type of shipping containers?

    Great design and a cost-effective way of providing low-tech living accomodation at an affordable price. Container living is something on my someday/maybe list as I think the possibilities are endless. Have you ever seen how Leo Burnett used containers to promote a DIY store in the UK?

    Very nice! You've put a lot of thought into this design. If good insulation is used, it would work very well. I actually like the deck on the top floor, it could have a retractable awning. Good luck to you!

    Sorry thats just me being scared, i am currently working on an entry in this competition and i noticed that your design will be hard to top off and since i have been using sketchup for such little time, i have very little CAD skill i can completely understand why you have downloaded those items, and i have to admit that the land rover puts a nice touch on the design. I am sorry for my harsh comment and i look forward to competing with you. Good luck

    1 reply

    You downloaded everything in your house so great job it looks like that was sooooo hard good job downloading

    1 reply

    I am sincerely sorry that my skill in Sketch-Up is not to your standard; I thought that if I tried to make a Land Rover, it would be embarrassing and wouldn't even come close to the model I found. I built the model not to show off how well I could click the download button, but to showcase my idea effectively and efficiently without trying to draw or hand model it in real life. (I cannot do either well) I am not saying that I hand built each item used, but give me a little credit for putting it all together to what I truly wanted.

    Cool place! I don't like the placement of the stove though. In a corner the wall gets in the way of handles and movement is restricted.

    1 reply

    Yea, the kitchen itself was a weird shape to plan, and if I was to do it over, I may put the stove on the wall to the left. The only problem is the placement of refrigerator and any other appliances... Thanks for the comment!

    This is fantastic. I love how you thought out every area of the house, as well as where you'd want to put it. Great job! :D

    1 reply