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I have been reading about alternative homes and came across an article for living in shipping containers. The shipping container was completely fitted out like a home with a shower and a toilet and with heating and cooling. I was surprised at the interior of the shipping container as the inside looked incredibly good. I like the idea of this alternative home and I am wondering if anyone has knowledge of shipping containers and has anyone purchased and fitted out a shipping container? Is it expensive or is it as economical as stated in the article I read in a magazine?


Posted anonymously, 28th September 2015


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  • They would need to be very big containers as you need to put in insulation at least in your ceiling and outer walls to be legal housing. I’m not how many you would need to make a small basic home. You may not be able to get a council permit either. I would make verbal enquiries before you even seriously think about buying the containers. Unless you can buy containers cheaply a kit home may be a better option. Friends of ours got a transportable home. They had to brick up the bottom. They were sneaky and put slats on part of the back of it so they could access the plumbing if they needed to. It is lengthwise on the block so they bricked up the gap at the front and the two long sides. They built an ordinary metal garage nearer the back of the block.

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  • yeah this has been a housing option for a fair while! it would be pretty cheap but i have looked at kit homes. not taking into account any other cost than the kit, around $18-20,000 will get you a decent sized 2-3 bedromm home with a section for outdoor entertaining.

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  • A friend of mine has recently moved back up to qld to build one, sounds like you need to invest a bit of time and thought into the planning process.

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  • A really good idea! I have seen some at a university that the students stay in!

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  • Try YouTube and I saw a beautiful fit out on 1 in Queensland but it took them years to build! I think not as easy as you think, but there is lots of info out there in Google land.

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  • I have friends who have done it for their shack. They did most of the work themselves after picking up a shipping container for a great price. It feels a little claustrophobic to me but I have seen them with extra windows and even a sliding door onto a deck. I think they did one on The Living Room (or a similar lifestyle program) recently and it looked brilliant!

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  • We had one on a farm when I was a kid. Not sure on costs though

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  • I believe this is being used increasingly for emergency housing after disasters. I don’t know about long term.

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  • I have seen them used for student accommodation – basic and simple.

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  • Friends of mine converted shipping containers into living quarters. It was costly and time consuming, but stunning end result

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