Feature: Custom Container Living

Mar 07, 2017
Custom Container Living has an 18-year legacy in custom home building. What they used to do for homeowners on a larger scale, they’ve simply adjusted to do it on a smaller scale using the benefits for container housing.

Custom Container Living

They will be at the Des Moines Home + Outdoor Living Show and featuring an 8’ by 40’ container home that has a main floor bedroom, a loft which sleeps two, a full kitchen and a full bath with a soaker tub. The design was done by Jennifer Bertrand, winner of HGTV’s Design Star.

Customer Container Living offered some background to help show attendees understand the benefits and features of container housing.

What is container living/container homes?
Container homes are made from either new or repurposed shipping containers.  They can be made from single containers or multiple containers, depending on the size of the home desired. 

What are some of the benefits of container living?
  • Strength and Durability. Containers are much stronger than normal wood construction methods. They are made with steel uni-body construction, the strongest construction method possible. Shipping containers can resist snow, wind, hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes.
  • Move in the same day. All of our cabins are custom designed based on the specific usage requirements and preferences of the customer. They are pre-plumbed, pre-wired, and delivered completely assembled. As long as the required services (water, electric, sewer/septic) are onsite, they can be set, secured, and hooked up the same day.
  • Low maintenance. If you are interested in as little maintenance as possible, we offer metal and vinyl siding options. This is perfect for a lake cabin or hunting cabin where you do not want to spend your time maintaining the building when you are there to enjoy the time you have away.
  • Made for transporting. Shipping containers were specifically designed for transport. There are many tow and transport services which will pick up and deliver the containers.

Why do you think container homes are increasing in popularity?
Many people like the strength and durability aspects, knowing the home will still be there in 50 to 100 years.  Many people also like the turnkey aspects, where they design their home, and then we bring it onsite, hook it up, and they are living in it the same day.  Others like the idea of container homes for the sustainability aspects, knowing they are using something that would otherwise occupy a landfill.  And lastly, for the architectural aspects, as containers have a unique industrial look and feel and can be combined in different ways.

What are consumers/homeowners most surprised about during the process?
One of the most common responses we get when people first walk through our homes is "wow, this is a lot larger than I expected," or "I could definitely do this.”  We tend to encourage the use of windows and lighting, as well as increased height, to give the containers a more open feel. 

Another surprise is the fact that we can fit a full kitchen and a full bathroom into our 40' containers.  We can fit a full-size stove, microwave, refrigerator and dishwasher in our kitchens as well as full showers or bathtubs with 30" vanities and full size stools in our bathrooms. In addition, we also provide either a washer/dryer combination or choice of a stackable unit.

Most are also surprised at the speed of the process. Because we are able to build in our shop, with all of the materials and equipment at our disposal, we can build a single 40' container home in approximately 4 weeks.  Of course, total time from order to placement will also depend on backlog and site preparation.

The other item that is often surprising is that with many of our finished homes, no one would ever suspect they are made from a shipping container. 

How do help make sure it’s an ideal lifestyle fit for homeowners?
First is location—where are they planning to place the container. Some counties and municipalities will have zoning or codes restrictions which will need to be addressed. 

The second topic would be that of financing, as, depending on the size of the home, traditional mortgage lenders may shy away from providing financing on these homes. 

In terms of lifestyle, that is a question for the buyer. We always encourage everyone to come visit us, either at a show or at our shop, so they can walk through a completed home and get a good feel for the size, amenities, etc.

Custom Container Living is located fifty miles south of Kansas City, Missouri. Their single and double homes can be delivered to the lower 48 states. Be sure to check out their website and catch them at the show!

DM Home + Outdoor Living

MARCH 10 - 12, 2017