Shipping Container Tiny House


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Are you planning on building a home from a shipping container?

Do you want to make a tiny house?

Are you looking for easy steps and instructions that will help you build the tiny container home?

Living in a container home is quite the trend these days for a variety of reasons. And if you are planning on building a tiny home, using a shipper container could be perfect. In fact, this article can help you do just that!

In this article we will take a look at why a shipping container can make such a good frame for a tiny house. We also share detailed step-by-step instructions on how you can make your very own from scratch. We are also sharing some beautiful images that can help you design and plan yours the way you want, so keep reading.

5 Beautiful And Tiny Shipping Container Houses

Check out these beautiful images of tiny homes on Pinterest that you can use for inspiration when building and furnishing your own tiny container homes

Option #1

Tiny home for two:

  • This home has a rustic and beautiful feel to it.
  • It is a perfect size for a couple and has a modern look with wooden designs, slats and glass doors.

Option #2

Rustic home with upstairs sitting area:

  • This design mixes the classic, rustic barn look with a bright modern feel.
  • The rustic ladder leads upstairs to a big open sitting area.

Option #3

Tiny moveable home:

  • This tiny home can be moved from place to place easily.
  • It is a light blue colour with classic white to give it that cosy touch.

Option #4

Bright yellow home with outdoor seating:

  • The bright yellow on this home is an instant plus on the style front.
  • The owners have smartly designed the home to get a spacious outdoor sit-out area as well.

Option #5

Tiny home with upstairs seating:

  • This tiny home makes perfect use of every available space.
  • It has a nice seating area on the top, along with wide windows and doors that add a lot of light and air inside.

How can you make a tiny house out of a shipping container?

Now that you are ready to build yourself a container tiny house, here are some of the steps that will take you from having just a shipping container to having one that is also a tiny home.

  1. Design your home plan and layout.
  2. Check with an engineer to understand structural requirements or constraints.
  3. Make the foundation for the home.
  4. Compare a few shipping containers before choosing one that suits your needs.
  5. Remove and a new floor or top floor to ensure the flooring is clean and free from any toxic material that may have been present in the containers in the past.

Basic steps for turning a shipping container into a tiny house

Before your tiny house is finished and ready to be lived in, you will have to do some basic prep that will make it easier to construct the home.

Materials and equipment needed

  • Paper and pen/pencil
  • Calculator to note every expense
  • Space where you will park the home
  • Things to flatten out the space where your home will sit – crushed rock/small concrete piers/steel piers
  • The shipping container
  • Water pipe
  • Cutters
  • Paint if needed
  • Framing
  • Insulation
  • Flooring/wall cover
  • Wiring
  • Furnishing

Easy to follow instructions

Designing the tiny house

  1. Start by creating a proper plan of how you want your home to be.
  2. Add every detail such as door, window, where you want the bed and kitchen area to be, where the bathroom should be and so on.
  3. Always keep an estimated budget at hand.
  4. Jot down the cost of each item you will potentially need, in addition to the container, so that you have a fair idea of your overall spend.  
  5. Once you have a design in place, run it with your local council member to see if it falls under permissible guidelines.

Finishing it up

  1. Prepare the space where your home will sit – if it will directly sit on the ground or will be elevated.
  2. Place the shipping container properly.
  3. Wash it thoroughly.
  4. Cut out the spaces for the doors and windows.
  5. Paint now if needed.

Furnishing it as needed

  1. Now is the time to add insulation as well as any floor or wall cover.
  2. Complete the wiring process for electricity.
  3. All set – add furnishing such as bed, couch, table/chair, toilet, sink, fridge, AC and so on.

What is a tiny house?

The term house term is usually used to define homes that are less than 400 square feet in their total structural measurement.

Does a shipping container make a good shell for building a tiny house?

When you think of a tiny home, using a shipping container can often be the ideal choice for converting into a tiny house. This is because:

  • Shipping containers are of a size that makes them a perfect fit for being converted into a tiny home.
  • These are made out of very sturdy and durable materials that will ensure the tiny home is able to stay protected from environmental damage.
  • Shipping containers are usually way less expensive to use as compared to regular construction material.
  • You can also add on to the shipping container in future if you want to make your tiny home into a bigger sized home.  

Tiny House Shipping Containers VS Traditional Tiny House

Here are some of the pros and cons of building a tiny house out of a shipping container versus building a traditional tiny house from scratch:


  • Unique concept: This is definitely a way more unique idea than building a regular tiny home that almost anyone can and does.
  • Sturdier and durable: Tiny homes made out of shipping containers are more long-term and sustainable. These are made out of very durable materials that will ensure you don’t have to get into any major maintenance for your tiny home for a long time.
  • Quick and easy: When you make a tiny home out of a shipping container, you can move into it way faster, as compared to a tiny home that is made out of the traditional materials.


  • Configuration constraints: Shipping containers already come with a pre-made frame, which makes it a little difficult to change the basic configuration as per your needs.
  • Can be quite narrow: When you use a single container as your home, it may end up leading to a home that is tiny and narrow, unless you play around with ideas.
  • Unsure about what it was used for: While these are great as recycling agents, you may not always be clear on what the shipping container was earlier used for, and whether or not it had any toxic items inside.


Now that you have all the guidance and steps you need, as well as so many types of designs and styles to add to your own home, we hope you can create your very own tiny home from shipping containers.

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