The best place to start is to get financing if you need it and that way you will know what you qualify for. If you don’t need financing then that’s a plus. Next is to find land that will allow the home that you want to put on there. Some cities/counties have zoning and code restrictions and requirements. An experienced Realtor should be able to find land that will accommodate your needs and the Custom Container Living floor plan that you want to put on it. Next step is to go to our website and pick the floor plan and pricing that fits you best. We can tweak the floor plan as you desire. After that we would put a contract in place for you to review. If everything is okay with the contact then you would send a 40% deposit. The balance of the payment would be due before delivery. After you get some of the above items squared away then we will be happy to help you get into a beautiful custom container living home.
This is the most commonly asked question, so we want to give you a realistic idea of what one may cost. We provide a base price for each of our floor plans on the specific page. We then have an options sheet which allows you to select various upgrades or, in some cases, remove certain items from the base unit. We have done our best to list these options on the floor plan pages as well. This will provide you with a fairly accurate cost of the final unit, with the only variances based on any customizations you may require.
When it comes to purchasing, we require 40% down and the remainder due once complete, but before delivery takes place.
We do not offer financing directly. As the Tiny Home movement is a bit new, financing can be a challenge as we wait for banks and other lenders to determine exactly how they want to loan on these structures. Having said that, there are some lenders who are starting to come around. After doing a bit of research, below are the various options we have found. The first two are “Tiny Home” specific. The others are a combination of personal loans and peer-to-peer financing.
- LightStream Tiny Home Financing
- Lending Club
- Lending Tree
- Discover Personal Loan
- BB&T Bank
- Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union
- Personal Loans.com
- 24/7 Lendinggroup
While shipping containers were made to be easily transported, they are not conducive to placing on a trailer and moving around each weekend as some of the “tiny homes” you see on TV. Those are made on trailers with normal wood construction.
A 20′ container weighs approximately 4,800 pounds and a 40′ container weighs over 8,000 pounds. Fully built out, a 20′ container could weigh easily over 10,000 pounds and a 40′ container could be well over 20,000 pounds.
These units are made to be transported, set in place, and stay put. This does not mean that you could not easily move them to a new location should you have the need or should you sell it. This will just require a call to your local tow company. What it does mean, however, is that this is not something you would likely do yourself on your own trailer.
Delivery is included for the first 200 miles from where we build them in Archie, MO. Click here to see delivery charges for your location. You are also welcome to pick it up if you have a roll-back trailer and the means to do this.
It is your responsibility to watch the delivery video and determine if access to your property for delivery fits within our standard guidelines . If you have any question at all about access to your property or any potential delivery issues you have the option of having someone from our team visit your site to determine accessibility and if there is a need for any special equipment such as a crane, wrecker or other. If after inspection of your property we determine there is need for any special equipment we will let you know what the additional delivery fee will be. The fee for an optional property inspection visit is $750.00 and will be credited back to your purchase price should we proceed with contract and delivery.
When we deliver the container home we will place on the pad site that has been prepared ahead of time and if placing on steel plates we will have the container welded down. It is the homeowners responsibility to contact local contractors to have site work completed. We will provide the contractors with all the info needed to hook-up the container home.
We install a 12,000/10,600 BTU air/heat combination unit in our 20′ homes. This unit is rated for 115V so will operate on your standard 120V plug. The 20′ cabins are 160 sq. ft. and the unit has a coverage of 450 sq. ft. This is 280% more coverage area than the cabin itself.
In the 40′ homes, which normally contain a bedroom, we will install two air/heat units—one in the bedroom and one in the main living area.
You can also upgrade to a Mitsubishi ductless mini-split system in either of the units. These come in both standard (down to 6 degrees) and hyper-heat (down to minus 13 degrees) options.
All units with lofts come standard with a ceiling fan to circulate the air.
We use closed cell spray foam insulation in both the walls and the ceilings of our container units. This not only provides the maximum insulation possible, it also reinforces what is already the strongest construction available.
As these are containers and not traditional wood construction, they start out wind and water tight. The only holes in the container are those we cut for doors and windows (and raised ceilings if applicable). Because of this, the containers heat and cool very quickly. While we do not yet have specific statistics on overall efficiency, we are discussing this with an energy rating firm and hope to have specific details in the future.
Codes and zoning will differ depending on the city/county where the container dwelling will be placed, what it will be used for, and how it will be secured. In some cases it may be considered an outbuilding. In other cases it may be considered a home. In many counties and smaller towns, there may not be any zoning at all. The first thing we recommend is to contact your local city/county and discuss your plans. As “Tiny Living” is a fairly new concept, more and more localities are having to decide how to classify this type of dwelling when used for a residence.
Another option, when looking at residing in the container dwelling and you do not yet own land, is to contact a local mobile home park and discuss placing your container home in the park. The advantage to this option is that all utility services are already present.
It takes between 4 to 8 weeks to build a custom container home, depending on the design and construction materials. Total time between order and delivery is dependent on the number of homes being constructed. We can give you a more exact timeframe when you order your home.
The utilities (electric, water, sewer/septic) are connected the same as they would be in a normal house. Of course, we can customize this based on your need. If hooking to a generator, we can make sure you have the right connection for electric. We can also include gas lines for the hot water heater and stove if you plan to run propane. We discuss all of this with you when designing your container dwelling.
All of our homes can accommodate solar and it is best to work with a local solar provider who understands the solar capability, best location for solar panel placement and amount of sunlight for your area. We can work with your local solar provider prior to building the home and incorporate any necessary modifications as needed so that your home is delivered “solar ready” or you can work with a local solar provider after we deliver the home and retrofit it with solar. We can also work with them to deliver a full or partial off-grid quote specific to your situation.
Steel shipping container walls are made from 14 gauge, 0.078 inch corrugated sheet steel panels that are welded to the main structure. The top and bottom side rails and end frames are 7 gauge tubular steel. The steel used to build modern shipping/cargo containers is a corrosive resistant high-strength low-alloy steel.
The floors are 1-1/8″ thick marine plywood. The bottom of the shipping/cargo container has 3-4 mm thick cross members that have recesses along the bottom side rails, which allows them to be lifted with special straddle carriers. The floor of the shipping/cargo container is 1-1/8″ thick marine (19 ply treated) plywood screwed into the main structure.
There are two main options when installing a unit.
- Set the container directly on the ground or on blocks to level the unit. The 20’ container will weigh approximately 10,000 lbs and the 40’ container will weigh up to 20,000 lbs. You may want to choose this option if you plan on moving the unit in the future or you do not need a permanent installation.
- Set the containers using piers: On the 20’ units you will need to pour four 2’x2’ piers three feet deep, one on each corner of the container. On the 40’ units you will need to pour six piers, one on each corner and one in the middle on each side. We will provide steel plates to insert into the piers as they set up. These plates will have rebar welded on the underneath side. The container will be set on the piers and welded to the steel plates. You may choose to cover the area with crushed rock or, if desired, you may pour a concrete pad over the piers and insert your plates into the pad.
** The above methods are just suggestions based on our local codes, we always recommend talking to your local codes authorities or a contactor familiar with the codes.