Did you happen to catch Wednesday night's episode of "Top Design?" If not, blogger-friend, Julia, has a thorough and fun wrap-up of the show on her blog, Hooked on Houses.
In this week's "Top Design" episode, designers were asked to decorate bomb shelters. I don't remember the exact dimensions of each shelter, but I think they were something like 12'x14'. Not big. Decorating a bomb shelter may seem a bit unrealistic, but it reminded me of container living.
Have you heard of container living? There's really a movement right now to turn shipping containers into liveable accommodations. Yes, THOSE shipping containers. Apparently, it's cheaper to keep manufacturing these things than it is to send the used ones back to Asia, so now there's a glut of them here in the U.S.
As you can imagine, shipping containers are not huge by residential standards, but it might be fun to see what you could do with one. They run 8' wide and 8'6" tall and come in your choice of 20' or 40' lengths. I read that you can purchase them on Ebay, and sure enough, you can! I found a 40' one with a starting bid of less than $2,000, and shipping to Austin from Chicago is less than $150. I know. Cheap, right?
Once you decide on your container, you'd have to figure out some sort of base -- footings or decking. That might also involve leveling ground. Containers come with a door, but I don't know if you'd want that as your main entrance, but maybe so. You'd probably want to add a couple of windows. Of course, the container won't start out with plumbing or electricity, so all of that would need to be added.
One of the great things about these containers is, because they come in standard sizes, they're as stackable as Legos. That means you could build a two-story house or stack as many as you want!
We own a little piece of land outside of Angel Fire, NM. Currently, there's no road, electricity, plumbing, water or septic tank. It would take quite a bit of money to put all that in place, and that's before we even get started on a cabin. I'm not saying we're definitely going to turn a shipping container into a mountain getaway, but before you poo-poo the idea, take a look at these...
These next few shots show the stages of what went into building this particular mountain retreat.
As you can see, the containers start out as rectangular boxes, but you're only limited by your imagination. You could add a pitched roof, a wall of windows or glass doors, and even a stucco or split-log facade. No one would ever know you started with a box.
Are you inspired or repulsed? Intrigued or bewildered? Before you decide, come back for tomorrow's post on small space living.
Extraordinary Women ~ Mother Joseph Pariseau
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