12 Steps How To Build a Cozy 1720sqft Solar Powered Shipping Container Cabin with Living Roof

Shipping container cabin

This 1720 square foot cabin concept is made from reclaimed wood and two recycled shipping containers. The cabin comes with two 140 square foot lofts on either end of the home, and sports a living roof for growing fresh organic fruits and veggies.

This step by step guide will go into simple detail of each stage of the process. This guide assumes the containers and the floor are supported by pillars or a slab foundation already installed. The price of the unit does NOT include the solar panel power system.

Are you ready? Let’s get started.

12 Steps How To Build a Cozy 1720sqft Solar Powered Shipping Container Cabin with Living Roof
12 Steps How To Build a Cozy 1720sqft Solar Powered Shipping Container Cabin with Living Roof

The design starts with 2 standard sized 4-‘ shipping containers, spaced approximately 20 feet apart. The span is bolted to each container, and the floor joists installed.

Shipping container cabin

The next step is to put down a temporary floor, and frame the front wall. Also, you’ll notice a large 12″x6″ beam on either side that will support the roof.

Shipping container cabin
The next step is to add the rear wall and cross beams for the roof framing. The gap created by stacking the  beams will be filled in later with a long glass (or plexiglass window) for added lighting.

Shipping container cabin

The trusses and floor joists for the lofts are installed next (ridge beam not shown).

Shipping container cabin

This is an interior view of the lofts. Each loft is approximately 140 square feet. The lofts can be used for both storage or extra sleeping areas.

Shipping container cabin

Getting ready for the siding.

Shipping container cabin

Readying the exterior for wood siding. This can be reclaimed wood from old barns, pallets, or just about anything you can scrounge around for. Windows are added and the glass (or plexiglass) skylight window is installed.

Shipping container cabin

More siding, more windows, and the roofing shingles (also wood) are installed. The eaves overlap part of the roof, which will drain into the raised bed living roof that will be installed later.

Shipping container cabin

This is the interior of the cabin. Notice there is no insulation yet, nor any paneling. The idea is you can add whatever you like – hemp, fiber, or cellulose insulation.

Shipping container cabin

Solar panels are optional, as is the skylight. They add to the cost, but also make the cabin off grid and add lots of natural light.

Shipping container cabin

The raised beds for the living roof are installed (not shown are the structural reinforcements to support the load of the added weight of the roof).

Shipping container cabin

This is the finished cabin. Looking at it from the exterior you would never know it was made from shipping containers. The money saved by using reclaimed and recycled materials will allow for much more amenities and luxuries to be installed.

How many bedrooms?

Well, technically you can divide the space up any way you see fit. It could be turned into a 5 bedroom home, or a 3 room cabin. The living space in the center is huge, and gives you a very OPEN feel. The skylights let in plenty of natural light, and using the roof as growing space lets you save space and grow your own food.

Now, this is a very basic cabin, but gives you an idea of what can be accomplished with a little creativity and some hard work.

Shipping container cabin

Shipping container cabin

Shipping container cabin

 

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This is a CONCEPT design and NOT an actual home. This design is an IDEA. We’re NOT selling anything, and we’re not proposing that anyone use our plans or designs to build their own shipping container home based on these designs. It’s simply a shipping container design idea to help inspire people into improving upon the design and maybe give them an idea they can use in their own dream home design.

Disclaimer: These are 3D design CONCEPTS for shipping container homes. They’re only design concepts, and they do not exist, and are not for sale. The pricing presented here (if any) are for BARE BONES materials, does not include freight, moving, crane rental, or any amenities. Anyone is welcome to use this design under an Open Source Creative Commons Share and Share Alike License, with credit given to this page.

13 COMMENTS

  1. Would this blog be interested in producing better plans? There are many step missing and I have many years experience producing blueprints and construction drawings. Feel free to post or contact me if you would like better details, as there seems to be a lot of interest in this.

    Robert Dakar

  2. Love the idea. I don’t see the design in this article showing how you access the shipping containers as a living space. I suppose you would need to cut in access doors from the center living space into each container?