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How to Find Space in a Container Home

One of the biggest problems with shipping containers is the width. At only 2.4m wide, it makes for a very narrow room and leaves one pondering on how to find space in a container home. But there are ways around this problem and we have come up with a solution that works for us. You might think we cheated.

Other Solutions

For those people building container homes that will stay permanently in one place, the most common solution is to place two containers together, side-by-side. Then, the touching inside walls are removed, giving you a room that is almost five metres wide. Nice and spacious.

wall panel removed
We cut out a portion of the shipping container side panel quite some time ago, before the windows were even installed!

For people building a mobile tiny house using a shipping container, the above solution is not possible. These people usually come up with the coolest space saving ideas that involves things like fold away furniture, cupboards and drawers in weird places, ladders instead of stairs, etc. It must be so fun designing and incorporating all those ideas into your own tiny home.

Building up the floor level
Building up the floor so it meets the floor of the shipping container

Why We Want Space

Our biggest problem in regards to space, is with the bedrooms. We had the option of either fitting our bedrooms with double beds, or figuring out the best way to fit in a queen size bed. Most of our beds are currently queens and we don’t really wish to spend money on getting new beds, mattresses and linen. A queen size bed does fit in a shipping container, but it does not leave much space for walking around the bed, making it in the mornings or changing the sheets. It’s possible, but not the most comfortable for everyday living.

how to find space in a container home by moving the wall
Building the frame in where the new wall will go, with an emergency door for just in case.

How To Find Space in a Container Home – Our Solution

Our solution for our home, was a bit of a cheat. If you recall, we’ve placed our shipping containers in a large rectangle. We, therefore, have a huge amount of space in the centre of the building. It is 12m x almost 9.5m in size. So, we stole some space out of the centre, so that our bedroom areas can be a little more spacious.

In short, we cut out a section of the original container wall and built a new wall about a meter out.

Cladding with electrics in place
Clad the frame. Don’t forget your electrical cables!

The concrete slab that we poured in the centre is a little lower than the container floor, so the first step was to build up the floor on the inside so that it matches the level of the container floor.

Then we built a frame out of our reclaimed crate wood and clad it with OSB (also reclaimed). The spaces between the panels we filled with insulation to help with temperature control and sound-proofing. The walls can be finished as per the rest of the interior cladding in the space.

Insulation installed
Insulation to keep us warm in winter and cool in summer

And that is our solution on how to find space in a container home. Do you think we cheated?

The end result is a nice little alclove for a bed (or a work table for now)

2 thoughts on “How to Find Space in a Container Home

  1. It’s really starting to look like a building inside. And I think your solution makes very resourceful use of space.

    1. It really is. Did you notice the 🛁 in the corner of the last photo?

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