Tiny house made from a 20ft shipping container for £20k.

VIDEO: Watch how you could build a tiny house inside shipping container (on a tiny budget).

Brenda wanted to build her own tiny house and be mortgage free.

She was always passionate about second hand shipping containers and their potential since an early age.

As someone who was always drawing designs, making diagrams and planning how to use the space of a container she had plenty of ideas.

One day she thought to herself – why not just do it?

Tiny house shipping container design

How a 20 ft shipping container became a tiny home.

Brenda wanted the container to be less than 10 square metres, as this way she would not need building permission from her local government authority. (You should check with your own local authority as the rules vary).

The home layout.

You’re probably thinking, how can someone live in 20ft shipping container?

Surprisingly when opening the door to this little home it looks quite spacious inside.

Brenda says in order to accomplish this effect she’s been using a lot of white, installed a long window and she made sure the container had a high roof.

She also created a space where the living area is above the sleeping area which works well.

Also, Brenda wanted a view of the lounge, rather than of a sleeping area when entering the container. Having it laid out this way gives a feel of more space, she explains.

The lounge compromises a big sofa that folds on to a bed and has storage space for library and bedding.

As part of any living room, she has a TV and DVD player, but best of all the view from her living room window faces out on to the beautiful land.

Imagine how relaxing it must be for you to sit there with zero noise around, looking out the window into the nature.

Tiny house shipping container

When entering the sleeping area it looks extremely cosy with individual lights for reading. The wardrobe has been built cleverly along the back wall, which is just another smart way of using this small space efficiently.

The dimensions of the lounge and sleeping area are:

  • Sleeping area is 1 metre high which allows Brenda to sit comfortably in her bed and read.
  • The lounge area is 1.65 metres high approximately and very comfortable to spend time in. Brenda says you do not really need it to be any higher as you sit on the couch and relax anyway.

In the kitchen everything has its own place and the space has been carefully planned. It helps to have a high sealing as it allows for cupboards to be long and to have storage on top. Brenda says that everything she needs fits into her kitchen perfectly!

Brenda’s bathroom is quite unique in that it has clear light roofing for natural light! Showering in this space under the stars must be quite special.

She explains that the bathroom area has enough room to change with a comfortable shower. It doesn’t look like a tiny box at all and the space has been used very wisely.

What about hot water and electricity?

Brenda gets her hot water from a simple hot water heater.

On top of this the off grid features are two six bolt batteries that give 12 volt and two 21 volt solar panels on the roof which charge the batteries.

This is everything she needs for comfortable living.

There’s also a rain water collection feature which fills up to 440 litres of water.

This water is used for showering and washing and so far Brenda hasn’t run out. Everything is used sparingly.

Brenda contracted out some of the work but saved money by doing work herself.


Summing up:

Brenda’s finished container home budget came in at $30k– $35k (about £20k-£23k on current exchange rates).

Despite its small size, the tiny container home seems comfortable, liveable and affordable as a living space.

Brenda now lives with beautiful views, no rent or mortgage and in a home that she has created all on her own.

She’s a great example of how anyone can build a tiny home made from a shipping container –  if you put your mind to it.

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