$10k 1280 Sqft Ranch Style Container Home

$10k 1280 sq ft Container HomeHere’s my latest shipping container home design using just two shipping containers to form a 1280 square foot ranch style home for less than $10,000 in materials.

This design, like most others I’ve done uses a minimalist approach to maximize livable floor space. The design is so simple it uses just two ISO shipping containers spaced 16 feet apart to form a grand entrance and living room/dining room space which is 640 square feet, with 12 foot vaulted ceilings.

The two containers off the each side form the outer walls, and contain the bedrooms and bathroom.

It’s not shown, but you could take and cut out half of the inside wall of one of the containers and form a very big kitchen, which opens into the the dining room/living room common area, basically giving the whole place a very big “feel” inside. The addition of the large glass wall in the back is simply to give it a more open feel.

Vaulted Ceiling

This container home is designed to be a 2 Bedroom, 1 Bath ranch style house, with a large common area, however, the main area could be divided in any number of ways to form a larger master bedroom simply by cutting out part of the inner wall of one of the containers.

Here’s a view of the 12 foot vaulted ceilings.

Notice how much more room there is inside. Really this is the whole idea. Technically, I could add another 8 feet to the width and increase the common area floor space by 33% to 960 square feet, but that would increase costs by $3000-$5000 more in materials.

The rear of the house doesn’t have to be a glass wall, but I like it because it just looks nice, and will give the interior space a large feel opening onto the back patio.

I’m not sure you could get much more space for the money using only two containers. 1280 square feet is a good size to start out, and even if you were to splurge a little with more expensive materials you could double the cost to $20k and still have one very affordable, and very nice home. spread the containers apart just 8 more feet and you increase the square footage to 1600 sqft. Not too shabby for $20k huh?

 Throw in another $5000 for a small solar panel system and you’re ready to go.

(NOTE: The price only includes the shipping containers, building materials, basic electrical and plumbing. It does not include land, installation, permitting, septic system, or foundation.)


  1. Steve says

    I plan on building a shipping container home in Florida within the next 6 months. I really like your plan. Only basic difference is that the containers would be only 8 feet apart (less room to air condition). Any insight or pointers that you can pass along is truly appreciated.

  2. darrell says

    hey was wondering if u have architech plans for this its really cool design thanks get back to me when u can

  3. Erika says

    Wanting to finance land and pay out of pocket for container home. Start small and build on later. 10,000 k range would be great. Is plan available for 2 container 1250sq feet?

  4. Linda says

    I really like the look of this structure from the outside. Is this feasible to build off-grid in Arizona? Not in extreme desert area, but a more elevated location that will still have extreme temperature changes. Also, is there a floor plan that I can see? Thanks.


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