My Shipping Container Home Designs: Container Castle!

Ever wondered about building with shipping containers? Here’s a few of my shipping container home designs. I’ was playing around in Google Sketchup and thought it would be cool to design a few homes, from one extreme to the other, cheap and small, to extremely large and extravagant. To start off here’s a shipping container home design implementing a simple modular container design, with strawbale and mud/plaster overlay for insulation. Very energy efficient in almost any environment.


$25k CONTAINER HOUSE MODEL (STRAWBALE/MUD INSULATIVE LAYER): Here’s a very basic draft of the concept I had. The 3D image was created in Google Sketchup. Strawbale over shipping containers, with mud/plaster/stucco over that. This is “double” insulated and provides probably more than 40-50 R value. This means you can probably place these in the desert anywhere in the world and still stay cool in 100-120 degree heat.

Shipping Container House

Assuming you could find them again, you’re looking at about $22,500 for all 9 containers. Pretty cheap considering that’s a total of 2880 square feet of floor space.

The strawbale will be about $5 per bale and we’ll need about 200, so $1000 for the strawbales.

About 1 load of sand and some clay $250 or so, plus say $50-$100 for manure = $350

Foundation if you do it yourself you can cut that to about =$2500
Plumbing $1500 = $2500
Electrical: 200 amp service is about = $2500
Building Permits: About $3000

That’s another $10,500

Total Before Solar/Wind power system = $34,350

This is well under the $50k minimum and the $100k maximum budgeted for this project. This leaves $18,650 to purchase/build the solar and wind combo system. And $50k for the land. If you shop around you can buy an acre or more of land for about $30k-$40k here in southern California.

Not bad for a 3 story 3000 square foot house… ;) This is cutting it close, and we can find tune these numbers, but this whole system is very doable for under $100k.


CONTAINER CASTLES: The next (ISBU) shipping container home are three designs for a “Container Castle”! The first design is small 2 story, but the second is a 3 story, and the 3rd is a massive Container Castle at nearly 10,000 square feet with at least 8 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms. All have 4 large helix wind turbines and a solar panel array.

CONTAINER CASTLE MODEL: 3 Story Container Castle

Container Castle 3 Story

$226k CONTAINER CASTLE MODEL: And the final, nearly 10,000 square foot 8+ bedroom Container Castle.

Container Castle 10k square feet

8 Bedroom 4 Bath “Container Castle” for less than $250k

– 9,920 square feet of floor space
– 12,000 Watt Solar Panel Array (48 500 Watt PV panels) = $20,000
– 20,000 Watt Quad Vertical Helix Mag-Lev Wind Turbine System = $50,000

31 Steel (ISBU) 40′ Shipping Containers = $62,000
Design Drawings/Floor Plan = $1000
Building Permits = $3000
Foundation = $10,000
Plumbing = $2500
Electrical = $2500
Heating/Cooling/Ducting = $5000
Carpet (1000 yards) = $5000
Flooring 2000 sq ft (bathrooms & kitchen) = $5000
Drywall/Paneling/Paint = $10,000
Cabinets/Counters $5000
Hardware/Toilets/Tubs/Showers = $5000
Lighting = $5000
Windows = $15000
Doors (20) = $3000
Roofing = $5000
Landscaping = $2500
Electrical and Trim Fixtures = $5000
TOTAL = $226,500


$25k CONTAINER HOUSE MODEL: Then I decided I wanted something smaller and more economical. So I tried to keep costs below $25k for this next 2 story 2560 square foot Container Home. The primary idea of course being affordability and simplicity, plus the added benefit of a good sized 3 bedroom home design.

$25k Container Home

$25k CONTAINER HOUSE MODEL: 3 BR 2 Bath – 2560 square foot Container House. All, foundation, wiring and plumbing is done by homeowner. Front and rear walls can be built for less than $1000 worth of lumber and materials. This encloses the living room/kitchen area which is 960 square feet. Flooring/Wall covering will be scavenged remnant/recycled materials, or purchased at manufacturer cost. Outer walls will be strawbale/mud plaster for an insulation R value of about 50. Keeps it cool in the desert heat. PRICE: Approximately $25,000-$35,000 (not including water well, heat/ac, or the solar/wind power systems).


$25k CONTAINER WAREHOUSE WORKSHOP MODEL:  And finally… What would all this be without a place to design and fabricate all of these shipping container homes. Here’s a Container Warehouse/Workshop I designed with space and simplicity in mind. This 2720 square foot workshop could be built for about $25,000 including foundation, roof, and electrical. Not too bad, and LOTS of space to work. Only needs tools and equipment!

Container Warehouse Workshop


Well, that’s it for now. Hope you enjoyed them.


  1. says

    Thoughts,… I want to build a floating closed loop, aquaponic, hydroponic home. I have 7 acres of wooded land, with a 3 acre pond.
    The property sits on a canal, with flows up to 6 knots. I believe I can tap this in two ways: tidal rise and fall and current speed. I hope to use this for the barge’s electric supply.
    I like your green energy approach to building, and was wondering if you have given any thought to making a structure entirely independent?
    PS: The reason to do a floating platform house are property tax, permits, protential rising water levels.

    I would love to hear from you.
    David Rose

    • Jose says

      hi there, do you have the floor plans for the 25k home available. i just got back from esteli, nicaragua where we own about 14 acres, plenty of room to build a a castle. but that’s not how we want to do it. Is green, lush and mountains everywhere….would love to keep the environment untouched…….i love the idea of container house….

  2. says

    the problem with the windmills atach to the castle is if you put a stefscope on any windmill you will ampifle the noise that it normaly creates now hook up a bunch of steel containers with 4windmill & you will have your own personal torcher chamber no one will ever sleep and they will go stark raven MAD the noise will travel from container to container with no excape. think B4 u do

  3. says

    They carry some of the world’s rare earth supplies,
    has imposed strict production and export quotas on cars 2 videos these elements, citing environmental concerns.
    Wheen these wear marks and cars 2 videos you want to control the car with the right
    bleach. Just to make sure that you consider all the above mentioned discussion it is easy
    to use. However, if the compressor is starting to put debris into the system, you’ll need to exercise your judgment.

  4. Johna432 says

    I have observed that in the world these days, video games include the latest popularity with kids of all ages. Periodically it may be extremely hard to drag the kids away from the games. If you want the best of both worlds, there are plenty of educational games for kids. Great post. fkbdedfdkbee

  5. says

    I am really impressed along with your writing skills and
    also with the format to your weblog. Is this a paid subject or did you modify it
    yourself? Anyway keep up the excellent high quality writing, it
    is rare to see a great weblog like this one nowadays..

  6. says

    this functions perfect for getaway destinations which happen to be recognized for having a lot of timeshares, so Orlando, Myrtle Seashore, Las
    Vegas, and additionally Massanutten some of the best possible places to take into
    account our opportunities.

  7. says

    Your costing for finishes are a little optimistic, $10,000 to dry wall the 3 story castle.

    No bathrooms either from what I can tell.

  8. Vikram Ranade says

    You may want to reconsider the wind turbine locations.The shadow effect from the turbines will severely affect the
    annual power output from the PV panels.
    You may have better luck if you position the turbines behind the PV Panels and avoid shadow on the panel surface.

  9. says

    Very impressive insight to your designs. Your figures on the containers @ 22,500 I feel are a bit high as that is broken down to $2500. a piece. I am in the process of designing and constructing my own shipping container home myself. In my research, shipping container can be located in abundance at sea ports ranging from 2 years of age all the way back to the late 1970’s in age. Of course, the older the container is, the more dings it will have on the outside.
    Many of these containers I am finding have been used to import from China. Though, in my opinion, with the exception of the cars and electronics. is mostly crap. One can still find a steal of these containers for as low as $800-$1000 for 20 ft. in length containers and even at the same price for the 40 foot and 45 foot containers providing you are willing to go older in age. That would take the cost of 9 shipping containers down to 9k when we figure at 1k a piece!
    To buy sight unseen, NEVER A GOOD IDEA PEOPLE! You need to go these ports and inspect them inside and out prior to purchase. When inspecting the inside, one tip: you must inspect to see if their is any light coming through. If so, do not even consider and move on! if you have an architect on board with the building of your container home, require them to be their to provide the insight expertise you will
    need to assure that regardless in age, you are getting the highest quality possible for your money!

    Good luck everyone!



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *