Named after a San Francisco sculptor who could not afford a permanent place to live in her expensive city, the Sarah House Project in Salt Lake City, Utah is one man’s attempt to build an affordable home out of castoff shipping containers.
Sara Putnam, (the “h” for the project had already been added to a banner advertising the building) who recently died from cancer was living at an artists’ colony at the Hunter Point Naval Shipyards — where she wasn’t supposed to be sleeping. Her friend, Jeffrey White is building a 672 square foot home out of two 8×40-foot shipping containers. While visiting the Naval shipyards one night, White noticed dock workers unloading containers and thought about turning the big metal boxes into homes. The Sarah House Project has been funded by grants, donations and money raised by Jeffrey’s custom made funeral urns. He said in a recent Salt Lake City news report that his small, custom urns take up less space below ground, just as he hopes his home will take up less ground — above the ground.
The home will have a combination living room, dining and kitchen, a bathroom and bedroom and a day room. Jeffrey had originally put a 40-foot container on his driveway and started converting it into a house, but ran into trouble with city officials. Now the home is being built on some land procured by a local nonprofit, the Crossroads Urban Center, and when completed, will be sold to a low income family or couple.
Jeffrey estimates the cost of the project, including the land, at $108,000 – $115,000. This, he says, is close to the cost of a conventional home and is higher than he expected, but White hopes he’ll be able to bring those numbers down in future.
“I would love this house to come somewhere in the $60,000 – $75,000 range,” White said.
Photos courtesy of the Sarah House Project
The Home & Garden Centre in Monmouthshire, Wales has a large selection of garden cabin kits that are currently only delivered to Wales, England and the Scottish Lowlands, but I saw that some of the designs and styles of these kits contains some details not seen in other kit structures and which could be translated over to other stationary tiny houses.
Some of these finished kits have built-in decks and covered porches, large windows, double doors and sit well in a garden or on a deck. The company sells kits for traditional and contemporary style log cabins, log cabins that will fit into the corner of a piece of property as well as smaller structures like saunas and and tool sheds. The packages come in complete kit form with detailed instructions for installation and optional extras like insulation kits and underfloor heating. The sizes of the cabins range from about 50 square feet to about 215 square feet. They range in price from $2,200 to just under $5,000. Continue Reading »
I’m always on the lookout for pre-fabricated structures that can potentially become tiny houses, and the Amish Meadow Lark company in Pennsylvania caught my eye for their simple, but beautiful construction of various sheds, two of which could be the start of a tiny house.
Currently, Meadow Lark has five different models of portable buildings to choose from: Mini Barns, Cottages, Quaker Sheds, Hi-Wall Barns and Garages. The Cottages and Quaker Sheds can be ordered in over 15 different sizes. The Cottages cost from $1,120 to $1,480 for an 8×8 foot structure to $4,195 to $5,120 for a 12×32 foot structure. The Quaker Sheds range in cost from $1,285 to $1,610 for an 8×8 foot structure to $4,760 to $5,770 for a 12×32 foot structure. Continue Reading »
For anyone who is looking for an affordable, modern style frame for a tiny house, ala Cabin Fever, take a look at the Aston Shed by Yardline and Costco. From now until November 11, this shed will be on sale for $1,000 which includes delivery. The shed is 10 feet by 7.5 feet and Costco is selling it as a storage shed or as a small office or living space.
The shed weighs about 1,100 lbs, is 9 feet high at the front peak and contains three transom windows and a 64 inch double door. The front deck shown is not included, but it looks like it might expand the house nicely if you were to build it yourself. Heck, at this price, I would buy two of these sheds and put them next to each other.
The structure comes delivered pre-cut and includes 2×4 construction, a sold wood floor, pre-hung doors with piano hinges and wall vents. There is also a 15 year warranty. The shed will take two people about two days to complete with a hammer, cordless drill and screwdriver. The owner will need to supply their own caulking., interior and exterior paint and roof felt and shingles
Costco and Yardline recommend checking your local building codes before ordering and they don’t deliver this particular shed to Florida at this time.
Photos by Yardline
Despite several controversial issues with using shipping containers as homes, there are still many people who are interested in converting the ubiquitous metal structures into their own tiny house. My Home In a Box is a blog dedicated to shipping containers and how they can be used as the basis for a small or tiny home. With its various photos, videos, information on exterior and interior design, the blog is a great reference.
The blog covers building with both 20 foot and 40 foot containers, information on insulation, alternative energy, heating and cooling and interior and exterior ideas. The owner of the blog, Dean, has also designed his own conceptual off-grid shipping container home with a composting toilet, a living room with a hidden bed, water storage, a solar panel and wind turbine and a hot water heater on the roof. The design also has a two drawbridge sides that become decks, an aquaponics system and the ability to store up to 6 months worth of food. Continue Reading »
Designboom is a publication and blog that focuses on design, architecture, art, photography and graphics. Their main offices are located in Milan, Italy, but for the hot summer months, the crew of Designboom recently moved their offices into a series of cargo containers on the island of Sardinia. Their DIY adventure was profiled in a recent post on their website and the results are a beautiful representation of relaxed, sustainable living (and working) on a desert island in the Mediterranean.
The government of Sardinia has adopted some strict criteria for building permits on the island to curb overbuilding. However, one way to get around the long permit waiting period is by using temporary or modular structures as housing. Designboom purchased three used cargo containers and crane-lifted them onto natural stone pavement since the team did not want to use any concrete in the construction. The outdoor flooring is made from local stone and dry set with sand and mortar. The containers are placed at 90 degree angles to each other so that their external doors can be latched together to protect the dining area from the ocean winds. Continue Reading »