Backyard Shipping Container Retreat

Dave contacted me Friday about this article and I fully intended to publish it Friday afternoon but life got in the way and so I’m finally getting it out today.

Oregon Live published this neat article about Mike Corvi who lives in Southwest Portland, Oregon. Mike bought a slightly used empty cargo shell for $2,900 and than with the help of a of skilled builder, and a couple of friends and lots of hard work and in about 6 weeks time, constructed this office retreat in his back yard.


His total cost was about $8,000. He enjoyed building it so much that he is taking the next step and going to create a business where he constructs and sells these and plans on making some with a small kitchen and bathroom also.

I plan on keeping my eye out for Mike and his portable housing business and will keep you posted when his business officially opens. Thanks again Dave for spotting this article and sharing it with me.

Photo Credit Kraig Scattarella/The Oregonian



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Michael O'Leary - December 13, 2009 Reply

This has to be one of the most fantastic shipping container conversions I’ve ever seen. Unfortunately there aren’t a lot of interior pictures, and clearly there isn’t a bathroom, but that’s secondary to the overall execution.

I’m please to see someone make good use of a 20′ container at a reasonable cost for execution.

Switcher - December 13, 2009 Reply

Very nice!

Great idea for an office, when you don’t want to add on to the house, plus If you ever move you can take it with you! 🙂

justin - December 13, 2009 Reply

if you like this one check out

my version was $4300 total cost besides land and its is under 400sf so no permits were required.. this is the cost for materials only as i did everything myself labor wise.. is a great little hunting cabin and closes up tight as safe when not in use

    Michael O'Leary - December 13, 2009 Reply

    Very nice – I like the sliding side! Can you link us to larger pictures for more detail of your work?

    Jeff - May 3, 2010 Reply

    So you built this unit for $4300.00 WOW! That is great. I am in WA and have a similar lot, riverfront, and I want a retreat. What would you charge for something like that unit. Ballpark of course, I have a few ideas I would like to incoporate.

justin - December 13, 2009 Reply

i will put up a few pics..if its allowed.. i am no affilated with cargotecture .. i had seen an episode of “big ideas for a small planet” that highlited the studio 320 prototype on it and i borrowed their basic design with a few additions of my own… i think you can still see it on hulu

justin - December 13, 2009 Reply

here is a better link

Susan McReynolds - December 14, 2009 Reply

Thanks for this article. We have a shipping container on our mountain property that was used as a spare bedroom and needs a lot more work. At least we have it on site:) Will use these links to help.

Liko - December 14, 2009 Reply

Looks inspired by these:

10 Shipping Container Buildings For Homes And Outbuildings | BuildDirect Green Blog - September 2, 2011 Reply

[…] of hard work and in about 6 weeks time, constructed this office retreat in his back yard.” (read the original post […]

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