Lulu's Shipping Container Home - Tiny House Blog

Lulu’s Shipping Container Home

Kirsten Dirksen from recently put up a new story about Lulu’s shipping container home. She did an excellent job of video taping Lulu’s story and sharing her home.

This story means more to me because I met Lulu early on when she and Jenine Alexander were building her shipping container home at it original location. It was fun to meet her and her daughter and she and Jenine had fun showing off their work. Jenine Alexander has also been featured on with her tiny house build.

Lulu is a single mom who’d gone back to school and didn’t have the time or interest in working full-time to pay for rent. So when she had to move out of her more conventional home, she decided to move herself and her daughter into a shipping container.

“I think I’m a little claustrophobic, so the storage container was a little daunting, but I got the container for free.”

With no building experience, Lulu spent just one month cutting windows and a door and installing insulation and a basic kitchen (complete with propane-powered camp stove and on-demand water heater). Then she and her daughter moved into the 8 X 20 sq ft home, fitting a bed, couch, bookshelf, and kitchen cabinets into the 160 sq ft box.

Read her complete story at the faircompanies website.

I have attached a photo gallery of part of the container build below the the movie.

[nggallery id=22]

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Steve - November 30, 2011 Reply

Great job, great philosophy,great attitude!

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mike - November 30, 2011 Reply

whoa, that water heater was great, anyone know the name of it?

hardest part of all that is having a place to do it…

    Kent Griswold - November 30, 2011 Reply

    Hi Mike, I featured the water heater on the blog some time ago, you can visit the post here: the company that makes this one is Eccotemp and you can purchase it on Amazon. -Kent

      mike - November 30, 2011 Reply

      Thanks a lot for the info!

    michelle, hornby island caravans - November 30, 2011 Reply

    I’ve just been looking into various hot water on demand systems, one thing that I’ve been warned about with these ones that are portable and sit outside is that if and when they freeze the tank will crack.

      Carolyn MVaussies - December 1, 2011 Reply

      These are “TankLESS” heaters. But yes they will crack in cold weather, outside & plus even INSIDE if the vent pipe is not done RIGHT. With flappers or baffles or corners or distance from the outside, even secondary temp controlled back up heaters, to kick in in extremes conditions. But it is to protect the coiled copper pipes filled with the water to be heated that crack, not a tank.

Ryan Surface - November 30, 2011 Reply

What a cool lady!

Meg - November 30, 2011 Reply

What part of the country is this? Does she own this land or does she rent on it? Or is it a friend that lets her stay? Love love love it, and her attitude 🙂

Jeff - November 30, 2011 Reply

I also like this lady, But the title should read Shipping container kitchen and playroom. It seems as if her “home” is the stick built one. I guess I got confused with all the little buildings, bedroom, bathroom areas. I like the true shipping container home / cabins that incorporate everything in them.

Jan Pagel - November 30, 2011 Reply

What a beautiful home and beautiful message. Thank you for sharing!

Steven - December 1, 2011 Reply

That’s what I call thinking inside the box!

Jordan - December 1, 2011 Reply

Cool setup, and at the same time curious about a few of the nuts and bolts that when you get down to them can make or break the whole possibility of living like this: 1) Zoning and whether she’s maybe just OK with risking enforcement, 2) Where does her grey/black water go? Composting toilet? 3) Electricity source? 4) Renting? and if so, other buildings on site as the “official” dwelling or just open land?

Any info appreciated!

TM - December 1, 2011 Reply

I admire her courage , effort , determination ( to do it so she and her daughter can have a place to live without any knowledge of building ) I also am curious about where she would put her shipping container , how the local area building & zoning would allow her to live there . Great job . TM.

Alex - December 1, 2011 Reply

Need safety rail at loft edge.

Tom Gilchrist - December 1, 2011 Reply

Liked the house, but loved Lulu — she is awesome. I think I’m in love !

jubair - December 2, 2011 Reply

What part of the country is this? Does she own this land or does she rent on it? Or is it a friend that lets her stay? Love love love it, and her attitude :)thanks

tortugabob - December 2, 2011 Reply

I love Argentinian women and everything about this woman’s style. If I wasn’t already married to a great woman and wasn’t 61 years old I’d come a courting.

when - December 2, 2011 Reply

It’s unfortunate, but this woman is likely living in a very toxic environment. Shipping container floors are made of pesticide-impregnated floors and the walls are covered with lead-based marine paints.

Then when you cut holes in them you create toxic metal dust – and that’s before you realize you’ve compromised the structural integrity by chopping holes in the walls. Then you realize water pools on the roof. Then you realize that the shape of the space is impossible to live in.

Shipping containers are for shipping, not for houses. I’ve done it, and after finding out the drawbacks I’ll never do it again.

Tom Gilchrist - December 2, 2011 Reply

Lulu, what an awesome women — I think I’m in love !

nancy - December 3, 2011 Reply

I wonder what she will do when her daughter gets bigger, and wants to have firends over? Pretty small, no privacy either. That’s an issue for kids when they get older…

    MissCynthia - October 2, 2015 Reply

    She can build another space adding as she goes. Honestly, the lack of vision the haters have is astounding.

Shipping Container Homes - December 3, 2011 Reply

Absolutely awesome story of self determination.

I would agree with the previous comment that the story would have been complimented by the inclusion of information about power, water and waste water along with the local planning authority but still an inspiration.

If you are interested in Shipping Container Homes be sure to download a free copy of our new 120 page full color digital book showcasing the 30 most influential shipping container homes ever built.



Victoria - Ozarks Crescent Mural - December 4, 2011 Reply

I really enjoyed the video. I think that’s the first time I’ve watched a YouTube video and not paused it a dozen times to see how much was left. I was so engrossed I just let it play.

John from Daejeon - December 10, 2011 Reply

Thanks for this, Kent. It gives me some hope for the future of “our” planet. It’s just too bad that so many are concerend about zoning and diminished property values and not about their fellow man. I, like Steve, admire her “Great job, great philosophy,great attitude!”

By the way, Kent provided a link for a lot of the information that people here have questions about–“Read her complete story at the faircompanies website.”

More information is also provided in the comment section there.

Jayne - December 24, 2011 Reply

I so admire Lulu..she is so together! I am making this video my theme piece .. she encapsulates so much of my own outlook, philosophy and choices .. and has very much inspired me to ‘move’!! thank you Lulu!!

storage containers for sale in san diego - October 16, 2012 Reply

Lulu, this is an amazing story and a great way to live green and use something a versatile as a shipping container as a home.

MissCynthia - October 2, 2015 Reply

My favorite thing she said was she can move her shipping container home easily overseas. What a fantastic option.

20 Shipping Container Home Floor Plans - August 22, 2018 Reply

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