News Home & Design Here's a Shipping Container Tiny House That You Can Build Yourself or Buy We love the many intriguing space-saving features in this high-end tiny home. By Kimberley Mok Kimberley Mok Writer McGill University Cornell University Kimberley Mok is a former architect who has been covering architecture and the arts for Treehugger since 2007. Learn about our editorial process Published July 26, 2023 03:47PM EDT Exploring Alternatives News Environment Business & Policy Science Animals Home & Design Current Events Treehugger Voices News Archive When it comes to small homes, shipping container housing seems like the option with the greatest potential to be distributed on a large scale. That's due in large part to their baked-in modularity, as they are made to be moved around easily when integrated into a global infrastructure system of ships, trucks, and cranes. They also come with a price tag that can be as low as several hundred dollars. From this standpoint, shipping container housing makes sense if you want to have lots of cheaper housing that can be shipped almost anywhere. Of course, there are downsides to shipping containers; they can be difficult to insulate properly, and the treated wooden floors are toxic and need to be swapped out if they are being converted for habitation. But when done right, shipping container homes can be quite beautiful and functional, despite these initial hurdles. Coming out of Texas, Uncontained Dreams is one company that is designing and building some lovely homes out of shipping containers. The company's founder is Micah Woods—a former woodshop and metal shop teacher—who translated a lot of his knowledge into creating a high-end home that is both packed with features and affordable. We get a more in-depth look at the company's first model, The Rising Sun, via Exploring Alternatives: The bespoke 40-foot-long home is inspired by Woods' love of Japanese architecture, putting the emphasis on clean lines and Japanese-style elements like the shou sugi ban trim around the windows and door—essentially lightly torched wood that is more resistant to pests and weathering. In addition, this home was built out of a high cube shipping container, which is one foot taller than a standard container, for a total of 9.5 feet. Exploring Alternatives To boost interior ventilation and comfort, the home has a mini-split system for heating and cooling and plenty of operable windows to increase natural air circulation. Interestingly, Woods says that the company has developed a unique method of installing windows on the uneven exterior surfaces of the shipping container, which even DIYers could use: "I wanted to create a container that anyone could build, so we created a method that allows you to have no-weld [windows]. We created these blocks [that you can] put underneath and on top of the window, and that allows you to install the window on a flat surface, as opposed to the corrugated [surface]. It makes [building a shipping container home] more approachable... so you don't need to learn how to weld." Exploring Alternatives Coming inside past the black-painted entry door, we arrive in the open-plan kitchen and living room. Exploring Alternatives The kitchen area spans along both sides of the home and includes features like quartz countertops, a stainless steel sink that is wide and deep enough to wash almost anything, as well as a compact under-counter microwave, and a full-size stove, oven, and refrigerator. Exploring Alternatives There is plenty of storage to be found in the cabinets, which have pull-out drawers to allow easy access to things stored all the way in the back. Exploring Alternatives The living room is just beside the kitchen and features a deceptively simple set-up that comprises a sofa, mini-coffee table, and a console. There is an integrated fan and light installed on the ceiling, which helps to minimize the number of visible fixtures. Exploring Alternatives But look more closely, and you'll see that Woods and his team have designed some smart and stealthy space-saving pieces, like the console, which actually can flip open to form either an extra countertop for the kitchen, or a dining table that can seat up to four people. Exploring Alternatives The sofa also opens up to create an extra guest bed when extra custom-made cushions are added. Exploring Alternatives Past the kitchen, we find the bathroom and closet facing each other in the central part of the home. The bathroom is hidden behind mirrored sliding doors, which help to save space and reflect more natural light around the interior. The closet has a pair of bi-fold doors that conceal clothes storage and a washer and dryer. Right behind us, we have a pocket door that allows the whole bathroom and bedroom area to be closed off, but with an operable transom window that can still permit air to flow between the spaces. Exploring Alternatives Moving farther in, we have a large shower stall on one side and a sink and vanity on the other. Interestingly, this sizeable vanity also doubles as clothes storage with its larger drawers on the bottom. Exploring Alternatives The bedroom is up next, and we have a custom-built queen-size bed with an LED back-lit headboard. There is also integrated storage underneath the bed. Exploring Alternatives The bedroom is also a home office if needed, thanks to this stand-up desk that can flip up from the wall. The wall-mounted television can function as an extra computer monitor when connected to a laptop. Exploring Alternatives According to the company's website, the Rising Sun shipping container house is for sale, starting at a base price of $85,000 and ranging up to $120,000 with upgrades. Plans to build your own version of this container house are also available; find out more at Uncontained Dreams.