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6 Container Home Floor Plans That Make Efficient Use of Space

Nov 18, 2019

Shipping container homes are a dream come true for at least two types of people: homeowners and building designers.

For owners, a home made out of shipping containers is the answer to exorbitant housing costs, with standard quality containers selling for as low as $2,000. Even if you take into account additional expenses for interior design and finishing work, the final price would still be reasonable by anyone’s standards. Yet, despite its affordability, a container homes doesn’t come up short on strength, durability, and structural integrity. Its base material—steel—makes for a solid foundation that can weather strong winds, storms, fires, and other natural forces.  

Meanwhile, building designers are also singing the praises of turning shipping containers into living spaces. With their quick build time, container homes allow designers to take more projects and be more efficient with their time thanks to the shipping container market. Plus, there’s so much flexibility in working with container homes that inspires designers to give life to the best and most creative home design ideas they can come up with.

Choosing a Layout for Your Shipping Container Home

When it comes to building or designing homes, floor plans are so important that without them, it may be impossible for an architectural team to get anything done.

As the name suggests, a floor plan shows the layout of a space including its walls, rooms, and other partitions. Represented in scaled diagrams, a floor plan may also indicate or suggest the most ideal arrangement of furniture pieces and other design elements in a room or building.

In other words, a floor plan serves as a blueprint of the home construction project. With a guide to follow, it’s easy for builders or designers to execute your home ideas or requirements as planned. This can help minimize layout or design mistakes since the floor plan will dictate how or where things should go right from the start.

Having a bird’s-eye view of the house to be built also lets you see any space constraints, and address them by fine tuning the layout so that it maximizes the available space. Although you’ll want every square foot to hold as much stuff as possible, you also don’t want things to be too compressed to the point of looking or feeling congested.  

6 Container Home Floor Plans to Inspire You

An efficient floor plan for your container home is one that makes use of space wisely. This means your home has a comfortable enough size to make everyday living a joy for you and your family. A good floor plan also enables you to design your home to only be as big as you really need it, so you don’t end up wasting your resources with any unused space.

Here are 6 floor plan ideas that consider various space requirements, one of which—or more—can be excellent choices for your container home project. Get inspired!


Pioneering Container Home Design

These container home designs are taking modern-day living to the next level with their functionality and ingenuity in the use of floor space. 

1. The HO4 by Honomobo

Standing on a 704-sq-ft lot, this two-bedroom home shows it’s possible to turn modular shipping containers into an elegant-looking, expansive living space. The HO4 model uses only four repurposed shipping containers—with one reserved for each of the two bedrooms, the living room, and the dining-kitchen areas.

The layout is very straightforward too, with no unnecessary customizations to streamline and simplify the construction process. The house is surrounded by 29-foot-tall glass windows that run from the floor all the way to the ceiling, giving the whole house a lot of natural lighting.

2. The Container Beach House by Pablo Errázuriz

This container home, which can be found in Canela Baja, Chile, was designed to be a refuge for those weekend visits to the beach when you want to get away from the daily grind temporarily. The shipping container’s façade has been covered with corten steel plates, which are designed to form a protective coating on buildings that get exposed to the weather.

The floor uses wooden boards, the color of which blends nicely with the color of the steel panels. It’s a small structure, meaning the building costs involved are relatively low and it doesn’t require heavy maintenance either. 

3. The 2070 Live / Work Studio

This two-level container home doubles as a work studio, which is why it’s aptly called the Live / Work Studio. The lower level features the Work gallery at the front, while a private studio work space is located further into the rear. 

An outdoor area right at the back of the Work level also offers stair access leading to the Live level on the second floor. Here, two bedrooms, a bath, a kitchen, and a patio complete the 7-piece cargo architecture occupying 2,070 sq. ft. of land. A prominent vertical tower stands beside the Live / Work Studio that serves both as a signage and a landmark for this hard-to-miss shipping container structure.

4. The Luckdrops Container House

Structurally speaking, this model is so efficient in that it uses only one shipping container to fit all home sections in a linear arrangement. The Luckdrops is all about smart container home living because what it seems to scrimp on space, it more than makes up for its clever use of minimalist design and modern amenities all throughout. This only shows that meticulous planning was done to build a cozy home but whose size and price aren’t as grand as traditional homes.  

5. The Casa RDP

Some container home projects are shaped by a client’s vision, preference, or special instructions to the creative team, with the Casa RDP being one of them. In this masterpiece, the architects felt that using shipping containers suited the owner’s character, which was marked by a love for anything mechanical, such as old clocks and cars.

In the same way, this cargo home conveys a unique kind of personality, where each layout and design element fulfills a specific function. For example, the containers are anchored on concrete platforms that fly slightly outward to achieve a sense of balance and weight control. Meanwhile, the safe distances between each container prove helpful in creating and determining the limits or boundaries of each living space around the house.

6. The Heijmans ONE

The Heijmans ONE is the brainchild of a Dutch construction services company, whose goal is to provide affordable housing projects for young people. Heijmans’s shipping container home market includes millennials whose high earnings make them ineligible for social housing but still not enough for them to rent a house in major cities like Amsterdam.

Although the Heijmans ONE is configured for single occupancy, there’s enough space even for couples who are looking to manage their house rental expenses. The prefabricated units can be transported from one location to another and can be set up to run on utility services in a day’s time.

Shipping Container Home: It’s All About the Space (and More)

More than a trend that’s catching on anywhere in the world, container homes offer a practical way of living. With the right design choices, dwellers can save on space without sacrificing comfort and convenience, which means saving on costs as well. Cargo homes are also easy and fast to build, with an option for you to make it a temporary or permanent living space.

There’s no taking away the element of being stylish either—whether you’re looking to build something modern, conventional, elaborate, or otherwise—as shipping containers can be repurposed virtually any way you want.

If you’re considering giving container home living a try, you need to look for a professional supplier that has a wide range of options to make container home living favorable for you. BSL Containers offers both new and used shipping containers at a quality and price that suits your requirements.