Couple Builds Affordable Shipping Container Home in Washington State under $20k

In recent years, the tiny house movement has gained popularity as a way for people to downsize and live more sustainably. But for one couple in Washington State, building a tiny home wasn’t just about following a trend – it was a way to create an affordable and unique living space that fit their lifestyle. In under a year, they built a 45-foot shipping container home while juggling their jobs, and spent only $20,000 on the entire project. By utilizing second-hand items and reclaimed materials, they were able to cut costs and create a stunning home that showcases their creativity and resourcefulness.

Building a Home on a Budget

The idea of building a home from a shipping container may seem unconventional, but it’s becoming increasingly popular among those looking for affordable and eco-friendly housing options. For this couple, it was the perfect solution to their desire for a small and sustainable home. They purchased a 45-foot shipping container for $3,000 and began the process of transforming it into their dream home.

Utilizing Second-Hand Items and Reclaimed Materials

One of the biggest challenges when building a home is keeping costs low. To achieve this, the couple made use of second-hand items and reclaimed materials wherever possible. This not only saved them money, but also added character and uniqueness to their home. They found second-hand cabinets for their kitchen, which they repainted and refurbished to fit their style. They also used reclaimed wood for their walls, giving the home a rustic and cozy feel. By being resourceful and creative, they were able to save a significant amount of money on furniture and fixtures.

Strategic Placement for Scenic Views

The couple chose to place their shipping container home in a strategic location that offers views of both sides of the river. They designed a deck that matches the square footage of the container, allowing them to maximize the scenic outlook. This not only adds to the aesthetic appeal of the home, but also creates a peaceful and serene atmosphere for the couple to enjoy.

The Functional and Stylish Interior

Inside the container, the couple focused on creating a functional and stylish living space that would meet their needs. They wanted to make the most of the limited space available, while still maintaining a comfortable and inviting atmosphere.

A Kitchen Designed for Efficiency

The kitchen is often considered the heart of a home, and this was no exception for the couple. They chose an induction cooktop, which is more energy-efficient than traditional stovetops, and a full-size fridge to accommodate their bulk food storage needs. By carefully planning the layout, they were able to create a functional and efficient kitchen that meets all their cooking and storage needs.

Reclaimed Wood and Multi-Functional Furniture

The interior design of the shipping container home showcases the couple’s love for reclaimed materials. The walls are made from tongue-and-groove wood, giving the home a warm and cozy feel. They also incorporated multi-functional furniture, such as a sofa that can be converted into a bed, to optimize the use of space. This not only adds to the unique charm of the home, but also allows for versatility in how the space is used.

Creative DIY Solutions

One of the most impressive aspects of this shipping container home is the couple’s use of creative DIY solutions. They built a shower using reclaimed wood and a galvanized tub, spending less than $50 on the entire project. They also installed a cubic mini wood stove, which not only provides warmth during the colder months, but also adds to the overall aesthetic of the home. These DIY projects not only saved them money, but also added a personal touch to their home.


Building a home from a shipping container may not be for everyone, but for this couple it was the perfect solution to creating an affordable and unique living space. By utilizing second-hand items, reclaimed materials, and their own creativity, they were able to build a stunning home that reflects their values and lifestyle. Their story serves as an inspiration for those looking to build a home on a budget, while also promoting sustainable and eco-friendly living.

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