10 DIY Single Container Homes & Cabins from Around the World

Homes made from shipping containers have attracted worldwide attention because of their solution to so many issues. There is an endless supply of cargo containers that are continuously retired from use.

Container homes are relatively inexpensive to build and they can be quickly turned into living quarters for various purposes. They also meet eco-friendly requirements for recycling as well as leaving a small footprint.

Cargotecture also offers the fulfillment of many DIYer’s dreams about building their own home…their way, with less money and in compact style. A single shipping container home is absolutely the best, easiest and cheapest design for anyone wanting to build a home made from cargo containers.

We’ve found some of the most amazing compact homes made from one cargo container per design to show you what many people are now calling home.

Most of these homes can be built for under $20,000 and can house 2 to 4 people.

Let us know what you think of our photo collection of 20′ to 40′ single container houses!

10 Best Single Shipping Container Homes from Around the World

1. Ireland’s First Cargo Container Home

This is the first container house to be built in Ireland and is made with a 40′ single cargo container. It only took 3 days to complete! Obviously, this one was planned to perfection and had a good building crew to finish it so fast. It’s a beautiful and spacious single container design.

container home


2. Seattle Container Retreat

Solar-powered, this 192-square-foot backyard container cottage sports a galley kitchen, compact bath and sleeps 4. It’s designed by HyBrid Architecture in Seattle, Washington.



3. New York Container House

(We made one exception in our single cargo featured photos. This one is built from a couple of 20′ containers. It was just too cool and simple not to include!)

No one would expect to see a cargo house sitting on the corner of Charles and Washington Street in the West Village. This 320 sq. ft. house was designed by architects Jason Halter and Christos Marcopoulous. It captures the trendy, ecofriendly design for modern living. More than 70% of its material are from recycled sources and for New York, $100 a square foot is frugal!

cargotecture home


4. Hawaii Goes for Container Living

Combining an apartment with office space, kitchen, bedroom and a bath, this 40′ container is designed for maximum living space. Siding and a flat roof has been added to improve durability and to make it more aesthetically pleasing.

single container house


5. Spain Summer House in the Galician Countryside

A 40′ container was used to build this wood clad home which sits on a flat lot in the country. It allows for outdoor enjoyment by offering a porch and removable awning which makes it perfect for summer living. Architects Severo Fernández and Basilio Rodríguez of Estudio Base designed this home.

container vacation home


6. Sri Lanka Compact Summer Cabin

(This is our favorite of all!)

This phenomenal, compact 20′ single container cabin was built on a Special Forces army training base in Sri Lanka. It sits on a lake shore with mountain views beyond and is surrounded by the jungle. This cabin was built from all reclaimed materials and was completed in approximately a month’s time. It is 700 sq. ft. and was designed by Architect Damith Prematikake.

shipping container cabin


Want to Build Your Own Container Home? Get Up-to-Date Construction Guide To Build A Container Home From Scratch!

7. New Zealand Holiday Home

Built in China, then tranported to Port-A-Bach, this 20′ cargo home is used as a compact housing for a small family there. It offers extreme portability and outdoor living potential.

container holiday home


8. Texas Tiny Home

Architect Jim Poteet designed this house even though he had never worked with cargotecture before. It’s made from a standard 40′ shipping container and sits in the backyard of a renovated warehouse where the owner lives.

40 foot shipping container house


9. Costa Rica Compact Living for 4

A beauty, this little Costa Rican container home boasts an amazing 160 sq. ft. that can sleep up to 4 people. It’s made from a 20′ shipping container with a rooftop recreational deck for added outdoor living enjoyment. Cúbica is the company that created this tiny house.

compact shipping container house


10. Seattle, Washington

This particular container house was a result of a Washington State county park’s contest to see who could transform a basic cargo container into a cozy, campground cabin. The result was this cabin by Seattle’s HyBrid Architecture for Kings County’s Toit-MacDonald Park campground. It was built to sleep four and has a kitchenette. It is also transportable for the campground, which uses it as a guest cabin.

container cabin

Hope you’ve enjoyed our photo gallery of single container homes that are do-able for the creative DIYer. Leave your comments below if you’ve built a container home and want to share your experience!

Want to Build Your Own Container Home? Get Up-to-Date Construction Guide To Build A Container Home From Scratch!

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