The man creating homes out of ship containers
Regarding Jill Herron on stuff.co.nz, Darryl Taylor has made a tiny shipping container houses
Taylor does admit it requires a mental leap in many people’s thinking to see a big metal box as a desirable home, but following much research and experimentation, he says he converted containers are as comfortable to live in as a regular house.
A panel beater and painter by trade, he hit on the container idea after he and his wife Bernice moved in together and needed storage space as well as a spare room.
“I’m not an engineer, but I’ve always liked fixing things and running around with stuff. We kitted a container out half and half for storage and a room, then a guy from Blenheim asked if I would do one for him.”
More inquiries followed and the pair went to Cromwell from Invercargill six months ago to fix up their budding business.
The containers have a “warrant-of-fitness” and are all still cargo-worthy.
Or so people wanted new, others liked the rustic look, Taylor stated. Built within a warehouse, they are issued with a code of compliance from the Central Otago District Council before they work on the website.
Considerable research and trial and error had gone into fitting the units out so some details would remain trade secrets, Taylor says. He had consulted experts in engineering and other domains to help perfect the conversions, particularly in relation to breathing. Bernice is in charge of painting the units and the duo continuing to fine-tune the finishings.
“We can now fit out a twenty footer in around six weeks and they go out the door fully code compliant. There is no condensation, they’re all double-glazed, insulated and ventilated. They actually exceed council requirements, but you do still need a building consent for your foundations.”
Ship containers have been already watertight, bulletproof and immune to earthquakes and extreme conditions. Inside Taylor added sound-deadening insulation, wooden lining, tiny bedrooms, kitchens and bathrooms of all specs. Drop-down decking using an electric winch could be added, or normal decking built on, once the container was in office.
“They are more of a temporary accommodation solution for most people and we have societies that use them for portable shops or on employment sites.”
Giselle Dexter, wouldn’t agree, nevertheless, having fully embraced permanent living in her lofty container home at Queensbury near Wanaka. The spritely 70-year-old has had an adventurous life living in one room in Moscow for eight years and another eight years in a log cabin in the Australian scrub.
She resides next door to her son and his wife, in a 12m container that is now her cozy family.
“I thought about earth homes and that sort of thing, but I’m too old for that immediately. I didn’t want to deliver a mortgage at any cost and I wanted something easy to look afterwards. I’m on leasehold land here and this can be picked up and made a motion. My son reckons I’m absolutely nuts, but that’s allright,” she laughs.
The 30sqm home has an office, mezzanine floor bedroom, mini log burner and separate toilet. Dexter says there’s room aplenty for her and her hard-of-hearing companion, Sophie the dog. Taylor says he sells the 6m containers for about $42,000 fully converted for small-space living.
A 12m would cost closer to $75,000 and two this size can be bolted together to form a four bedroom home.
“I’ve got a lady that wants something like this with a 20 foot one as well and her budget is $400,000. I keep telling her it won’t cost anywhere like that much, probably less than half.”
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